Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

The Great Childless/Childfree Search November 15, 2010

On Friday’s post, Kathryn added a comment with this article about childless women. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, among U.S. women in the 40-44 age range, close to 1-in-5 is childless (and I suspect these statistics are similar across other age groups and in other developed countries.)

Kathryn’s question was: Where are all these women?

It’s an excellent question and I know that most of us have been in situations where we’ve felt as if we’re the only childless person in a room full of mothers armed with photos and stories. But apparently, if there are 10 women in a room, statistics suggest that we should be able to find at least other woman like us. Imagine how many childless/childfree women go to the grocery store every day, or to the airport, or to a big football game!

So I’m throwing out a challenge this week. Find the other childless/childfree woman in the room! Tune up your non-mom radar, pay attention to the tell-tale signs, and sniff out your tribe. I want each and every one of you to find one new childless/childfree woman this week. You don’t have to talk to her about it, you don’t have to tell her about yourself, you just have to find her and make some contact, even if it’s just to ask where she got her shoes.

Post your successes here. We have all found one another, so now it’s time to find the rest of us out there. Good luck and happy hunting.

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9 Responses to “The Great Childless/Childfree Search”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    I did a post after the comment i made here: http://kateekat.blogspot.com/2010/11/thoughts-on-saturday-morning.html

    When i actually began touting up the number of women i know who are childless (nearing 40 or over that number) i came up with 24! In speaking to my hubby about it, he reminded me of 3 others i’d forgotten. I think there are more, still. And these are women i know of or have met in “real” life. If i added bloggy friends, there would be so many more still.

    So then i started thinking about WHY i don’t think of these women as childless/childfree. I think it is because we haven’t a common thread. So many women i know who are childless don’t have a central drawing point the way mamas do.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Wow, 24. Thinking about my own friends, mine are also scattered around my various circles of friends–work, writers, exercise buddies, etc. I love that we have other things in common, not just kids.

      I think I will try your exercise and add up my friends.

  2. Mali Says:

    In my small, immediate circle of friends (who I see at least once every month or so), there are three women who are childless/childfree. I know C’s story in detail, but not the other two, though they know about me. It’s not something we talk about, because we’re friends for other reasons. I’ll let you know if I find another childless/free woman but I can’t see it happening.

    The good news is that as we get older, the kids grow up and leave home, and our friends come back to us.

  3. Aja Gold Says:

    I made a list of the people without kids that I have met through the years, 32! Sometimes I feel like it was a foreshadowing/premonition of what I would be going through now. I made the list to remind myself of all the wonderful, accomplished people I know without kids. It’s a small consolation.

  4. Pamela Says:

    Oh, It’s on … the non-mom radar is like breathing for me now…! I must live in a particularly fertile region of the world though as it’s proven quite a challenge to find my people in real life…

  5. Mali Says:

    I found one!! I renewed an acquaintance (after many years) at a business breakfast this morning. And I realise now, she doesn’t have kids. Yay.

  6. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    I have to admit, I entered into this challenge with trepidation. The two childfree women I’ve become friends with since moving to a new city BOTH got pregnant within months of meeting me! I’m like a curse on myself! However, I haven’t given up hope…and you know what? I realized the really nice gal I see at the gym every morning is childfree, and I just realized that one of my favorite clients is childfree. So I’m making an effort to reach out just a bit more to each of them. Holding my breath, crossing my fingers. Thanks for encouraging us to get out their and find our people.

  7. lmanterfield Says:

    I’m somehow encouraged by all your scores and tallies. I also have a good number of childfree friends and in my immediate circle of five trusted neighbors, only one has children.

    I haven’t made any new CF/CL friends this week (maybe because I’ve barely left my office) but I have my radar on for sure.


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