Saturday, November 20, 2010

What are YOU Thankful for?

In celebration of Thanksgiving and in celebration of Childfreedom, I thought I would post all the things I am thankful for that relate to the status of being childfree. I first posted this list on Thanksgiving, 2008, but since I am still thankful for the same things, here it is for an encore! Would you care to add to the list? If so, please post a comment! Let's see how long the list can become.

Today, I am thankful for:

A marriage fully centered around each other and unstrained and undistracted by the stresses of childrearing;

A full night's sleep every single night;

No bags under my eyes;

The freedom to come and go at will;

Nice long naps on the weekend;

Being independent, self-determined and autonomous;

Living a relaxed and unharried life;

Maintaining my personal identity fully;

The time, ability and energy to sustain meaningful and substantial intimate relationships;

Having a home that is a serene and peaceful retreat;

Having far fewer wrinkles than my child-encumbered peers;

Not having to be an example;

Rarely getting sick;

Being able to eat cookies for breakfast out in the open;

Every night is "date night" if we want it to be;

Not having to be a cheuffer;

Not having to sock away thousands of dollars for kids' college education;

Being able to set my own agenda;

Having the personal privacy I desire;

Not having to yell, fight, scream, correct, punish, scold anyone;

Having a home that is completely free of kindercrap and is decorated as I wish;

Being able to do yoga or have quiet contemplation when I choose;

Being able to give our cats the full and undivided love & attention they deserve;

Being able to invest in a comfortable retirement;

Being a genuinely enthusiastic and engaged aunt (because I am not jaded from having kids);

The ability, energy and time to be a devoted friend;

Having an attention span (most people lose this upon becoming parents);

The time and energy to take care of my health and appearance;

The ability to be spontaneous;

The time and ability to be involved in the community, volunteer work;

Taking a "down day" whenever I need it;

Using my vacation time for fun vacations (instead of for caring for sick kids);

Cooking when I feel like it and cooking sophisticated/gourmet dinners when the mood strikes;

Driving whatever type of car I prefer to drive;

Watching whatever I want on the t.v. with no worries about who is exposed;

Visiting whatever web sites I want with no worries about who is looking over my shoulder;

Dropping the F-bomb at home (or other unsavory words/statements) at will whenever I need the release;

Having to do only 2 loads of laundry per week;

Monthly expenses that are about half of what people with kids have;

Travelling wherever I want (not limited to Disney World or other kid-friendly places);

Travelling whenever I want (not limited to working around kids' school schedules);

Pursuing a new hobby - taking classes, etc...whenever the mood strikes;

The ability to pursue higher education if desired without guilt or limitations;

The ability to be fully invested in my career and forward mobility and being a dependable employee;

The ability to live in any neighborhood/area we want with no concern about schools, etc.



Unknown said...

Agree with the list.
My addition to it:
+ Not contributing to world overpopulation problem.

Just referenced this post on a Career/Life blog:

firefly said...

I'd add, "Not contributing to the drain on environmental resources, nor participating in a consumerist frenzy, by having children."

My yard is all gardens -- I tore up about three-quarters of the lawn over the past 3 years -- and I have native plants and critter-friendly areas all around.

I enjoy seeing birds, insects, and squirrels (and even raccoons, possums, skunks, and foxes) even though we live in an urban area.

Because I don't have to maintain lawn as a "playing surface" for any children, I can actually use my space to give something back to nature, instead of constantly drawing on it to feed and clothe offspring.

And even if you don't have wildlife gardens, if you don't have kids, you're at least not taking as much from the ecosystem services we all rely on.

\!soapbox off!\

CFVixen said...

GREAT THREAD! I think you covered a ton of reasons to be thankful. Here's one more: curling up with a good book whenever you feel like it knowing you won't be interrupted.

DH and I took off work around 1:15 today, had a nice lunch out together, went to the library for books, and got some groceries for the feasts tomorrow.

After coming home, I made a pumpkin pie and sat down for a long book reading session...HEAVEN!

We were at a party on Saturday evening, and one of the complaints I heard from a mother is that she hasn't read a book since she had her first, there was not time. Now, there are too many interruptions. Whatever. Sure glad it isn't me!

marin said...

This is what I'm thankful for after I heard about risk and disillusion directly from friends who became parents

-not going through traumatic miscarriage

-not having my body opened up somewhere in order to give birth in pain, thinking I'm going to die

-not having a heart deseased, blind, Down syndrome affected or autistic child

-not experiencing postnatal depression

-not finding out my son likes alcohol, drugs, pornography and endanger his life and health with silly behaviour after took care of him for two decades

-not being responsible for a human being who didn't turned out to be a productive member of this society and prefer to be my forever parasite instead

-not being beaten up by my beloved son

-not worring about the environment and war after my death

-not regretting in giving birth

Childfreeeee said...

Great additions, everyone! You guys covered some angles I missed.

anonymous said...

although i don't have human kids i have three baby boys from the feline family. who are my world. and even though your list is so true..if you have cats you might still experience things like waking in the middle of the night because your cat is on top of you purring like crazy to get pet..but hey its way better than a screaming child, and i can just take my cats out of the room unlike kicking a baby out...
you guys missed thankful for NOT gaining around 40 pounds while pregnant...who am i kidding there are a whole bunch of other benefits...too long to list...

anyway my favorite thing to read are reasons to not have kids...because all of them are true!!!

Corrinne said...

