Monday, December 16, 2013

Bitch and Backpedal (Revisited)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Childfreedom's Favorite Money-Saving Sites

UPDATE:  Double cash back today at Ebates for Cyber Monday!

Click here

Let's be honest.  One of the great things about being childfree is having more time and disposible income to do fun things like dining out and shopping.  While our childed friends are draining their bank accounts to pay for diapers, day care and soccer lessons,  we CF folk get to enjoy dining out with our friends, going on adventures, travelling and enjoying some retail therapy.

However, just because I am childfree doesn't mean I am swimming in money!  I do have a mortgage and plenty of other bills to pay.  So I try to make my disposible income go as far as possible (so I can do as many fun things as possible).  I confess.  I am a little obsessive about getting discounts.

These are 3 of my favorite tried-and-true money-saving sites. I've been a member of each for a long time and I cannot even imagine how much money these sites have saved me over the years. I NEVER shop on-line without first going to Ebates and I look forward to receiving those quarterly checks in the mail.  If I am planning to dine out, I ALWAYS check to find a good restaurant.  And I am constantly checking Groupon to see what cool offers they have going on.

Ebates is a web site portal that links you to all the popular online shopping web sites....all the biggies are on there - Apple, JC Penney, Sephora, Best Buy,,, Ebay, Walmart, Staples, Target, most of the major airlines, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on for miles. When you access any of these companies' web sites via Ebates' web site and make an on-line purchase, a percentage of your purchase is refunded back to you in the form of a cash rebate. It's really silly to shop on-line without using Ebates. If you are going to make an on-line purchase, you might as well get a rebate for it (at least, that's my philosophy). There are no costs or fees to join and no paperwork to complete. The only thing you have to do is make sure (when you shop online) to access the store you are interested in via Ebates' web site first so that you will get the rebate.

(The participating companies give Ebates a commission for bringing them customers and part of that commission gets passed on to you in the form of the rebate.)

For example, right now Target's rebate is 3%, so if you visit Target's web site (via the Ebates site) and make a purchase, 3% of your purchase will be refunded back to you in the form of a rebate.

Rebates are accummulated in your Ebates account and rebate checks are issued quarterly by Ebates. I've been using Ebates for years and those quarterly checks come like clockwork in February, May, August and November - I am always happy to get those checks because the money goes straight into my travel savings account.

If you sign up using this link you will get a bonus - a $10 gift card to a store of your choice when you make you make your first qualifying purchase (and I will get a bonus too). If you ever shop-on line, this may be a service that will really benefit you.

By now, most have heard about Groupon. Groupon emails fantastic offers out to its members via email - or you can obtain the offers by visiting Groupon's web site. Most are half-off offers. For example, an offer may be something like, “$20 worth of pastries at LeCreme Bakery for $10” or “$50 fine dining at XYZ Restaurant for $25”. If you want to participate in an offer, you sign up for it and input your payment information. If enough people sign up for the offer, it is “on” and you get the coupon for the offer. If not enough people sign up, the offer is “off” and you will not be charged.

Groupon has offers in cities across the US as well as in Canada and other countries.

To sign up for Groupon, please use this referral link and they will reward me for referring you!  (and depending on the current promotion, they may reward you too!)

I am a huge customer of sells restaurant gift certificates at a great savings.   In most cases will sell you a $25 gift certificate for $10, but I will give you a GREAT tip. Sign up with them and get on their email list because they regularly have special promotions where they discount their gift certificates 50% - 70%. So instead of paying $10 for a $25 gift certificate, if you catch one of their promotions, you can get a $25 gift certificate for $3 - $5! What a deal.

I'll tell you what I do.  When they have a 50% or 70% off promotion, I buy a bunch of certificates at once and stockpile them.  They never expire.

Use this referral link and will give me credit for referring you.

Monday, November 18, 2013

We Just Don't Know...

Thanks CFVixen for forwarding this. Pretty funny. Except we childfree DO know what it's like to have kids. That's why we choose not to have them.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

More Media Attention on the Time Article

Thanks to CF Vixen for always keeping me in the loop. A reminder that you can read the Time article here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Look What's Coming...

AND they are taking a survey. Be sure to put in your two cents.

