Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Is this not the most excellent answer ever?
Friday, June 26, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Go get 'em, Cameron! But do us all a favor - if and when you do make the final decision to remain childfree, let's hear from you again. And when we do hear from you, please don't tell us you decided not to have kids because you're "too selfish", you're "not mom material" or are otherwise defective in some way. Say it loud, say it proud.
"I think women are afraid to say that they don't want children because they're going to get shunned ... I have more girlfriends who don't have kids than those that do. And honestly? We don't need any more kids. We have plenty of people on this planet."
Monday, June 22, 2009
I think we all know there is no guarantee of this, as evidenced by the scores of lonely elders (who have grown children) rotting away in nursing homes, pining for visitors.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This may seem like a trivial issue and certainly not a primary reason not to have children but it is worth discussing. How on earth can people stand the chaos and noise that comes along with having kids?
I have a very close friend, Sara, who I've known for 22 years. She's like a sister to me. Through 16 years of our friendship she was sans children, and then in her late 30s she got married to her second husband and they decided to have kids. They have two sons - one who is soon to be 6, the other who is 2.
Sara and I get together about once every 2 weeks. Usually she comes to my house or we go out someplace together, but there is the occasional get-together that entails me visiting her at her house, like last night.
The second I step into her house, I immediately feel my stomach twisting into knots. The kids come running to me and are clearly happy to see me (they even refer to me as an "aunt") but from there, it's all downhill. The entire time I am visiting, the 6 year old is talking (i.e. yelling) at the top of his lungs and continually interrupting Sara and me as we are trying to have a conversation. He thinks that because he says, "excuse me" repeatedly, it's okay to interrupt. Sara does little to stop him - she gently encourages him to go play in the other room, but when he doesn't (and keeps interrupting us) she allows him to sit there and be a non-stop annoyance. Sara tries to have a conversation with me, but hears nothing I say. I give up trying to talk with her.
The 2 year old is in the throes of "terrible twos" and has a hair-trigger temper tantrum reflex that get set off by the tiniest of things. The entire time I am visiting, he is squirming, and fighting and yelling and being a generous nuisance.
The house is in complete disarray with toys and junk stewn everywhere. This, combined with the noise level puts me into fight-or-flight survival mode, and I get this urgent impulse to run screaming from the house. It's hard to sit there and maintain a calm exterior because inside I am churning.
Sara's house is not unique. Everyone I know who has young children lives like this. Noise, chaos, stress, power struggles, negotiating, mess, pushing, pulling, fighting. It starts the moment they wake up and it ends when they finally collapse exhausted into bed each night. How can they stand it? Is it is something that one just becomes immune to over time? It seems that way because as I sit there with my anxiety level at 10 and the violent urge to run for the hills, I look over at my friend and she doesn't seem the least bit flustered. Her face is relaxed as she dutifully jumps up and down to deal with each crisis. This is her new normal.
Sara is happy in her life (she's one of the few moms I know who sincerely seems happy in the role), so I am happy for her, but I have to say - my occasional visits to her house always impart on me a HUGE sense of relief for the life of calm I have chosen. When I got home last night and walked into my serene house, I was greeted by the gentle purr of my three furbabies. Hubby was flopped on the couch watching a movie. I had entered our oasis. All was right in the world.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
"I made a conscious decision that I was not going to have children. I didn't want others raising them, and looking after them myself would get in the way of being a musician and writer."
"I don't really need children. I have a niece who's six, who certainly fills my life up as far as a child goes. I'm gonna just work on my work. I don't think the world is going to have that much of a problem with me not being married or having a family. I don't think that's why I came here. I have something that's really important to do, and I don't think I've done that yet. "
"Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover? With kids, your focus changes. I don't want to go to PTA meetings."
”...I now really understand what an incredible commitment it is to have a child, and how difficult it is. I know I could not have done both. I'd have ended up having to stop doing my music, or pretty much letting someone else raise my child ~ which would have made me very unhappy."
"As the years went by I pretty much realised that that was a good decision because... with a child in my life, I can't just be, 'Well, I know you're in second grade and you love your school but guess what? We're going to New York.' "I instinctively knew that that would not be being a good mother. I did not want to be a half-assed rock star and a half-assed mother."
Want to see what other celebrities are childfree by choice? Check out my list and be sure to let me know if you learn of others so I can be sure to add them!
Monday, June 8, 2009
This time I said something. I handed her a towel and said, "would you mind putting this under her?" She gives me a puzzled look and asks "Oh, why? Because she's wet?" No because I think she looks more attractive lying on a towel then on our rug. HELLO?! Do you really think I want our area rug soaked with PISS!? Have some consideration! (I didn't say this, of course. I just said, "yes", but come on!)
Saturday, June 6, 2009
It's interesting being a childfree person on Facebook in a sea of cyberparents. Every day I am greeted with their updates, many of which concern their children, and here's the interesting thing - when people comment about their children, inevitably their comments are negative. For example:
"Mom's Taxi..still up and running at 1:45 am! ugh!! .... No matter how old they get, Mom is still the 1st one they call! (but I wouldnt mind being the 2nd or third once in a while EITHER!) lol"
"...is selling her encyclopedias...I have a 20 year old that thinks he knows EVERYTHING!!!"
"...poor baby G was screaming and teething all day long."
"...Is wishing everyone would stop needing me! (just for a little while).... needs an escape!!!"
Here's an observation I have often made about parenthood - and it is precisely this observation that was critical to informing my decision not to have children:
If parenthood is so wonderful, if the benefits of having children far outweigh the costs, if all the hardship is so worth it as parents like to claim, why is 80-90% of what we observe coming out of parents concerning parenthood negative?
I observe the people in my life who are parents. I watch them interact with their kids. I listen to them talk about their kids. I read their Facebook updates. I observe the effects of parenthood on them - their physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional health and what do I see? I see exhaustion. I see aggravation. I see stress. I see upset. I see financial strain. I see marital strain. What I do not see is joy, happiness and fulfilment.
A parent's typical answer to this is "yes, it is really hard, but it's so worth it. The good makes up for the bad."
Okay, so for a moment, let's take parents at their word. Let's assume the good of being a parent outweighs the bad. Here's my question. If the good makes up for the bad, and even outweighs the bad - if the cost of being a parent is lower than the rewards, shouldn't we observers see more happiness and joy from said parents than unhappiness and strain? How about a 50/50 split? Even that would be somewhat convincing that the good makes up for the bad. But that's not what I see. When I look around and observe the people in my life who are parents, what I see is primarily strain and unhappiness. I observe closely to witness this overriding joy and happiness they claim makes up for all the strain and unhappiness, but the joy and happiness I see is at most brief and fleeting - the occasional smile, laugh or look of love at a child, followed by a corresponding 12 hours of stressing and straining under the burden of them.
I do realize that the love a person feels for their child is larger than almost anything in life and there's nothing like the feeling of intense love. But at what cost do people pursue this version of love? I have an intensity of love for my husband which is greater than any love I have ever had for any person or any thing and guess what? It doesn't cost me anything. I don't have to struggle, stress and strain to enjoy our love. It flows freely and evenly and there is no cost associated with it. Parents might argue that the love one feels for a child is greater than the love one feels for a spouse. My response is that I don't want to love anyone more than my spouse. Hubby comes first in my life and always will and I like it that way. I love making him my first priority and the object of all the good, the giving, the joy and love I have to offer. I also enjoy coming first in his life too. It's a good deal all-around - a real win-win situation.
When I tell people that I am happily married, they can observe my hubby and me together and their observations will validate my claim. Try applying the same test to parenthood and what do you get?