Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Perks June 19, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

I’m working in my fuzzy gray slippers today. I can do this because I’m a freelancer, I work in an office in my home, and the only creatures likely to see me in less-than-professional attire are my dogs. On most days, I choose to get dressed to the shoes because it is part of my routine, my discipline. But on a day like today, I am relishing the little perks of my status.

Which got me thinking about some of the little perks of being childfree. We’ve talked about the big perks, like having extra money for luxury purchases, being able to sleep in on the weekends, and the flexibility to travel on a whim during the off-season. I’m starting to also appreciate some of the little everyday things, too. Like being able to turn on the TV or computer without first having to shut off parental controls, or being able to curse a blue stream when I stub my toe (i.e., not worrying that my child will later repeat those words in church). I like that the laundry is manageable in my household and that I really only have to go to the market once a week. I like that right now it’s quiet here and I can hear myself think.

I think a big part of this journey for me is moving from acceptance to appreciation. For so long, I could only see the woe-is-me side of life, the loss of the family I couldn’t have, the experiences I knew I’d miss. As I shift my perspective a bit, I’m starting to see all that I have, all that I’ve been given, all that I didn’t lose.

I wish for you today a sense of peace as you look at some of the perks in your life.

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her memoir about her journey to childfreeness is in the works.

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7 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About Perks”

  1. Paula Knight Says:

    Also a freelancer who’s been known to work in slippers. The bit about swearing – I hadn’t thought of that as being one of the benefits of not having children, but you are so right. What a luxury – especially when working at home in less-than-protective footwear. I’m also writing/drawing a memoir about my road to childfreeness.

  2. Jennifer Says:

    I love your blogs Kathleen. They are always on point with what I am feeling. I look forward to your posts every day! Thank you!

    • Kathleen Guthrie Woods Says:

      Always so nice to hear I’m not alone out there. Thank you both for your comments!

  3. Jen Says:

    I so so love this post since I too am at that exact place as well. Appreciating what I have and not what I have lost. Thanks!

  4. CiCi Says:

    Oh yes, the little things that are perks for me as well include being able to be naked at any given time without someone questioning what parts are for. Speaking of naked…time, energy, and desire to actually make my husband numero uno in my world! Yeah for peace of mind and moving forward and being able to see the little things!

  5. Mali Says:

    Sitting here reading this in my pink leopard print socks (another self(un)-employed person) cos I’m too lazy to find my slippers!

    Little perks:
    If I suddenly feel like ditching the planned healthy meal and having toast for dinner, I can without feeling I’m a bad mother.
    My house isn’t child-proofed in any way. And I never have to worry about the hot cup of something close to the edge of the table, or the handles of the pots sticking out from the stove, or leaving scissors lying around, etc.
    Wine. Anytime.
    And so on.

    I think making the most of the little perks is important. We need to appreciate the lives we have.

  6. Julie Says:

    My perk I’m enjoying right now (literally) is the uninterrupted cuddle time with my cats. They never have to adjust their expectations either!


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