Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Out With the Old December 28, 2012

New year 2013 is comingThis will be the very last post of 2012. But don’t worry; come the New Year, we’ll be back with a brand new site.

Yes, the Great Life Without Baby Makeover is almost complete. For the past couple of months, some talented ladies (I’ll introduce them later) have been working their magic behind the scenes to get the new site ready. I’m beyond excited about the big reveal.

So, what does this mean to you?

1 – All will be quiet here on the blog next week. You’ll still be able to access all the posts, although you may not be able to add comments.

2 – On January 7th, look out for the first post of the New Year.

3 – We’ll be at a new address: LifeWithoutBaby.com, (although you’ll be redirected there if you use the old lifewithoutbaby.wordpress.com URL.) You’ll still find all the prior posts (almost three-years worth!) plus lots of new goodies. I’ll be offering a grand tour on opening day.

So, for now, I wish you a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you at LifeWithoutBaby.com next year!

 

Whiny Wednesday December 26, 2012

Filed under: Current Affairs,Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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I was thinking that maybe we wouldn’t need Whiny Wednesday, what with it being the happy holiday season and all that. But I’m a realist at heart, so here it is.

Happy Whiny Wednesday to you!

 

It Got Me Thinking…About The Meaning of Christmas December 25, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

For unto us a Child is born. (Isaiah 9:6)

As I heard these words in my umpteenth pre-Christmas service, my first thought was Pfft! Right. I mean, isn’t it bad enough that I have had to endure yet another holiday season being painfully aware of the lack of children in my life? And then at every turn I am reminded that we mark this holiday in celebration of a miraculous birth. Come on! This almost trumps Mother’s Day as the worst day of the year for those of us who are childfree-not-by-choice.

For reasons I still can’t completely articulate, this has been the hardest holiday season for me yet. After a boisterous Thanksgiving with a houseful of young nieces and nephews, I slipped into a depressed funk as I anticipated a painfully quiet December. I forced myself to listen to Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters (so cheery, I wanted to smack someone), I baked cookies and gave them away, I chose to hang lights and make the house festive for me, even though it seemed pointless and pathetic. Several times I considered giving in to the darkness, donating all my keepsake ornaments to Goodwill, and spending today in bed with a jug of mulled spiced wine.

Instead, in a moment of pure inspiration, I chose to get quiet and listen. I lit a candle and prayed for light. I cried out my hurts and losses to a god who has heard it all many times before and still comforts without judgment. Having released some of my grief, I took a deep breath and invited Cynical Me to take a well-earned holiday. Then I invited Holy Me to give me a new perspective. And here’s what she said:

It’s not about a miracle baby, Love. That’s just the symbol. It’s really about the miracle rebirth of hope and faith. 

Oh, my. That’s exactly the gift I needed this Christmas, I just didn’t know how to ask for it. With tears streaming down my face, I asked for forgiveness for my lack of trust. I felt humbled by the abundance of good gifts I do have in my life, and I expressed my gratitude to God who has great things planned for me and delivers in ways I could never have imagined.

If I could give you one gift this holiday season—whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Al-Hirjra, or a tradition of your own making—it would be what I have received myself: a renewed sense of hope, a heart full of love, and peace within.

May you experience unexpected blessings today, dear sisters.

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is mostly at peace with her childfree status.

 

To New Beginnings December 24, 2012

Red reset buttonIf you’re reading this post, it means the world didn’t end on Friday. I’m glad; I have a lot of things I still want to do, and there are presents underneath my Christmas tree that I’m looking forward to opening.

While many folks predicted December 21st to be the cataclysmic end of life as we know it, in reality the end of the Mayan Long Calendar was simply the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new cycle, kind of like the odometer in your car going back to 000000. Instead of the end of time, this new cycle is more of a reset button.

I love the idea of a reset button. In fact, I wish the Mayan Long Calendar was considerably shorter so we could get to reset more frequently. Often, as we rumble along, life sticks to us.  But it doesn’t slow us down. Rather, life’s experiences, and especially the stresses and hurts, add to our mass and increase our momentum, until sometimes we find ourselves barreling along, feeling out of control of our emotions, our stress, and even our lives in general.

And then come the holidays. Holiday stress can certainly add to that momentum, even more so when your emotions are already running high and your holidays aren’t shaping up to the way you’d envisioned them.

So, this year I’m pressing my own reset button. I’m slowly letting go of the image of my ideal Christmas and I’ve begun experimenting with creating a new Christmas celebration that better suits my unconventional family. Instead of trying to adapt my old traditions, then feeling disappointed when they don’t live up to my expectations, I’m shaking up the way I celebrate the holidays.

This year Mr. Fab and I are going out of town for Christmas; we’ll be celebrating on Christmas Eve, instead of our old traditional Christmas Day; and we’re going out for dinner instead of cooking a big traditional meal. We’re hitting the reset button on the holidays and taking back Christmas in our own way.

