Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday: On Being [Childless] February 2, 2011

I could whine about the hassle of moving, but that would be too easy. The memory of the blowout on Highway 5 is fading, the numerous cock-ups (such as packing my computer, but leaving the keyboard and mouse behind) are being resolved, and Felicity (my cat) survived the trauma and even came out from under the bedding today. But I do have something on my mind.

I’ve been thinking about being “bitter and childless.” It’s a horrible expression, but the two words so often get put together. I don’t think of myself as being bitter about my childlessness, but sometimes I hear a bitter edge in my posts here. Or more to the point, I can see how someone might interpret what I post as bitterness. That’s not what I’m about here.

By the same token, I don’t exactly celebrate my childlessness either. I’m not glad I don’t have kids; but I’m no longer sad either. Yes, sometimes when I see harassed mothers I think that I had a narrow escape, but I’m not really relieved by my escape. I’m not sad and not glad; I just am.

Maybe I should change today’s title from Whiny Wednesday to Waffle-y Wednesday, but there, that’s what’s on my mind today.

You?

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7 Responses to “Whiny Wednesday: On Being [Childless]”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    I’m not AS bitter as i was a year ago. However, it is still there. FB comments like: “He is such a great dad” and “My little baby is growing up!” (she’s 4 months) and “I told myself the first time the kitties touched baby they were out of here…bye bye kitties!” or how being a grandma is such a blessing – comments like these still elicit a “Well, isn’t that just precious!” (sarcastically) or “Goody for you!” internal response from me. I DON’T post them. As long as i have that response (and i fight it but it isn’t going away), well, bitter is a companion.

    My crank today? I posted it yesterday. It is about how household help expects to be paid well but doesn’t do the work for which they were paid. I was pretty grumpy.

  2. Mali Says:

    There are lots of bitter mothers about, bitter about their figures, their lives, their lack of freedom, their lazy husbands and ungrateful children, their lost careers or other opportunities. Unfortunately, those two words (bitter and mother) are never strung together. And so we’re left with bitter and childless. Yuck! Oh – and it’s always about women, never about men. So just another discriminatory phrase that seems to be accepted by society. I’m bitter about that – probably more than being bitter about being childless!!

  3. Kelly Says:

    I like the way you put it, that you’re not happy about this but you’re no longer sad either. I am working on getting to that place. Right now I’m surrounded by neighbours and friends who are due any day now, and a sister that posts things like “I love being a Mom!” on Facebook. Mostly I just want to crawl into bed and hide under my pillow, but sometimes I can’t help but feel bitter too. And feeling bitter is not a nice feeling at all.

  4. Sue Says:

    This childless person is feeling bitter today because I’m paying more taxes than people with children. Yes, we all get the same standard deduction, and I know children are expensive, but everyone knows kids are expensive and they get thousands back each year just for reproducing. I pay taxes for their kids’ schools too. I know several families that get back more in a return than they even pay out every year. How is that possible??? Is the government only keeping money from the childless??? How can our country get out of debt if we giving people back more than they pay in??? My husband and I both claim 0 and have extra money taken out, we donate to several charities throughout the year, and if it weren’t for the fact that we own a home, we’d OWE the government money! This is not a rant about the government. I’m proud to be an American and pay my fair share, I just don’t get how we pay thousands in and get screwed every year just because we don’t have children. Too bad I just missed the mark for the allowable deductions for medical costs. I could have written off all of that money I gave to the IVF clinic.

    Thanks I feel a little better now.

  5. Marcie Says:

    Exactly! I just am. Fortunately most my friends are now between kids out of the house and grandkids. I am trying to enjoy these fleeting years.

    Bitter? Maybe. I still don’t attend baby showers.

  6. Rach Says:

    i pray that i get to that place you find yourself at “not sad and not glad”.

    one day, one day

    ~x~

  7. Elena Says:

    @Mali: Thanks. That was an eye-opener for me, even though it seems kind of obvious. I hadn’t seen is that way before.


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