I am so glad I read your memoir! As a fellow teacher, I have continually struggled with my decision not to have kids – NOT because I doubt my decision, but because society sends the pervasive message that parents are good, nurturing people (which implies that non-parents, or at least those who choose to be non-parents, are not). How can I be an effective teacher and mentor with zero desire to have children? Your book showed me that, yes, I can be a compassionate, attentive, phenomenal teacher – just the way that I am. Thank you so very much for sharing your innermost feelings and life stories. I have now embraced my choice and myself.
Keep on keeping on,
I finished your book a few days ago and enjoyed it very much, I agree with the person who stated on your blog that you are a pioneer for the child-free. Your book was a new child-free book that I had never read before and liked the insights you offered.
I have put The Baby Trap my wish list and will check out a copy or buy an out of print copy from Amazon.com or another online bookseller.
I was sorry to read that your Step-Daughters are estranged from your Husband and you. That must be very painful. Thanks for sharing that with the reader. I understand the true reason why you are child-free now after reading the book. You enjoyed life so much and had so much to do. You gave back in so many ways to your students throughout the years. I enjoyed reading the stories of the friendships you formed with your past students that survive to the current day.
Thanks so much for writing this for us. It is needed and will be read by many.
Dear Marcia,I just finished reading “Confessions of a Childfree Woman” and I, too, want to thank you for your honesty and bravery.I have never felt so connected to someone whom I’ve never met. I have known since I was 16 that I wasn’t going to raise biological children. However, everyone always said I would change my mind once I got older, fell in love, got married, bought a house, etc. In my 20’s I felt I had to move away from Northern Minnesota to a place with broader definitions and more open-minded people. After a couple years of moving around on the East Coast, my now husband brought us to Long Island. A place that I have found to have smaller definitions and people who feel their opions should matter. I spend my life telling people we aren’t planning to have children. I get so angry! No one would ever ask a man, “how’s your penis today?” But people feel very comfortable asking a woman, “have you used your uterus today?”
While I’m lucky to have many friends who also remain childfree by choice, I am the only step-mom I know. I have a wonderful husband (married 2 years, together for 9) who has 2 lovely children. Like your step-children, their mother has custody and they are 4 years apart in age. While I haven’t experienced the challenges you discuss, I have had my own. I do feel that the children put undo stress on my relationship with my husband. We made the decision very early in our relationship that we would not procreate together, and as we spend time with his children, I am thankful we didn’t. We do not see eye to eye on the raising of chidlren, especially in today’s society. Thank you for starting the conversation. Every relationship is different, and I have not found information to help frame my particular situation. I’m 34 and my step-children are 16 and 12. While I do love them, I have found I have a 3-day tolerance before it starts to go downhill very quickly. I find I have to escape from the situation, and in steps the guilt.
Thank you for helping me to find peace in my decision. I will use the resources gathered in your appendix to help as I move through this challenging world of childfree by choice. I, too, believe you were a pioneer for those of us to come later. Thank you for speaking out and being a beacon of hope for those who are newly married and still in our child-bearing years. Your book will be a great source of comfort as I continue to navigate this decision.