At its very core, Christmas is a celebration of new beginnings, and I hope you’re pressing your own reset button and creating your own way to celebrate the holidays. No matter how you choose to celebrate, I wish you peace, happiness, and new beginnings. And to those of you who celebrate, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

 

Infertile in Heels December 21, 2012

heelsLa Belette Rouge doesn’t write often about infertility anymore (she’s busy moving on with her life without children), but when she does, she nails it.

Last week, she batted around the idea of a companion show to Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels.” Her idea of “Infertile in Heels” made me laugh out loud.

Although, I’m not sure there’s much of an audience for the glamorous side of infertility (mainly because there really is no glamorous side, that I can see) there’s certainly room for some media time that doesn’t revolve around pregnancy and parenting.

I wish that infertility and childlessness had a place in mainstream conversation. I wish that information and guidance was more readily available, so that those of us who find ourselves traveling that road would know exactly where to turn for help, whether that be knowing and understanding all the options open to us, or getting help putting the chic into our childfree lives.

Tracey is one of the panelists who’ll be speaking with me at the Fertility Planit Show next month, and I’m looking forward to finally meeting her in person. I’m expecting a lively conversation.

 

That One Weird Childfree Holiday Card in the Stack December 20, 2012

 By Maybe Lady Liz

They’re starting to roll in. The waves of holiday cards featuring happy families festooned in matching red turtlenecks ‘round the tree or Canadian tuxedos on the beach. There will be some derivation of a toddler with his arms slung around Dad’s neck. Or Mom watching the kids play on a blanket. Or an Ann Geddes-esque shot of a newborn falling asleep on a reindeer’s back, adorned with nothing more than a tiny Santa hat. If you’re lucky, and your friends and family are deft enough with Snapfish, you’ll get ALL THREE in an artistically staggered arrangement.

And if you’re like me, you won’t be able to stop yourself from comparing them to the cards you’ve sent out over the past few years. Maybe you’ve squeezed your cats into little elf outfits and reindeer antlers (and lost an arm in the process). Maybe you’ve posed with your spouse in front of some magnificent European landmark in a subconscious attempt to remind everyone how awesome it is that you have the freedom and cash to travel. Or maybe you’re like me and my husband, who always try to outdo ourselves every year in the clever department. Last year, we put photos of ourselves at age 6, side-by-side, each ripping into hilariously dated gifts, and titled it “Keep Christmas old-school.”

And in years past, when our friends would send just a ho-hum photo with a generic greeting, we were pretty proud of the fact that our card stood out from the pack and had a little personality. We used to tack it up on the half-wall in our kitchen with all the others and pat ourselves on the back. But as the years have gone by, our card has started to stand out for a very different reason. Instead of noticing the unique panache of our card, I’ve started to see what’s missing: a baby, of course. Kids on Santa’s lap, all that jazz.

I try not to let it happen, but I can’t help but look at my cards in a different light – through the eyes of those who are sending out the baby cards. All our attempts at being so clever probably seem silly, frivolous, immature, shallow, self-centered (words that sound familiar to anyone who actually chooses to be Childfree). They must seem like a stage that was supposed to be passed by now, but isn’t. No doubt they somehow seem…less than they’re supposed to be, to them.

I know, I know – it’s probably all in my head and these aren’t very Christmas-y thoughts. But fear not. I’ll keep the funny Childfree holiday cards rolling. Somebody’s gotta Keep Christmas Weird.

Merry%20Christmas%20from%20The%20Ferences

Maybe Lady Liz is blogging her way through the decision of whether to create her own Cheerio-encrusted ankle-biters, or remain Childfree. You can follow her through the ups and downs at MaybeBabyMaybeNot.com.

 

Whiny Wednesday – Christmas Shopping December 19, 2012

Last weekend I realized I couldn’t put off my Christmas shopping any longer (especially as many gifts need to be sent overseas,) so off I ventured to my local shopping street.

On a quest for a gift for a friend, I found about a dozen things I’d like for myself, and absolutely nothing for her. Three shops later and I was still drawing a blank. Finally, knowing I had to get something, I pieced together some silly items I thought she might enjoy.

Then, in the very next shop, I saw the gift I was really looking for. I bought that too and will just have to find suitable recipients for the other gifts.

So, here’s what I’d really like to do this year: I’d like to send everyone on my gift list a card explaining that their gift will arrive sometime in the next year. Then, as I’m going about my business and I see the perfect gift, I can buy it and send it, knowing it will be appreciated. Doesn’t that seem like a much better idea and more in the spirit of giving than combing the stores for any vaguely suitable gift?

It’s Whiny Wednesday, and I’m managing to keep my Christmas spirit generally up. How about you?