Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Have Your Say…Quietly April 30, 2010

Since this blog officially launched about a month ago, there have been some great conversations happening, and I’ve been pleased to hear people say how glad they are to have a place to come and talk with like-minded women. But behind the scenes something

interesting has been going on. I’ve had lots of e-mails and “off-blog” contact with readers who’ve shared some really thought-provoking comments. With each one I’ve thought, “Oh, I wish you’d posted that in the comments.”

Finally, a couple of readers admitted that they were afraid to post their opinions in public.

Afraid? I thought. Why?

But after snooping around some other blogs and websites, I can see why. Out there in the blogosphere, I found plenty of radical thinkers of all factions, from child-haters who despise “breeders,” to mothers of 12 (or 19) who firmly believe it’s Gods will that they continue to produce baby after baby. And they’re all pretty vocal about their points-of-view. Getting into those discussions can be intimidating.

The biggest danger in putting your opinion out in public is that someone’s always going to disagree with you. But by the same token there will be plenty more people who’ll read what you have to say, and think, “Yes!! That’s what I’ve been feeling. Thank you!”

So, I urge you: Speak up, Sisters. We childless women are not to be pitied, or sneered at, and, most of all, we don’t need fixing! For every time someone has told you you’re selfish or you’ll regret not having children, or suggested you just adopt, there is another woman out there who has actually walked a mile in your shoes. Even when our dearest friends and family aren’t hearing us, there’s always someone else out there that gets it. So speak up and be heard. Please.

And for those of you who are still a little stage shy, look in the top right hand corner of this page and you’ll see a new button called, “Suggest Topics”; click on that and you can send your comments and opinions directly to me via e-mail. I’ll take them and weave them into a post (without using your name, of course,) so that you can still be heard, even if you’re only whispering. 😉

 

Spoken Word Event: Spark Off Rose “Children” Show April 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am

Next Monday, May 3rd, I will be performing at Spark Off Rose, a monthly Spoken Word event in Santa Monica. The theme for this month’s show, is Children, a subject on which I have a thing or two to say.

If you’re in the LA area, please come down and see the show. I’d love to meet you over the complimentary wine and nibbles. It’s a lot of fun and a great venue to hear stories.

Check out their website for reservation details.

 

Whiny Wednesday April 28, 2010

Filed under: Childfree by Choice,Uncategorized,Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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I’m sitting in a quiet cafe with a pot of Jasmine tea brewing and a gentle breeze blowing down the valley and in the back door behind me, and I’m trying to write my Whiny Wednesday post. There’s no rush; I have plenty of time. I have no one to collect from school and no baseball practice to shuttle to and from. Nobody’s counting on me provide nourishment or even junk food snacks. Nobody needs me to change a diaper or resolve a dispute over a remote control. Right now, this minute, no one is relying on me, and right now, this minute, I’m glad for that.

So, let’s turn Whiny Wednesday upside down this week. Tell me: What are you grateful for today?

 

Do We Have a Responsibility to Reproduce? April 27, 2010

I’m sure if you’ve ever told anyone of your intentions regarding motherhood, you’ve heard a response something along the lines of: “Oh, but you’d be such a great mother,” or “The world needs people like you to reproduce.” It comes with the suggestion that if you’re intelligent, law-abiding, relatively sane, and wouldn’t be seen dead on Jerry Springer, you have some kind of obligation to society to contribute your genes to the world. But what is your obligation really?

As women of the 21st century, we still fight the battles our mothers and grandmothers fought. We may not be fighting for the right to vote or for women’s liberation, but we’re still fighting for equality in pay, for the right to marry who we want, and to have full control over what we do to our own bodies. And we still tussle with the wife/mother roles we’ve had passed down to us. Many of us still take on the majority of the household chores and make sure all the family birthday cards go out on time. And yet we’re striving to succeed on our own terms, trying to make a difference, and trying not to be labeled simply Wife/Mother/Grandmother.

But the fact remains that there can never really be equality in motherhood. Women bear children. We feed them. We are naturally the nurturers. Motherhood isn’t a task we can trade with a male partner: “I’ll install the new sprinkler system if you birth the babies.”

So as women, do we have a responsibility to reproduce? The world is overpopulated, polluted, and crowded, but if we all stop reproducing, the human race can’t go on? So what is our responsibility to the continuation of mankind. Tell us your thoughts on this subject.

 

Win Flowers for Un-Mother’s Day April 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Life Without Baby @ 6:01 am

For many of us, Mother’s Day is the holiday from hell. Family brunches, special church services, flowers and gifts, all honoring the mothers around us. And for those of who are childless, not by choice, it’s a reminder of where we are and where we want or wanted to be.

So, in honor of Un-Mothers everywhere, Life Without Baby will be sending Un-Mother’s Day flowers to one lucky member. The winner will be drawn at random from all LWB members on Saturday May 8th.

If you’re not yet a member you can join here. It’s free, of course, and it’s a great way to connect with other like-minded women, AND be entered in the drawing to win flowers. Good Luck!

