Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lies vs. Truth

Thanks CFVixen for the forward.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Laugh

Thank you, Lisa, for the forward.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dear Mandy...

Dear Mandy,

I wanted to let you know that I just stumbled on your blog and I love it! I am another woman who has no emotional or physical desire to have children. I am so glad I found your blog because it and the comments left there make me feel like I'm not a weirdo, cold, selfish, bitch like I thought. It has made me realize that I'm not the only woman who feels like this and it has given me the strength and peace of mind to continue with the decision I've (we've) made that I know is best for me and my fiance. It has made me realize that the reasons that I did want to have kids were selfish ones and I was only justifying and reinforcing these reasons to make myself feel like there really is a reason to have kids if you don't have a maternal instinct.

People have said so many crazy things to me, some of which are all too familar to you. I wanted to share one incident with you that is particularly irritating to me and still bothers me to this day.

My fiance has a chronic illness and due to this he is not able to work anymore and receives disability (one reason we are CF). We have been together for several years and I have stuck by his side through everything. I waited so long for him to be able to give me the wedding and engagement that I have always dreamed of. When this finally happened I was beside myself with excitement and couldn't wait to share with my family. We decided to tell my parents personally and also decided to announce it at an upcoming family gathering.

While most of my family was excited for me, congratulated us, and ooohed and ahhed over my ring, one person in particular managed to ruin it for me. This person was one of my relatives, who, when I was younger I always felt understood me and I thought she would be the most excited for me besides my parents. Lately though I had been a target of her 'baby propaganda' and I should have known better than to sit with her and chat with me alone. We discussed the arrangements we had so far, she managed to offend me twice in this conversation first suggesting that I change the date of my wedding since she would be out of town and in the next sentence asked me the dreaded baby question to which I replied that we weren't that interested and it wasn't something we had planned on doing.

Instead of just saying okay she told me, "Well, it's not something you think about, you just do it." I can't even believe this type of reasoning! I was so upset that I didn't show anyone else my ring and didn't talk about it with anyone else that day. I was so hurt and offended that she didn't even care about me or my plans that she just wanted someone ANYONE to pop out a baby so SHE could enjoy it! This isn't the first time she's cornered me at family functions trying to get me on the 'baby bandwagon' using such other phrases such as, 'it's not something you can plan' (managed to make to 30 without getting knocked up, so I disagree), it's not that hard (uh, don't I recall you trying to give us away to strangers?), it's different when it's your child, it's my responsibility to give my niece a cousin, among other equally annoying things.

Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to share my story and connect with someone who shares my views. Please feel free to share my email on your blog.

Thank you!


Dear L,

It can be very painful when people dismiss and invalidate our choice to be childfree. How would your relative feel if you made a similarly dismissive comment to her after she announced she was pregnant? Such rudeness and insensitivity to a mom would never be tolerated, yet we childfree are expected to sit quietly and turn the other cheek when we are accosted, insulted and talked to like we are misguided idiots.

I've thought about the best way to respond to people like this and I have a couple ideas. Perhaps other readers can also chime in and together we can collectively come up with ways to combat the problem of people being disrespectful, invalidating and hurtful to the childfree.

The first idea I have, which I think would be highly effective (but it would require some serious acting chops) is to bust out laughing at the person when they make a stupid comment such as your relative's. "You didn't THINK about having kids or PLAN it!??? What are you out of your MIND!????" and continue busting out laughing like it is the funniest thing you ever heard. In fact, double over. Fall to the floor clutching your stomach to really drive the point home. After all, while your relative was trying to make you feel like an idiot, the truth is that anyone who commits to the monumental, life altering, burdensome, irreversible undertaking of parenthood without thought or planning is an idiot of the highest order, and if you really think about, not a person whose appraisal of you should count for anything.

Another tactic is to just smile back calmly at your relative with raised eyebrows, like the cat who ate the canary, nod and say, "Hm" (as in...that's an interesting viewpoint). And say nothing else. Stand up tall and remain unflappable. Don't get sucked in or let that person's idiocy ruin your day.

The fact is, people who make harsh, critical, negative judgements of you for your childfree choice are doing so because they are insecure and feel threatened by it. Why? Because taking the stance of not having children is interpreted as a negative appraisal of them, since they have selected the very path you are rejecting.

You and your fiance carefully considered being a parent. You undoubtedly weighed out all the pros and cons, did a cost-benefit analysis, and then rejected that path, deciding that your life would be better and happier free of children. Your relative (consciously or unconsciously) interpreted that as a rejection of her, since she is a parent and you are rejecting parenthood. She is not used to negative appraisals of parenthood, since most people reinforce and validate this choice at every turn, yet here comes this independent-thinking whippersnapper who is refusing to hop on the baby mania bandwagon and is instead taking an altogether different path. Just who do you think you are anyway?  So her hurt feelings at your rejection and perceived invalidation of her life path compelled her to lash out, hurt you back, invalidate your life path and put you in your place.  Now she feels better.  And you feel like shit.

As childfree folks, I think we need to remember that a person's negative reaction to our life choice is more a statement about them than us. If we can remember that their hostility toward us stems from their own issues and insecurities (and in many cases their own regrets and dissatisfaction with the path they have taken), and try to develop a sense of self worth that comes from within and that is not dependent on the appraisals of others, the harsh judgements and invalidations we face from the childed will stop stinging so badly.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Childfree Celebrity Spotlight - Christopher Walken

This morning I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and they were interviewing Christopher Walken.  At one point, the interviewer asked about the fact that he and his wife of 43 years, Georgianne Walken, never had children.  Walken replied, "No, they are miracle, but it just never happened"  (the typical celebrity soft-pedal).   Thankfully, the interviewer pressed on, "Did you want kids?"  He paused, laughed and said, "No."

In doing more research about Walken's childfree status, I have read that he credits his prolific film career to not having kids.  If anyone finds more quotes from Walken on being childfree, please comment and I will add them to this entry.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Laugh

(Thanks, CFVixen, for the forward)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Perfect Day? (Surprise, surprise: it doesn't include kids)

Recent research published in the Journal of Economic Psychology revealed something interesting, but probably not surprising to us childfree folks.

