Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener September 23, 2011

Pamela at Silent Sorority posted a wonderful story yesterday about the response she received from her recent Open Salon article about being a non-mom, Dispatch from Hell: It’s not all bad.

 

I found it encouraging that so many readers embraced her decision regarding adoption, and I was especially wowed by her own mother’s open-mindedness, when she wrote: “I’ve never understood why people automatically think that because a couple doesn’t have a child of their own, they will, of course, adopt. It’s like expecting a man or woman who never married to become a priest or a nun.” Well said, Mom!

I also laughed out loud (as did my husband, who has grown children) at a comment from the father of a “stay-at-home 23 year-old” who wrote: “No doubt it is a great pleasure watching your child grow, […] but if the second ten years came first, there would be no second children.”

As if to prove this point, I opened up my newspaper this morning and found myself both laughing and despairing at this article about three 19 year-old “boys,” who have just managed to wreck their lives through sheer stupidity. I’m sure their parents are very proud.

Yes, being a non-mom can be painful, sad, frustrating, or all of the above, but even so, the grass isn’t always greener on the parenting side of the fence.

 

Expressing Motherhood – Part III February 26, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about going to see my friend in a show called Expressing Motherhood. I wrote a post about my trepidation and facing my demons head-on, and a follow-up about my surprise reaction to the show.

Mali left this comment:  

“What a difference it would have made if the performance had […] included the story of one infertile woman. We would all have felt included then, and positive towards the performance.”

Great suggestion, I thought, so I contacted the producers, and to cut a long story short, when the show reopens in April with a new cast, yours truly will be out there flying the non-mom flag.

Ok, so I’m pretty excited about this, but I bought fresh scallops from the fishmonger today and it’s almost dinner time, so I’ll keep it brief. Just know that this won’t be the last you’ll hear about this. I’m really pleased that the producers were open to this idea and I’m nervous but excited about having a captive audience of moms to hear my story. My hope is to be able to open a few eyes and maybe get people thinking a little about their own friends and family who don’t have children. It’s going to be interesting.

So, here are the basic deets, for any of you who happen to be in the Los Angeles area and think you might be up to seeing the show:

Expressing Motherhood

Mother’s Day Show (Yup, that’s right!)

April 27, 28, 29 & 30

May 4, 5, 6 & 7

Elephant Space

6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles

Tickets are $20 from www.Brownpapertickets.com, and if you buy on March 1 and use the code “Five” you can save $5.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

Expressing Motherhood Report February 3, 2011

As I mentioned last Thursday, I went to see my friend Holly in her show Expressing Motherhood last weekend. I got myself dolled up, drove to Hollywood, circled the dodgy neighborhood until I found parking, and took a seat in the 4th row.

I decided I was going to get past my hang-ups and do this for my friend, but about ten minutes before the show, I suddenly thought, “Oh, God. What am I doing here?” The audience was about 95% women, and I’d guess from the conversations going on around me, about 95% of them were mothers. And there I sat, on my own, wondering what the hell I had been thinking. But then the lights went down and I had no choice but to sit it out.

For the next two hours 13 mothers told stories and sang songs, but here’s what was really interesting. To me, they weren’t 13 mothers, they we simply 13 women who just happened to be mothers. Granted, some of the stories, particularly the funny ones, were about the ups and downs of raising kids, but I was able to laugh just as easily as the mothers in the audience.

There were stories about relocating to a safer friendlier city, about becoming a 30-something widow, and about the funny side of living with Stage 4 Breast Cancer (and yes there really is a funny side!) One woman talked about reconnecting with the Chinese heritage that her father had eschewed in the name of Westernization, and another talked about the effects of her husband’s job loss.

I could relate to all of their stories in some way, or at least see the humor or pathos (although I’ll admit that during one particular story, the only dry eye in the house was mine, but that may have been because I’d steeled myself for the show and perhaps closed myself off a bit. Or maybe I’m just hard-hearted. Whatever.) The point is that yes, I was a lone non-mom in a sea of mothers, but we were all (or at least 95% of us) were women, and 100% of us were human beings, and we can all relate to that. Being a mom, or a non-mom, is only a part of who we are.

