Childfree Reflections

With Marcia Drut-Davis
July 29th, 2017

First Guest Post

Guest Blog Post:

Why Do People Question the Childfree Lifestyle?

BY LAUREN MANNING
We live in the year 2017. Ideally, we should be more open-minded and accepting of diverse lifestyle choices.  I have one question to ask… “If you’re someone who questioned an individual about why they chose the childfree lifestyle, why did you do it?” Keep that question in mind and kindly hear me out.

Ever since I was a kid, I never wanted my own children.  It never appealed to me. Yet almost everyone I knew had them. I thought it was something everyone did. I feared growing up because I thought parenting was inevitable for me. The thought terrified me.

I had to do volunteer hours in order to graduate high school. These volunteer hours included day care working with young children. I found myself extremely withdrawn, and frankly, very irritable because I didn’t want to be there. I expressed these feelings and was told, “It’s different if it’s your own kids. You’ll change your mind”. Or, my favorite one: “You’re young. What do you know?” The idea of kids was always presented as such a beautiful thing.

Fast-forwarding a couple years. I found myself away from home and living in shelters due to unfortunate circumstances. During this time, I endured a fair amount of emotional trauma. One particularly ugly event was being sexually assaulted. I was able to defend myself and get away with no physical harm done. However, psychologically, deep, emotional scars formed.

There were many sleepless nights with “what ifs”. One of these “what ifs” included the thought of, “what if he succeeded in assaulting me and got me pregnant?” I had a rude awakening in the sense that I learned not all pregnancy happens under ideal circumstances and needless to say it scared the hell out of me.

During my time in the shelters, I met a lot of women who had or were expecting kids. Some were very good mothers; others are very disengaged. Some of their kids were terribly neglected or not given proper care. I wondered if they chose parenting because it was something everyone did.

Reflecting on my childhood, I didn’t want to be responsible for someone else’s suffering. I wasn’t parent material! At least by choosing a childfree lifestyle, only I’m affected. If I had a child and still found myself withdrawn, I’m not only impacting myself, but another life too.

I got myself out of that life on the streets and into a job and good environment. Of course I had problems adjusting and feeling like I belonged with the rest of society.  Eventually, I overcame those things. However, the memories of what I saw in the shelters never left me. Some are positive. Others are negative. Positive, in the sense of what I learned. Negative in the way that some of them are really unpleasant.

I met a guy and we were together for 5 years. We had a pretty good relationship where we could goof off and laugh with each other. It was comfortable. Three years in and the topic of children came up. He really wanted them and I didn’t. We spent 2 years debating with each other over the subject. Others around me continually told me the same clichés of, “you’ll change your mind if you love him”.

Though you may think you’re being helpful or insightful by explaining your take on why I should breed, you’re actually doing quite the opposite. To a person like myself, who chooses a childfree lifestyle, it sounds like you’re bullying me. Every time you do that, I feel as though I’m backed into a corner. Trust me, it’s not a nice feeling.

He and I decided to split since neither of us was going to change our minds. It sucked saying goodbye. However it was also freeing for me.  Letting go of that relationship was one less thing backing me into that corner.

I still get those clichés thrown at me. You know….the selfish, irresponsible, unloving, uncaring meaningless life I’m facing choosing the childfree lifestyle. My favorite cliché is still, “You’re young. What do you know?”. Answer: a lot more then you’re giving me credit for.

So? What can you do?

Before you go ahead and question a person’s choice, I urge you to think about the can of worms you’re potentially opening up. For those who still choose ignorance feeling everyone’s destiny is to procreate, there’s already enough ignorance in the world. You don’t need to add to it. If you’re unwilling to listen to what someone else has to say, then don’t ask!

I’m proud to be childfree by choice. I look forward to helping others on this planet and enjoying my life to the best of my ability. I’m not better or worse than you. I’m me. Please leave my personal choices alone as I’ll leave yours alone too.

April 9th, 2016

Facing Another Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is approaching. I remember my mom. She was wonderful. However, it was a crapshoot. I won. Many don’t. Many are born to women lured into the myth of being a mother. From the time their first doll is placed, they’re filled with the game of being a mommy.
It’s not a game. It’s a choice too many take for granted without any clue of reality. There are no courses, exams or honest revelations about mothering. Because of pronatalism, which exalts the status of parenting in the media, arts, music and society, women dive in for that exalted title. Many never stop to question, “Am I parent material? Do I have enough money to raise a child? Do I know what the lifestyle really means? Would I be happier not raising children?”
If we’re honest, some should never be a mother.
I’m against Mother’s Day. I applaud those doing a good job in their profession as a parent. What? Mothering a profession? In my opinion, if it were thought of that way, there would be happier children and parents. Child abuse could be diminished. Sadly, the ones who say, ”I don’t want to be a mother” are often shunned, maligned or deemed to be immature, destined to change their minds. Or, worse yet, destined to regret their selfish choice. The ones who face infertility are seen as barren, doomed to face a life of incompleteness. We can never mention that many parents may have regrets too.
For me, I celebrate the freedom to carefully make life choices. If mothering equals nurturing, then I’ve done that. I’ve nurtured those I taught, my rescued dog, garden, husband and best of all, myself. Selfish? No. Smart. I happily, without any regrets at 73, chose the childfree lifestyle.

December 27th, 2015

The Joys of a Childfree Group Cruise

Our first of what we hope to be annual childfree group cruises, was a huge success. Fourteen people met as strangers and left as extended family members
It took me an entire year to plan this, find the right cruise line, and get Laura Scott our awesome guest speaker.
The highlights of the cruise, as shared by the people attending, was first… the choice in using Norwegian Cruise Lines. Thanks to K&E International Travel and visiting the actual ship, “The Getaway”, it was a good choice. They embrace the freestyle cruising idea meaning, no first and second seatings for dining, no requirement of jackets or dressing every night and tons of choices on board. The food, service, cabins and entertainment were stellar. The shore excursions were fun. (So was staying on -board when everyone got off!)
The next best thing was simply meeting each other. There were two days at sea to meet as a group. Laura Scott, Author of “Two IS Enough: A Couples Guide to the Childfree Lifestyle” and “The Childfree Documentary”, was a fabulous supporter of teaching how to handle the naysayers who incorrectly label childfree people as selfish or immature. We laughed at some role playing and felt empathy for those who are shunned by family or friends.
I shared my “60 Minutes” taping from 1974 where, “pardon our perversion for airing this on Mother’s Day” was heard by Mike Wallace. Sadly, it was agreed that not much has changed! Laura shared a piece of her documentary.
When we met to say good by, we all agreed that a memory of a lifetime was created. For some, they will no longer fear saying they are childfree by choice. For others, they still must fear their truths as their professions may be in jeopardy.
I’m already planning another adventure for December of 2016. It will probably be on the newest NCL ship, The Escape. We already have the first speaker, Jesse Nochols who is a MAN! If remotely interested, place your name on the NOKIDCRUISE@ gmail.com mailing list. It will be a first come, first served basis once I have the dates and cabins locked in. If you’re single, this cruise lines offers a single studio cabin! (Unheard of in other cruise lines.)

This site had been closed down due to a very bad hacking. It took months to get us back. We are back, proud and excited to reach your hearts.

Marcia Drut-Davis