Researchers asked 900 women what they do each day and how they feel about it and then based on this information assembled a "woman's perfect day". Here is the breakdown:

- 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep
- 106 minutes of intimate relations with their partner
- 98 minutes of computer (email and internet)
- 82 minutes of socializing with friends
- 78 minutes relaxing
- 75 minutes eating
- 68 minutes exercising
- 57 minutes talking on the phone
- 56 minutes shopping
- 50 minutes preparing food
- 36 minutes working
- 33 minutes commuting
- 2 minutes doing housework
- 2 minutes with their children

This research is all over the morning shows today and the show hosts are carrying on and cackling about the revelation that women are so into "intimate relations". What they downplayed, though, is the more interesting factor - that time with their children is all the way at the bottom of the list of things that comprise a woman's "perfect day".

This is interesting when we consider that motherhood is touted as a woman's greatest joy in life and the thing that brings her the greatest life satisfaction. Moms are constantly congratulating each other and holding each other up as virtual saints, and continually praising their mom role in every venue available. Meanwhile, women who choose not to have children are perceived as misguided and unhappy and derided for being clueless, having empty, meaningless lives and not knowing what is truly important in life.

Yet, when research like this comes out, the truth reveals itself. If motherhood is such a joy, why does "time with their children" rank at the very bottom of the list of things that comprise a woman's perfect day? If being a mom is so joyful, and motherhood is the most satisfying part of a woman's life, shouldn't we expect to see "time with kids" toward the TOP of this list?

Research such as this illuminates the buried truth about motherhood - that it is primarily drudgery and not the joyful nirvana it is made out to be. Look closely at the description above of the perfect day and ask yourself: who is more likely to experience a perfect day - a childfree woman or a mom? I think you know the answer.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Laugh

I am SO getting this decal for my car!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Childfree Celebrity Spotlight: Oprah Winfrey

Although I've known for a long time that Oprah was childfree-by-choice, I did not feature her on my Childfree Celebrity Spotlight page because she never openly discussed her childfree status.  And no wonder.  When your multi-billion dollar empire is built on the cash-cow market of moms, it's your job to make them feel that moms are the greatest and most important people on earth, so it's probably not in your best interest to rub it in their faces that you deliberately did NOT choose their lifestyle.

Once Oprah's network talk show went off the air, however, things changed - a little.  She began to open up about her choice not to have kids and stated that it was a deliberate decision that she feels very comfortable with.  When asked how she feels about not having children, she said:
Really good. No regrets whatsoever. Gayle grew up writing the names of her would-be children, making little hearts and putting children's names in them. Never occurred to me to do that. I never had a desire. And I don't think I could have this life and have children. One of the lessons I've learned from doing the show is just how much sacrifice and attention is required to do the job of mothering well. Nothing in my background prepared or trained me to do that. So I don't have any regrets about it at all. And I do feel like I am a mother in a broader sense—to a generation of viewers who've grown up with me.
In this interview with Barbara Walters, Oprah discusses her decision at the 7:30 mark.  Note how Barbara dropped the "regret" bingo on her.

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!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Childfree Celebrity Spotlight - Ellen Degeneres

I was excited to learn of another vocally childfree celebrity when my reader nptcowgirl pointed me to this USWeekly article about comedian Ellen Degeneres.  (Thank you, nptcowgirl!)

"I don't want to have one. I don't want to have six. I don't want to have any," the funnywoman said. "They're precious to look at and I love them; we have nieces and I love them very much. [But I] don't want 'em."

In her 2011 book, Seriously...I'm Kidding, DeGeneres made light of the pressure to procreate, writing that "people are constantly asking Portia and me if we are going to have children. We thought about it. We love to be around children after they've been fed and bathed. But we ultimately decided that we don't want children our own. There is far too much glass in our house."
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!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The September Perspective

It's September, Labor Day is over and everyone is back to the old rush.  School buses are back on the roads, along with the traffic, and moms everywhere are plastering Facebook with first-day-of-school photos of their kids.  One of my mom friends posted on Monday, "I love my kids with all my heart, but I am soooooo glad they are going back to school tomorrow!"

Yes, back to school comes as a relief to many parents after 3 long months of summer chaos, but as Laura Rowley writes in her Huff Post article, Why September can be the Toughest Month for Working Mothers , September -  a month fraught with its own assortment of parental stressors - is enough to send even the most organized mom off the deep end.

As is always the case when I read articles written by moms about the overwhelming stresses and insecurities of motherhood, I got to the end, shook my head and said aloud, "THANK GOD I had the good sense to avoid this prison sentence!"

For my mom friends, September is a time to get back into the feverish daily pace of Beat the Clock - "How will I get Johnny to soccer at 5:00 when Melissa has to be at softball at the same time?", "Oh no - it's already 9:00 p.m. and I forgot to get to the store to pick up the Lunchables!",  "How in the world am I going to get all of us ready and out the door on time?"  "How many times have I told him to get off the computer and get his homework done!!?"  It's a time for being stretched too thin, worked too hard, living the life of a mouse on a treadmill - spinning wheels and getting nowhere fast for 9 long months.  Following that is summer "vacation", which means 3 months of fun and relaxation for the kids, and nonstop madness for mom.

As a childfree woman, September is a completely different experience.  It's that pretty time of year when the sun sits a little lower in the sky and starts to cast a warm glow over everything.  It's that wonderful month when we can turn the air conditioning off, open the windows and say, "ah....".  It's the best time at the Jersey Shore - the hordes of tourists are gone, but the ocean is at its warmest, the nights are cool and beautiful and the restaurants are still open for business.   It's a time when I still get that little flutter of nervous butterflies and the intense urge to buy myself some notebooks and pens, even though my school days are long gone.  It's my time for setting new personal goals and aspirations, thinking about what new adventures to plan, and feeling excited about the impending fall and winter holidays.

I'll take my September over Laura Rowley's any day!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Bullet I Dodged

This morning on my drive to work, I was listening to our local public radio station and this story about women and midlife crisis came on.   Dr. Dan Gottlieb (a family therapist) explained that just as many men go through a midlife crisis in their middle years, so do women.  He explained that a woman's midlife crisis comes about when her children leave home and she is faced with "empty nest syndrome".  With feelings of loss, confusion and resentment, she is faced with an identity crisis:  she has done everything society expected her to do (i.e. have kids) and now that her kids are gone, she doesn't know who she is or what she wants to do with the rest of her life.  She is lost.

