Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday: Bad News October 17, 2012

My friend called this week with “bad news.” I braced myself because this has been a week of one piece of bad news after another. It seems that every time the phone rings or I get an email from a friend it bears news of major illness, death, or financial disaster.

Fortunately, my friend’s bad news was only that she had to stand me up for a concert date we’ve had planned for six months. Any other week, I would have been aggravated, possibly devastated (it was an Adam Ant concert, after all), but if there’s any good news come from this week, it’s that all the bad news has taught me perspective.

Thankfully, it’s Whiny Wednesday. What’s your whine this week?

 

It Got Me Thinking…About Women in the News August 14, 2012

This post was originally published on November 2, 2010

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

Lately I’ve observed a troubling trend. The bleeding news that leads frequently starts with something like “A mother of three…,” as in “A mother of three was found murdered in her home” or “A grandmother was brutally raped.” And it got me thinking…are only tragedies involving mothers newsworthy? Would it be any less tragic if the victim was, say, for example, me?

It’s not just in the primetime news slots that I see this occurring. Three recent shows in Oprah’s final season were titled “The Bravest Mom in the World is Set Free” (9/22), “The Mom Who Fathered Her Own Children” (9/29), and “One Mom, 20 Personalities” (10/6). In each case, I can’t imagine the story would be any less impactful if we substituted the word “Woman” for “Mom.”

Who’s behind this? Did some big marketing study show that “Mom” is a buzzword that attracts viewers (and advertisers)? Is there some sinister plot afoot to further ostracize women without babies? What does it say about our society that being a mom makes you a better story? And how does all this make us, women who are childfree, feel about ourselves?

Me, I’m kind of pissed. But I’m not ready to carry a sign, write angry letters, or start an impassioned campaign online. I already feel marginalized, and I don’t want to subject myself to the “you-must-be-a-child-hating-anti-mom-bitch” response I fear would come.

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in AAA’s Westways, GRIT, Real Simple, and 805 Living magazines. Read “How to Be the World’s Best Aunt Ever” on eHow.com.

 

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!

 

Whiny Wednesday: Hot! July 6, 2011

It’s about a million degrees at my house (ok, it’s about 95, but anything over 90 may as well be a million, as far as I’m concerned) and over the past three days I have spent more than 12 hours sitting in a car. All I want to do is go to my local park and run amongst the trees. But it’s too flipping hot!

Aside from that, I’m feeling pretty chipper this week, but it is Whiny Wednesday and the floor is open to get whatever is on your chest off your chest. So, let it all hang out.

For those of you who expressed an interest, here is a link to my interview from yesterday’s Sacramento & Company news show. The host was fantastic, and offscreen, I had a great conversation with him and two of the producers, about being childfree. It’s always good to meet people who get it.

 

It Got Me Thinking…About Women in the News November 2, 2010

Lately I’ve observed a troubling trend. The bleeding news that leads frequently starts with something like “A mother of three…,” as in “A mother of three was found murdered in her home” or “A grandmother was brutally raped.” And it got me thinking…are only tragedies involving mothers newsworthy? Would it be any less tragic if the victim was, say, for example, me?

It’s not just in the primetime news slots that I see this occurring. Three recent shows in Oprah’s final season were titled “The Bravest Mom in the World is Set Free” (9/22), “The Mom Who Fathered Her Own Children” (9/29), and “One Mom, 20 Personalities” (10/6). In each case, I can’t imagine the story would be any less impactful if we substituted the word “Woman” for “Mom.”

Who’s behind this? Did some big marketing study show that “Mom” is a buzzword that attracts viewers (and advertisers)? Is there some sinister plot afoot to further ostracize women without babies? What does it say about our society that being a mom makes you a better story? And how does all this make us, women who are childfree, feel about ourselves?

Me, I’m kind of pissed. But I’m not ready to carry a sign, write angry letters, or start an impassioned campaign online. I already feel marginalized, and I don’t want to subject myself to the “you-must-be-a-child-hating-anti-mom-bitch” response I fear would come.

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in AAA’s Westways, GRIT, Real Simple, and 805 Living magazines. Read “How to Be the World’s Best Aunt Ever” on eHow.com.