Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

We, the Majority March 12, 2012

The cover of last week’s TIME magazine (March 12, 2012) boasted “10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life.” As I read about Idea #1, how living alone is the new norm, I was surprised to come across these words:

“According to 2011 census data, people who live alone–nearly 33 million Americans–make up 28% of all U.S. households, which means they are now tied with childless couples as the most prominent residential family type.”

So, by my math, at least 56 percent of us don’t have children, and similar figures were shown for Canada, Italy, Britain, Sweden, Japan, Russia and South Africa. Whether we are single or part of a couple, we are more prevalent than traditional nuclear families.

Boy, it sure doesn’t feel like it, does it?

I have to say I was surprised to see these figures. But as childless, childfree, unchilded people (whatever you want to call us) we are, in fact, the norm.

Knowing this is not going to change people’s attitudes, at least not just yet, but if anyone should tell you that being childfree isn’t normal, feel free to whip out these numbers and set them straight.

 

Meeting Other Childfree People April 19, 2011

I’m taking a short but much-needed vacation this week and, although I had planned to write a set up a full week’s worth of posts before I left, my dear friend Kathleen suggested that it might be more sensible to cut myself some slack, rather than tripling my workload! Thank goodness for clear-headed friends! So this week, I will be recycling some old favorite posts. I’ll be back next week, refreshed and ready to talk about National Infertility Awareness Week!

Recently, a reader posted this comment:

“Do you have any tips on how to find people without kids? I went to a RESOLVE meeting once and made friends with a fellow infertile… who got pregnant the next month.”

I suspect we’ve all had that feeling of being cheated on by someone we hoped would be an ally, while at the same time being glad the person got what she really wanted. So how do you find other childless people to spend time with?

Here are a few of the ways I’ve found kindred spirits:

Activities at non-kid-friendly times

I go to an early morning exercise boot camp three days a week. It starts at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m. which is a tough time for anyone, but especially for people with very young or school-age kids. Most of the people in the group don’t have children and I’ve been going for long enough that I’ve made a small circle of childless friends. What’s great is that our primary connection is exercise, not childlessness.

Stealing or borrowing other friends’ childless friends

Quite a few of my friendships have come about through mutual friends. I’ve been invited to a dinner or barbecue, made my way around the room, making polite conversation, until I’ve met someone I’ve clicked with and discovered they don’t have children either. I have several childless friends who were introduced to me by mutual friends with children. In some cases the original friend has drifted away and the new friend and I have grown closer.

Groups and clubs

Just getting out and meeting people in general is a really good way to ultimately meet other childless people. Joining a group or club relating to your interests or hobbies means you automatically have something in common. I’ve been in book clubs, running clubs, and various classes. Over time, I’ve attached to certain members of the group, and just because of schedules alone, the childless members have ultimately gravitated to one another.

Childless and child-free groups

I haven’t actually tried this yet, but I’ve considered it. No Kidding! is an international social network for people without children. They have chapters all over the country and arrange social events regularly. If there’s one near you, this seems like a great way to meet people.

Another idea is using Meetup.com. You can sign up and state your interest in meeting other childfree people in your area.

We also have a Groups page on this site. Try starting a group for your local area and see if other people join. Hopefully you’ll find at least one other person who lives close enough to meet in person, and our membership is growing daily.

If anyone else has ideas on how to meet other childless singles or couples, please post them. I know that there are several other members who would love to find people they can connect with in person as well as just here online.