I have heard mothers talk about empty nest syndrome and the mourning they go through and I have always thought with relief, "there's one more bullet I dodged", but I never considered that I also dodged the larger overriding bullet of falling victim to the dreaded midlife crisis.

I am 46 years old and in only a few months, I will be 47 - just 3 years shy of the big 5-0.  Assuming I live to be 90, I am already past the mid-life mark.  Yet, I feel more vibrant and self aware than ever.  My life is in high gear, just as it always has been, yet with age I have gained some wonderful things that I lacked in my younger years.  My identity is firmly intact. I know exactly who I am, I like who I am (faults and all) - and with the exception of some improvements with age (and a few gray hairs, I am sad to say), I am pretty much the same person I was 10 years ago.  I like what I am doing with my life and I can easily envision my future and how I will fill the years I have left.  I don't worry if everyone likes me.  I don't ask "who am I?".  I don't feel empty, depressed, lost, confused about my identity (or reliant on another person to give me one).  I am proud of the fact that I have never needed to serve as a host to a parastitic being in order to feel fulfilled as a woman or to give my life purpose.  And I am even happier that I will never fall into despair because said parasite no longer needs to feed off me.

Many people envision a life without children as a huge, sad, gaping hole - a lack, a loss, a meaningless existence.  I have always seen it as the opposite - a beautiful, inviting space to create exactly the life I want and to share it with the people I love the most - people with whom I share mutual caring, support and devotion.  And lucky for me, none of these people are leaving me in the dust after draining my life's savings.

I admit that when I first heard Dr. Gottlieb define the female midlife crisis in terms of motherhood, I was annoyed.  Once again, the childfree perspective was altogether ignored and as usual woman was equated with mother.  Dr. Gottlieb might argue that since female midlife crisis is related to empty nest sydrome, it simply doesn't apply to childfree women.  But wouldn't it have been great if he mentioned that fact?  Wouldn't it have been great if the interviewer asked, "What about women who do not have children?  Are they less likely to go through a mid-life crisis?"  Wouldn't it be great if non-mothers were even acknowledged to exist?  Considering that 20% of American women end their childbearing years without giving birth to a child, we're not exactly part of an invisible minority anymore, despite the fact that the media still treats us like we are.

Putting my annoyance aside, what I mainly felt after hearing that story was intense relief and gratitude.  I am grateful that age 46 is just a wiser and more self-aware version of 26, and that age 50 will hopefully find me a slightly better version of who I am today.  I am grateful that I am self-defined, know what I want to be doing today, tomorrow and 5 years from now, and I am relieved that I won't wake up tomorrow, or next year, and ask myself who the heck I am.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

And Some Saturday Snark

Another one of my mom facebook friends posted this pic which had the caption, "Got Monday blues?  Check out these hot celeb baby-wearing dads!"

To which I replied: "I personally think men look hotter without them."

Friday Snarkiness

One of my mom friends posted this on Facebook.

To which I would like to add this sentence:

"Which is why childfree women
don't want to be mothers"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More on the Atlantic Article

Thank you to my reader Dave for pointing out that Keli Goff posted an excellent response to Anne-Marie Slaughter's article in The Huffington Post.  She had a similar reaction as I did.  And her writing kicks ass.  Do read it.


Thank you, Nicole G., for directing me to this beyond-fabulous rebuttal to Slaughter's article written by Lori Gottlieb, a MOM no less.  Wow.  I love this argument.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Having it All

Perhaps you heard recently about a controversial article written by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic entitled, Why Women Still Can't Have it All. The article (and surrounding controversy) has been getting quite a bit of press lately. Slaughter is a former high-level director at the State Department who left her job because she found it impossible to juggle the demands of her career with the demands of being a mom. She felt her kids were not getting enough attention and were worse off for her living the have-it-all lifestyle, so she quit her State Department job to dedicate herself fully to raising her teenaged sons.

The article is an interesting read and the gist of it is that it's tough for working moms and "having it all" is either not really possible, or it's possible but not the optimal lifestyle women have been led to believe. I will answer this with a big AMEN.

What I would like to focus on, however, is how "having it all" has come to be defined for women in the first place and how I - as a child-free by choice woman - define it for myself.

Women are taught that we have three choices in life:

1. Be a stay at home mom
2. Be a career woman (with the ultimate goal of being a mom)
3. "Have it all" - i.e. be a career woman who is also a mom

For the past 40 years or so, girls and women have been given the impression that "having it all" - i.e. being a career woman with kids - is the ultimate goal in life, and it's been dangled before us as the feminist ideal; that is, women are no longer bound to the home and relegated to a life of monotonous scut work. They can be movers and shakers in the business world at the same time. They are all things to all people. They are superhuman.  They are woman, hear them roar.

There's a problem with this ideal, however, which is why Ms. Slaughter's article touches a nerve with so many women. The "have it all" ideal is a myth and women are becoming wise to the fact that they've been sold a bill of goods. Being a high-level career woman AND a mom is not ideal for most women. It's a full-blown stress fest where nobody - not the woman, not her husband, not her kids or her employer - receives the best from her. Every one of her roles is compromised by the unending demands of her other equally-demanding roles.

Yet, despite the fact that most women find the stressful "have it all" lifestyle unsustainable and detrimental to herself, her spouse or her children (if she has them), it continues to be pushed as the ideal for women. Stay-at-home moms, women who postpone childbearing to focus on their careers, women who choose not to have children and women who cannot have children, are viewed as deficient beings who walk the earth with a gaping hole that is just waiting to be plugged with the missing role. Only when a woman is running herself ragged like a headless chicken, shoving McDonald's food down her kids' gullets while she hurriedly tosses them and her briefcase in the car, is she deemed to be a full person, a real woman, a true success, and fully actualized.

Despite the fact that "having it all" has been defined for women in this one rigid way, the truth - which of course is kept from women - is that "having it all" really means different things to different people, depending on who the person is and what she wants to have in her life.

