Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Fabulous Friday: Finding the Fun Again July 20, 2012

courtesy: iStockphoto

Trying to make a baby is supposed to be fun, and for a while it can be. But if you’ve been trying for some time, maybe even years, odds are it’s lost its luster.

What’s worse, the stress of infertility or the specter of a rapidly closing fertility window, plus the constant conversations of why you don’t have kids, can color your entire life. After a while, it’s easy to forget what you used to do for fun or even that you’re still supposed to have fun.

It’s been well over three years since Mr. Fab and I decided to get off the baby train, and let me tell you, it’s been hard to reignite our passion for the fun things in life.

We talked about it recently and realized it’s time to find that fun again. We made a list of things to do around town and we’re checking them off.

So far, we’ve taken a (rather exciting) canoe trip, been back to our favorite museum, and seen Gone With the Wind on the big screen. Here’s our list of what’s to come:

Go to an L.A. Galaxy Game

Play Mahjong at the Skirball Center

Have Dim Sum in Chinatown

Go to the Griffith Observatory

Kayak around Naples Island

Take a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour of Hollywood

Go on a day sail

What about you? Are you remembering to have some fun? What’s on your list?

P.S. For those of you who get to be an auntie to nieces, nephews, and children of friends, happy Auntie’s Day for Sunday.


Happy Independence Day! July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

If you’re tuning in from outside the U.S. you may be scratching your head and wondering what the heck happened to Whiny Wednesday. Well, it’s still here, fear not. But today is also Independence Day and just about the biggest holiday of the year here.

I am claiming my independence from whining today. I’m heading to the beach and then I’m off to the Hollywood Bowl for what may prove to be the highlight of my summer…Barry Manilow, LIVE!

Hey! You can say what you want about me, but I will not stand for any besmirching of my Barry, thank you very much.

If you need a whine (and your mouth isn’t too full of hot dogs,) go ahead. I’ll be back with my old attitude next week.

courtesy: Hollywood Bowl


Fabulous Friday: Summer Fever June 29, 2012

It’s Fabulous Friday and I have Summer Fever.

Although I haven’t quite faced putting my long sleeves and my greys and browns away, and I’m not entirely ready to impose my pasty legs on the world, a summer breeze keeps blowing in my office window and I’m itching to be outdoors in it.

I want to eat lunch al fresco, put my feet in the ocean, and wander the farmer’s market sniffing out the ripest, juiciest peaches.  And I’m ready to travel.

(I’ll take a short second here to acknowledge that I won’t be spending my summer shuttling kids from one camp to another, nor will I be wrestling crabby toddlers and luggage for 14 through the airport. For this, I can find gratitude and even sympathy.)

My Mum celebrates her 80th birthday this summer, so Mr. Fab and I are planning a trip. And let me tell you, if it’s not pouring with rain, England in the summertime is glorious! I can hardly wait to be there, because there my pasty legs won’t stand out form the crowd, the ice cream is delicious, and with luck the barbecue in my brother’s backyard won’t get rained out this year. Ah, such bliss.

So, what about you? Do you have summer fever? Are you making plans? Are you itching to get out and frolic in the sunshine, too?


Hormones (again)…with Humor June 8, 2012

It seems that hormones are the hot topic of conversation this week, but leave it to Pamela at Silent Sorority to find the humor and silver lining in menopause.

Quoting information from The North American Menopause Society, Pamela writes:

“Have you found yourself in recent years ‘flooded with emotions as the reality sets in that [you] will no longer be able to conceive a child. The impending loss of fertility can rattle overall identity as well as a sense of sexuality and desirability.’”

Pamela’s eloquent response?

“Been there done that — got the freakin’ t-shirt.”

I read her post yesterday morning and, to be honest, it set my attitude to positive for the entire day.

It’s no mean feat to find the humor or the silver lining in infertility, menopause, or unplanned childlessness, but when you do, it can really make your corner of the world a brighter place, even if only for a day.

Wishing you all a Fabulous Friday and a lovely – and humor-filled – weekend.


Fabulous Friday: Canoes and Medals June 1, 2012

Hope your Friday is fabulous today. Did you rekindle an old passion this week? Or try something new?

Mr. Fab and I took a canoe down the Russian River last weekend. It was definitely new for us. I won’t bore you with the entire story, suffice to say, we saw much of the scenery backwards, became intimately acquainted with a couple of overhanging trees, and I lost my prescription sunglasses overboard, so navigated most of the river basically blind. But we survived, and ultimately (in hindsight) we had fun, plus we learned a lot about our relationship, not least of which is that we’re much better in competition (backgammon, dominoes, mahjong) than in cooperation (tandem riding, canoeing, etc.) Information that’s good to know, I think.

What about you? What did you try?

In other totally unrelated new, I’m very pleased and excited to be able to officially announce that my book, I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood, just won a silver medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards. So, thank you to all of you who’ve been so supportive and especially to those of you who took the time to write nice things about it to me, on Amazon, or on your blogs. The awards ceremony is on Monday in New York City, but unfortunately I won’t be there in person. Rest assured, though that I’ll be raising a glass here in California.


Rekindling Old Passions and Finding New May 25, 2012

I have a new passion: bird spotting.

