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Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

Voluntary childlessness, also described by some as being childfree, is the lifelong voluntary choice to not have children. This includes avoiding having biological, step, or adopted children.

The usage of the term “childfree” to describe people who choose not to have children was coined in the English language late in the 20th century.[1]

In most societies and for most of human history choosing not to have children was both difficult and undesirable. The availability of reliable contraception along with support provided in old age by systems other than traditional familial ones has made childlessness an option for people in developed countries, though they may be looked down upon in certain communities.

The meaning of the term “childfree” extends to encompass the children of others (in addition to ones own children) and this distinguishes it further from the more usual term “childless”, which is traditionally used to express the idea of having no children, whether by choice or by circumstance.[2] The term ‘child free’ has been cited in Australian literature to refer to parents who are without children at the current time. This may be due to them living elsewhere on a permanent basis or a short-term solution such as childcare (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2011).

Supporters of living childfree (e.g. Corinne Maier, French author of “No Kids: 40 Reasons For Not Having Children”) cite various reasons[3] for their view:

According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman’s education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children. (Or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have.) Overall, researchers have observed childless couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.[8]

Being a childfree American adult was considered unusual in the 1950s.[9][10] However, the proportion of childless adults in the population has increased significantly since then. The proportion of childlessness among women aged 40-44 was 10% in 1976, reached a high of 20% in 2005, then declined to 15% in 2014.[11] In Europe, childlessness among women aged 40-44 is most common in Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom (in 2010-2011).[12] Childlessness is least common across Eastern European countries,[13] although one child families are very common there.

From 2007 to 2011 the fertility rate in the U.S. declined 9%, the Pew Research Center reporting in 2010 that the birth rate was the lowest in U.S. history and that childfreeness rose across all racial and ethnic groups to about 1 in 5 versus 1 in 10 in the 1970s.[14] The CDC released statistics in the first quarter of 2016 confirming that the U.S. fertility rate had fallen to its lowest point since record keeping started in 1909: 59.8 births per 1,000 women, half its high of 122.9 in 1957.[15] Even taking the falling fertility rate into account, the U.S. Census Bureau still projected that the U.S. population would increase from 319 million (2014) to 400 million by 2051.[15]

The National Center of Health Statistics confirms that the percentage of American women of childbearing age who define themselves as childfree (or voluntarily childless) rose sharply in the 1990sfrom 2.4 percent in 1982 to 4.3 percent in 1990 to 6.6 percent in 1995.

In 2010, updated information on childlessness, based on a 2008 US Census Population Survey, was analyzed by Pew Research.[16]

While younger women are more likely to be childless, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childless in the future.

Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely to remain childless.

Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness. However, some women report that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career. The 2004 Census Bureau data showed nearly half of women with annual incomes over $100,000 are childless.

Among women aged 3544, the chance of being childless was far greater for never-married women (82.5%) than for ever-married (12.9%). When the same group is analyzed by education level, increasing education correlates with increasing childlessness: not-H.S. graduate (13.5%), H.S. graduate (14.3%), Some College no degree (24.7%), Associate Degree (11.4%), Bachelor’s degree (18.2%) and Graduate or Professional degree (27.6%).[17][18]

Most societies place a high value on parenthood in adult life, so that people who remain childfree are sometimes stereotyped as being “individualistic” people who avoid social responsibility and are less prepared to commit themselves to helping others.[19] However, certain groups believe that being childfree is beneficial. With the advent of environmentalism and concerns for stewardship, those choosing to not have children are also sometimes recognized as helping reduce our impact, such as members of the voluntary human extinction movement. Some childfree are sometimes applauded on moral grounds, such as members of philosophical or religious groups, like the Shakers.

There are three broad areas of criticism regarding childfreeness, based upon socio-political, feminist or religious reasons. There are also considerations relating to personal philosophy and social roles.

Childfreedom may no longer be considered the ‘best’ way to be feminist. Once a paragon of second-wave feminism, the nullipara (childless or childfree woman) is not typically described in third-wave feminism as being superior to, or more feminist than, women who choose to have children. Feminist author Daphne DeMarneffe links larger feminist issues to both the devaluation of motherhood in contemporary society, as well as the delegitimization of “maternal desire” and pleasure in motherhood.[20] In third-wave handbook Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards explore the concept of third-wave feminists reclaiming “girlie” culture, along with reasons why women of Baby Boomer and Generation X ages may reject motherhood because, at a young and impressionable age, they witnessed their own mothers being devalued by society and family.[21]

On the other hand, in “The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order”[22] and in Utne Reader magazine, third-wave feminist writer Tiffany Lee Brown described the joys and freedoms of childfree living, freedoms such as travel previously associated with males in Western culture. In “Motherhood Lite,” she celebrates being an aunt, co-parent, or family friend over the idea of being a mother.[23] Nonetheless, in 2010, Brown gave birth to a son.

However as the point of feminism is for women to make their own choices, child freedom is considered one of those choices.

Some believe that overpopulation is a serious problem and some question the fairness of what they feel amount to subsidies for having children, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (US), free K12 education paid for by all taxpayers, family medical leave, and other such programs.[24] Others, however, do not believe overpopulation to be a problem in itself; regarding such problems as overcrowding, global warming, and straining food supplies to be problems of public policy and/or technology.[25]

Some have argued that this sort of conscientiousness is self-eliminating (assuming it is heritable), so by avoiding reproduction for ethical reasons the childfree will only aid deterioration of concern for the environment and future generations.[26]

Some regard governmental or employer-based incentives offered only to parentssuch as a per-child income tax credit, preferential absence planning, employment legislation, or special facilitiesas intrinsically discriminatory, arguing for their removal, reduction, or the formation of a corresponding system of matching incentives for other categories of social relationships. Childfree advocates argue that other forms of caregiving have historically not been considered equalthat “only babies count”and that this is an outdated idea that is in need of revision. Caring for sick, disabled, or elderly dependents entails significant financial and emotional costs but is not currently subsidized in the same manner. This commitment has traditionally and increasingly fallen largely on women, contributing to the feminization of poverty in the U.S.[27]

The focus on personal acceptance is mirrored in much of the literature surrounding choosing not to reproduce. Many early books were grounded in feminist theory and largely sought to dispel the idea that womanhood and motherhood were necessarily the same thing, arguing, for example, that childfree people face not only social discrimination but political discrimination as well.[24]

Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam place a high value on children and their central place in marriage. In numerous works, including an Apostolic letter written in 1988,[28]Pope John Paul II has set forth the Roman Catholic emphasis on the role of children in family life. However, the Catholic Church also stresses the value of chastity in the non-married state of life and so approves of nominally childfree ways of life for the single. Some religious interpretations hold that any couple who marries with the intention of not producing children is not married within the church.

There are, however, some debates within religious groups about whether a childfree lifestyle is acceptable. Another view, for example, is that the biblical text Gen. 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply,” is really not a command but a blessing formula and that while there are many factors to consider as far as people’s motives for remaining childless, there are many valid reasons, including dedicating one’s time to demanding but good causes, why Christians may choose to remain childless for a short time or a lifetime.[29] Matthew 19:12 describes Jesus as listing three types of eunuchs including one type who chooses it intentionally, noting that whoever is willing to become one, should. Furthermore, in two different places in the Bible, Luke as well as Matthew, Jesus himself warns against having children in the end times. Also, Jesus as well as Paul, to name a few of several men as well as women, are childless.

Brian Tomasik cites ethical reasons for people to remain childfree. Also, they will have more time to focus on themselves, which will allow for greater creativity and the exploration of personal ambitions. In this way, they may benefit themselves and society more than if they had a child.[30]

Some opponents of the childfree choice consider such a choice to be selfish. The rationale of this position is the assertion that raising children is a very important activity and so not engaging in this activity must therefore mean living one’s life in service to one’s self. The value judgment behind this idea is that individuals should endeavor to make some kind of meaningful contribution to the world, but also that the best way to make such a contribution is to have children. For some people, one or both of these assumptions may be true, but others prefer to direct their time, energy, and talents elsewhere, in many cases toward improving the world that today’s children occupy (and that future generations will inherit).[31]

Proponents of childfreedom posit that choosing not to have children is no more or less selfish than choosing to have children. Choosing to have children may be the more selfish choice, especially when poor parenting risks creating many long term problems for both the children themselves and society at large.[32] As philosopher David Benatar[33] explains, at the heart of the decision to bring a child into the world often lies the parents’ own desires (to enjoy child-rearing or perpetuate one’s legacy/genes), rather than the potential person’s interests. At very least, Benatar believes this illustrates why a childfree person may be just as altruistic as any parent.

There is also the question as to whether having children really is such a positive contribution to the world in an age when there are many concerns about overpopulation, pollution and depletion of non-renewable resources. Some critics counter that such analyses of having children may understate its potential benefits to society (e.g. a greater labor force, which may provide greater opportunity to solve social problems) and overstate the costs. That is, there is often a need for a non-zero birth rate.[34]

Childfree individuals do not necessarily share a unified political or economic philosophy, and most prominent childfree organizations tend to be social in nature. Childfree social groups first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, most notable among them the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood and No Kidding! in North America where numerous books have been written about childfree people and where a range of social positions related to childfree interests have developed along with political and social activism in support of these interests. The term “childfree” was used in a July 3, 1972 Time article on the creation of the National Organization for Non-Parents.[35] It was revived in the 1990s when Leslie Lafayette formed a later childfree group, the Childfree Network.[36]

The National Organization for Non-Parents (N.O.N.) was begun in Palo Alto, CA by Ellen Peck and Shirley Radl in 1972. N.O.N. was formed to advance the notion that men and women could choose not to have childrento be childfree. Changing its name to the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, it continued into the early 1980s both as a support group for those making the decision to be childfree and an advocacy group fighting pronatalism (attitudes/advertising/etc. promoting or glorifying parenthood). According to its bylaws, the purpose of the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood was to educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option, support those who choose not to have children, promote awareness of the overpopulation problem, and assist other groups that advanced the goals of the organization. N.O.N.’s offices were located in Reisterstown, MD; then Baltimore, MD; and, ultimately, in Washington, D.C. N.O.N. designated August 1 as Non-Parents’ Day.Just as people with children come from all shades of the political spectrum and temper their beliefs accordingly, so do the childfree. For example, while some childfree people think of government welfare to parents as “lifestyle subsidies,” others accept the need to assist such individuals but think that their lifestyle should be equally compensated. Still others accept the need to help out such individuals and also do not ask for subsidies of their own.