Time has posted part of the article here. So far, so good. Let's hope this article is fair to the childfree and doesn't consist of 3 pages of discussion about whether being childfree is selfish, and what kind of regrets the childfree may have later in life.

Already, the article's author is making the rounds.

UPDATE:  Somebody posted the text of the article here.  Some punctuation mistakes in the re-type, but at least we can read it.

I like the fact that this article touched on some important themes surrounding the childfree lifestyle, such as how our culture is baby/family-obsessed and the opposition and judgement we face, instead of endless paragraphs about selfishness and regret.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Question of Whether to Have Kids - on Sunday Morning

Thanks to CFVixen for forwarding me this spot that aired recently on the Sunday Morning show about the choice to have children. While it was annoying that a good deal of the discussion concerning the childfree lifestyle was on the question of selfishness, as usual there was no discussion at all about the selfishness involved in having kids. Overall, though, it is a pretty decent spot that portrayed the choice to have children as gaining more acceptance.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Laugh

John Oliver on the royal birth.  Too funny!  Thanks to CFVixen for the forward.

Monday, July 22, 2013

An Extraordinary Event?

BREAKING NEWS!   The Duchess of Cambridge is in labor.

The world is holding its collective breath in anticipation.  Months of speculation - is it a boy or a girl?  What will they name the child?  When will we get to see the first photos of the royal baby?  The hospital is encircled by the frenzied media.  "Breaking News" updates are flashing on the television screen every 5 minutes about this extraordinary event.

But is it?

I hate to be a party pooper, but reproducing and giving birth is not extraordinary by any stretch of the imagination.  It is the complete opposite.  It is what millions have done before and will do again.  It is what humans do, it is what animals do, it is what insects do.  Yes folks, that cockroach under your feet reproduces just like you do.

Not only is this event not extraordinary, it is entirely predictable and expected.  Would we expect anything else from Will and Kate than to reproduce so soon after marrying?  Excuse me while I stifle a yawn.

A truly extraordinary "Breaking News!" event would be for a royal couple to declare they are childfree and will be focusing their energies on other activities.  I doubt I will ever see that happen in my lifetime, but I get tingly just thinking about it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

You'll Change Your Mind

Why oh why do people assume that a person who has chosen not to have kids will change their mind?  I think this assumption irritates me almost as much as the assumption that we are selfish.

The other day, I overheard some women at work talking about their children.  These women are all in the 50s and 60s, so their children are adults. One of the women was talking about her daughter and mentioned that she doesn't want to have kids.  To her credit, she didn't say it with any disdain or regret.  She seemed perfectly okay with it - almost proud even, but immediately, without skipping a beat, the other women started trying to console her by telling  her it's likely her daughter will change her mind.  They asked how old the daughter is and when the woman replied, "36", they were even more certain that she will change her mind as there is "still time".

I came THIS.CLOSE to saying, "Hey, ladies - I too have chosen not to have kids and I am 47 and have not changed my mind yet.  It was the best decision my husband and I ever made!"  but as I opened my mouth to utter the words, a co-worker approached me and pulled me into another conversation.


Don't assume that because a person has chosen an unconventional life path, that they are confused and will eventually see the light.  We see the light perfectly, and it's bright and clear.  It's just not the light you want us to see.

How would YOU feel if your decision to have children was invalidated and you were constantly told you would change your mind?  I bet you'd find that pretty irritating and frankly, insulting.

Don't assume that a person who hasn't had kids couldn't possibly be happy or fulfilled.  The fact is, we are living exactly the life we want.  By design it is a life that offers a great deal of flexibility, opportunity, creativity and fulfillment.  And here's the best part - if at some point we decide we are not happy with our life, we can change it around in a heartbeat and do something else.  Can you parents say the same?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Laugh

Thanks, CF Vixen, for the forward!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Another Facebook Doozie


I can think of plenty of ugly and evil people whose moms did not bring something beautiful into the world....Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and how about that guy from Cleveland they just arrested for imprisoning 3 girls in his house for 10 years? 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Laughs

Thanks again to CFVixen for the forward.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our Friend, the Regretful Dad

Popping in to say hello and tell you about our house guest - my hubby's friend Brian - who is visiting with us for a few days.  He lives about 1,000 miles away, so it's only once every 3 or 4 years that we have the pleasure of seeing him.

