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.