There are suggestions of an emergence of political cohesion, for example an Australian Childfree Party (ACFP) proposed in Australia as a childfree political party, promoting the childfree lifestyle as opposed to the family lifestyle.[citation needed] Increasing politicization and media interest has led to the emergence of a second wave of childfree organizations that are openly political in their raisons d’tre, with a number of attempts to mobilize political pressure groups in the U.S. The first organization to emerge was British, known as Kidding Aside. The childfree movement has not had significant political impact.

More recently, websites such as Reddit have created online communities specifically for childfree people. As of October 11, 2016 the Reddit Childfree community boasts of having 108,847 subscribers or ‘jet ski owners’.[37] The Reddit Childfree community has created many resources specifically for the Childfree. The Reddit Childfree community has created their own list of nearby Childfree friendly doctors who will perform sterilization procedures without hassle. The Reddit Childfree community also provides links to specialized services such as a Childfree focused dating site YesChildfree, a dating site created by Reddit user ‘YesChildfree’ in March 2016 to cater to the Childfree community that have no interest in dating a parent or person who would want to become a parent that are often found on mainstream dating websites.[38]

Read the original post:

Voluntary childlessness – Wikipedia

9 Childfree Women Explain What Life Is Like Without Kids …

I was recently working in a caf when a dad strolled in with his toddler daughter. They set up shop at the table next to me and it immediately became 10 times harder to focus on my writing. Kid was cute. Like, unbearably soshe was around two years old with full cheeks, wide eyes, and a cap of caramel-colored hair that turned up at the ends. She excitedly announced every dog she saw outside, and she face planted into a croissant in a way that really spoke to me.

A few years ago, seeing such a blatant display of adorableness would have made me excited to be a mother . I always assumed I’d have children, and that little girl would have only reinforced that idea. But I’ve recently realized having children is a choice, not something that will inevitably happen to me without my say. While I’m still undecided, the following nine women have decided they’re in the childfree camp . Although they’re quite happy with their choices, they acknowledge that there are both upsides and downsides (just as there are if you decide to have kids). Here, they discuss how being childfree affects their lives, from dating to nosy strangers to reclaiming their sense of purpose.

“After my doctors told me it would be difficult to have kids due to a medical condition, I got used to the idea of it. The luxury of not having children has allowed me to always be on the go, and I can’t imagine it any other way. But to be completely honest, sometimes I do wonder if it’s the right choice. Then I see my friends who had kids young and couldn’t do things like finish school, pursue their careers, or travel.Combined with my tainted view of relationships I see so many of my friends struggling to raise kids on their ownI’m satisfied with my decision.” Katie S., 26

“I’m the classic ‘I didn’t like kids even when I was a kid’ person. I spent several years looking for a doctor who would sterilize me, but no one would do it unless I was married and had two kids. Luckily, I’m married to a woman, so it’s not an issue anymore. I’ve never doubted my decision.

People always expect me to love kids because I love doing things children enjoy like going to the petting zoo and doing silly craft projects. But you don’t have to have a toddler to go to the science center, I promise you. And sometimes it seems like I don’t check off the boxes to be a ‘real’ adult unless I’ve had a baby. Small talk at the bank will turn into a bank teller grilling me about my life choices and my sex life, which is frankly not a good sales technique.But now that I’m older, strangers are less aggressive about thrusting their viewpoints on me.” Cori C., 31

“Eversince I knew it was a choice, I haven’t wanted children.I’ve never had the desire on a biological level, and I wish the question ‘Why DO you want them?’ were just as valid in our society. What I do have is a deep desire to leave a legacy, but I find it very fulfilling to create that through my business and my creative projects.

In my 20s, I got a lot of ‘Oh, you’ll change your mind’ from friends and even my ob/gyn . I’m finally at an age where people respect my decision, but there are some downsides. The worst part of it is feeling alienated from my best friends whose lives change when they have kids.” Ciara P., 37

“When I was 13, I was helping out at a daycare that had kids from a few months to 10 years old. I experienced teething babies, installing car seats, first periods, and ‘early onset teenager condition’ (yes, I made that up). It showed me some of what parents go through on a regular basis, and I want no part of it.

If I tell people like my mother, a random nosy person who asks, or my ob/gyn that I’d rather remain childfree, I’m usually met with disbelief and then dismissed with, ‘Wait until you get married. You’ll change your mind.’ The truth is that every once in a while, I do question whether it’s the right decision. Then I just go curl up with a book and enjoy the childless silence.” Jasmine W., 23

“When I was younger, my friends would talk about what they would name their babies. I’d come up with a list of names too, but I was really thinking about them for future pets. Don’t get me wrongI have a tremendous amount of respect for people who decide to become parents. ButI don’t want my worth as a woman to hinge on my choice to have or not have children.

Luckily, my support system including my husband, parents, and extended family have been respectful of my choice. I feel sad when other women get pushed into thinking that their decision not to have children isn’t ‘legitimate.’ I want other women to know that it is OK to just be a woman, not a mother.” Kristen M., 26

“There are so many things I want for myself that having children could inhibit: travel, luxury, freedom. Also, depression and alcoholism run strong in my family, and the world today is not so kind! My parents have always respected my decision not to have kids. My sister, on the other hand, feels strongly that I should have them. She often jokes that when I change my mind in my mid-40s, shell go to the fertility clinic with me or help me with adoption.Ive also met many ob/gyns who refuse to tie my tubes . Even my current one indicated that she would only consider it in two years when Im 38. “Jessica B., 36

“I knew I didn’t want children when I was about 11 years old, although I briefly revisited the question in my late 20s when I had a partner who really ** wanted them. But my current partner tried to get a vasectomy when he was 15we’re so on the same page.

My job deals with sex and sexuality, so I live a pretty alternative life. From what Ive seen of human nature, many people would not be kind to a child of mine. To fully do the work that I do, Ive chosen not to have a traditional family. Ive had people imply that Ive made the wrong life choices because it meant I wouldnt have kids. But its not a womans job to have children.

Also, I was born not that long after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After learning about that and Holocaust concentration camps, I was left with the overwhelming sense that we had created an increasingly dangerous world. When I browse Google News, I am actively grateful that I dont have to fear for my children.” Carol Q., 58

“Around age 26, I realized having kids was a choice, not a requirement.I’m not maternal, and I can’t imagine having them. Potential partners have met my decision with hostile reactions; I’m single because I haven’t found anyone who wants to also remain childfree. I keep meeting men who become very offended that they can’t change my mind. Loved ones have gotten used to it, but I still think my parents wish things were different. But I know what’s right for me. I enjoy a full life and am not missing anything.” Sophia M., 34

“When I was 10 years old,I turned to my mom and said I didn’t want to have kids. She laughed and responded that I was a bit young to decide that and I might change my mind. But I’ve never had a biological clock go off at all, and I think my mom resigned herself to the fact that she won’t be a grandmother. She used to think I’d change my mind when I met the ‘right’ person, but I told her the right person would be someone who didn’t want or have kids.

I actually worked in childcare and as a preschool teacher for over 15 years, I’ve just never felt the need to have any kids of my own. I don’t worry about my legacy or carrying on my name because I’m doing what I need to right now: making the most of each day and not worrying out what may happen after I’m gone.” Rachel W., 46

Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Originally posted here:

9 Childfree Women Explain What Life Is Like Without Kids …

9 Childfree Women Explain What Life Is Like Without Kids …

I was recently working in a caf when a dad strolled in with his toddler daughter. They set up shop at the table next to me and it immediately became 10 times harder to focus on my writing. Kid was cute. Like, unbearably soshe was around two years old with full cheeks, wide eyes, and a cap of caramel-colored hair that turned up at the ends. She excitedly announced every dog she saw outside, and she face planted into a croissant in a way that really spoke to me.

A few years ago, seeing such a blatant display of adorableness would have made me excited to be a mother . I always assumed I’d have children, and that little girl would have only reinforced that idea. But I’ve recently realized having children is a choice, not something that will inevitably happen to me without my say. While I’m still undecided, the following nine women have decided they’re in the childfree camp . Although they’re quite happy with their choices, they acknowledge that there are both upsides and downsides (just as there are if you decide to have kids). Here, they discuss how being childfree affects their lives, from dating to nosy strangers to reclaiming their sense of purpose.

“After my doctors told me it would be difficult to have kids due to a medical condition, I got used to the idea of it. The luxury of not having children has allowed me to always be on the go, and I can’t imagine it any other way. But to be completely honest, sometimes I do wonder if it’s the right choice. Then I see my friends who had kids young and couldn’t do things like finish school, pursue their careers, or travel.Combined with my tainted view of relationships I see so many of my friends struggling to raise kids on their ownI’m satisfied with my decision.” Katie S., 26

“I’m the classic ‘I didn’t like kids even when I was a kid’ person. I spent several years looking for a doctor who would sterilize me, but no one would do it unless I was married and had two kids. Luckily, I’m married to a woman, so it’s not an issue anymore. I’ve never doubted my decision.

People always expect me to love kids because I love doing things children enjoy like going to the petting zoo and doing silly craft projects. But you don’t have to have a toddler to go to the science center, I promise you. And sometimes it seems like I don’t check off the boxes to be a ‘real’ adult unless I’ve had a baby. Small talk at the bank will turn into a bank teller grilling me about my life choices and my sex life, which is frankly not a good sales technique.But now that I’m older, strangers are less aggressive about thrusting their viewpoints on me.” Cori C., 31

“Eversince I knew it was a choice, I haven’t wanted children.I’ve never had the desire on a biological level, and I wish the question ‘Why DO you want them?’ were just as valid in our society. What I do have is a deep desire to leave a legacy, but I find it very fulfilling to create that through my business and my creative projects.

In my 20s, I got a lot of ‘Oh, you’ll change your mind’ from friends and even my ob/gyn . I’m finally at an age where people respect my decision, but there are some downsides. The worst part of it is feeling alienated from my best friends whose lives change when they have kids.” Ciara P., 37

“When I was 13, I was helping out at a daycare that had kids from a few months to 10 years old. I experienced teething babies, installing car seats, first periods, and ‘early onset teenager condition’ (yes, I made that up). It showed me some of what parents go through on a regular basis, and I want no part of it.