Brian is married with 3 kids, age 16, 5 and 7.  He left the wife and kids at home and is enjoying some guy time with my hubby.

He wasn't here 5 minutes before he made this comment:  "When I was young, I was unhappy because I wasn't married and didn't have kids.  I had lots of money in the bank but felt my life was so empty and miserable.  Man....I didn't know what misery is." 

Later, he made other comments referring to his "miserable existence".

On Saturday, I left hubby and Brian to do their thing and gave hubby a briefing on what I'd be doing - that I was heading out for a day trip with my girlfriend Sara for the day.  Brian commented on how cool it is that we still get to do whatever we feel like doing every weekend, and how he can't remember what that is like.  He said all he does on weekends is cater to the kids and their activities and watch his money disappear.

The thing about Brian is  - he's brutally honest.  He's a funny guy and laughs and tries to make light of this stuff, but it's obvious that although he loves his children, if he could go back and do it again, he would have chosen our life instead of the one he chose. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Laughs

Thanks, CFVixen, for the forward.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Whose wedding is this anyway?

Yesterday, my mom and I were having lunch and she was telling me about her friend Rosemarie whose son is getting married.  I asked how the wedding plans were coming and she told me things were coming along pretty well, although she said Rosemarie, and one of her other kids, are upset because children are not going to be allowed at the wedding and this means that her grandchildren will not be able to attend.

My mom told me that Rosemarie is not sure how to handle the situation - whether she should have a "talk" with her future daughter-in-law or what.  I could tell that my mom was in agreement with Rosemarie that of course children should be allowed at the wedding, and that she felt the bride was being unreasonable and selfish to forbid kids from the affair.  In fact, she suggested that one of the grandchildren could even play a piano piece at the affair and wouldn't that be nice.  At this point, I reminded my mom that OUR wedding was adults-only (she didn't remember that) and I do not blame people at all for wanting a sophisticated adult affair without kids running around, screaming and detracting all the attention from the happy couple.   I told her a wedding is the couple's day and they should plan it in the way that works best for them.  And if that means they don't want kids at their wedding, than so be it!

I think it threw my mom off that I took this viewpoint because she assumed that everyone (including me) would be in agreement that it is wrong to forbid children from weddings. 

I think too many couples bend over backwards to make their wedding celebration an affair for their guests instead for themselves - inviting people they'd rather not invite, selecting a song list of songs they don't really like, allowing children when they'd rather it be an adult affair, choosing a menu to suit their guests' preferences instead of their own, continuing silly (and sometimes sexist and outdated) traditions just because people expect them (god forbid a bouquet is not thrown, or a chicken dance is not danced or a bride walks herself down the aisle. The world might end).

When my hubby and I got married, our wedding was a pure expression of who we are.  We axed several wedding traditions that didn't feel right to us, and added some new ones.  We selected the food and songs we liked the best - and we did not allow children.  And guess what?  We - and our guests - had the blast of the century.  Our guests fed off our joy and the wedding turned out to be one of the most uplifting and joyous we have ever been to.  And the children were not missed - as evidenced by the fact that my mom doesn't even remember that we didn't allow them at our wedding.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Wish I Had Known

Thank you to my friend Matt for forwarding me this article on Lifehacker, 10 Things I Wish I had Known Before Becoming a Parent.  This is yet another mom-penned article outlining in detail all the things that are tough about parenthood, and ending with the requisite bitch and backpedal about how it's all worth it in the end.

The author of the article covers familiar ground:
  • Getting pregnant is not easy
  • The first few months after the kid are born are torture
  • You get no sleep for months
  • Your house gets overrun with baby crap
  • The expenses never stop
  • It's hard to maintain a career, and working at home is not an easy solution
  • You stress out a lot over whether the child is developing on schedule
  • Going out anywhere is a stress fest
  • For better or worse, you and your partner (and your relationship with each other) will never be the same
It always amazes when when parents say they wish they had known these things before they had kids.  I have never had a child and yet I am well aware of the downsides of parenting because:

