Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday: Baby Ads December 7, 2011

During my TTC years I bought a couple of magazine subscriptions, one for Conceive and the other (rather optimistically) for American Baby. I can’t prove this, but I’m pretty sure that one of them sold my name to a marketing company, because not long after that, I started getting baby related mailings. I received samples of formula and diapers, and ads for baby photographers and maternity wear. It was awful, but it didn’t stop there.

The marketing company seems to have got the impression that a baby arrived in our house at some point and so sent age-appropriate marketing as the years ticked on. It’s been five or six years now and the mailing have definitely slowed down. This year I only got a few catalogs for educational toys and mommy clothes, and brochures for a pre-school and a Disney cruise. But come the holidays, it all fires up again.

As if my mailbox isn’t already crammed with sufficient junk, I’m now getting fliers for family photos cards, and photographers who seem to think that the ideal gift is a portrait of my little brood. Little do they know that it consists of me, Mr. Fab, and a cat, and only two of the three would be willing to wear silly Santa hats.

It’s Whiny Wednesday, there are only 18 shopping days left ‘til Christmas, and I’ve already got my Bah Humbug on already.


It Got Me Thinking…About Holiday Slights December 6, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

“Come One, Come All!” trumpets the headline.

I’m skimming the special calendar section of our local paper and find myself drawn into a description of a holiday spectacular and crafts fair, featuring actors as classic Dickens characters and carolers strolling in Victorian dress as they sing in the season. I am so there!

But then I read the small print: “Revelers (that’s me!), particularly families (uh, wait), are invited to enjoy the festivities.” It’s possible I’m being over-sensitive, but I am so sick and tired of slights like this, and it seems to strike an especially painful chord with me as we approach the holiday season. The “Family Sing-Along” at church. The “Family Pot-Luck” intended to bring coworkers closer together. The “Family Movie Night,” where multiple generations come together to enjoy a touching holiday-themed film. I love love love all of these fun activities, and will participate even though I’m not a 5-year-old, even though I am not part of a “family.” It’s sad to me, though, that my revelry is diminished by the sting of not feeling legitimately part of the event, all because of a marketing choice.

While I don’t want to get PC (politically correct) to the point of ridiculousness, I’d like to suggest to the world that there are other ways to welcome everyone without making single and/or childfree people feel…well…unwelcome. “Fun for all ages!” “Something for everyone!” The marketers for the fair had me at “Come One, Come All!” I wish they’d left it at that.

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. “Mele Kalikimaka” might be her favorite Christmas carol.