If I tell people like my mother, a random nosy person who asks, or my ob/gyn that I’d rather remain childfree, I’m usually met with disbelief and then dismissed with, ‘Wait until you get married. You’ll change your mind.’ The truth is that every once in a while, I do question whether it’s the right decision. Then I just go curl up with a book and enjoy the childless silence.” Jasmine W., 23

“When I was younger, my friends would talk about what they would name their babies. I’d come up with a list of names too, but I was really thinking about them for future pets. Don’t get me wrongI have a tremendous amount of respect for people who decide to become parents. ButI don’t want my worth as a woman to hinge on my choice to have or not have children.

Luckily, my support system including my husband, parents, and extended family have been respectful of my choice. I feel sad when other women get pushed into thinking that their decision not to have children isn’t ‘legitimate.’ I want other women to know that it is OK to just be a woman, not a mother.” Kristen M., 26

“There are so many things I want for myself that having children could inhibit: travel, luxury, freedom. Also, depression and alcoholism run strong in my family, and the world today is not so kind! My parents have always respected my decision not to have kids. My sister, on the other hand, feels strongly that I should have them. She often jokes that when I change my mind in my mid-40s, shell go to the fertility clinic with me or help me with adoption.Ive also met many ob/gyns who refuse to tie my tubes . Even my current one indicated that she would only consider it in two years when Im 38. “Jessica B., 36

“I knew I didn’t want children when I was about 11 years old, although I briefly revisited the question in my late 20s when I had a partner who really ** wanted them. But my current partner tried to get a vasectomy when he was 15we’re so on the same page.

My job deals with sex and sexuality, so I live a pretty alternative life. From what Ive seen of human nature, many people would not be kind to a child of mine. To fully do the work that I do, Ive chosen not to have a traditional family. Ive had people imply that Ive made the wrong life choices because it meant I wouldnt have kids. But its not a womans job to have children.

Also, I was born not that long after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After learning about that and Holocaust concentration camps, I was left with the overwhelming sense that we had created an increasingly dangerous world. When I browse Google News, I am actively grateful that I dont have to fear for my children.” Carol Q., 58

“Around age 26, I realized having kids was a choice, not a requirement.I’m not maternal, and I can’t imagine having them. Potential partners have met my decision with hostile reactions; I’m single because I haven’t found anyone who wants to also remain childfree. I keep meeting men who become very offended that they can’t change my mind. Loved ones have gotten used to it, but I still think my parents wish things were different. But I know what’s right for me. I enjoy a full life and am not missing anything.” Sophia M., 34

“When I was 10 years old,I turned to my mom and said I didn’t want to have kids. She laughed and responded that I was a bit young to decide that and I might change my mind. But I’ve never had a biological clock go off at all, and I think my mom resigned herself to the fact that she won’t be a grandmother. She used to think I’d change my mind when I met the ‘right’ person, but I told her the right person would be someone who didn’t want or have kids.

I actually worked in childcare and as a preschool teacher for over 15 years, I’ve just never felt the need to have any kids of my own. I don’t worry about my legacy or carrying on my name because I’m doing what I need to right now: making the most of each day and not worrying out what may happen after I’m gone.” Rachel W., 46

Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Read more:

9 Childfree Women Explain What Life Is Like Without Kids …

Childfree – reddit

Discussion and links of interest to childfree individuals. “Childfree” refers to those who do not have and do not ever want children (whether biological, adopted, or otherwise).

Childfree Subreddits Network (For further discussion and laughter)

Support Subreddits Network (For help, assistance and support)

Use the filters to see or exclude posts from one category at a time, and “Show All” to return to the original feed.

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Originally posted here:

Childfree – reddit

The Childfree Life

The Female Assumption A Mothers Story: Freeing Women From The View That Motherhood Is A Mandate

I have been looking forward to reading this book by Melanie Holmes. It is an important idea, that on the surface, may not seem that earth shaking. TCFL is a site for the childfree and it is with that perspective I approached this book.

The Female Assumption, has an important message for the children who are being raised with only half of the options available to live a full and happy life. Melanie has put into words that raising children to realize that they have many options is the key to living a full and meaningful life.

She is raising her daughter to develop into her own person free of pressure to conform to a role that she may not choose for herself. Melanie discusses motherhood from a more realistic perspective and does not leave out the hard parts.

This is an excellent book to open up conversations between a parent and child. It is well written and does a good job presenting the childfree decision. It is a change to hear a parent accept that a child may make different choices. Melanie does not know if her daughter will choose to be a parent. I can say that her daughter is fortunate to have a mother who can express what it was like for her to parent children, but also to present that there are women who make other choices and lead fulfilling lives.

I recommend this book for parents, grandparents, and teenagers. Childfree readers will find this book well written and perhaps a good book for their own parents. As someone who is older; the mantra of grand-kids is ever present. What about those couples who are not sure about wanting children? It is for these couples; I am so glad Melanie wrote this book.

A wonderful CD by a member of our TCFL community. I want to let Jennifer know how much I appreciate her artistry in this CD. The music is impressionistic and a joy to listen to. I do not listen to a lot of instrumental music on CD but do enjoy attending live performances. This recording gave me the feeling I was sitting in a recital hall listening to Jennifers concert. Jennifer, your compositions for the piano really moved me. I will be listening to this CD not only for meditation and quiet reflection but also as an inspiration. I noted on the jacket that you have both a visual and hearing impairment. So glad that you did not let these impairments keep you from expressing your gift.

Jennifers album is available at both CD baby and Amazon. I recommend this CD to those who enjoy listening to the piano. Amazon has samples available to listen to.

We are fortunate at TCFL to have members with talents in a variety of the arts. I am so glad that Jennifer posted this information a while back. It has taken me a while to get around to writing a review of sorts. I want to add that I enjoyed listening to this music while cooking. A nice pairing of beautiful music and culinary creation.

I also recommend another of her CDs titled Child in the Garden.

See the original post here:

The Childfree Life

9 Childfree Women Explain What Life Is Like Without Kids …

I was recently working in a caf when a dad strolled in with his toddler daughter. They set up shop at the table next to me and it immediately became 10 times harder to focus on my writing. Kid was cute. Like, unbearably soshe was around two years old with full cheeks, wide eyes, and a cap of caramel-colored hair that turned up at the ends. She excitedly announced every dog she saw outside, and she face planted into a croissant in a way that really spoke to me.

A few years ago, seeing such a blatant display of adorableness would have made me excited to be a mother . I always assumed I’d have children, and that little girl would have only reinforced that idea. But I’ve recently realized having children is a choice, not something that will inevitably happen to me without my say. While I’m still undecided, the following nine women have decided they’re in the childfree camp . Although they’re quite happy with their choices, they acknowledge that there are both upsides and downsides (just as there are if you decide to have kids). Here, they discuss how being childfree affects their lives, from dating to nosy strangers to reclaiming their sense of purpose.

“After my doctors told me it would be difficult to have kids due to a medical condition, I got used to the idea of it. The luxury of not having children has allowed me to always be on the go, and I can’t imagine it any other way. But to be completely honest, sometimes I do wonder if it’s the right choice. Then I see my friends who had kids young and couldn’t do things like finish school, pursue their careers, or travel.Combined with my tainted view of relationships I see so many of my friends struggling to raise kids on their ownI’m satisfied with my decision.” Katie S., 26

“I’m the classic ‘I didn’t like kids even when I was a kid’ person. I spent several years looking for a doctor who would sterilize me, but no one would do it unless I was married and had two kids. Luckily, I’m married to a woman, so it’s not an issue anymore. I’ve never doubted my decision.

People always expect me to love kids because I love doing things children enjoy like going to the petting zoo and doing silly craft projects. But you don’t have to have a toddler to go to the science center, I promise you. And sometimes it seems like I don’t check off the boxes to be a ‘real’ adult unless I’ve had a baby. Small talk at the bank will turn into a bank teller grilling me about my life choices and my sex life, which is frankly not a good sales technique.But now that I’m older, strangers are less aggressive about thrusting their viewpoints on me.” Cori C., 31

“Eversince I knew it was a choice, I haven’t wanted children.I’ve never had the desire on a biological level, and I wish the question ‘Why DO you want them?’ were just as valid in our society. What I do have is a deep desire to leave a legacy, but I find it very fulfilling to create that through my business and my creative projects.

In my 20s, I got a lot of ‘Oh, you’ll change your mind’ from friends and even my ob/gyn . I’m finally at an age where people respect my decision, but there are some downsides. The worst part of it is feeling alienated from my best friends whose lives change when they have kids.” Ciara P., 37

“When I was 13, I was helping out at a daycare that had kids from a few months to 10 years old. I experienced teething babies, installing car seats, first periods, and ‘early onset teenager condition’ (yes, I made that up). It showed me some of what parents go through on a regular basis, and I want no part of it.

If I tell people like my mother, a random nosy person who asks, or my ob/gyn that I’d rather remain childfree, I’m usually met with disbelief and then dismissed with, ‘Wait until you get married. You’ll change your mind.’ The truth is that every once in a while, I do question whether it’s the right decision. Then I just go curl up with a book and enjoy the childless silence.” Jasmine W., 23

“When I was younger, my friends would talk about what they would name their babies. I’d come up with a list of names too, but I was really thinking about them for future pets. Don’t get me wrongI have a tremendous amount of respect for people who decide to become parents. ButI don’t want my worth as a woman to hinge on my choice to have or not have children.

Luckily, my support system including my husband, parents, and extended family have been respectful of my choice. I feel sad when other women get pushed into thinking that their decision not to have children isn’t ‘legitimate.’ I want other women to know that it is OK to just be a woman, not a mother.” Kristen M., 26

“There are so many things I want for myself that having children could inhibit: travel, luxury, freedom. Also, depression and alcoholism run strong in my family, and the world today is not so kind! My parents have always respected my decision not to have kids. My sister, on the other hand, feels strongly that I should have them. She often jokes that when I change my mind in my mid-40s, shell go to the fertility clinic with me or help me with adoption.Ive also met many ob/gyns who refuse to tie my tubes . Even my current one indicated that she would only consider it in two years when Im 38. “Jessica B., 36

“I knew I didn’t want children when I was about 11 years old, although I briefly revisited the question in my late 20s when I had a partner who really ** wanted them. But my current partner tried to get a vasectomy when he was 15we’re so on the same page.