Okay, so it’s not exactly new, nor is it the kind of passion that has me twitching in a hide in the middle of a field every weekend, so let’s call it a rekindled interest instead.

When I was young, I knew the names of hundreds of birds. Since then, I’ve moved to another continent with new birds and I’ve forgotten so much of what I once knew.  But on a recent trip to the coast, after squinting at a flock of birds nesting on a cliff face and having no clue what they were, I invested in a pair of binoculars and a copy of Sibley’s Field Guide to Birds of Western North America.

In all honesty, I stink at bird identification, and I’m stumped by more birds that I identify, but I’ve added several species to my scorecard, from the tiny Oak Titmouse that visits the “Bird Café” outside my office window, to the magnificent Bald Eagle that circled above me in the San Juan Islands. I even managed to identify a Western Screech-Owl after an in-depth search for recordings of its call. But most of all, I’m having fun rekindling an old hobby and learning something new.

So here’s my challenge to you on this fabulous (pre-holiday weekend) Friday: What can you learn about next week? Maybe it’s an old passion you can rekindle or a new pleasure you’d like to investigate. Find something new to learn and report back on what you’ve learned, even if it’s just a bit of trivia on your topic.

For now, I’ll leave with a very poor quality iPhone photo of a pair of Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser) that I spotted on the creek in my neighborhood. Happy holiday weekend to those of you stateside, and have fun learning something new!

P.S. Thanks to Kathleen for her suggestion for this post and for her excitement over my very common Common Merganser.


Whiny Wednesday: It’s Your Turn Next May 9, 2012

A friend posted this picture on Facebook and it made me laugh out loud.

Then it got me wondering how this could work for those women (and it’s usually women) at baby showers and family gatherings who unwittingly assume that yours will be the next belly to be celebrated and adored. I haven’t come up with an appropriate equivalent yet, but I’m working on it.

It’s Whiny Wednesday and I know that for those of you in countries that celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, this week could also lovingly be called Hell Week. So, here’s your chance to let off steam among friends. Feel free to vent at will.


Creativity TLC May 5, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about freedom and in particular, the freedom to be creative. A few of you mentioned some creative longings that maybe hadn’t seen the light of day for a while, so I wanted to pass along some information that might be of interest.

Melissa Dinwiddie is an artist creativity coach. You may remember her from the recent video interviews I did. Later this month, Melissa will be teaching “Time to Glow”, a 4-month creativity lab for women “to liberate your unique creative voice and get you from dreaming to doing.”

I’m lucky enough to count Melissa among my “creative cohorts” and in fact she was a key player in booting me from the “wouldn’t it be neat” stage to the commitment stage of the video broadcast as well as another pie-in-the-sky-turned-reality project that I’ll be talking about very soon (she says, wiggling an eyebrow conspiratorially.)

If you’d like to find out more about Melissa’s Time to Glow program, here’s the link.

This is an affiliate link, which means if you decide to sign up for the program, I’ll get a couple of thank you bucks. If that sounds fishy and you’d rather not, here’s a link directly to her site.

Now, I’m heading outside to create some garden beauty. Maybe you could check in on your creative muse today, too.


Guest Post: Spoiling Someone Else’s Kids April 13, 2012

By Heather Smith

Whether you made the decision to not have children or it was made for you, more than likely there is a little kid somewhere that has your heart; it may be a niece or a nephew, a godson or your friend’s child. Whoever this child may be to you, you love them and you want to show them that.

But what is more fun than being the ‘cool aunt’? Here are some sure fire ways spoil someone else’s kids and probably annoy their parents:

Trips:  Be the crazy and fun grownup or the silly godparent that takes junior to see that silly new cartoon movie or to get ice cream that is piled up too high. Don’t forget about water parks, zoos and children museums. You bring out the kid in the kid. Don’t forget the souvenirs, especially the ones that make lots and lots of noise!

Toys:  Oh joy the toys! The must haves and the wants must be fulfilled as the spoiler. This doesn’t mean you have to wait until a holiday or a birthday to shower them with the newest video game or the latest princess game. More sporadic and random the gift giving is, the better. Your goal: clutter someone else’s living room and be the queen of queens through the child’s eyes.

Candy:  Always keep candy on you. Not only is it a great idea for you and your mid-day sweet tooth, but having candy on you is an excellent way to butter up that butterball. Candy can be used as a prize or an excellent bribing technique. Either way you will have the kid eating out of the palm of your hand. Literally.

Use your words:  Yes trips, candy and toys may be fun, but in all seriousness, when it comes down to spoiling a little one, using words is the biggest form of showing your love. Spoiling doesn’t mean giving them trivial things that they want. Telling them you love them and that you are there for them will stick around with them longer than any piece of candy or trip to the zoo. And remember if you say these things, you better follow up. We all know that actions speak louder than words.

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites, and offers site design advice for Hire a Nanny. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail [dot] com.


Whiny Wednesday April 11, 2012

Filed under: Fun Stuff,The Childfree Life: Issues and Attitudes,Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
Tags: , ,

As I’m on vacation this week, I’m also taking a break from whining (plus, I’m on vacation, so, really, what is there whine about?) But don’t let me get in the way of you airing your grievances. It is Whiny Wednesday, after all. So, please, whine away!