Thursday, July 30, 2009
I received this letter from a reader of my blog and in the letter, he asked for my opinion on what he should do about a difficult situation he is going through. I sent him a reply and I also asked him if he would permit me to post his letter here, so that you can also offer your insights and thoughts about his problem. He gave me his permission, so here is his letter. I have changed his name to protect his privacy. Please feel free to post your reply. Thanks.
"Hello -I've just discovered your blog, and very much wish I had done so earlier. This morning, you see, I'm fresh off the thousandth conflict with my girlfriend, who has stated, extremely clearly, that she wants kids. I've always been on the fence about it -- at least I thought I was -- and have, for the past year, been thinking. And thinking. And thinking. Last month, I set a final deadline for myself, which is imminent, and I still find I'm 'undecided.'
In truth and honesty, I'm not undecided. I don't want kids, and every word I've read of your blog rings starkly true for me. But there's a problem -- a big one. I'm in love with the woman with whom I'm involved. She's wonderful, sweet, smart, creative, and would/will make a fantastic mother. She has all the patience I do not, and I could never deny the happiness she will find in being a parent. In addition, I've had a lot of trouble with relationships in the past, and there's no question this one is the very best I've had. I desperately do not want to let go of it, but this is a crossroads that can only go two directions. There's no in between.
Many people have told me I'd make a good parent. And I probably would. I do love kids. They're fun. Silly. Wacky. I just don't know if I can deal with the un-fun parts of parenthood. I'm pretty sure, actually, that they would drive me nuts. I no more want to clean up someone else's bodily functions than I want someone to clean up mine. Etc., etc., etc.
So. I've tried to present both sides of my problem briefly and equally. 1. I'm in love. 2. I don't want kids. There's no way these two things can happily coexist. So here's the question I'm hoping you can help me solve: I've written one letter to you, and I'll write more if you want clarification, but based on this single letter... should I dive into the relationship? Or let it go and hope to find another?Thanks for your blog. It's really quite excellent.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Read the full story here.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
7/12: "Tabby's back right leg is twitching and I am concerned."
7/11: "Tried a new brand of cat food this morning. Tabby turned her nose up at it."
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The world's oldest new mother - a single woman who gave birth at age 66 - has died at age 69, leaving her 2 year old twins orphaned.
This situation is a vivid example of pronatalism gone awry and illustrates the need for controls to be put on the relentless, unreasonable pursuit of parenthood at all costs. In this case, the cost is being incurred by two innocent children who are left orphaned, all because this woman had a selfish desire to become a mom long after it was reasonable for her to do so.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
because your body will not be ravaged by childbearing and a crappy diet.
While not a childfree site by any means, The Shape of a Mother web site does a service to all women (mothers and non-mothers alike) by showing what pregnancy and childbirth really do to women's bodies. Honest depictions of the ravages of childbearing are hard to come by in a culture which glorifies and glamorizes pregnancy and motherhood. Turn on the television or look in any women's or celebrity magazine and these are the types of unrealistic fantasy images you will see of pregnant and post-pregnant bodies:
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
"I am having a tough summer home with my kids. They are about to drive me insane fighting all the time. I am yelling constantly and feeling like a horrible parent. I have one child, 5, who will not play. He will not go do anything on his own and asks me every 10 minutes what he can do now. I try to give him projects, chores, activities, etc., but I can't entertain him all the time. The youngest, 3, is absolutely terrible. He is constantly ruining anything the other kids play with, taking things from them, having tantrums, screaming at me. I try to keep us busy with bowling, swimming, library, etc. Each of them got to pick one summer camp to do. It's too hot to play outside unless we go to the pool, so I'm not going to make them go in the back yard and play. I try to limit t.v. and Wii time, but they just constantly fight and argue all day long. My 8 year old is no trouble - she just reads all day long, but I wish she would play more with the other kids because somehow she gets them playing together well. I am dealing with it poorly, I know, but I'm just worn out of dealing with it. Please tell me I'm not the only one!!!!!"
She got plenty of sympathy from the other moms on the board.
"You are not the only one... I'm going through some hard times with my kids as well and some self realizations that are not pretty either... lot of hugs to you..being parent is a million x10000000000000000 harder then I ever thought..."
"Wow, are my children at your house? I have practically the same age spread (almost 8 and vociferous reader; just turned 6 and needs constant attention, and 3, almost 4, who is the baby and likes to bug everyone) and apparently the same issues. Don't have much to offer in terms of solutions (well, mine was day camp for all 3!) but I can certainly provide hugs and empathy!"
"For four years my sister sent her daughter from California to Wisconsin to spend the summer with our family. So, for a few months out of the year I had two kids instead of just ds. I love her dearly but was always *so* happy when it was time to send her home! The first few weeks, they'd play together and be great companions. Then, they started becoming more like brother and sister with the fighting and clamoring for my attention. I don't know how y'all do it! Kids know precisely how to get on every last nerve....having several do that at one time
"Don't feel bad. We're going through the same thing. You'd think the kids would be excited to have summer to play all day and do whatever they want. But no. They want me to tell them what to do all the time. Ugh! We've not been having fun either. The only time we have fun and no fighting is when we go to the pool and I don't particularly enjoy going to the pool every day. It's too crowded and too many other damn kids!"
"You are not alone-- summer is off to a similarly rough start for me and DD. Like Lucy, I can offer little to no advice, but (((hugs)) and empathy! "Ah, summertime. Just look at all the fun and excitement we are missing out on. How sad and dull our childfree lives are.
Friday, July 3, 2009
On the upside, the mothers on the show did spill the beans on the stuff that stays hush-hush and gets pushed under the rug in our reproduction-crazed culture: the loss of identity, the loss of freedom, the loss of friendships, the decline of marital relationships, the loss of a sex life, the sickening and often unbearable day-to-day tasks that mothers must endure. However, it was all said with a hearty chuckle and a yes, we all must endure this and are better people for it mentality that refuses to be shaken loose from our culture. Never once in this discussion, or any discussion on the Oprah show, is there ever any mention of the alternative choice to remain childfree. Motherhood is treated as a mandate - a part of life as required as breathing - and never as a choice. This is particularly disapppointing to me because Oprah herself is childfree by choice and leads a very fulfiling and admirable life.
Imagine how great it would be if Oprah Winfrey did a show dedicated entirely to the childfree lifestyle and interviewed couples (or even women) who have chosen not to have children. What an eye opening and enlightening episode this would be for her audience. Oprah yields tremendous power to influence and is herself a childfree woman, and yet her shows do nothing to so far as mention the alternative of living a life free of children.
As a writer on this issue, I know that a lot of people find my blog because they are searching for information on the option not to have children. More and more people are contemplating this lifestyle, and are itching for more information about what it's really like to be childfree. Those who have already made the childfree choice are yearning for acceptance and understanding in our culture. How sad that we can only find honest information and understanding on childfree blogs and websites? Despite the growing popularity of childfreedom, the mainstream media all but completely ignores the issue and it is really disheartening to me that not even Oprah Winfrey, one of the rare major celebrities who outwardly professes to be childfree by choice, is willing to break the silence on this issue and expose the truth about the childfree lifestyle.
I have decided I am going to write to the producers of the Oprah Winfrey show and suggest my idea for an episode on childfreedom. Will you do the same? Isn't it about time we get some serious, mainstream press? Isn't it time Oprah shines a spotlight on the fabulous lifestyle she herself has embraced?
Please write to the producers of the Oprah Winfrey show here. And if you'd like, please post a copy of your message as a comment to this post as well. I'll be posting mine shortly.
Oh and by the way, happy Independence Day - you know I mean that in more ways than one ;)