My job deals with sex and sexuality, so I live a pretty alternative life. From what Ive seen of human nature, many people would not be kind to a child of mine. To fully do the work that I do, Ive chosen not to have a traditional family. Ive had people imply that Ive made the wrong life choices because it meant I wouldnt have kids. But its not a womans job to have children.

Also, I was born not that long after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After learning about that and Holocaust concentration camps, I was left with the overwhelming sense that we had created an increasingly dangerous world. When I browse Google News, I am actively grateful that I dont have to fear for my children.” Carol Q., 58

“Around age 26, I realized having kids was a choice, not a requirement.I’m not maternal, and I can’t imagine having them. Potential partners have met my decision with hostile reactions; I’m single because I haven’t found anyone who wants to also remain childfree. I keep meeting men who become very offended that they can’t change my mind. Loved ones have gotten used to it, but I still think my parents wish things were different. But I know what’s right for me. I enjoy a full life and am not missing anything.” Sophia M., 34

“When I was 10 years old,I turned to my mom and said I didn’t want to have kids. She laughed and responded that I was a bit young to decide that and I might change my mind. But I’ve never had a biological clock go off at all, and I think my mom resigned herself to the fact that she won’t be a grandmother. She used to think I’d change my mind when I met the ‘right’ person, but I told her the right person would be someone who didn’t want or have kids.

I actually worked in childcare and as a preschool teacher for over 15 years, I’ve just never felt the need to have any kids of my own. I don’t worry about my legacy or carrying on my name because I’m doing what I need to right now: making the most of each day and not worrying out what may happen after I’m gone.” Rachel W., 46

Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.

The rest is here:

9 Childfree Women Explain What Life Is Like Without Kids …

9 Childfree Women Explain What Life Is Like Without Kids …

I was recently working in a caf when a dad strolled in with his toddler daughter. They set up shop at the table next to me and it immediately became 10 times harder to focus on my writing. Kid was cute. Like, unbearably soshe was around two years old with full cheeks, wide eyes, and a cap of caramel-colored hair that turned up at the ends. She excitedly announced every dog she saw outside, and she face planted into a croissant in a way that really spoke to me.

A few years ago, seeing such a blatant display of adorableness would have made me excited to be a mother . I always assumed I’d have children, and that little girl would have only reinforced that idea. But I’ve recently realized having children is a choice, not something that will inevitably happen to me without my say. While I’m still undecided, the following nine women have decided they’re in the childfree camp . Although they’re quite happy with their choices, they acknowledge that there are both upsides and downsides (just as there are if you decide to have kids). Here, they discuss how being childfree affects their lives, from dating to nosy strangers to reclaiming their sense of purpose.

“After my doctors told me it would be difficult to have kids due to a medical condition, I got used to the idea of it. The luxury of not having children has allowed me to always be on the go, and I can’t imagine it any other way. But to be completely honest, sometimes I do wonder if it’s the right choice. Then I see my friends who had kids young and couldn’t do things like finish school, pursue their careers, or travel.Combined with my tainted view of relationships I see so many of my friends struggling to raise kids on their ownI’m satisfied with my decision.” Katie S., 26

“I’m the classic ‘I didn’t like kids even when I was a kid’ person. I spent several years looking for a doctor who would sterilize me, but no one would do it unless I was married and had two kids. Luckily, I’m married to a woman, so it’s not an issue anymore. I’ve never doubted my decision.

People always expect me to love kids because I love doing things children enjoy like going to the petting zoo and doing silly craft projects. But you don’t have to have a toddler to go to the science center, I promise you. And sometimes it seems like I don’t check off the boxes to be a ‘real’ adult unless I’ve had a baby. Small talk at the bank will turn into a bank teller grilling me about my life choices and my sex life, which is frankly not a good sales technique.But now that I’m older, strangers are less aggressive about thrusting their viewpoints on me.” Cori C., 31

“Eversince I knew it was a choice, I haven’t wanted children.I’ve never had the desire on a biological level, and I wish the question ‘Why DO you want them?’ were just as valid in our society. What I do have is a deep desire to leave a legacy, but I find it very fulfilling to create that through my business and my creative projects.

In my 20s, I got a lot of ‘Oh, you’ll change your mind’ from friends and even my ob/gyn . I’m finally at an age where people respect my decision, but there are some downsides. The worst part of it is feeling alienated from my best friends whose lives change when they have kids.” Ciara P., 37

“When I was 13, I was helping out at a daycare that had kids from a few months to 10 years old. I experienced teething babies, installing car seats, first periods, and ‘early onset teenager condition’ (yes, I made that up). It showed me some of what parents go through on a regular basis, and I want no part of it.

If I tell people like my mother, a random nosy person who asks, or my ob/gyn that I’d rather remain childfree, I’m usually met with disbelief and then dismissed with, ‘Wait until you get married. You’ll change your mind.’ The truth is that every once in a while, I do question whether it’s the right decision. Then I just go curl up with a book and enjoy the childless silence.” Jasmine W., 23

“When I was younger, my friends would talk about what they would name their babies. I’d come up with a list of names too, but I was really thinking about them for future pets. Don’t get me wrongI have a tremendous amount of respect for people who decide to become parents. ButI don’t want my worth as a woman to hinge on my choice to have or not have children.

Luckily, my support system including my husband, parents, and extended family have been respectful of my choice. I feel sad when other women get pushed into thinking that their decision not to have children isn’t ‘legitimate.’ I want other women to know that it is OK to just be a woman, not a mother.” Kristen M., 26

“There are so many things I want for myself that having children could inhibit: travel, luxury, freedom. Also, depression and alcoholism run strong in my family, and the world today is not so kind! My parents have always respected my decision not to have kids. My sister, on the other hand, feels strongly that I should have them. She often jokes that when I change my mind in my mid-40s, shell go to the fertility clinic with me or help me with adoption.Ive also met many ob/gyns who refuse to tie my tubes . Even my current one indicated that she would only consider it in two years when Im 38. “Jessica B., 36

“I knew I didn’t want children when I was about 11 years old, although I briefly revisited the question in my late 20s when I had a partner who really ** wanted them. But my current partner tried to get a vasectomy when he was 15we’re so on the same page.

My job deals with sex and sexuality, so I live a pretty alternative life. From what Ive seen of human nature, many people would not be kind to a child of mine. To fully do the work that I do, Ive chosen not to have a traditional family. Ive had people imply that Ive made the wrong life choices because it meant I wouldnt have kids. But its not a womans job to have children.

Also, I was born not that long after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After learning about that and Holocaust concentration camps, I was left with the overwhelming sense that we had created an increasingly dangerous world. When I browse Google News, I am actively grateful that I dont have to fear for my children.” Carol Q., 58

“Around age 26, I realized having kids was a choice, not a requirement.I’m not maternal, and I can’t imagine having them. Potential partners have met my decision with hostile reactions; I’m single because I haven’t found anyone who wants to also remain childfree. I keep meeting men who become very offended that they can’t change my mind. Loved ones have gotten used to it, but I still think my parents wish things were different. But I know what’s right for me. I enjoy a full life and am not missing anything.” Sophia M., 34

“When I was 10 years old,I turned to my mom and said I didn’t want to have kids. She laughed and responded that I was a bit young to decide that and I might change my mind. But I’ve never had a biological clock go off at all, and I think my mom resigned herself to the fact that she won’t be a grandmother. She used to think I’d change my mind when I met the ‘right’ person, but I told her the right person would be someone who didn’t want or have kids.

I actually worked in childcare and as a preschool teacher for over 15 years, I’ve just never felt the need to have any kids of my own. I don’t worry about my legacy or carrying on my name because I’m doing what I need to right now: making the most of each day and not worrying out what may happen after I’m gone.” Rachel W., 46

Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Original post:

9 Childfree Women Explain What Life Is Like Without Kids …

How Not To Be A Dick To Your Childfree Friends

I’ve decided that bringing a squalling, blood- and pus-covered infant into this world is not for me. I have no major ish with other peoples squalling, occasionally blood- and pus-covered offspring – in fact, I find some of them downright adorable.

Most of us of the childfree persuasion do not recoil in horror at the sight of a binkie, nor do we bathe in the blood of unbaptized babies. We just, you know, dont want babies of our own. This doesnt mean we hate your babies, or cant remember what it was like being a kid, or have no real purpose in life.

But it does mean we occasionally get annoyed at all the strange things people say to us about our lifestyle choices. Thus, I give you a list of Six Strange Things People Say to Childfree-by-Choice People:

1.I thought I didnt want kids, too – but then I grew up.

Other versions of this include, Youll change your mind when you get older or Youll feel differently once youve matured. Or even, Oh youre just going through a phase.

This line of reasoning is scarily similar to things queer people often hear – its just a phase, youll get over it, youre just trying to be edgy/trendy.

But by declaring that your childfree friend will change his or her mind implies two things:

Of course, quite the opposite on both points is often true. Arriving at the decision to never have children – not just maybe not have children or well see about children – is a tough one that typically involves quite a bit of soul-searching and introspection. Not least of which because those of us who make this choice know we are going to be spending the rest of our childbearing years defending our choice.

The conclusion: Self-awareness is a hallmark of maturity, and it takes a lot of self-awareness to choose to remain childfree with eyes wide open. So there.

2. So you must really hate kids, then.

No. No, a thousand times no. Anytime I ever express with even a whiff of certainty to someone that I dont want children (nope, not even adopted ones! Just furry ones, OK?), the next time I speak to them I get gems like this one: So, I know you hate kids, but I was wondering if youd be OK if my niece hung out with us today?

Just to clarify: I said I didnt want to invite a tiny tyrant into my house to live, permanently, holding me hostage to “Blues Clues” and whatever else the kids are watching these days, every day, for the next 18 years. That is a far cry from kicking it with someones rad offspring every couple of weeks.

Just because I dont want a pet lizard or a pair of sky-high Manolos doesnt mean I hate either of those things. Lizards are super-cool! I like that they exist and I appreciate visiting them in the zoo or at friends houses, but I personally prefer a different sort of pet. Manolos are beautifully constructed shoes but alas, my feet just arent suited to that sort of life. Cest la vie – everyones different and differences are good!