This particular show has closed now, but another show with a new set of performers will be coming soon, and I may even go back.

 

Valentine’s Week Blog Tour January 28, 2011

Filed under: Fun Stuff — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I’m planning a trip. I won’t be heading off somewhere tropical with my sweetheart, though; instead, I’m taking a virtual tour of some of my favorite childless/childfree/non-mom/cool women blogs.

For the whole week of February 14th, I’ll be popping up on other people blogs for interviews, Q&A’s, and podcasts. I’ll be talking about the pros and cons of the childfree life as well as some of difficulties of coming to terms with that life. There’ll be contests and prizes and who knows what other fun stuff.

The idea is to connect as many related blogs as possible and introduce readers of all the blogs to each other’s. No idea if it’s going to work, but I’m looking forward to the adventure.

Right now I’m compiling a list of stops, so if you have a favorite blog (and yes, nominating your own blog is perfectly okay) post a link in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

Now I just need to figure out how to get bumper stickers to show off all the places I’ve been.

 

Mom Clothes? No Thanks! October 8, 2010

Filed under: Children,The Childfree Life: Issues and Attitudes — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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I just received a new clothing catalog in the mail from a company I’ve never heard of before. (How do I get on these lists?) Thumbing through, I realized that every other model was posing in a scene of family bliss—staggeringly good looking husband and adorable cherub-like child, faithful family dog and adorable cherub-like child, or idyllic home and (you guessed it) adorable cherub-like child. AND the models were all tiny skinny things who didn’t look old enough to have a brood of cherub-like kids. It was like playing Where’s Waldo? looking for myself in there.

The good news in all this is that I hated the clothes. There wasn’t one thing I even remotely liked in the catalog. They were mom clothes and as I am not a mom I don’t feel the need to wear gaudy print smocks and modest necked sweaters. Another perk of being a non-mom.

Now to get myself off this mailing list.

 

27 More Days ‘Til Halloween October 4, 2010

Is it really October already? My goodness this year has flown. Back in May, during our discussions about that holiday, someone mentioned Halloween as being their second least favorite holiday as a non-mom. I must say I vacillate between loathing and loving Halloween. In years past I have gone out of town, or at least out of the house, to avoid all the impish cherubs begging for candy on my doorstep. Sometimes the cute factor is just too much to bear. Other years I’ve stocked up on candy and joyously given handfuls to every sized kid in the neighborhood. Hey, I never claimed to be logical or rational about my childlessness.

This year, the jury is still out. Maybe I’ll pull out my skull lights and Marcus the Carcass, my glow in the dark lawn ornament, and show some enthusiasm…or maybe I’ll turn out all the lights and pretend I’m not home. As I don’t have kids, the prerogative is mine.

What about you? Do you love or hate Halloween? Is it a holiday for kids or is it a better holiday without kids in tow?

 

Childless and Happy. Reason #17: Camp Cards September 7, 2010

Since making my “decision” to remain childless, I’ve come across plenty of reasons to feel good about it. Here’s the latest good reason: Camp cards.

While out shopping for several belated birthday cards (you know who you are and I’m really sorry, but they’re now in the mail) I came across an entire section of the card shop devoted to camp cards. Curious, because I love a little campy humor in my greetings cards, I pressed in for a closer look, and recoiled in horror! Wrong kind of camp!  What I faced was half a wall of sappy cards with things like, “Even though you’re away at camp, you’re never far from our hearts,” and “We miss you. Hurry home from camp.”

My first thought was, “You have got to be kidding me. Is there no event that the greetings card industry won’t take advantage off?”

I answered that by making a mental list of all the childless/childfree events and milestones that will NEVER see an appropriate greetings card. “Happy Non-Mom’s Day.” “Sorry to hear about your crappy ovaries.” “Congratulations on your decision to become a social pariah!” (It was a heavy PMS day and I was a little bit cranky, ok?”)

But my parting thought, as I scurried away from the offending section was, “How sad that these cards exist. What a shame that modern day parents need to assuage their guilt for packing their kids off to camp. Thank goodness I’ll never have to buy a card like that.”

It’s a small reason to be glad, but the harder I look, the more good reasons I find.

 

 
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