Childfree Reflections

With Marcia Drut-Davis
July 19th, 2013 by Marcia Davis

Living Childfree By Choice Weekend Reflections: 7/19/2013

Thank you so much to all the childfree men and women who sent in nominations for International Childfree Man and Woman of the Year.  The winner will be revealed on Non-Parents Day.  In case this is your first time celebrating, Non-Parents Day is August 1.  I hope you’re planning to celebrate your childfreedom this year. You can do it small, with a lovely dinner alone or shared with a caring heart or bigger with friends/family who support your choice.

I know I’ll be busy looking over the nominations with the rest of the childfree panel. I wanted to write this post to share some things on my mind having nothing to do with the contest..

The first thing is an important piece of advice on childfree dating.  I recently read about a childfree woman who got divorced from her husband, because she told him she didn’t want kids after they married.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted to have kids when she married him and never told him that important fact.  BIG MISTAKE! He didn’t stay with her.

I’m sharing this story so you don’t have to go through the same thing.  Be upfront when dating about your lack of desire to have children before things get serious.  If you aren’t sure about children you need to be honest and tell the other person how you feel.  This will save you a lot of heartache in the long run if your potential mate wants to be a parent. You may want to join a CF meetup or organization to insure you’ll meet like-minded people.

The second thing  is my response to a very inappropriate blog article that many of you have already vented about on Twitter.  According to this audacious article even though we choose not to have kids we need to help take care of other people’s children!. This counterpoint is on behalf of childfree men and women everywhere.

Point Counter-point:

Don’t Have Kids? Help Out Those Who Do!

Posted on Medium.com

Written by Elissa Strauss.

Point Counter-point by Marcia Drut-Davis, Author: Confessions of a Childfree Woman

 

When Ms. Strauss suggests to the childless or childfree-by-choice that all children should be our problem too, I had to sit back and breathe.  After regaining composure, I decided to bring facts to light apparently Ms. Straus never knew:

1. To suggest we, the childfree may have kids someday and feel the same way is ignorant. To threaten us with bad Karma is immature and ignorant. Just as parents make choices to have children and may feel happy, childfreedom is embraced and relished. People who may change their minds have many opportunities to have children. people who don’t like parenting, can’t get out of that choice easily.

2. Referring to her Whitney Houston quote, “Children are our future” although not cited as to where that quote came from, Ms. Strauss suggests it’s our responsibility to help a parent out! Has she seen the statistics of how many childfree/less people happily volunteer in a myriad of child-centered ways through organizations, mentoring or sending in their hard earned money? No Ms. Strauss. It’s not our responsibility to feel pressured to do anything for anyone’s children. Parents chose the career. Parents should take time to understand what that career entails and whether or not they can accomplish the demands or have what it takes to fulfill those needs if raising children. That’s why many of us never wanted it.

3. It’s true the US doesn’t have mandatory parental leave and falls short on reliable childcare.  Didn’t Ms. Strauss know that before she chose to become a parent? Sharing the feelings that we should have a communal approach to raising our children is ridiculous. There are many who, quite frankly don’t enjoy children. There are many who shouldn’t be near children. There are many who passionately care for children during the day in teaching, nursing or other child-centered careers and just want to chill when they get home.

4. As for getting negative attitudes when children are brought to restaurants, it’s not the children as much as the parents who seem to be clueless how to teach children behavior in public places. We must endure primal screams, parents allowing their darlings to walk to our tables for attention, smelly diapers and other awful experiences. If we say anything, we get the ugly stares. If we want to order a child’s portion because we’re older and can’t eat as much, or are students faced with limited income it’s not allowed.

5. Regarding parental leave and government- subsidized childcare, who pays for that? I guess we, the childfree/childless must do that too? To even mention reproductive rights getting more money is sad, in my opinion. Any money for pro-or con reproductive rights is from those lobbying for or against it.

6. Ms. Strauss finished her rant with “It’s as if everyone is telling us, Mom and Dad, you’re on your own.” I have no argument with that. Absolutely right! If you can’t take care of your own, can’t afford your own and can’t commit to the requirements of having a child… don’t! Please don’t tell those of us who can’t have, don’t want to have or shouldn’t have kids we’re responsible for your children.

Finally, I feel bad for Ms. Straus. She’s been the innocent victim of pronatalism. She’s probably heard from her youth when her first dolly was placed in her arms, having a baby is a biological destiny, filled with joy. If she’s a religious person, the mantra of “Go forth and multiply” has been drummed into her head. If she’s sees ads extolling this or that product with that adorable baby (having nothing to do with the product) she wants to have one of them. If she sees magazine covers with famous women showing off their huge bellies, she wants to be like that and get all the attention. She probably never had any realistic education in her schooling about the realities, not the myths of raising one child. I’m sure the joys of the childfree lifestyle were never mentioned as a viable choice.

 

I suggest Ms. Strauss rants at that and not us, the childfree/less people.

 

 

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Living Childfree By Choice Weekend Reflections: 7/19/2013”
  1. I’m not opposed to helping out parents when I selectively choose to do so, but it shouldn’t be an obligation. I’m reminded of the Bill Maher quote “I’m tired of being constantly, involuntarily deputized into the fight to keep your kids away from adult pleasures. ‘It takes a village.’ That’s just a saying. Us other villagers are busy, okay? I have other things to do in the village.”

    Maybe it’s true that parents in American don’t get as much assistance as in some other countries, but they do get benefits. In her article she says “Americans segregate our kids from larger society, not receiving much assistance from the community, more than pretty much everywhere else in the world.” I would have to disagree with the first part. Kids aren’t segregated from society. There are many places where kids get in free, restaurants where kids eat free, and so many businesses pride themselves on being “Family Friendly” which is fine BUT when a restaurant or lounge explicitly sets themselves up as being an Adult Only venue, parents get upset. I like kids, but there are times when I want to go somewhere that I know they’re not going to be, and the options for that are often limited.

  2. Good for all CFs.

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