Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It’s a zoo out there July 15, 2011

Last weekend, Mr. Fab and I visited the Oregon Zoo. It was a beautiful day and we visited the elephants, marveled at the lions, and had a very cool, fun time hanging out in the bat house. I saw Naked Mole Rats, almost saw the critically endangered Amur Leopard, and learned why tigers have white spots on the backs of their ears. When it got too hot, we stopped in a café for a cool drink and snack, and when we’d seen enough zoo we took the MAX back to our hotel and had a pleasant afternoon nap.

If you’re still trying to reconcile the idea that you’ll never be a mother, the zoo is a hard place to visit. Kids far outnumber adults and it can be an emotional minefield with all the cute doe-eyed babies peering at you from their strollers at every turn.

On the other hand, if you’re starting to come to terms with being childfree and looking for some benefits of not having kids, I can strongly recommend a visit to the zoo. For every sweet cherub, you’ll find a red-faced bawling toddler, or a demanding preteen tapping on the glass of the chimpanzee enclosure right next to the sign that says; “Don’t tap on the glass.” Most of the parents at the zoo looked fried, as if they’d rather be anywhere else, and I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit smug, because Mr. Fab and I chose to be there, and chose exactly when we wanted to go home.

When you’re ready to look for the silver lining of being childfree, trust me, you’ll find plenty of examples, including the joy of an adult trip to the zoo.

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4 Responses to “It’s a zoo out there”

  1. Julie Says:

    Great post! When we were first entering the childfree-not-by-choice life, my eyes seemed to focus on all the cute, smiling babies around me, and I would feel immensely sad and angry. Now, though, my eyes seem to focus on the haggard parents and the screaming, bratty kids. I’m sure it’s a coping thing, but it makes me feel good about our decision.

  2. happynenes Says:

    You know, we went to Harry Potter World (I know, I know) and had a wonderful time. I love roller coasters. Every ride had a “child swap” zone, so one parent could ride while the other sat with the stroller. What a PIA that must be. We rode every ride together. It was so fun! I’m actually thinking of getting a season pass to Disneyland this year.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      I have HPW envy. I half have Mr. Fab talked into going next year as there’ll be no movie to see. I do maintain that doing kid stuff is much more fun without kids. 😉

  3. ficklefolly Says:

    I love zoos and try to go to them when I travel to new places. Most people have one thing they have to do when they travel and that’s mine. I am childfree by choice so when I go, it’s all about the child in me. I watch the mothers looking drained or bored while their child squeezes their way to the window to look at the amazing animals while they hang back out of the way with the stroller and umpteen amount of things in the bag on their shoulder. That’s not happening in my world. I want to see the animals just as much as the children do and I’m squeezed up against the glass right next to them. No stroller’s gonna hold me back! 😛


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