  1. I have 2 eyes.  At least 70% of the people I know have kids and I can directly observe what their lives are like.  I see they are a shell of their former self.  I see their house is overrun with kiddie crap. I see they are having a hard time staying above water.  I see they are stressed over their kid's every move.  I see them spending $200 a month on diapers. I see the burden it is for them to go anywhere. I see their marriage deteriorating. I see how tired and stressed they are.  How can anyone observe people with kids and not know the truth of what parenting is like?
  2. I have never known a single parent who appeared to be more happy, fulfilled or better off in any way than I am - unless you count their tax breaks and stork parking (which I help myself to anyway).  In fact, many of them seem downright miserable.  And exhausted.  And stressed.  And broke.  And nobody can convince me that some kiddie kisses and "I love you mommy" are going to undo all of that.
  3. Given #1 and #2 above, why would I be surprised to learn that being a parent is hard, full of drugery, no sleep, exhausting, draining, life-sucking and all the rest?  Why do people so easily believe the fairytales about parenthood when their own eyes can tell them the real truth, if only they would open them?
The backpedal at the end of "it's all worth it" is just a way for the complaining mom to redeem herself because we all know it is taboo for a mom to be honest about the suckage that is motherhood. For a woman, to say that it sucks to have kids is the same thing as saying "I am an awful mom", but that can be erased by qualifying all of her complaints with, "it's all worth it" at the end.  Saying "it's all worth it" also has the added benefit of bestowing saintlike martyr qualities on the complaining mom, because god knows the saint/martyr label is one that moms love to wear with pride.  LOOK AT ALL I HAVE SACRIFICED FOR MY CHILDREN! 

(Of course, if she wants to avoid having to keep up the appearance of being a good mom and claiming "it's all worth it",  she can post her bitter complaints about motherhood anonymously on the internet, as many parents are doing these days).

If ending their venting sessions with "it's all worth it" makes it a little easier for moms to endure their lifelong prison sentence and to be honest about the downsides of childrearing, than I guess we can give them a pass - for now.  At least their increasing openness about the realities of parenthood is creating a counter-balance to the overwhelming and unrealistic pronatalist mythology that has a death grip on our culture.  My hope is that as more moms and dads write articles about the harsh realities of parenthood, fewer people will feel compelled to put their pens to paper to scribble out regretful "Things I Wish I had Known Before Becoming a Parent" lists, long after it's too late to turn back.  Instead, they will put to good use the shared experiences of parents and non-parents (and hopefully their own observations) to thoughtfully and intelligently weigh out the costs and benefits before making a monumental and life-altering leap.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"If Everyone Thought the Way You Do..."

One of the frequent invalidations that we childfree people are subject to by those who cannot wrap their mind about the idea of choosing not to have children is:

"If everyone thought the way you do, the human race would die out."

Got me there.

But, then, I have never advocated for a world where everyone thinks the way I do.   I am advocating for a world where the choice to forego having children is given the same respect and acceptance as the choice to have them.  A very simple concept, really.

I think most sensible people would agree that it would be a good thing if fewer people had children than are having them now. There are plenty of people having children who have no business having them, are terrible parents (ever notice that the worst parents are the ones having the largest numbers of them?), or cannot provide a proper life for them.  Isn't the insistence that everyone have children a bit dumb-headed?

To those who scoff at childfreedom and insist that everyone should have kids, I offer this reply:

"If everyone thought the way you do, the earth would be destroyed."

Oh wait.  This is already happening.  Because of the insistence that every single person go forth and multiply, in the 200,000 short years mankind has populated (and at this point overpopulated) the earth, he has virtually stripped it of its natural resources, decimated its forests, extinguished much of its wildlife, polluted its oceans, land and air, and warmed its environment to a temperature that in a few years will be fit only for tropical house ferns.  And let's not forget the horrors he has visited on his fellow man.  Holocaust, anyone?

Yes, that's right, folks.  The threats we face are not from too little breeding, or the expanding childfree population.  They are from too much breeding and too many people fighting over dwindling resources.  If anything, we childfree folks should be thanked for counteracting the environmental damage done by our childed peers - those with the massive and exploding carbon footprints.  See that "Donate" Paypal button on the right of this screen?  You can start there.

So to those who think that their "if everyone thought the way you do..." bingo is a great "gotcha!", I am sorry to disappoint you. It just doesn't impress me all that much.   But it is an argument that is entertaining enough to inspire a blog post, so for that I am glad :)