My friend at work who is the same age and gender as me were kind of joking yesterday about how when we get the inevitable "Do you have kids?" question from random people, we always respond with some sense of shame and regret. It's hard to get intonation across on a blog post, but it's something like, "oh... no... I don't." Maybe followed by a "not yet."
And we decided NO MORE. From now on, loud and proud "NO, I DON'T HAVE KIDS!" My friend is engaged so I warned her that these questions will increase ten fold when she gets married.
But I think I'm actually going to take this to heart, maybe not scream at people for asking... but I'm seriously going to try to respond with a polite but firm "No, I don't" with no sense of shame or regret. And if they ask, "Do you plan on having kids" and I feel that it's not this particular person's business (talking to you Level 3 account manager!) I will say "I'm not sure." Because that's the truth and even though business people are taught to make small talk some stuff is just not your fucking business.
As for the more complicated relationships of family and close friends I still feel the "I'm not sure" is an acceptable answer. And I might be willing to go a step further and explain my reasoning (but not DEFEND my reasoning; I'm not doing anything wrong!) But no more hanging my head and slouching in my seat when I hear, "But don't you want kids?" "Michael's baby is SOOOO CUTE." "You look good holding that baby." "Greg, you're pushing 30.. (they're too polite to say "Kim, you're pushing 30") I could go on. I know people have good intentions, but seriously don't people have their own shit to worry about?