Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Father’s Day June 15, 2012

Sunday is Father’s Day here and, to be honest, it had barely entered my mind until my brother mentioned that he was looking forward to some extra presents in addition to the ones he got for his birthday earlier this week.

Maybe it slipped my mind because Father’s Day doesn’t come with same folderol as Mother’s Day. Or maybe it’s because Mr. Fab has grown children, so he doesn’t feel quite the same loss I do on Mother’s Day. Or perhaps, it didn’t occur to me because most of the readers of this blog (at least the participating ones) are women. All the same, I feel remiss that I almost let the day go by without mention.

There are (theoretically) just as many childless men as there are women, and you probably know at least one. Maybe he’s not making a big fuss about the coming day, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be feeling any pain. He may just be being “manly” and keeping his emotions close.

So, if you happen to know a non-dad, check in on him this weekend and make sure he’s doing okay. And let us know what you plan to do to get him through the day.

 

It Got Me Thinking…About Childfree “Dads” November 1, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

While counting down the days to my wedding, I thought it would be fun to revisit some favorite films with classic wedding scenes, including Sixteen Candles (“Love the teapot.”), When Harry Met Sally (“Who’s the dog, Harry?!”), and Sex and the City (“Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours.”). Which is how I happened to snuggle up with the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride.

Steve Martin and Diane Keaton as the parents*, Kimberly Williams as the bride, and who can forget Martin Short as the delightfully eccentric wedding coordinator, Franck. It’s funny and sweet, and even though I’m twice the age of the bride in this movie, it’s still relatable. I thought we’d have a “smallish” and “simple” affair too!

As I watched Steve Martin, childfree in real life, give his hilarious, touching, and convincing performance as a dad, I was reminded of an article we featured in a post earlier this year. We rose up in heated protest (on our comments page) in response to British actress Anne Reid’s insinuation that “Actresses Without Children Can’t Play Mothers.” What a load of bunk.

And this got me thinking about the wonderful men in our lives who happen to be childfree. The uncles, husbands, boyfriends, bosses, and friends. Today I’m celebrating Steve Martin, who gives the gifts of laughter and compassion through his “dad” (also in 1989’s Parenthood) and many other roles. I’m also thinking about the man who mentored me early on, who became a father-figure and then my friend. And two colleagues who are better able to nurture my career and our friendships because they aren’t occupied with being someone’s dad. They play important roles in my life. Isn’t it time they got some credit?

*I think it’s interesting that both Steve Martin and Diane Keaton were childfree when they made this movie (she later adopted two children).

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She regrets not hiring her own “Franck” to handle the minutiae of her wedding plans.