3. Youre just selfish.

Despite this statement being a bitter, vitriolic insult, for some reason people feel comfortable saying it to my face when in the kid context. The thing is, no one would call me selfish if I had said, No, Id rather not lend you $241,080 youll never pay back, thanks. ($241,080 is the average cost to raise a child in 2013 according to CNN Money, by the way – and thats not including college tuition.)

So while refusing to lend your friends money or let a stranger borrow your car is just common sense, politely declining to live with and care for an expensive, time-consuming human being that you actually kinda-sorta-no-wait-really dont want? Thats just selfish! (Riiiight.)

If you think critically about it, not having kids – and all the vigilance that entails for many people – is actually a pretty unselfish choice. If you dont want to be a parent, you may not make a very good one in fact, you may wind up resentful and bitter, or even abusive (emotionally or physically).

The mythology surrounding parenthood – self-sacrifice, unpaid and often unappreciated hard labor – goes a long way to support the idea that childfree people are just selfish. But at its core, choosing to have children (and dedicate your life or large part of it to them) is a self-motivated – and therefore selfish – act.

Yes, parenting is hard. And it does require sacrifice and it is underappreciated – but that still doesnt make me selfish or wrong.

4. One day, itll just happen.

This phrase is magical thinking mixed with horrible euphemism, and leaves me feeling a little violated. Its so bizarrely perverted; if you dig beneath the surface, what the person is actually saying is this:

You say you dont want kids now, but one day all those preventative measures youre taking will inevitably fail, and BOOM! Youll have responsibility for a human being you never wanted! Isnt the miracle of life just incredible?

That’s just messed up.

And: Saying this to straight people is bad enough. But saying it to queer people? Hilare. Believe it or not, Ive actually had people say this to me, and one day, when Ive had exactly the right amount of martini, Ill respond with: You do know how babies are made, right?

5. So, whats your purpose in life, then?

The idea that people without children have no purpose is deeply disturbing – not just personally, but on a philosophical level. Humor my “woah, dude” moment: If every humans greatest purpose in life is simply just to reproduce, then what are we? Mindless replicating machines? To what end? We have children so that they can have children so that they can have children and nothing anyone does outside of that has any value or worth? I dont want to live in this dystopian world.

It boggles my mind that there are people who think this way, but it comforts me to know that perhaps they havent thought too deeply on the subject. Even profoundly dedicated stay-at-home parents surely measure their worth and guide their lives by multiple criteria, just like the rest of us. Good partner, loving parent, rock-star entrepreneur, environmental activist, kick-ass sister, long-distance Frisbee champion – its a veritable smorgasbord of lifes-purpose choices out there, and limiting yourself to just one thing means youre going to get a heck of a lot less out of life than you otherwise could.

6. But wholl take care of you when youre old?

The state, duh.

I kid, I kid. But seriously, since when is everyones offspring required to sign a legally binding contract that they will care for their parents in their old age? American culture is such that counting on your kids to visit you more than once every few years at the nearest Qwik-E-Retire-Mart they abandoned you at in exchange for your signature on a living will is asking a lot.

I joke, but the state of elder care in our nation is in serious crisis. Sure, some peoples kids grow up to be responsible, caring adults who are financially sound and emotionally mature enough to care for aging parents. But, some peoples kids grow up to be deadbeats, or assholes, or too poor to be able to help much.

Counting on children as a retirement plan is a gamble at best. Best to make other plans, even if you do have kids.

I anticipate these sorts of comments will continue unabated until I hit menopause. Putting up with people questioning my motives and stick-tuitiveness is just a side effect of making a life choice thats a little out of the ordinary.

And thats fine – I feel pretty secure in the knowledge that not wanting my own children is not the same thing as being a heartless, selfish, baby-hating bon vivant. (Im just a regular bon vivant, thank you very much.)

I look forward to a life full of other peoples kids – and being one kick-ass aunt. But I still dont want my own babies – and theres nothing wrong with that.

Read this article:

How Not To Be A Dick To Your Childfree Friends

Calgary bucking national trend of couples with fewer kids, census … – Calgary Herald

Postmedia Calgary Downtown Calgary as seen from The Bow building on Thursday May 11, 2017. Gavin Young/Postmedia Network Gavin Young Gavin Young, Gavin Young Gavin Young Gavin Young / Gavin Young

Calgary is bucking the national trend of couples having fewer kids, according to new census data released Wednesday.

Canadian census data from 2016 shows partners across the country have shown less interest in starting families over the last five years, yet Calgary couples are opting for more baby rattles and cribs.

University of Calgary sociology professor Pallavi Banerjee said it could be the result of conservative family values across Alberta, a growth in immigrant populations in the city and a fairly stable economy until recent years.

Calgary, until recently, had the largest growing immigrant population, many of which align with conservative values that consider marriage and having children as important to family life, explains Banerjee.

The city has seen over 61,000 births since 2011.

Despite minor changes in national family dynamics since the previous census in 2011, dramatic shifts have taken place over time.

Census 2016 data shows 21.3 per cent of couples in Canada are common-law compared to a mere 6.3 per cent in 1981.

In Calgary 15.5 per cent of all couples are common-law, including Sam Ridgway, 24, and her 30-year-old partner. They have lived together for almost five years and said their recent decision to get married next year was nothing but a practical choice.

We took a long time to even talk about getting married because we didnt think it was something we needed to do, Ridgway said. It became a pragmatic thing because we want to move to the U.K. and I have citizenship, but Andy doesnt.

She said if it wasnt for their future plans its unlikely they would ever tie the knot.

Weve seen our parents get divorced. Weve seen our friends parents get divorced, said Ridgway. Its not a magic piece of paper and I think people are just willing to accept that if it has meaning you should do it, and if it doesnt you dont have to.

Its a huge expense to get married, have kids, have a house and its just something that most of the people your age arent in a position to do, like our parents were, said Ridgeway.

The new data also shows Canadian couples are having fewer children.

Partners with children make up 26.5 per cent of households in 2016, compared to 31.5 per cent in 2001.

I think it has become slightly less stigmatized for women to remain childfree thanks to the feminist movement, said Banerjee. Women now have the vocabulary to say that they would like to remain childfree without being social ostracized and there are more and more male partners on board.

See more here:

Calgary bucking national trend of couples with fewer kids, census … – Calgary Herald

While some airlines and restaurants cater to kids, what’s a parent to do when others don’t? – National Post

By Sabrina Maddeaux

Its the finest place in Paris to treat yourself to a $1,000 dinner. Swathed in gold and softened with a showering of crimson blooms, a sizeable chunk of the Four Seasons Htel George Vs $1 million-a-year flower budget scents a restaurant so opulent it would please Louis XIV. Le Cinq is one of a handful of 3-Michelin star-restaurants in the city of lights. It serves dishes like a line-fished sea bass with caviar and buttermilk alongside Australian beef covered in truffled mozzarella. Among the usual litany of corporate executives, socialites and adept foodies, you may find something unexpected milling about the restaurant: a child.

This isnt a case of Richie Rich gone rogue or a breach of protocol by overly entitled parents; Le Cinq is one of a growing handful of Michelin-star restaurants that offer a kids menu. Dishes include Iberian beef hamburgers, croque-monsieurs and even chicken nuggets. After their meal, children can indulge in Four Seasons child-size bathrobes, hands-on pastry making workshops, tours of secret passageways and even excursions to the Paris Opera Ballet. Children of all ages arent just welcome, theyre encouraged to explore and play at one of Pariss most refined hotels.

For some, the idea of a youngster in a Michelin-star restaurant or five-star hotel is more horrifying than spotting a stray rodent. After all, who wants to deal with a (potentially) screaming, slobbering, spilling miscreant when shelling out a months rent on a meal? Beyond fancy restaurants, there are some amongst us of the mindset that children should be banned from any eatery that doesnt boast a ball-pit. While child-friendly and child-free zones used to be strictly defined, the lines are blurring.

Operas, ballets and theatre are all fair game for pint-sized critics, as are business-class seats on planes and luxury spas. Dinner parties, weddings and cocktail parties are expected, by some, to be all-age events. For others, the presence of a child at a traditionally adult gathering is greeted with the same sort of reaction a package of anthrax might receive.

The question of where kids do or dont belong has never been a hotter topic. A new generation of parents seems determined that their children share in every part of their lifestyle no matter how their inclusion affects others. They remain devoted to ensuring their kids not feel the same angst-ridden youths they did. That instinct, combined with tough economic times, has resulted in a parenting culture that can generously be described as competitive (and more accurately described as all-encompassing insanity).

For such parents, childfree occasions and establishments arent merely a preference or inconvenience; theyre highly personal insults. Some would rather not attend a dinner party or wedding at all than leave their kids at home. Dress your newborn in pint-sized Prada all you like, but should you assume your kids are welcome everywhere? There seem to be mixed messages coming from all corners, with some establishments determined to cash in on the trend while other prioritize old-fashioned adult customers.

Things are only getting more complicated when it comes to travel. After a flurry of restaurants controversially banned youngsters in recent years and some theatre chains have said kids arent welcome after 6 p.m., adults-only hotels have become one of the hottest travel trends. In addition, Malaysian Airlines banned kids under 12 from premium seats and Richard Branson expressed interest in segregated kids cabins for Virgin Airlines. The trend should have been seen coming as the internet is littered with people seeking advice on how to delicately throw a child-free dinner party or tell friends that their wedding will be an adults-only affair.

Who wants to deal with a (potentially) screaming, slobbering, spilling miscreant when shelling out a monthu2019s rent on a meal?

On the other hand, some luxe hotels are creating entire childrens programs. Airlines such as EVA, Etihad and Emirates offer Hello Kitty-themed food, animal blankies and personal nannies. A New York-based kiddie dining club rents out Michelin-star restaurants for parents to attend with their babies for a cool $125 per head tasting menu. Some couples plan kids menus, virgin cocktails and activities including rooms full of bunnies and puppies and video game stations for their wedding receptions.

So, what should parents expect when it comes to hospitality both in terms of the industry and among friends?

Etiquette experts tend to agree on one golden rule: you should never assume you kids are welcome somewhere thats traditionally adults-only in nature, and you should never pressure a host to accommodate your offspring. One delicate way of handling an adults-only invite is to respond by saying youd love to attend, but your child isnt ready for a sitter or you cant arrange for a sitter. This puts the ball in the hosts court, allowing them to politely accept your declining or let you know that your little one is welcome.

