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My daughter is now 7 months old and since I came back from maternity leave my female coworker keeps nagging at me to see the baby.

I live over an hour and 10 mins from my work so to bring the baby in would totally disrupt her feeding and sleeping schedule (2.5 hours of travel for a 10 min visit). I've politely explained this to her but she keeps persisting. I'm getting annoyed because it happens every 2 weeks or so. I feel like I can't talk to this person without her nagging at me about seeing my baby or my choice to take a short mat leave indicating that the bond won't be there (how would she know she doesn't have kids?). I generally don't like to talk about my personal life at work and don't ever bring it up either.

How would you handle this situation? I've already told her I live far away and don't have a car.

In addition to this, we are not personal friends. I did not even know who she was because she was hired while I was away on mat leave. No gifts were given or anything like that either.

I did show her a photo but she still keeps asking.

  • Ask her why she is so obsessed with your baby 1.5 years later. I mean, seriously, doesn't she have anything better to do than keep hoping to see some baby for so long? – Masked Man Oct 17 '16 at 3:17
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You already told her it can't be done for any number of reasons that are relevant to you e.g. you don't have a car and it would be a hardship to Baby let alone Baby acting as a powerful distraction from work not just for you but for your coworkers and management around you - it's unlikely that you'll be able to do a stitch of work that day because whenever you are with Baby, Baby comes first. Rinse and repeat the rationale until she gets the point. And try to do it without getting irritated - Getting irritated is gratuitous and the issue is too minor to even get emotional about - You made your decision and as far as she is concerned, said decision sticks until further notice from you. That's all there is to the issue.

She comes from the perspective that Baby is fun and she can well afford that perspective because Baby is not hers. You come from the perspective that much as you love Baby, Baby is a ton of work. Because Baby is yours. Your perspective has to take precedence, because Baby is yours. You simply know better.

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  1. Tell your co-worker that its difficult to get the baby as it is tender in a public transport or travel due to dust and other inconveniences to the baby. You can tell that its doctors advice not to travel long distances until its grown up.
  2. Invite your co-worker to your house, if she is so interested to have a look at the baby.
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    Had to vote this up because (2) was what I wanted to answer. Either she figures out what a drag 2 1/2 hours of drive is and is suddenly much less interested, or she is really interested to have a look at the baby. (Of course only invite her if you don't mind if she accepts the invitation, otherwise this is risky). – gnasher729 Mar 15 '15 at 15:22
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    It's possible she thinks she's just being friendly and is trying to find a shared interest they can talk about (since the asker says they don't talk about their personal life) – user56reinstatemonica8 Mar 15 '15 at 21:39
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    @user568458 Also possible she wants to ask about the baby (to be friendly), but being a non-parent can't think of anything to ask apart from "Can I see her?" and doesn't have the social skills to listen to "No." – starsplusplus Mar 17 '15 at 10:18
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    I don't recommend offering to visit your house. That just sets wrong expectations. – Nils Magnus Mar 7 '18 at 10:59
  • Lying about why you don't want to bring your baby to work risks your reputation - you now have to remember and maintain that lie in case this coworker asks about the child again. Just be honest about why you don't want to bring the baby to work. – Dr. Funk Apr 4 '18 at 14:58
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Treat it like any other request to see your new house/car/whatever. "If I bring her in I'll let you know." End of conversation. Repeat as necessary until they figure out that they're being annoying. If they're completely unable to get the hint, start adding "For the twenty-seventh time, ... . Now can we discuss something else? Please?"

Remember that they think they're expressing a friendly interest. If they're crowding you, either say so or find ways to deflect it.

(I've got a few friends who really don't take hints or read tone of voice very well. I've learned that I have to either ignore, or tell them directly. Luckily, they know they're limited in this area and will accept being corrected when necessary... at least from me, since they also know I try to cut them some slack when possible.)

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    I like "if I bring her in I'll let you know". I'd actually just recommend repeating it in the same tone of voice forever - making it sound like you're agreeing to her request ("Sure! If I bring her in, I'll let you know :)") whilst actually agreeing to it on your terms. I think if you start to sound annoyed you're allowing her a chance to get uppity ("I was only asking. What's your problem?!"), whereas if you stick to the script, she's the one who has to (if she doesn't get the hint) deviate from it, and sound like the bad guy, rather than you (OP). – starsplusplus Mar 17 '15 at 10:24
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    Two other things I like about this response - it closes the conversation, since you've agreed with her, and it makes it hard for her to argue with. If you say "No, I can't because X" she can argue why X isn't a problem or doesn't apply or whatever, but if you're seemingly saying yes, it's harder for her to pick a fight. If she keeps pushing with "Your yes isn't a good enough yes because..." then she sounds less reasonable. – starsplusplus Mar 17 '15 at 10:29
  • There is no need to give any reasons, as this is part of your personal sphere. – Nils Magnus Mar 7 '18 at 11:01

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