As a woman who wants nothing to do with having children and the lifestyle that comes with it, a life of career-plus-kids is the farthest thing from "having it all" that I could imagine. For me, that traditional lifestyle means having less - giving up what I really desire in life for something that provides little benefit for an enormous cost; sacrificing the things that are deeply important to me - such as my devoted relationship with my husband, family and friends, my dedication to learning, to exploring, to growing, to sharing, to taking care of my mental, spiritual, physical and intellectual health, to the interests and pursuits I hold dear to my heart and am so grateful to participate in fully. When I think of what "having it all" means to me, I feel so grateful because for the most part, I already have achieved it.  And the best part? I have given up nothing to live my have-it-all life. I have practically everything I desire in life while still getting a full night's sleep each night, having weekends free to do the things I enjoy doing, and being a fully attentive spouse, friend, daughter, sister, aunt and employee.  "But you gave up having kids, so you did give up something", you say?  Well, I never wanted to have kids, so not having them is no more a loss to me than not having a dog would be to someone who doesn't want one.

The problem as I see it isn't that our society is not set up for women to truly have it all. The problem is that women are not encouraged to decide for themselves what having it all means to them and are made to feel inadequate if they do not buy into the one rigidly-prescribed idea of what the optimal female life looks like. For more and more women the optimal life is one which is free of the burden, stress and unrelenting demands of childrearing. This freedom is not a gaping hole. It is space to be filled with the delights of our choosing, or to be left open and clear - for thought, for imagination, for ideas, for contemplation and creativity.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Most Difficult Job on the Planet

Thanks, Alex, for the forward. This is HYSTERICAL!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Laughs

Thank you, Stew, for the forward.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Fun

I ask you:

Who needs KIDS when you can have one of these???  This is our precious girl, whose nickname is The Cuteness Machine.  Can you tell how much she loves being posed in this position (yet she lets me do it anyway).

Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 Great Neighborhoods for the Childfree

I saw an interesting article today on MSN Real Estate highlighting 10 neighborhoods where being childless or childfree is the norm.

Check it out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Mothers' Day Card for ME

My family has a tradition on Mothers' Day.  We have a barbecue at our house for our mom and my brothers and I do all the cooking.  And we always have gifts for my mom.  It always goes over really well with mom.

My mom has this tradition of giving Mothers' Day gifts to my sisters-in-law and ME, even though I am not a mom.  Every year we joke around that I AM a mom - a cat mom!  (I think my mom just doesn't want me to feel left out, which I think is really sweet).

This year, a really great card accompanied the gift my gift and I love the card so much, I wanted to share it with you.  I have never, ever seen a card like this.  It's basically a Mothers' Day card for non-mothers, and I think it is just so awesome.

When I told my mom how much I loved this card she kept going on about how it's TRUE and that she thinks I am like a mom to everyone - very loving and nurturing.

I have to say, I was just so touched by this, especially since the "child" issue was a sore spot between my mom and me back some years ago. In fact, back then we had a serious, long-lasting fallout over it because I felt she was invalidating the life path I had taken and trying to convince me that I was wrong to not have kids. I finally had enough of it - hence, the fallout. But that was years ago. Now that I am 46, I think she has finally accepted that we are not having kids. More than that, I think she can really see that I am happy in my life and that's what's most important in the big picture. She doesn't need more grandkids (she has 4 already), although I am sure she'd be happy to have as many as she can get. Also, I have noticed that in recent years when I talk to her about being glad I don't have the stresses and problems of people who have kids, I can tell she doesn't disagree with me or give me disapproving looks like she used to. I think she can finally see how much easier my life is because of the choice we have made, and how my life is filled with all the things and people I love. There's no lack in my life and she can see how grateful I am for the great life I have.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Childfree Celebrity Spotlight: Maurice Sendak

Legendary childrens' book author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, died recently at the age of 83. While Sendak was known for his beloved childrens' books, most did not realize that he was decidely childfree. In a 2011 interview with radio host Terry Gross, Sendak was asked if he would have liked to have had children.

No.  There's too much hard work involved and I am devoted to being an artist and a person who reads books for the rest of my life - however long I have.
Gross, then commented that this type of activity requires a lot of "self-absorption" (the old childfree = selfish stereotype), to which Sendak replied:

I think it has to do with the time that's spent trying to understand what it means to be an artist - to get under the skin of what is happening as best you can - and to have a real child would be hard work I would not want to do - changing clothes, taking her to school, putting up with her anger, putting up with her indifference and praying all the time that she will grow up to be a good woman and take care of her poor old dad. 
When asked if he wished he had a child to take care of him in his old age, Sendak admitted that he had a "fantasy daughter", but when pressed by Gross - who tried to get him to admit he wished he had had a child, Sendak replied:

It's a fantasy...Yes, I would fantasize a daughter full-grown.  She would have to be in her late 30s or early 40s and be all over me and taking care of her poor old dad.
For fun, check out Sendak's interview with Stephen Colbert. In this amusing interview, Colbert asks him why he writes for children:
I don't write for children. I write - and somebody says, 'that's for children'. I didn't set out to make children happy, or make life better for them or easier for them... I like them as few and far between as I do adults - maybe a bit more because I really don't like adults at all, practically.

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!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Actually, this is Sad

One of my facebook friends (who is a mom, of course) posted this on facebook. She got a lot of replies from other parents like "Amen!" "I so agree with you!"  It took all of the self-restraint I could muster not to post my reply:

"So sorry to hear it".

I know posters like this are supposed to be self-congratulatory statements about the blessings of parenthood -  and assurances to other parents about how all the drugery is SO WORTH IT (God knows they need the assurances), but the deeper message is actually quite sad - that the friend who resonated with this was an empty shell with no love in her life until she reproduced.   I wonder how her husband feels about this.  How about her parents?  Her friends?  Her brothers, sisters?  Her pets?

What do YOU think would be a good reply to this poster?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Answer this Question

Here is a news story about a New Jersey mother who apparently took her young child into a tanning salon and allowed her to tan. While it remains to be seen if the alleged act actually occurred (judging from the looks of the mom, my guess is it did), it brings up a question which has never been answered to my satisfaction. Why isn't childbearing regulated?  Why is no license required for people to have children? 

I am not a person who thinks everything should be regulated, but let's be real.  We require people to get licenses to drive cars and get married. We require tanning salon operators to get licenses.  I think becoming a parent is at least as important as those things, especially considering the damage that is caused when people who have no business having children have them. 