On the flip side, hosts shouldnt feel like misanthropic trolls because they want to host an adults-only gathering. However, its important to be clear about your wishes if thats your intention. Diplomatic ways of wording this request include, For the enjoyment of all children have not been invited, or, We love your kids too, but tonight is for grownups only. On a wedding invite, you could write, We regret we are unable to cater for children at the reception.

No matter how tactfully a host deals with such a situation, however, there are some psychologists (and internet commenters) who remain adamantly against child-free public spaces, even going as far to call their rise baby apartheid. They would suggest that it can make kids feel like undesirables or second-class citizens and robs society of opportunities to engage in communal child rearing, practice tolerance and empathize with others. Kids and adults alike benefit from interacting with each other, and exposing youngsters to diverse cultural, culinary and social experiences can be key to their development as global citizens.

When it comes to the hospitality industry at home, the landscape is even more difficult to traverse. Legally, the question of whether a Canadian establishment can discriminate based solely on age is up in the air. In 2010, an Ottawa mother filed a human rights complaint against a fashionable restaurant who turned away her and her child. They reached a private settlement, so no court was able to give an official ruling on the matter. However, its worth noting the place in question now admits kids.

At the end of the day, theres no easy answer about where and when its appropriate to bring your little anklebiter. The best way to avoid issues is to research whether kid-friendly amenities such as kids menus, childcare or activities meant to entertain wee ones are being offered. If they arent, its best to proceed with caution, communicate clearly and remember your child isnt being personally targeted.

The world will be a much friendlier place for grown-ups and minors alike if we could exercise a little empathy, a dash of self-restraint and stop acting like the very children were fighting over.

Originally posted here:

While some airlines and restaurants cater to kids, what’s a parent to do when others don’t? – National Post

Ode: Divorced and dating again, childfree by choice | KWIT – KWIT

“You must have babies so the Muslims dont take over!

Ally Karsyn tells her story live at Ode. The theme was “Stigmas: An ode to the power of opening up.”

In the long-term parking lot, I meet a middle-aged woman wearing sunglasses, sneakers and yoga pants. Her hair is casually swept into a ponytail. Shes flying to Phoenix for business. Im off to Seattle for fun. She cant remember the last time shes gone on vacation. I go somewhere every year.

Something about our conversation makes her ask, Do you have any little ones at home?

No, thats why I can travel like this, I say. Just pick up and go anywhere.

Do it now, she says, because when you have kids

Her voice trails off. I smile politely. She said, When.

I didnt tell her that there wouldnt be a when for me. Im childfree by choice. I didnt tell her that Im divorced, after four years, and dating again.

Before my divorce was final, my well-meaning mother started saying things like, Oh, Id really like to see you find a nice guy. To which I replied, Ive got nothing but time. I don’t have any biological clocks ticking! But then she said, If having kids has taught me anything, its never say never.

I’m probably not the daughter she expected.

In the small farm town where I grew up, it was acceptable, if not encouraged, to get married at 22 to the son of a farmer with a Dutch surname. (That was better than living in sin.) And it was acceptable to buy that house in the suburbs. Doing these things bestowed comfort and approval in the form of verbal praise, plus gifts.

But panic set in with each measuring cup and Tupperware container I received. What sent me over the edge was the shiny red, 22-pound KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. It dictated I would be spending my weekends baking brownies like my mom did, not biking through rice paddies in Bali, shopping the souks in Marrakesh or eating tapas in Seville.

Being showered with kitchenwares brought back childhood memories of being told to dry the dishes while my older brother played computer games, less than 10 feet away. Id protest, Why cant he help you? Its just cause hes a boy!

I not only rejected the gendered household division of labor, I didnt have much interest in playing with dolls or Barbies. Instead, I took cat photos with my little yellow Kodak camera. I cut and pasted pictures out of magazines and wrote my own stories. I went on outdoor adventures with my three imaginary friends.

These quirks were cute when I was a little girl. Then I grew up.

In my late teens, when I first declared I was never having kids, a family member told me, You must have babies so the Muslims dont take over! Now in my late-20s, the most popular response has been: Youll change your mind.

This sweeping declaration doesnt take into account my underactive thyroid that occasionally hits me with debilitating fatigue or my susceptibility to anxiety and depression when diet, sleep and exercise are compromised. (But hey, kids wont affect that.) It doesnt account for the sense of purpose derived from my precarious journalism career or the desire to travel in order to better understand the world and my place in it.

When I was younger and far more insecure, my college boyfriend convinced me that few men would want to be with an ambitious, free-spirited woman like me. In rural Iowa, I was too different. He promised the kind of life I wanted. Every three to five years, wed move for my job. That was the agreement. That and no kids. I thought, This must be as good as it gets.

I married him.

But after a couple years, my stepping stone became his anchor. He had settled into a comfortable, well-paying technical career. And I was checking JournalismJobs.com every day. My incessant searching finally made him crack. I dont want to live like a nomad, he said. That and his affinity for alcohol made me leave. I took the 22-pound mixer with me.

Then, a strange thing happened. For the first time, I had people telling me, Good thing you dont have kids!

I could look at my starter marriage as a failure or a mistake. But I dont.

By getting divorced and essentially doing the thing I was not supposed to do, I freed myself from crushing expectations. I learned that the only real mistake would be believing Im unworthy of love. Or joy. Even it looks a little different.

Now, I get to try again.

I downloaded Bumble, Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel. I hadnt been on a first date in more than seven years. Back then, these kinds of dating apps didnt exist. Now I stood in line at the grocery store and swiped through med students, airmen, farmers, truck drivers, pro-athletes and engineers. Never in my life have I seen more photos of men holding up dead pheasants, fish and deer. And then there were the ones with kids usually their nieces and nephews. Even that says, Im looking for the mother of my children. And thats not me.

I finally found a match on Tinder, but after 15 messages back and forth about weather and work, he brought up handcuffs and spanking. No thanks.

I had better luck on Coffee Meets Bagel and matched with Marcos the 31-year-old music-loving chef. Latino. Five-foot-10. Religion: Other.

When I asked Marcos what made him want to be a chef, he said, Usually, men arent in the kitchen if youre raised in a Mexican family, but since it was me and my two brothers, my mom taught us how to cook.

His enlightened response won me over. Our first date lasted six-hours, filled with coffee, crepes and great conversation. It ended with a goodnight kiss in the misting rain. We kept seeing each other, and after a couple months, I decided to tell my mom about the nice guy Id found, which begged the question, Whats his name?

Marcos.

Does he have a last name?

Vela.

Is heeeee

Mexican.

Oh, she said, I thought maybe he was Italian.

But she pronounces it, Eye-talian.

When Marcos had his big, black beard, he could have passed as Pakistani or Indian. (In fact, people have come up to him speaking Hindi.) But hes most definitely from Mexicoone of the Dreamers, tossed over a border fence by his teenage mother when he was 2 years old.

They left Acapulco. The coastal city in southern Mexico is part of a region densely populated with descendants of African slaves. Or people who, today, identify as Blaxicansblack Mexicans. A heritage he is proud of yet removed from.

A few weeks ago, we were walking through a flea market. In between the nostalgia-inducing model airplanes and My Little Ponies, he pointed to an illustrated reprinting of The Man Without a Country and said, Thats me.

Instantly, I knew that feeling of being out of place when you want to belong. But cant.

When I told my mother more about the talkative, well-groomed, fashion-savvy man Id foundthe one who can pick out my clothes and cook for meshe said, Just make sure he’s not too different. Which I took to mean, Make sure he’s not gay.

From our first date, I knew Marcos was different.

Over brunch, he answered a call from his mom. He was boyishly embarrassed at first but still told her, I love you, before he hung up. He apologized for the interruption and went on to tell me about his job at an upscale, modern American restauranthow he works from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. five days a week and teaches free music lessons in the Latino community on one of his days off. He shared his dream of opening his own restaurant, one in Australia, then Germany. He admired my confidence and wit, my independence and ambition.

Going against the advice on the Internet, I told Marcos that Im divorced and I dont want kids.

He stared at me with his deep brown eyes, reminiscent of two perfect little cups of coffee that I could drink in all day. His face softened into a smile and he said, Me, too.

Ally Karsyn is the arts producer and weekday afternoon announcer at Siouxland Public Media. She is also the founder, producer and host of Ode.

Odeis a storytelling series where community members tell true stories on stage to promote positive impact through empathy. Its produced by Siouxland Public Media.

The next event is 7 p.m. Friday, August 4 atBe Yoga Studioin downtown Sioux City. The theme is Little Did I Know. Tickets are available atkwit.org. For more information, visitfacebook.com/odestorytelling.

This story was produced as part of anImages & Voices of HopeRestorative Narrative Fellowship, which supports media practitioners who want to tell stories of resilience in communities around the U.S. and abroad.ivohis a nonprofit committed to strengthening the media’s role as an agent of change and world benefit.

Original post:

Ode: Divorced and dating again, childfree by choice | KWIT – KWIT

Ode: Divorced and dating again, childfree by choice – KWIT

Ally Karsyn tells her story live at Ode. The theme was “Stigmas: An ode to the power of opening up.”

In the long-term parking lot, I meet a middle-aged woman wearing sunglasses, sneakers and yoga pants. Her hair is casually swept into a ponytail. Shes flying to Phoenix for business. Im off to Seattle for fun. She cant remember the last time shes gone on vacation. I go somewhere every year.

Something about our conversation makes her ask, Do you have any little ones at home?

No, thats why I can travel like this, I say. Just pick up and go anywhere.

Do it now, she says, because when you have kids

Her voice trails off. I smile politely. She said, When.

I didnt tell her that there wouldnt be a when for me. Im childfree by choice. I didnt tell her that Im divorced, after four years, and dating again.

Before my divorce was final, my well-meaning mother started saying things like, Oh, Id really like to see you find a nice guy. To which I replied, Ive got nothing but time. I don’t have any biological clocks ticking! But then she said, If having kids has taught me anything, its never say never.

I’m probably not the daughter she expected.

In the small farm town where I grew up, it was acceptable, if not encouraged, to get married at 22 to the son of a farmer with a Dutch surname. (That was better than living in sin.) And it was acceptable to buy that house in the suburbs. Doing these things bestowed comfort and approval in the form of verbal praise, plus gifts.