P.S. Life Without Baby doesn’t collect member information, won’t use it to try and sell you things you don’t want, or even things you do want, and certainly won’t give it anyone else to use. Members are able to sign in, talk to one another, and find out when fun things happen, like prize drawings. That’s it.

 

Guest Blogger: Kathleen Guthrie April 24, 2010

The latest relationship-with-potential had ended, and I was again lamenting the fact that I was nowhere near realizing my dreams of love, marriage, and having a child. “Maybe you’re supposed to birth a book instead,” my friend suggested.

I should what?! Like that was supposed to fill the aching hole in my heart?

A decade later, and I still can’t come up with a witty response.

As I breezed through my 30s and early 40s, other friends (and their mothers, and my mother’s friends, and women I’d just met at mutual friends’ baby showers) offered up alternate ways I might satisfy my desire to have a child of my own: Become a preschool/Sunday school teacher. Open a day care center. Volunteer to hold sick babies in a NICU. Become the world’s best aunt ever.

I embraced the last suggestion while I built a successful business, nurtured friendships, traveled, and eventually entered into a loving, built-to-last relationship with a wonderful man. In time, I made my peace with the childless role Mother Nature had planned for me.

Still… I wonder. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? I spent the first half of it longing to be pregnant, to experience my body operating at its highest function, to create the miracle of life. I had daydreamed about soccer games, Girl Scout meetings, and family game nights. I had looked forward to raising good humans and sharing them with the world. While I consider my life today “full” and blessed and very happy, I wonder if there’s anything out there for me to do that will be as fulfilling as being a mother.

And so, sister-mentors, I ask for your wisdom and guidance. What other paths have you explored or chosen? What gives your life-without-children meaning? Have you found fulfillment by creating works of art, expanding your definition of “family,” doing volunteer work, or embracing your many freedoms? And what do you say to friends or strangers who unintentionally hurt you with their suggestions for how to make the most of a childfree life?

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in AAA’s Westways, GRIT, Real Simple, and 805 Living magazines. Read “How to Be the World’s Best Aunt Ever” on eHow.com.

 

Just When You Think….

Filed under: Childfree by Choice — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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At Trader Joe’s this morning, the cashier asked me if my eggs had been checked. I blinked at him for a full three seconds before I realized what he meant.

Sometimes you think you have this whole childless thing under control–and sometimes you realize you just don’t.

 

Top 10 Birth Control Alternatives Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About April 23, 2010

Not all birth control is pharmaceutical; sometimes the world around us is deterrent enough. Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at some alternative birth control options that you won’t hear about from your doctor.

10. A week on a Disney Family Cruise

9. Water cooler talk about stretch marks, sleepless night, mucus plugs, sagging boobs, leaky bladders, and expanded feet

8. A cross-country flight sandwiched in the window seat next to a barfy, colicky, whiny, wriggly baby and his clueless mother

7. Diapers and their accompanying aromas

6. Finding $700 a month to put away for college tuition—for each kid

5. Your friend’s “Meet the baby and watch my birth video” party

4. The invention of musical toys

3. Your neighbor’s manipulative, destructive, tantrum-throwing, bad mannered, cat-terrorizing grandchildren

2. Lizzie Borden

1. Kate Gosselin

That’s my top ten. What’s on your list of things that make you thankful you don’t have children, or put you you off ever having them? If you’re a mom reader sneaking in, what’s the biggest surprise that no one warned you about?

 

Birth Control Comparison April 22, 2010

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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It’s been at least 10 years since I had or needed to have a discussion with my doctor about birth control. Prior to that, I’d more or less stuck with the same method for almost 15 years, so it was something of an education when I found this chart from Women’s Health comparing all the current methods of birth control available. From the descriptions, I interpreted that the Pill is considered temporary birth control for women who plan to get pregnant within 5 years. I don’t recall ever having that discussion with my doctor, but that’s all water under the bridge now.

If you’re reconsidering your current birth control method, this chart might be useful.

 

Whiny Wednesday April 21, 2010

I’m tired of the media’s assumptions about women in relation to children. TIME magazine recently ran a special on Women’s Health and the front cover showed a woman (quite a tired-looking woman, I might add) laying in the grass, covered in children. Why is it automatically assumed that women come along with children? What about the rest of us? Do we women without children not count, too? Had it been a Men’s Health special would the photo have been of a wiped out, stressed out father? Probably not.

There’s no escaping the media’s assumptions—even on this site. If you’ve come through the main Life Without Baby site, I’m sure you’ve noticed the Google Ads. This morning’s ads included announcements for a sale at a kids’ store, a mommy support group, and how to adopt a newborn quickly! People, you are barking up the wrong tree.

So, along with today’ whine comes an apology: Please forgive the wholly inappropriate ads. This is a new site and some of the kinks are still being worked out, so please bear with me while I figure out how to make the ads go away, or at least be more appropriate for our members.

It’s Whiny Wednesday, time let loose your inner two-year-old. What’s your gripe?