Why is it that I had to get a license to get married and even had to have a special blood test, yet Joe Blow who is an abusive alcoholic with anger management issues, a criminal record and the farthest thing from daddy material, can bring as many children into the world as he pleases and screw them up royally? 

Why is childbearing treated as a right instead of a privilege when the act affects the well-being of others and can pose a hazard to society, not to mention be a drain on society?

Why is it that the people who are the least suited to parenthood are the ones spawning the most?

Can anyone answer these questions?  If so, you will get a gold star and be named Childfreedom Commenter of the Week.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mirror Mirror...

...on the wall
Who's the fairest of them all?
Beyonce of course
She's on the cover
She sings, she dances
But above all....she's a MOTHER!!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hey - What Brings You Here?

I think it's interesting how people find this blog.  Blogger analytics tells me that these are the most common search keywords that land people here (in descending order).  Looks like there are hoardes of people looking for reasons not to have kids. 

Marisa Tomei will be reassured to know what a popular CF celeb she is.

Search Keywords

Reasons not to have kids
Reasons not to have children
Reasons to not have kids
Childfreedom blog
Regret having children
Brat ban
Reasons to not have children
Marisa Tomei
100 reasons not to have kids

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just like Real Life

Proctor & Gamble - the maker of brands like Crest, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Oral-B, Pantene, Bounty, Charmin, Dawn, Downy, Gain, Pampers, and Tide - knows who butters their bread - moms. So they put together a little commercial to butter up their bread butterers with the message to remind moms that theirs is the best job in the world.

The video shows the sacrifice involved in being a mom - the cooking and cleaning, the caretaking and cheuffering, exhaustion, early mornings and self-sacrifice. There's lots of standing on the sidelines too - conveying how mom gives up her own life so that her child can have a great life and become successful. (Of course, from the viewpoint of a childfree blogger, this reinforces the contention that for many people parenthood is nothing more than a cop-out and a way to relegate true effort and achievement in life to someone else). We see the moms cheering on their Olympic athlete kids as if they themselves are the medal winners.

And then of course, at the end of the commercial we get the big tear-jerking bingo that being a mom is tough work, but it's SO WORTH IT. Sure, you cook and clean and slave your ass off and give up your entire life and identity - but in the end, look what you get - AN OLYMPIC MEDALIST!

Yeah, just like real life.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Laugh

Bill Burr's solution to all the world's problems.  This had me cracking up!  Thanks to Lauren for the forward.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More Maternal Self-Congratulation

I always get a kick out of the articles that pop up on the internet about how moms are all that and a bag of chips.  The most recent specimen was forwarded to me by Trista (thank you!).  It's an article that appeared on Shine called 5 Reasons Moms Returning to Work Make the Best Employees.   Betcha can't read it without giggling a bit.  Here are the 5 Reasons, followed by my response to each (in red).


She will not distract your clients from the business at hand by showing her cleavage, tattoos, body piercings, flip flops, by flipping her hair, or saying 'UM' or 'LIKE…'
That's correct - she won't distract the clients because she won't be there to distract them.  She'll be running late to work, leaving work early, taking extra time off to deal with sick kids, school plays, parent/teacher conferences, calls from her kids' school, and dealing with her own illnesses (that she caught from said kids) while she dumps her work on her childfree coworkers who WILL be there to deal professionally with the clients.  Yes, that's right.  Professionally.  As in - we know how to dress.  We know how to speak.  We don't wear flip flops to the office or walk around with our boobies hanging out.  Sorry to burst your bubble but Childfree Woman does not equal Snookie.

Schedule Coordination:
You will never meet a professional better equipped to manage multiple schedules than a Mom. Conflicting sports and activities, travel schedules along with the huge amounts of paperwork associated with each, make them pros at this. As a matter of fact, they are so adept at this that they know how to face complete chaos in a calm and professional manner.
Problem is, Mom is juggling so many conflicting schedules and so much chaos, she's on the verge of a nervous breakdown and piling just one more conflicting schedule onto her will be the straw that breaks the camel's back and gets her carted off to the loony bin.  It is precisely the multiple, conflicting schedules that make Mom an absentee employee as mentioned above under Professionalism.  The childfree worker, on the other hand, is better able to think clearly, with an uncluttered and calm mind, a full night's rest and a laser beam focus devoted to the tasks at hand.

Organizational Ability:

None of the above happens without keen planning. Uniforms must be washed; bags must be packed- water bottles, completed homework, snacks and sunscreen, permission slips and bathing, including checking/ clipping 20 finger/toenails per person must happen in advance.

If one detail is missed, the entire schedule can fall apart and they will be called on the carpet- either by a disappointed child (much more painful than a disapproving boss), or by a school and/or coach (too embarrassing to mention). The level of accountability far surpasses any business environment I have ever worked in, which includes Fortune 100 companies.
See Schedule Coordination above.

If any one demographic knows and understands the importance of loyalty and giving back, this is it. These women know how to appreciate a job and flexibility. As an employer, if you can offer what this employee needs, you will get it back four-fold. They will treat your business as though it is theirs. And they will tell all their friends about you- so you see? Free marketing built right in!
Moms aren't the only employees who appreciate a job with flexibility.  Childfree folks appreciate flexibility too - to care for our partners, family members, friends and companion animals, to participate in the many pursuits and activities we enjoy outside of work.  And since we are devoted friends, family members, spouses, employees and members of the community, we understand just as well as Moms the importance of loyalty and giving back.  And when we are treated well, we spread the word too!

People Management:

Anyone who has ever managed people knows that one of the most difficult groups to manage has to be volunteers. The variety of personalities and agendas among people who are not being paid and are emotionally involved could drive a person nuts. The volunteer leader's intuitive ability to see all sides and maintain harmony within a group like this is definitely worthy of international acclaim. And, they know how to manage their own demographic, in addition to understanding how the minds of the Millennials and Gen Y-s tick!
I'm lost.  Volunteers?  Volunteer management?  Is she saying that children are like volunteers and Mom is a volunteer manager?  What volunteer work are children doing, exactly?  What greater good are they serving?  And how does Mom's caretaking of them have anything to do with volunteer management?