But panic set in with each measuring cup and Tupperware container I received. What sent me over the edge was the shiny red, 22-pound KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. It dictated I would be spending my weekends baking brownies like my mom did, not biking through rice paddies in Bali, shopping the souks in Marrakesh or eating tapas in Seville.

Being showered with kitchenwares brought back childhood memories of being told to dry the dishes while my older brother played computer games, less than 10 feet away. Id protest, Why cant he help you? Its just cause hes a boy!

I not only rejected the gendered household division of labor, I didnt have much interest in playing with dolls or Barbies. Instead, I took cat photos with my little yellow Kodak camera. I cut and pasted pictures out of magazines and wrote my own stories. I went on outdoor adventures with my three imaginary friends.

These quirks were cute when I was a little girl. Then I grew up.

In my late teens, when I first declared I was never having kids, a family member told me, You must have babies so the Muslims dont take over! Now in my late-20s, the most popular response has been: Youll change your mind.

This sweeping declaration doesnt take into account my underactive thyroid that occasionally hits me with debilitating fatigue or my susceptibility to anxiety and depression when diet, sleep and exercise are compromised. (But hey, kids wont affect that.) It doesnt account for the sense of purpose derived from my precarious journalism career or the desire to travel in order to better understand the world and my place in it.

When I was younger and far more insecure, my college boyfriend convinced me that few men would want to be with an ambitious, free-spirited woman like me. In rural Iowa, I was too different. He promised the kind of life I wanted. Every three to five years, wed move for my job. That was the agreement. That and no kids. I thought, This must be as good as it gets.

I married him.

But after a couple years, my stepping stone became his anchor. He had settled into a comfortable, well-paying technical career. And I was checking JournalismJobs.com every day. My incessant searching finally made him crack. I dont want to live like a nomad, he said. That and his affinity for alcohol made me leave. I took the 22-pound mixer with me.

Then, a strange thing happened. For the first time, I had people telling me, Good thing you dont have kids!

I could look at my starter marriage as a failure or a mistake. But I dont.

By getting divorced and essentially doing the thing I was not supposed to do, I freed myself from crushing expectations. I learned that the only real mistake would be believing Im unworthy of love. Or joy. Even it looks a little different.

Now, I get to try again.

I downloaded Bumble, Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel. I hadnt been on a first date in more than seven years. Back then, these kinds of dating apps didnt exist. Now I stood in line at the grocery store and swiped through med students, airmen, farmers, truck drivers, pro-athletes and engineers. Never in my life have I seen more photos of men holding up dead pheasants, fish and deer. And then there were the ones with kids usually their nieces and nephews. Even that says, Im looking for the mother of my children. And thats not me.

I finally found a match on Tinder, but after 15 messages back and forth about weather and work, he brought up handcuffs and spanking. No thanks.

I had better luck on Coffee Meets Bagel and matched with Marcos the 31-year-old music-loving chef. Latino. Five-foot-10. Religion: Other.

When I asked Marcos what made him want to be a chef, he said, Usually, men arent in the kitchen if youre raised in a Mexican family, but since it was me and my two brothers, my mom taught us how to cook.

His enlightened response won me over. Our first date lasted six-hours, filled with coffee, crepes and great conversation. It ended with a goodnight kiss in the misting rain. We kept seeing each other, and after a couple months, I decided to tell my mom about the nice guy Id found, which begged the question, Whats his name?

Marcos.

Does he have a last name?

Vela.

Is heeeee

Mexican.

Oh, she said, I thought maybe he was Italian.

But she pronounces it, Eye-talian.

When Marcos had his big, black beard, he could have passed as Pakistani or Indian. (In fact, people have come up to him speaking Hindi.) But hes most definitely from Mexicoone of the Dreamers, tossed over a border fence by his teenage mother when he was 2 years old.

They left Acapulco. The coastal city in southern Mexico is part of a region densely populated with descendants of African slaves. Or people who, today, identify as Blaxicansblack Mexicans. A heritage he is proud of yet removed from.

A few weeks ago, we were walking through a flea market. In between the nostalgia-inducing model airplanes and My Little Ponies, he pointed to an illustrated reprinting of The Man Without a Country and said, Thats me.

Instantly, I knew that feeling of being out of place when you want to belong. But cant.

When I told my mother more about the talkative, well-groomed, fashion-savvy man Id foundthe one who can pick out my clothes and cook for meshe said, Just make sure he’s not too different. Which I took to mean, Make sure he’s not gay.

From our first date, I knew Marcos was different.

Over brunch, he answered a call from his mom. He was boyishly embarrassed at first but still told her, I love you, before he hung up. He apologized for the interruption and went on to tell me about his job at an upscale, modern American restauranthow he works from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. five days a week and teaches free music lessons in the Latino community on one of his days off. He shared his dream of opening his own restaurant, one in Australia, then Germany. He admired my confidence and wit, my independence and ambition.

Going against the advice on the Internet, I told Marcos that Im divorced and I dont want kids.

He stared at me with his deep brown eyes, reminiscent of two perfect little cups of coffee that I could drink in all day. His face softened into a smile and he said, Me, too.

Ally Karsyn is the arts producer and weekday afternoon announcer at Siouxland Public Media. She is also the founder, producer and host of Ode.

Odeis a storytelling series where community members tell true stories on stage to promote positive impact through empathy. Its produced by Siouxland Public Media.

The next event is 7 p.m. Friday, August 4 atBe Yoga Studioin downtown Sioux City. The theme is Little Did I Know. Tickets are available atkwit.org. For more information, visitfacebook.com/odestorytelling.

This story was produced as part of anImages & Voices of HopeRestorative Narrative Fellowship, which supports media practitioners who want to tell stories of resilience in communities around the U.S. and abroad.ivohis a nonprofit committed to strengthening the media’s role as an agent of change and world benefit.

Continue reading here:

Ode: Divorced and dating again, childfree by choice – KWIT

Childfree – reddit

Discussion and links of interest to childfree individuals. “Childfree” refers to those who do not have and do not ever want children (whether biological, adopted, or otherwise).

Childfree Subreddits Network (For further discussion and laughter)

Support Subreddits Network (For help, assistance and support)

Use the filters to see or exclude posts from one category at a time, and “Show All” to return to the original feed.

SHOW ALL

Go here to read the rest:

Childfree – reddit

Home | Childfree Women UK & Ireland

We’re a private website, meaning that your content here is only visible to other approved, logged-in members of our network. ‘Content’ encompasses anything you publishon our pages- for example, profileicon, profileanswers, forumposts, groupsyou create, eventsyou attend, etc.

Each of our profile questions requires an answer as part of the registration process in order for your membership to be approved. This is for the safety of all members.We can’t force ID checks on everyone as that would exclude anyone who can’t pay the fee, so making it mandatory for you to tell us a bit about yourself upon signupis our way of vetting applicants and deterring trolls. We need everyone to play ball for it to work, but we’re not asking you to bare all – we just want to get a sense of who you are, and see genuine indicators that you identify as a happilychildfree womanand that this topic means something to you. You can amend and/or make any of your answers invisible at any time after your membership hasbeen approved.

We also require that you upload a profile iconsooner or later. This is again for the safety of all members as part of our ‘human check’ to deter spammers and imposters. Youriconcan either be a photo of you, or an image ofsomething meaningful to or representative of you -for example, your pets, your favourite flower, a holiday landscape, a piece of art you’ve made, etc. Profiles without an icon will not show up in Member Search results, so it’s worth having one in order to get the most out of our service. A uniqueprofile iconalso has generaladvantages socially by making your profile appear more approachable and trustworthy to potential new friends, and aneye-catching image can serveas a conversationstarter when other members are reading your profile.

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Home | Childfree Women UK & Ireland

Living Childfree – RESOLVE: The National Infertility …

What does it mean?

Choosing to live childfree is a way to resolve your infertility. It is a commitment to each other. Childfree living can be a rewarding, fulfilling alternative to couples facing the crisis of infertility. When couples experiencing infertility move through the grief over not having a pregnancy or a biologically linked child, it’s an opening into a world of possibilities.

Ever wondered what living childfree would feel like, but afraid of the stigma placed on this option? We’ll break down the myths and facts from some of our most frequently asked questions.

Hear from a RESOLVE volunteer, first-hand, how she and her husband made the decision to live childfree.

We choose childfree living as a resolution to our infertility… It was not an easy decision.

Just as my experience with infertility was a journey, so too is the decision to live our life without children of our own.

To talk to a RESOLVE volunteer who has personal experience living childfree, please call theRESOLVE HelpLineat 866.NOT.ALONE (866.668.2566) and press extension 4.

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Living Childfree – RESOLVE: The National Infertility …

Celebrating ChildFreedom on the Fourth of July – HuffPost

On the fourth of July, the United States celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which to date, happened 241 years ago. Two days before, on July 2, 1776, the Congress for the thirteen colonies voted to declare freedom from British rule. And freedom remains a deeply held value to Americans today.

In America and around the world, another specific group of people greatly value the experience of freedom as well. These are people who are childfree they have no children by choice. Over the years, Ive surveyed the childfree on many topics, and one in particular asked respondents to get to the core of the reason they are childfree. I asked people to answer this question: If you could sum up the reason you are childfree in one word, what would it be?

Of the nearly 600 respondents, here are the top ten words they gave. Starting with #10, which came in at a tie:

And the #1 word people gave as the reason they are childfree: freedom.

Freedom to pursue a life that reflects what is most important to them. Freedom to go after their dreams and goals. Freedom to live their lives as they wish. Many, many childfree see the responsibility of raising children as greatly limiting their experience of freedom. And they value it more than any amount of desire they may have for the experience of parenthood.

From interviewing the childfree since the late 1990s, another word that deserves discussion is relationship. Many childfree who are in committed relationships speak of their concern about how having children would change their relationship, and change it forever. Even if the couple has some level of desire to become parents, ultimately they dont trust that having children would change the relationship in a positive way. To them, their committed relationship is Number One, and many decide that having children is not worth risking what they have right now, which is a great relationship.

For me personally, the two words on the top ten list that resonate most are: disinterest and freedom. Both, however, cluster under a larger word: life. From as far back as my teen years, when I thought about how I wanted to live my life, the experience of parenthood was not something I wanted as part of it. I babysat a lot as a teen, and this experience confirmed these feelings. Over time, I have witnessed loved ones raising their children, and while I see the fulfilling aspects of it, I have never wanted the day-to-day life that parenthood brings or for it to be the central focus of my life.

