Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About “I’ll Nevers” January 31, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

Whenever I get tired of hearing myself whine about all the things I’ll never get to experience because I’m childfree—feeling a second heartbeat within my body and beaming with pride when someone says “She’s just like you”—I find I can put an end to my self-pity party by thinking about some of the annoying things I’ll never do. This includes:

1.  I’ll never ruin another couple’s romantic dinner because I’ve let my toddler run amok in a nice restaurant.

2.  I’ll never keep an entire airplane full of stressed-out businesspeople and weary travelers awake with my screaming infant, because if I can block out her cries, surely they can make an effort.

3.  I’ll never insist that, because my child is actually the smartest/most talented/most gifted kid in the group, he should get special treatment.

4.  I’ll never have to schedule a vacation to coincide with school holidays, so I won’t be part of the masses of humanity standing in line in front of you to get into the museum/amusement park/restroom stall.

5.  I’ll never say the words, “How would you know? You’re not a mother.”

6.  I’ll never offend a stranger by asking him to hold my child while I lift up my shirt, fumble with snaps, and flash my breasts before taking the kid back for a public feeding.

7.  I’ll never saddle a colleague with extra work because I have kids.

8.  I’ll never blow off a friend because I have kids.

9.  I’ll never tell my husband to go take a cold shower because I’m worn out from taking care of his kids.

10.  And I’ll never, ever con extended family into going on a Disney cruise.

What’s on your list?

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


14 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About “I’ll Nevers””

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ChildfreeMe, Lisa Manterfield. Lisa Manterfield said: It Got Me Thinking…About "I'll Nevers": […]

  2. Christy Says:

    Haha. Good one.

    In fact, my husband and I are planning a trip to Disney World. He’s never been there and he’s such a big kid he really deserves to go. We’ll be at the park during the week — in May. The timing is an effort to avoid crowds (and to the extent possible) children. I have to say, I’m so relieved we can enjoy the trip without little ones of our own.

    I will never contribute plastic diapers to a landfill.

    I will never invite an infertile woman to a baby shower.

    I will never pay for orthodonture.

    In a public restroom, I will never say, “Don’t touch that”, “Sit down. Just sit.”, “Don’t open the door. I know you’re done, but I’m not.”, “DO NOT CRAWL UNDER THE STALL”, or “It’s not a mailbox, honey. Stay out of there.”

    I will never have to monitor anyone’s internet surfing/interests.

  3. ebc Says:

    Great outlook. At this point, I’ll never have to plan time with friends around or say not to coffee or cookouts due to the never ending cycle of feedings and naps.

  4. CJ Says:

    I’ll never bore/gross out anyone with endless discussions of poop or vomit.

  5. Mali Says:

    Oh these are great!

    I’ll never have to buy a gas-guzzling SUV “to fit in all the kids.”
    I will never imply an infertile woman has no meaning in life.
    I will never say “Christmas is just for kids.”
    I’ll never have only the one topic of conversation.
    I’ll never replace a good friend with the parents of my kids’ friends.

  6. Kathryn Says:

    I’ll never have to fight with a doctor or school over vaccines or health issues.

    I’ll never have to fight with a child about “food-like substances” such as McDonald’s junk or cheetos.

    I’ll never hurt another infertile/childless person by claiming that my life had no meaning until i was mama or how that the joy of seeing my child do ______ makes my life worth living.

    I WILL have the chance (and i’m trying to pluck up the courage) to be prepared to say to folks, “That is rude/clueless/insensitive etc.” or “You have no right to say that” when they say, “If you are childless you made that choice – there are SO MANY children who need homes,” or “Childless people are irresponsible,” or “You couldn’t possibly understand,” or the numerous other stupid things folks seem to pop out with.

  7. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    These are all BRILLIANT!

    I have one more (and I’ve heard several variations on this theme): I’ll never end a dinner party by announcing, “We’re trying for #2 and I’m ovulating today, so we have to duck out early. (wink-wink)”

    Kathryn — I’m right there with you. Please share with us when you DO respond with any of the above. I’m not sure I’m up to it yet, but I certainly think it!

  8. lmanterfield Says:

    Love these. May I add my own?

    If I decide to try a new hairstyle, or buy a pair of funky boots, or experiment with how I dress, I’ll never have to witness someone who I’ve loved and nurtured their whole lives disown me from embarrassment.

  9. Sue Says:

    I’ll never have to arrive at work with spit up or other child related mystery stains on my clothes.

    I’ll never have to be embarrassed by my toddler or young child telling a stranger in the checkout line that they are fat, short, or anything else unflattering.

    I’ll never have to baby proof my house and can have as many sharp corners on my furniture as I like.

    I’ll never have to deal with a leaky diaper of the worse kind in public or anywhere for that matter.

    I’ll never have to pay for someone elses education.

    I’ll never have to deal with finding all of the items on the dreaded yearly back to school supply list.

    I’ll never have to share my bed with other than my husband and possibly the dog.

  10. Elena Says:

    Love the one about public breast feeding, too 🙂

  11. Kay Eff Says:

    I play a different sort of “I’ll never…”

    When I find myself stressing about living this lifetime without ever experiencing Motherhood I comfort myself with the following thought-

    There are lots of things I’ll never experience…
    I will never know what it is like to be a man
    I will never know what it is like to be a prima ballerina
    I will never know what it is like to be an archeologist
    I will never know what it is like to be Bono (or Vincent Price or Oprah, or Einstein)

    I don’t sit around lamenting those other things. Because I made other choices that preclude them, but created the possibility for other things to manifest. It helps me stop lamenting about motherhood. Someday I may find myself saying “I was able to do (blank) precisely because I didn’t have children.”

    It comforts me, I hope it comforts you.


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