I think the author may be trying to make the case that moms have more people management skills than non-parents.  If so, I beg to differ.  Moms might excel at baby talk, shuffling children in and out of time-out, breaking up fist fights and gossiping with other soccer moms, but sophisticated people management skills come from working with diverse groups of people in and out of the workplace - people from different age groups, socio-economic backgrounds, political and religious affiliations, and professional and educational backgrounds.  This is best obtained by being fully engaged in the world as the childfree are, as opposed to existing in an insular bubble where one's interactions are limited to children and the neighborhood coffee klatch.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Who Represents Us - Them or Us?

One of my favorite television shows in the 1990s was Ally McBeal.  I really loved that quirky show.  So recently, when hubby and I ditched cable t.v. and switched to streaming, I was excited to see that my old favorite was available for viewing, commercial-free.

So, I've been chipping away at the episodes and it's fun because I don't remember much of them, so it's like watching a brand new series.  I'm on Season 2 right now.  Anyway, an interesting thing came up in an episode called "The Dance".  The character, attorney Nell Porter revealed (to the horror of her male colleagues) that she doesn't want children.  Yes, a vocal childfree-by-choice character on a hit television show!  I was very excited (for a few moments). 

This revelation came up because she was defending a law firm client against charges of discrimination against mothers in the workplace (i.e. non-moms get made partner, moms don't).  Outside the courtroom, when Nell's male colleagues begin talking in stereotypical ways about women - that it is every woman's destiny and desire to have children - Nell fearlessly reveals that she does not want children and gives a compelling speech that would make my readers proud.  She lays it all out.  Not all women want children.  Motherhood is an honorable choice, as is the choice not to have children.  Women who go from working 14 hour days (before kids) to 8 hour days (after kids) should not expect the same promotions as women who continue to put in 14 hour days, plowing tirelessly down the partner track.  Moms should not be given special treatment in the workplace, because that would result in discrimination against those who choose not to have kids.

Wow.  Impressive so far.

But then, as it always happens, the childfree stereotypes quickly rear their ugly heads and it all goes off the rails.

First, let's start with the producer's choice to make Nell, a character who is so notoriously cold and buttoned up that her nickname is "Subzero Nell",  the childfree character.  Stereotype #1:  the childfree person as cold.

Second, Nell's argument about moms versus non-moms in the workplace, while noble and on-point in some important ways, centers mostly on the idea that women who choose not to have children do so solely because they are career-hungry and getting ahead in their careers is more important to them than family.  Childfree stereotype #2.

Third:  The plaintiff mom wins the case and the jury finds that the defendant law firm discriminated against moms by not giving them the same promotions as the non-moms.

Fourth, and the final nail in the coffin:  As the episode unfolds, Nell admits to her colleagues, in a moment of emotional honesty, that she is a child of divorce and it is the pain she suffered as a child - feeling torn between two parents - that resulted in her desire to not have children.  At the end of the episode, she is shown sitting by her hope chest, clutching two teddy bears against her (one from each of her parent's homes) and weeping.  Sigh.  The stereotype of the childfree as damaged goods.  Picture complete.

As a childfree woman, it is incredibly disheartening that despite the fact that 40% of U.S. women reach the age of 40 without bearing children, there are so few representations of us in the media.  When a representation of a childfree woman does appear, as in this Ally episode, it is always comprised of tired stereotypes that bear little resemblance to the childfree women I know. 

Ultimately, this drives home this important point.   Real childfree people, like you and me, have a very important responsibility.  We must be our own representations to the world, and we must also be the role models for others coming up behind us.  People struggling with the decision to be childfree need role models, so they can see a truthful representation of what it really means to live a life free of children instead of the tired, negative stereotypes that paint a bleak and unappealing picture of the childfree life.   At 46 years old, I know with certainty that my childfree identity is not one of coldness, emptiness, loneliness and selfishness but rather one of thoughtfulness, intelligence, warmth, fearlessness, engagement, spaciousness, freedom and opportunity, yet I had to discover this for myself because I did not have a single role model to represent this to me.

If you are a childfree person who is happy and comfortable with your decision, do yourself and the generation behind you a favor.  Don't lie about your choice.  Don't downplay your decision.  Don't take the cowardly route and say you are infertile or that you will have kids someday just to get people off your back.  Stand proud and be honest about your decision for the bigger good.  Be someone that others can look to and see that it's great to be childfree by choice - that you are happy, fulfilled and even normal.   Be visible and counted so others will not feel so odd and alone.  If we want the tired old stereotypes about us to be stamped out, we need to be the instruments in writing the new narrative about who and what we really are.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Laugh

Looks like WestJet pulled a good April Fool's joke on it's passengers.  Too bad it's only a joke!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dear Mandy...

I've been following your blog for about a year now, and LOVE IT! About a year ago I decided to live a child free lifestyle and always turn to your blog for support, because unfortunately everyone else in my life from all angles has decided to become a parent, and right now the baby talk is in full force, and I can't seem to escape it. I was going to e mail you but couldn't find you address - haha it may be too early in the morning. But any way I was wondering if this type of situation may have happened with any of your other readers - yesterday I asked my friend who is a new mom to run a 5k with me in July. She automatically e mails me back very smugly saying that she doesn't think it would be appropriate to take her baby in 100 degree weather all day on a run. haha first, who said anything about the baby? the dad can watch him. also, who said all day? 5k only takes an hour! Anyway, I get the feeling that from now on I can only suggest child friendly activities when it comes to hanging out with her for a while, or until she finally comes to her senses and needs an escape. I guess I just really felt the gap between our lifelong friendship grow yesterday, and it was not a fun feeling. Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for all that you do, and all of your support!


Dear Julia,

Most certainly, your friend was wrong to assume that you were including her child in the invitation to run a 5K race.  It's interesting - and quite surprising - that she made that assumption, since no reasonable person would assume that such an invitation would include a baby.  Your friend's response speaks to the unreasonable sense of entitlement and self-absorption that many people (especially women) fall into once they have kids.  Because a mom's entire existence revolves around her child, she automatically assumes that everyone else's lives should too and sadly, our culture reinforces this idea at every turn.

In this situation, the appropriate response to your friend could be, "Oh, I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to imply that you should bring the baby.  Of course a baby should not go on a 5K race.  I was assuming your husband could watch her, or you could get a sitter.  Would that be possible?  I'd really love to do this event with you."  And see how she responds.

