Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About High Drama Season October 16, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

In the U.S., we’re all caught up in drama, controversy, glamour, and intrigue. Whether you follow the election season or the Oscar season, things get pretty heated and competitive around here.

I hadn’t thought about the two in the same breath until last year when I recommended a great movie to my parents, a compelling drama that starred one of our most popular leading men. “We don’t support his films,” my father informed me, “because we don’t like his politics.”

What the fruitcake?! Unless we’re talking about some slanted documentary, one has nothing to do with the other. That’s just crazy talk! (Sorry, Dad.) I mean, let’s take this to the (even more) extreme. That’s like choosing a loaf of bread based on the color of its wrapper. Or buying a car based on who has the most entertaining TV commercial. (I’ll take good gas mileage and reliability over 30 seconds of giggles any day.) Or recommending my drycleaner solely because he’s childfree.

And there we have it. I have no idea whether or not my drycleaner is married, has children, or lives with a mannequin dressed like his mother (which, granted, would be psycho). I recommend him because he works miracles for me and he is a genuinely nice guy. I go to movies because they transport me out of my everyday cares, they delight and inspire me. I vote for elected officials because I believe they will do the right things to make our city/country/world a better place.

This in part explains why I’m so sick and tired of having parenthood thrust upon me in political speeches (“Mom-in-Chief”) and celebrity tabloids (“How [Star of New Movie] Got Back Her Pre-Baby Bikini Body!”). I don’t care. For me, it’s less about who you are and more about what you do. When politicians and magazine marketing departments cater only to the parents, they are essentially telling me, one of the childfree people, “Your contributions and concerns aren’t as important.” And that’s not just crazy talk, that’s ignorance at its worst.

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


It Got Me Thinking…About What Makes Me Crazy June 5, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

You think you’re finally okay with being childfree, then your best childfree girlfriend announces she’s EXPECTING! and you find yourself sobbing hysterically over a carton of Haagen Daz. You turn on the six o’clock news thinking you’re going to hear actual news, but instead you get bombarded with baby bump status reports and profiles of unnaturally gorgeous celebrities who reveal secrets for losing all their pregnancy weight in just 4 weeks. You attend an important conference, all excited to focus on building your business, and get stuck in the middle of a passionate discussion about the struggles of working moms.

Is it just me, or is the Universe trying to make me crazy? I thought I was just being oversensitive, but then I got a new cell phone. In order to set up the apps, I needed to read the manual, which was only available online. In order to get online, I needed to register my phone. In order to register my phone, I needed to get the serial number from under the battery, inside the back panel. To open the back panel, I needed to refer to the manual. (Warranty be damned, I finally pried the thing open with a screwdriver.)

Once I got the manual, here’s what it said about organizing my apps: “Icons that have the * symbol cannot be removed. Only icons with the * symbol can be removed.”

I give up. Clearly the world has gone mad and is taking me down with it.

Pass the ice cream, please.

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’s mostly at peace with her decision to be childfree.


Whiny Wednesday: Will the celebrity bump parade ever end? September 14, 2011

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past month browsing magazine racks in airports and train stations, and I have to ask: Will the media’s obsession with pregnant celebrities ever end?

From six rows back on my last flight I saw the news of Beyoncé’s pregnancy plastered over two pages of a fellow passenger’s magazine, and I think, “If every other celebrity is showing off her pregnant belly in a teeny weeny bikini, is this really news?”

Enough already, I say.

It’s Whiny Wednesday and I’ve missed it grumbling this past month. If you have pent up whines, let them out. Today’s the day!


It Got Me Thinking…About Celebrity Bumps December 20, 2010

Oh. My. Gawd! Make it STOP! A December 6 headline reads: “Mariah Carey (and Her Baby Bump) Perform at Disney World.” (If you want to further torture yourself, read the full article here.

First of all, as a professional writer and editor, I must point out that a baby bump cannot “perform” at Disney World or anywhere else. Unless, okay, maybe if the mother-to-be is a belly dancer. But still, mostly impossible.

Secondly, why is this news?! Why should we care?! I think it’s enough that a supremely talented woman is sharing the gift of her amazing voice (although I still don’t think it’s newsworthy). And while I’m happy for any woman who finally gets pregnant after having difficulties, I think it’s jinx-inducing to make such a big hullabaloo in the early and precarious stages of her pregnancy. Most of all, I don’t want to hear about how the parade of expectant celebrities are using the latest fashions to conceal, accentuate, or accessorize their swollen bellies.

I’m possibly just feeling pissy, but I’m starting to think that reinstating the old-fashioned tradition of a woman going into “confinement” once she begins to show could bring a little balance back into our baby bump-obsessed world.

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is learning how to embrace being childfree.


Whiny Wednesday: Worst Celebrity Parents September 1, 2010

Filed under: Children,Current Affairs,Fun Stuff,Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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We all have our own personal lists of most despised celebrity parents and our own reasons for that scorn. As it is Whiny Wednesday, it seems like the perfect time to have a rant about the celebrity parents we love to hate.

I’ll get you started with my top three:

Kate Gosselin

Kate Gosselin

Kate Gosselin

Oh, sorry, I have others:

Nadya Suleman (Octo Mom)

The assorted Kardashians (remind me, why are they famous?)

Levi Johnson (somebody stop this man!)

and if she doesn’t get a grip, Angelina Jolie is going to make it on there before long, too.

Your turn….


Celebrity Babies August 30, 2010

I don’t make a point of following celebrity news, but it somehow manages to find me anyway. I must say that I’m pleased with the recent slew of celebrity sex tapes because they’re trumping the usual news about celebrity baby. Even so, you can’t make it through the grocery store line without somebody’s pregnant belly poking at you from the cover of a magazine.

Ever since Demi Moore posed naked and pregnant for Vanity Fair, celebrity pregnancy and motherhood have gone from taboo to acceptable, to the mess we have today, where pregnancy bumps and new babies are the latest celebrity accessories. Everybody’s doing it and there’s no escaping the news. The magazine racks at the grocery stores are covered with a who’s who of maternity. One magazine has a regular Bump Watch feature, and People magazine’s online version has an entire page dedicated to celebrity baby news. As if the gossip mags aren’t already doing their best to make us feel inadequate because our hair isn’t smooth, our waists aren’t tiny, and our clothes aren’t chic, now apparently we’re not perfect if we don’t have the most adorable baby in tow.

Well, I’m not buying it. Not until one of these celebrities comes clean about the difficulty she had conceiving with her size 0 body, or that motherhood isn’t just some pretty thing that comes with a designer nursery and a new set of cute clothes.