Agree with everything! And to add-

* Having an amazing sex life with no restrictions on when, where, noise-level, etc.

*Not squeezing out a basketball out of my hoo-ha and possibly ruining my body and altering said hoo-ha forever.

*Not having to worry about feuds between mommies over things like if you should stay at home or go back to work.

I am sure there is more but you and the other commenters covered it very well =)

Dave said...

Nice list. Most of them are gender-neutral and most of them apply to single people, too.

Good add-ons by some of the commenters, too.

As for me, being able to retire at age 45 is the biggest benefit, getting me out of the rat race and the commute to work.

Being able to pursue my hobbies and volunteer work more fully is another personal benefit.

The Traveling Katt said...

I am thankful for everything in the original post except for the fact that I don't have any cats. Cheers to a child free life!!

CFVixen said...

Good to see this list again. And I am eternally grateful that I never reproduced. My life is even better than I thought it could be. I have a husband I love, family and friends, a great job, a nice home, and the money and financial security to acquire whatever I want. Not having children has greatly contributed to that. How could I be anything but thankful?

Anonymous said...

I am thankful I don't have to worry about carseats, cribs, diapers, breastfeeding woes (sore nipples and mastitis!), stretch marks, misshapen body parts from pregnancy, and "teachable moments." :)

Christy said...

One word: Rectocele. If you don't know what that is, don't look it up. You'll be sorry.

What I'm most thankful for is my attention span! While holding a conversation with parents, I am constantly being interrupted by their children, and the parents, while they talk amongst themselves about some mundane triviality, like whether or not Junior left his toy in the bathroom. Obviously, this kills my enthusiasm for continued visits.

I'm just so glad I don't have to argue with someone everyday over stupid stuff, which pretty much sums up life with a child. And I'm having my first childfree Thanksgiving this year!

Childfreeeee said...

Christy - I never thought of it, but not having to argue all the time is a fantastic thing to be thankful for. That's something parents have to do all the time. They are constantly arguing with their kids over every little thing - why they should eat this and not that - why they can't stay up late - why they have to do their homework - and on and on and on and on. It never ends.

Ozjeppe said...

Great list and comment additions! My two thankful suggestions are: Never having to deal with all the disgusting body fluids, feces & diaper changes. Never having to cope with all those embarrasing and chaotic scenes in public places that kids cause - tantrums in the mall, things broken in shops, disturbing other people.

Ang said...

I was going to post the sex one! We can do it in the middle of the day on the couch, if we're so inclined. And walking around half-naked is just fine.

I have also turned my entire yard into a garden (and haven for birds). I grow my own veggies, leafy greens, and herbs, and I have a greenhouse where I grow things in the winter. We really enjoy cooking together and experimenting with new flavors and herbs and ethnic foods. I love that I don't have to make bland foods because kids are picky eaters.

Unknown said...

I am thankful for finding this gem of a blog. Makes my day with every new post. This is one of the best posts so far.

I am thankful for having a great wife who is equally eager to live life to the fullest; without the nonsensical drudgery, ecological footprint and financial ruin to raise unnecessary human beings.

Spectra said...

Great list! I'll add what I'm thankful for:
-time to work out as much as I want without having to worry about who's watching the kids
-a body that will never be ruined by having a baby
-my bladder control
-being able to have sex with my husband wherever and whenever I want to without having to worry about kids seeing us
-being able to devote a lot of time/care/money to my pets and not having to worry about "rehoming" them because I "don't have time for them anymore"
-being able to work part time without having to worry about earning enough money to pay for formula/diapers/childcare/etc.

I could probably think of a hundred more things I'm thankful for, but I think we have a good start here.

Amy Guskin said...

• Being able to go out whenever I want without having to find a sitter;

• Being able to watch a movie or tv show in its entirety without being interrupted by demanding children;

• Having the privilege of using my ENTIRE house to store and display what *I* want;

• Having the freedom to walk around naked (e.g. from my bedroom to the shower);

• Not having to have Christmas be all about bankrupting ourselves to get the 'right' gifts, and the stress of making a huge deal out of it for the sake of the kids;

Yeah, okay, I'm outta steam now. Great list, Firecracker Mandy! And a happy (early) Thanksgiving to all!

Cara said...

I'm 58, and I have to say, not exactly optimistic about the way the world is going (environmental damage, politics in the USA, corporate control)...and very, very glad I didn't have children to inherit the coming disaster I foresee. Siblings who have children are scared silly about the same things and what will happen to their at least I don't have that worry!

Oh, and by the way, no bladder control issues either! LOL

Sea_creature said...

So many wonderful things to be thankful for. I love this list!

"Not having to have Christmas be all about bankrupting ourselves to get the 'right' gifts, and the stress of making a huge deal out of it for the sake of the kids"

This is a big one for me. Hubby and I are trying to undo the gift grab that Christmas has become. There are much more meaningful things to do during the holidays. How about paying a visit to people you haven't seen in ages (or those without a lot of people in their lives) and bringing them yummy baked goods?

There's not really anything I can add to the list. All I can do is sit here and agree. Oh wait, I am thankful for the internet. Without it, I would never been able to find all this much needed support. Thanks for this blog... I'm so glad there are others like me out there.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I thought of another one... No little rugrats bringing lice-infested heads home with them for me to deal with!! Sorry, but this has been an issue for some people in my life of late, and I'm just more than relieved this is not my problem.