If your friend continues to insist that every outing with you must include the baby, you may have to speak up in a gentle way.  One way to approach the issue is to say, "I really love spending time with you and the baby and so look forward to our times together.  Would it also be possible for some of our outings to be just the two of us, so we can really catch up and have some adult time together?"  See how she responds.  Hopefully, she will not be offended and will realize that your request comes from a place of cherishing your friendship and wanting to maintain the level of closeness you always had.

If, despite your requests, she isn't willing to keep your friendship a priority and find time to spend with you one-on-one, you have two options.

Bite the Bullet:  Accept the fact that all of your time with your friend will include her child and realize that this will be the case for at least a few years, until the child is old enough that it does not need to be with her all the time.


Take a Break:  Create more space in the relationship and give yourself something of a breather from your friend, until she gets out of the phase of being attached at the hip to her child.  Stay in touch, but perhaps not as frequently, and focus more of your energy to developing and nurturing friendships that will provide more one-one-one engagement for you.  Seek out other childfree people to form friendships with.

I'd love to hear from my readers on this issue.  How have you navigated this type of situation with your parent friends?  Please post a comment!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Laughs



Thanks to CFVixen for the forward

Saturday, March 17, 2012

No Messy Crotch for Me

CFVixen sent me an article called, Happily After Giving Birth - 10 Things They Don't Tell You.   Read it and if you're a childfree-by-choice woman, count your lucky stars you will never have to deal with the horror of life after pregnancy which, as the article points out - consists of:
  • Heavy periods
  • A "messy crotch"
  • Being fat
  • Crying all the time
  • Hair falling out
  • Tough time breast feeding
  • Hating your husband
  • Hot flashes
  • "Hard boobs"
  • Constipation
Yes, at the end of the article there's a little bit of self-congratulatory backpedaling about the miraculous heroics involved in "creating a person", but it's not too gushy or over the top.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stress Management for Mommies

Is your blood pressure rising?  Are you feeling dizzy?  Is your heart palpatating?  Are you irritable and yelling?  Is your family walking on eggshells around you because you are a ticking time bomb?

If your answer is yes, you must be a MOM, so do yourself a favor and take a "Mommy Time Out".  Practice deep breathing!  Get yourself a "family stress box" (???)  Get one of those squeezie stress balls to squeeze!  Stick your IPod on and listen to some relaxing music.  Journal your feelings!   Get better about predicting those "nightmare moments" (i.e. mornings with your kids) and do a better job preparing for them!  Work off the stress by exercising (but you'll have to do it WITH your kids, since you have no time to yourself).

I love the Today Show's "mommy spots" because they are frequently focused on how to make the drudgery of motherhood more bearable. 

Psst - Today Show:  how about this idea for a spot on motherhood:


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Our Non-Existent Kids are Thankful We Didn't Have Them

Here's a thought that occurs to me all the time.  I wonder if it occurs to other childfree-by-choice folks.  On a regular basis I think to myself (or say to hubby), it's a good thing we didn't have kids, for their own sake.

No, this is not because we would be bad parents.  It's not because we're not parent material.  It's because my thinking of how kids should be raised is a lot different than the way most people raise their kids today.

What got me thinking about this was an article I read recently in Philadelphia Magazine called The Sorry Lives and Confusing Times of Today's Young Men.  The article delves into the problem of men who never grow up.  Who live with mom and dad indefinitely.  Who sit around watching porn and playing video games all day.  Who have no drive to get a career, find a partner and establish an adult life.  More importantly, the article addresses the question of why this problem exists.

My opinion is that the problem exists because of the overly permissive, coddling, "I want to be my kid's best friend", "My kid is unique and special", "My kid can do no wrong", "I will give my kid everything" way that people raise kids today.  It's creating a culture of lazy ass monsters.  And this is why it's a good thing we don't have kids.  If we had kids, they probably wouldn't be too happy with us because:

1.  They would not have cell phones until they were 16.  And then, they would have limited minutes, and very limited texting.  Their texts and social networking would be monitored by us until they were 18.

2.  They would not eat meat in our household.

3.  They would not be given junk food in our household, except as an occasional treat on weekends and special occasions like birthdays and holidays.  In our household "snack" would mean fruits, nuts and other healthy foods.

4.  They would not have a t.v. or computer in their room.  The t.v. and computer would be located in a central place where they could be monitored.

5.  T.V. watching and video games would be limited to an hour a day.  They would be encouraged to read, draw, paint, play a musical instrument, exercise, or do some other enriching activity with their free time.  Or how about this - RELAX.

6.  They would be required to go outdoors and get fresh air and exercise every day.

7.  They would have a list of chores that they would be required to do as a requirement of being a contributing member of the household.

8.  They would be given a reasonable allowance for extra chores, above the required ones.

9.  They would be encouraged to participate in no more than 2 extra curricular activities.  We do not believe in the schedule-kids-to-the-hilt philosophy that today's families subscribe to.

10.  They would have to make their own "play dates" because I do not believe in parents scheduling appointments with other parents so their kids can have a social life.

11. If they got in trouble in school, we would not be bailing them out, making excuses for them, accusing their teachers or blaming other people. Our child would be held accountable.

12. They would be required to buy their own car and work their way through college. It builds character. I know this from first-hand experience.

13.  We would allow them to live with us through college without paying rent, but after that, they would be required to pay rent.  And under no circumstance would they be permitted to live with us indefinitely.  Go to school, get a career and out you go.

14. We would contribute 33% to our child's wedding cost and would expect that our child, and the parents of the spouse to be would each also contribute 33%.

So you can see why it's a good thing we don't have kids.  Their life would not be easy.  They would not be comotose in front of a computer or t.v. screen watching porn or playing video games.  They would not be handed everything on a silver platter and told they are a special snowflake.  They would probably compare us to their friends' parents and hate our freaking guts.

But more importantly, it's a good thing we don't have kids for our own sake.  Can you imagine having to be on top of all that stuff in my list?  Can you imagine having to monitor the t.v., computer, cell phone and texting of another person?  Can you imagine (on top of taking care of your own needs and problems) being burdened with making sure another person is eating healthily, exercising, pursuing enriching activities, behaving, being held accountable for bad behavior, completing their chores, their homework, finding and keeping a job, saving for a car and college and developing into a upstanding contributor to society?  And let's not forget about all the other worries and stresses that didn't even make my list.