So, on July 4th, I celebrate what our countrys founders achieved. I celebrate the freedoms we have in our great country, some for which we continue to have to fight. I celebrate the freedom that comes from a life that does not include the raising of children. And I celebrate how this freedom continues to serve as a gateway to learnings, experiences, adventures, and ways of contributing to others and our world that give me a rich sense of fulfillment and purpose in my life.

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Celebrating ChildFreedom on the Fourth of July – HuffPost

Myths and Facts About Living Childfree – RESOLVE

Myth: Remaining childfree means remaining just as miserable as we are right now.

Fact: Only part of your current pain is from actual lack of a child. Some of it is part of a grief process youre in the midst of. Another part is the maddening uncertainty of whether or not you will ever get to be a parent.

Myth: A Childfree life is an empty life.

Fact: Living childfree is empty for the couples who do not find new interests. Childfree people fill their lives with work, hobbies, artistic endeavors, political causes and they also fill them with children! Children involved in organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Scouts, etc.,

Myth: Childfree living is never a choice if you are infertile.

Fact: Certainly for many people, alternatives such as adoption, donor insemination, and in vitro fertilization are preferable. For those couples, childfree living would be the end of the road. For some couples however, those who are forced to re-examine their values, remaining childfree is a good decision. For them it is the next best thing, right after biological parenthood.

Myth: If I remain childfree, Ill feel emotionally wounded every time I see a child.

Fact: Once they have grieved and made a definite decision to remain childfree, couples tend to feel occasional twinges of sadness, but no more stabbing pain.

Myth: Arent people who remain childfree selfish and immature? Arent their marriages unhappy?

Fact: Extensive psychosocial studies have found childfree couples to be just as happy as couples with children. And contrary to the stereotype of selfishness, a high percentage of childfree people are teachers, social workers, or people who spend their weekends doing volunteer work with children or for a social cause. Its far more common for selfish, immature people to have children for selfish, immature reasons.

Myth: If we remain childfree, Ill be unhappy in old age.

Fact: Children are no insurance policy against loneliness in old age. You cant be sure what old age will be like. You cant be sure children would live near you, get along with you or be a comfort.

Myth: Well feel like fools if we decide to remain childfree after all of that trying.

Fact: No one else can decide for you whether adoption or childfree living is right for you. Its your life. You have the right to decide what to do with it. Deciding not to have a child does not take away the meaning of those years of trying. The two of you shared something important together, and if youre like most couples, youre coming out the other end more skilled at talking to each other, more aware of your values, and more appreciative of each other. You have the right to shift gears.

Myth: If we remain childfree, well be sorry later

Fact: Of course there will be days when you wonder if you would have been happier if youd made another choice. Everyone wonders. Remember that infertile couples who adopt or choose donor insemination, etc. will also wonder. The fact that whatever you choose was your second choice after you didnt get pregnant adds poignancy to the question.

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Myths and Facts About Living Childfree – RESOLVE

As A Childfree Woman, Every Day Is Independence Day – HuffPost

Ive never been someone who likes to commit to anything too far in advance.

In high school I had a boyfriend who always wanted to make plans for the following weekend during the weekend we happened to be enjoying at the moment. I didnt like feeling pinned down. What if something awesome came up that I just didnt know about yet? What if I didnt feel like it next week? What if I changed my mind? His attempts to schedule my time felt like attempts to control it. Needless to say, the relationship didnt last.

In college, I chose my major by selecting the option that came with the smallest number of required credits, though I graduated with a higher total number of credits than required for my degree. I couldnt be fenced in to just one area of inquiry when there was so much of interest out there to explore! After college, the structure of working a 9-5 job drove me back to school to pursue the PhD I expected would give me the flexibility to work as, when, and how I wanted. Its mostly done that and I landed in a career that I love.

My 20+ year marriage represents perhaps the longest commitment Ive ever made both freely and a great majority of the time, happily.

When I got married, I assumed kids would soon follow. You know; love, marriage, baby carriage that whole thing. My husband and I married at early ages I was just 22, he was 23 so we had plenty of time. But my standard Im too young in response to the incessant WHEN ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO HAVE KIDS?! queries stopped sounding reasonable around the time I hit 35.

For us, it turned out, the answer was never.

The childfree path is not one that appeals to everyone. Trust me; I hear the cries of Selfish! Stupid! Decadent! loud and clear. But for a person who resists committing to a plan further than about a week in advance, doing time for 18+ years with a human I was sure Id love but wasnt sure Id like sounded like a prison sentence.

I wanted the freedom and autonomy that I worried parenthood could stifle. I wanted every day to be Independence Day. And knowing that I wanted those things, the most selfish thing I could do, it seemed to me, would be to bring someone into the world who needed me perhaps more than anyone but to whom I wasnt certain I could commit.

I do my job (even well, Id argue). I contribute to the well-being of my community by volunteering my time and donating to causes that matter to me. I feel concern for others and care deeply about social justice and equality. I maintain close friendships and a solid connection with my family. I nurture a marriage that matters to me.

These are relationships, beliefs, and obligations to which Ive happily committed. If these things place me in the category of selfish, stupid, or decadent, then I embrace the label. As a childfree woman, every day is Independence Day. And I love it.

Amy Blackstone is a sociologist who blogs at were {not} having a baby!. Find her on Twitter @soc_gal and @nothavingababy.

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As A Childfree Woman, Every Day Is Independence Day – HuffPost

Can Everyone On RHONY Stop Shaming Carole Radziwill For Not Having Children? – Refinery29

While I can at least see why Tinsley wrongly tried to shame Caroles life choices, Ramonas childfree shaming is much weirder and unexplainable, like many of her antics this season. During the “New Low” conversation that broke Bethenny and Ramonas frenemyship for good, when Ramona attempted to use the Skinnygirl moguls 6-year-old daughter to shame her, Carole stood up for her best friend. She calmly asked if Ramona really couldnt see why Bethenny may be ignoring her in that moment. The pinot grigio fan shot back, “You dont have a daughter, so you dont understand.” Ramona point black “insulted” Carole, as the Kennedy family widow put it, because shes never had a child. And, of course, Ramona made it worse, adding, “You cant relate.” Carole rightly pointed out anyone, regardless of their parenting status, can understand empathy. Still, Ramona stares at Carole with blank eyes and shakes her head no, signaling she doesnt actually agree with that statement. Yes, really, Ramona believes only fellow moms can understand why she would attack Bethenny in such a public manner and pull her daughter into the drama.

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Can Everyone On RHONY Stop Shaming Carole Radziwill For Not Having Children? – Refinery29

Why am I expected to have children just because I’m a woman? – Irish Times

The endless stereotypes about women include the myths that we all dream of nurturing a child; although this stereotype is accurate for some women, it is not for all

Im sitting at a table with a bunch of women and a couple of men. The conversation is about children: how many we hope to have, baby names, would we rather a boy or a girl?

It goes around in a circle and everyone is excited to answer these questions. When its my turn to answer, Im not excited. Im a 20 year old journalism student in my second year of college. My whole life is ahead of me. So how many children do you want? I respond None.

The whole room goes quiet and awkward, until someone chimes in, You are young though, you will want them in the future. The next person is asked the same question, he is a man, he also says he does not want children, but this time there is no awkward silence, they accept his answer and move on.

Perhaps most women do dream of having children and of becoming a mother, but the fact is I dont. I want a career and I want that career to be my child, I dont see anything wrong with that.

Throughout my life, I have never wanted a child or fantasised about motherhood. Its not what I want out of life. I salute to the women who dream of becoming a mother and giving birth, for having the strength to deal with breastfeeding and the constant care of another, more vulnerable being.

I empathise with women who want to be a mothers and cant, but just because I dont desire children does not make me selfish. Many female celebrities get pitied for having a child-free life by choice. Successful women who have chosen a child-free life that they have been shamed for and it has only made them stronger in their decision.

Jennifer Aniston lives a child-free life and refuses to be pitied for it. I have worked too hard in this life and this career to be whittled down to a sad childless human, she told Marie Claire magazine.

Oprah Winfrey also chose not to have children, saying, If I had kids, my kids would hate me, because something in my life would have had to suffer, and it would probably have been them.

Helen Mirren waited to have kids and it never happened: It was not my destiny. I didnt care what people thought. It was only boring old men who would ask me. And whenever they went, What, no children? Well you better get on with it, old girl, Id say No! F**koff!. Nice one, Helen.

When they detect reluctance, parents say things like you have no idea what you are missing but that doesnt make sense. I see mothers everywhere and while I know its not the whole picture I get a clear sense of what it entails. Why would their lives change our minds? If we dont want what we see on the outside, why would we want what we see on the inside?

The endless stereotypes about women include the myths that we all dream of nurturing a child; although this stereotype is accurate for some women, it is not for all. In fact, there are many men who also suit this stereotype.

From a very young age, I have never seen a child in my future. I dont have a maternal bone in my body. I am going to college to get a degree to find a stimulating career path, one I do not want to give up or compromise on for a child. I shouldnt be expected to want a child because I have a uterus.

There are many reasons I dont want to be a parent. I never fully had a childhood myself having spent many of my early years looking after my autistic sister. To some degree, I have already experienced what being a mother is like and I can safely say its not for me.

I also worry that my child might have special needs and that as a result I would not be able to live the life I imagine for myself. My ambition in life is to have a full-time career not to be a full-time carer.

Seeing a woman who is resolutely childfree seems to seems to give people licence to call women selfish, self-absorbed, and shallow. There are many reasons these women do not want children. Pregnancy itself takes a serious toll on a persons life and it consumes the person. Fertility issues are often a reason as when faced with them, people can question the necessity of having kids.

There are a lot of expectations with having children: to be a perfect mother and to make perfect choices. Not everyone wants the pressure (I dont). And not all women are programmed with maternal instinct. Career ambitions can take priority and children do not fit into every lifestyle.

I have my reasons, but reasons should not be necessary. I shouldnt have to explain. Our choices about what we do with our bodies are deeply personal. We should stop pitying or putting down people who chose to have a child-free life.

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Why am I expected to have children just because I’m a woman? – Irish Times


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