Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener September 23, 2011

Pamela at Silent Sorority posted a wonderful story yesterday about the response she received from her recent Open Salon article about being a non-mom, Dispatch from Hell: It’s not all bad.

 

I found it encouraging that so many readers embraced her decision regarding adoption, and I was especially wowed by her own mother’s open-mindedness, when she wrote: “I’ve never understood why people automatically think that because a couple doesn’t have a child of their own, they will, of course, adopt. It’s like expecting a man or woman who never married to become a priest or a nun.” Well said, Mom!

I also laughed out loud (as did my husband, who has grown children) at a comment from the father of a “stay-at-home 23 year-old” who wrote: “No doubt it is a great pleasure watching your child grow, […] but if the second ten years came first, there would be no second children.”

As if to prove this point, I opened up my newspaper this morning and found myself both laughing and despairing at this article about three 19 year-old “boys,” who have just managed to wreck their lives through sheer stupidity. I’m sure their parents are very proud.

Yes, being a non-mom can be painful, sad, frustrating, or all of the above, but even so, the grass isn’t always greener on the parenting side of the fence.

 

Poll Results March 1, 2011

Thanks to everyone who particpated in the poll last week.

Pamela has compiled all the results over on her site. Please take a look, and then watch this space for updates!

 

Life and Friendship After “The Thing” February 18, 2011

Please take a moment and contribute your opinion to this poll.

Last Saturday, I met Pamela (Silent Sorority) for the first time. We had lunch and talked. In fact we talked for so long and so easily that I forgot to collect my husband from the airport. No long-term harm done, thankfully.

Pamela and I talked about many things, but we didn’t talk about “the thing” – our infertility – even though that was the common tie that brought us together in the first place.

What we talked about mostly was the future. What’s next? Once you’ve come to terms with a life without children (no short or easy journey, I might add) where do you go next? Once you’ve found your tribe of women who aren’t going to bring their offsring into every conversation, and aren’t going to spring a surprise pregnancy on your friendship, what do you talk about, when you don’t want to keep talking about “the thing?”

Pamela and I batted around some new ideas. She talked about her view of our meeting in a post today, and also put together a poll. Please take a moment and add your two cents.

When you don’t want to talk about “the thing” anymore, what do you want to talk about?

 

2010 A Great Year for the Childfree January 7, 2011

According to an article by Lisa Hymas (she’s the GINK mentioned in Wednesday’s post) 2010 was a the year childfree went mainstream. She says:

In 2010, the childfree started making some real noise. Get used to it; you’ll be hearing a lot more racket from us in the future.

I’m inclined to agree with her on this and add that the childless-not-by-choicers got a voice too.

Last year, fellow CNBC-er Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos won the Team RESOLVE Choice Best Book Award for Silent Sorority. An organization focused on helping couples find family-building solutions recognized a book about living a life without children. I call that progress.

In my own corner of the world at the start of 2010, I had expected to tuck my childlessness away and pull it out for examination only once in a while.  I wanted to talk about it, but who would want to listen? Turns out I’m not the only one who felt that way. I’ve been amazed to discover how many of us are out here, ready to talk and be heard.

And people are listening. I’ve had several friends (with children) who have read this blog and told me that they see their other childless/childfree friends in a new light and understand their situation a little more. I call that progress, too.

We are still (and probably will always be) a minority, but my hope is that, some day some of the issues we face will go away, or at least get the respect they deserve.

 

A Voice for Life Without Baby October 1, 2010

Last weekend author, blogger, non-mom cheerleader, and fellow Life Without Baby member, Pamela Tsigdinos, received an award from RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, for her book Silent Sorority. Her post about the experience gave me goosebumps.

Pamela has taken her experience with infertility and turned it around into something outstanding. She is speaking out and being heard with her message that there is life after infertility, that there is life without children, and what’s more, that life is good.

Pamela, I know you’ll be reading this. I applaud you for the great work you’ve done and continue to do. Kudos, sister!

 

Silent Sorority: A (Barren) Woman Get Busy, Angry, Lost and Found September 11, 2010

I just finished reading Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos’ book, Silent Sorority: A (Barren) Woman Get Busy, Angry, Lost and Found. I give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up! With class, dignity, and humor (oh, yes, and an appropriate amount of bile), Pamela not only tells her own story of infertility, but is able to step back and provide an intelligent social commentary on our mommy-centric culture and what it’s like to be childless-not-by-choice when everyone around you is baby-mad.

As I read her story, I found myself slapping my forehead, thinking, “I did that too,” and I realized what I wish I’d known long ago, that I was not alone on my own journey. As Pamela says, infertile women “were everywhere, but nowhere.”

What makes Pamela’s book stand out from other infertility stories I’ve read is that (aside from her not “giving up on treatments and suddenly having a miracle pregnancy”) she talks about the “what now?” how she gained acceptance and found a place for herself in the world.

This is one of those books that I wish I could give to people I know to read. It’s a book that says, “This is what I went through, this is why I was behaving that way back then, but you know what? I’m okay now.”

If you haven’t read this book, put it on your list. It’s an eye-opener. And while Pamela might not yet have all the answers to our questions, she’s starting the conversation about living childless/childfree, and giving us a voice.

You can find Silent Sorority in print at:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble.com

Or as an e-book from:

Amazon’s Kindle Store

Barnes and Noble

Borders (via Kobo)

Smashwords

 

Pamela Tsigdinos’ Great Interview About Moving Beyond Infertilty August 26, 2010

Life Without Baby member, Pamela Tsigdinos talks about overcoming infertility and making the decision to remain childless. It’s so great to hear her talking about the emotions, the stigma, and about “coming out of the closet” as an infertile woman. Wonderful. Also interesting to hear a discussion about choosing to get off the baby crazy train on a site dedicated to “IVF and third party family building.”

You can hear the podcast of her interview on the link below:

The Impact of RESOLVE with Executive Director, Barbara Collura, and Pamela Tsigdinos, Author of Silent Sorority, a Winner of Resolve’s Hope Award.

You can also check out Pamela’s website: Silent Sorority