Yes, it's a good thing for both our non-existent children and for us that we have chosen the path we have chosen.  I wake up every day and sigh a deep breath of relief that I don't have these stresses and worries in my life.  And I am sure my non-existent child - wherever her spirit may be floating in the spirit world - is breathing a deep sigh of relief too.

Although I feel this relief, it does trouble me that the infestation of coddled, video game playing, porn-watching, couch potato 30-somethings are going to be running the world in the future, instead of the well-adjusted, healthy, upstanding go-getters that we would have raised.  Oh well. Hopefully by the time the couch potatoes find the motivation to pull themselves away from their video games and porn and go out into the world, we will already be 6 feet under.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Small Doses

Last night, Firecracker Hubby and I did something we don't often do. We babysat. For 5 hours. For my best friend, Sara, who I write about a lot in this blog.  Sara is one of my oldest and dearest friends and I love her like a sister - actually more than a sister, since we don't have the issues and family baggage that sisters do.

Sara does a lot for us.  She catsits when we go away.  The last time we went away, she visited every single day of our vacation to visit our cats, since one of our cats needs daily insulin shots. Yes, every day - for 8 days straight - she dutifully made the trek to our house and administered shots to our furboy. And gave them lots of love and attention.  Now THAT is a good friend.

So it goes without saying that we were happy to give Sara and her husband a nice night out by themselves, something they rarely get to do.  They were so excited when we arrived - all gussied up and smiling, heading out to a film and dinner.  It was Sara's hubby's birthday and he was just pleased as punch to get to go out alone with his wife.

Sara and hubby have 2 young boys and she is a stay-at-home-mom for the time being.  Money is tight, and babysitters are few, so this was a real treat for them.

So we spent 5 hours entertaining their boys who were happy as clams that we were there.  The boys adore us and were jumping up and down with excitement when we arrived.  Ugh.  5 hours.  Would we be able to handle it?

The answer is - yes, and we had an okay time playing games with them, hubby rough-housing with them, eating pizza with them.  But here's the thing about kids. They're okay for a few hours, but it is mind-numbingly boring to be around them for hours on end.  I was sitting there, playing Candyland with the younger boy while he prattled on incessantly and I thought to myself how do people do this every day without blowing their brains out? 

I am a person who needs intellectual stimulation.  I like thought-provoking books and films.  I am drawn to intelligent, insightful people.  I like to think philosophically.  I question things.  I think critically.  Yes, I enjoy a good dose of dumbness sprinkled through my life, but being around dopey, chatterbox kids non-stop would send me heading off a cliff. 

People often say that having children makes a person grow.  I don't know.  I think having kids would be a akin to getting a lobotomy.

They are completely self-centered.  They are undeveloped.  They are (for the most part) uninteresting.  They ramble on non-stop.  They think everything they do is fascinating (when it is not), and they expect us to act as though it is.  They need constant praise and approval.  They are attention whores.  They expect the world to revolve around them.

At the same time, they are at times funny, cute, entertaining and affectionate.  I wouldn't say being around them makes me a better person.  It just makes me tired and braindead.

In the final analysis, a few hours with kids - here and there - is tolerable and at times, even enjoyable.  Their innocence and the novelty of them can even be entertaining and a nice diversion. 

We do love the children in our lives  - in small doses.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In the Life F.C.

I was heating up my lunch today in the office kitchen when an associate (who I do not know well) asked me how I was doing and how my holidays were.  We got to chatting about holidays and winter and I mentioned that I am disappointed that we haven't gotten any snow this year so far because I love to ski, particularly on real snow, as opposed to machine-made.  She was nodding vigorously in agreement, so I asked her if she also likes to ski.  She said, "Yes, I used to... B.C."  I asked, "B.C.?"  and she replied, "Before Children".  We both got a good laugh.  I replied, "I like that!  So let's see...I guess that makes me F.C. - Free of Children!"  She looked a little confused for a moment, but then she laughed.

Exchanges like this are seemingly small and insignificant until one really thinks about the bigger implication of what is being expressed.  I like to think of these types of interactions as nice little reminders of just how good we childfree people have it.  So often we take for granted our freedoms and our ability to continue doing all the things we love uninterupted when so many of our counterparts long ago bid farewell to their hobbies, their friends, their interests, their free time and adult recreation because they made one seemingly simple decision.  If the thought pops into my mind that I might like to go skiing on Saturday, I pack up my skiis, hop in the car and head to the slopes.  If a parent decides he would like to go skiing on Saturday, he will most likely immediately decide that it's impossible because it would involve taking the kid, which would not work because the kid does not know how to ski, or does not want to learn how to ski, or decides it would be too expensive to take the kid, or it would be too difficult to arrange a sitter on such short notice, or it wouldn't be possible because Saturday is the day that Junior has football practice.  Just thinking about it is enough to bring on a headache.

But it's not just our pursuit of recreation that is so much easier for the childfree.  When I go home after a busy day at work, I most likely will not feel like cooking.  Maybe I will throw together a salad.  Maybe I will eat a bowl of cereal.  Or maybe (if I am feeling particularly naughty, which tends to happen as it gets closer to the weekend) I will eat chocolate chip cookies.  In any of these scenarios, here's what I am not doing.  I am not slaving.  I am not serving.  I am not rushing.  I am not negotiating.  I am not catering to picky tastes. I am not making multiple meals to please multiple palates.  I am not worrying.  And the icing on the cake? I am not spending $800 - $1,200 a month on groceries!

Oh, my poor, pitiable childfree life - such an empty, lacking life - sitting home with hubby at night, relaxing on the couch, reading or cackling over Seinfeld re-runs, talking leisurely about our day, making plans for the weekend, going to bed early and getting a nice, full night of sleep, waking up well-rested, having time in the morning to exercise, browse the internet, have a nice breakfast together, talk and ease into the day.  No racing, no rushing, no corraling, no noise, no arguing, no homework, no resentment.

The morale of this story?  A life B.C. is good, but a life F.C. is infinitely better.