Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Getting Over Myself May 15, 2012

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

Whiny Wednesday came three days early for me this week.

I left the house well armed to face Mother’s Day (which I intended to embrace as Nurturer’s Day). Aside from calling the mothers in my own family, I had no need to recognize this Hallmark holiday. My husband and I enjoyed a long bike ride together, ran some errands, went out to lunch at a busy casual restaurant. While I noticed more women than usual carrying flowers, there was no announcement, no one stood up and asked everyone to join in singing to celebrate an individual, like we would if there was a birthday. Just another Sunday.

But the slights came in from odd angles, like the “Free Treat for Moms!” at the confectioners (How would they know? Should I go in and take one?) and the posters advertising “Gifts for the Special Woman in your Life…Mom” (I have lots of special women in my life, some who are moms, many are not). I spotted a magazine for women that looked interesting until I read the subtitle: “for the woman in every mom.” A barrista at a coffee house handed a drink over me to a woman further back in line, explaining to everyone else, “Moms should be served first, don’t you think?” (Do I have “Childfree” stamped on my forehead? What the fruitcake?!)

Maybe I’m oversensitive, or maybe I spot these things because on some psychologically twisted level I’m looking for them. Maybe I need to acknowledge that, for many women who are moms, this is the only day out of 365 that they are appreciated for their sacrifices. Maybe I just need to get over myself and stop whining.

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’s mostly at peace with her decision to be childfree.


Whiny Wednesday January 11, 2012

Filed under: Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 7:32 am
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I have a half-whine today. I want to whine about this, but I know I shouldn’t, and I feel guilty and awful about even considering a whine, so I’ll sneak out my whine quickly and then cover it over with counter-whines as quickly as I can.

Every year my mum comes to visit for 5-6 weeks. She goes home in one week’s time…and I’m ready to get my life back.

Please understand, I love my mum. She is an almost perfect houseguest, she’s easy going, keeps her opinions largely to herself, and is a breeze to get along with. She’s active, we share common interests, and we even like the much of the same food.

She’ll be 80 this year and, even though she’s in excellent health, she lost her twin sister recently, and it made me painfully aware of how valuable our time is together. I’m lucky that she’s in good enough shape to be able to fly 6000 miles alone to visit, and I appreciate that my work affords me time to spend with her. I’m lucky. I know I’m lucky, so I’m just squeaking out a tiny whine.

But I’m ready to have my life back. I’m ready to spend time alone with my husband again, to lounge in bed on a Sunday morning, and to go for long walks and talk. I’m ready to throw myself back into work and hunch over my computer for the coming months. I have big plans for this year, and I’m ready to get them started.

And I think my mum’s ready to go home too, back to her garden, her friends, and her busy social life. Her gentleman friend’s phone calls are coming more frequently, and although he would never admit it, he’s probably missing her too.

So, it’s been a great visit, but it’s time for us all to get back to normal.

It’s Whiny Wednesday. Even though mine was just a half-whine today, feel free to let your full whines out, as needed.


Whiny Wednesday January 4, 2012

Filed under: Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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It’s the first Whiny Wednesday of the year. In case you’re joining us for the first time, Whiny Wednesday is the one day of the week where we don’t have to play nice. It’s your chance to blow off steam, rant about injustices, and generally complain about life. It’s an open forum to whatever’s on your chest off it, so don’t hold back. Whine away!


Whiny Wednesday and the Kim Pagano Show September 28, 2011

This morning I will be in the studios of KKZZ in Ventura, CA, talking live to Kim Pagano about life after infertility. The show airs from 8-9 a.m., so tune in if you’re in the area, or you can stream the show from the website, too. I’ll post a link here later, as well.

In the meantime, it is still Whiny Wednesday, so feel free to grumble and gripe to your heart’s content.


Whiny Wednesday: Vegas, Baby! September 21, 2011

I just got back from a couple of days in Las Vegas, which you’d think would give me ample material for Whiny Wednesday topics, but in fact, Vegas didn’t grate on my nerves and send me fleeing for the airport, as it has in the past.

The purpose for the trip was to meet up with my most long-time friend, a woman I’ve known so long, I can’t remember ever not knowing her. I think we met in pre-school, but our parents knew each other from many moons before that. We manage to get together somewhere in the world about once every five years, and this time she happened to be passing through Vegas on a trip around the south-west’s National Parks, so we agreed to meet there. We ate, we walked, we talked, we laughed, and all in all, we had a fantastic time together with our significant others.

If I have any reason for whining this Wednesday it’s that I’ve taken so much time off for traveling fun lately that I am way behind in every other aspect of my life, including work, exercise, and household maintenance. But I suspect I’m not going to get a whole lot of sympathy, am I?

Still, it is Whiny Wednesday, so please don’t let my good mood get in the way of your complaining. Today is the day to get it off your chest, so whine away!


Whiny Wednesday: Post-Election Day May 18, 2011

Filed under: Current Affairs,Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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Yesterday was Election Day in my hometown. This means that all last weekend and half of this week I was bombarded with phone calls, junk mail, and canvassers at my door.

I’m an intelligent adult. I read, I listen to the news, and I formulate my own opinions. So, no, it is not okay to hound me while I’m quietly pruning my roses on a Sunday afternoon. And no, it is not okay to verbally trash the opposition while I’m sitting on my porch. It is not okay to call all day asking for my vote; I work from home; I’m busy. And no, if you’re going to tout yourself as an environmental crusader, it is not okay to fill my mailbox with enough campaign fliers to paper the Empire State building.

It’s Whiny Wednesday, and it’s all over now, but I had to get that off my chest.


Whiny Wednesday May 4, 2011

Filed under: Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am

It’s been a while since we’ve done a good old-fashioned Whiny Wednesday, hasn’t it? I’ve missed it.

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Southern California, so it’s hard to get too whiny, and the thing I do want to whine about isn’t appropriate to whine about in public. So, my whine today is that I don’t get to whine today.

But you do.

It’s an open forum, no topic, just a chance to get whatever is on your chest off it.

Whine on!


Whiny Wednesday January 19, 2011

Filed under: Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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Today I’ve had it with Amazon, because even though I know they have my book in stock, it still shows “Temporarily Out of Stock” on their site. I’m assured that this is just a matter of the system catching up to itself, and that people can still order the book, but I’m really annoyed. I keep telling people my book is available, only to have Amazon pretend that it isn’t! Wah!!!

It’s Whiny Wednesday, ladies, and just in the nick of time. Time to let it all hang out and whine away.


Whiny Wednesday December 22, 2010

Filed under: Whiny Wednesdays — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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It’s Whiny Wednesday and I’m wet! I know all you people on the East Coast are rolling your eyes and all of you in Europe who are up to your eyeballs in snow are calling me a wimp, but I don’t care. This is my blog and my whine, so I’m complaining that it won’t stop raining!

I realize that Southern California is probably the only place in the world that grinds to a complete standstill every time it rains, but we’re sunshine people; we just don’t like the rain and we’re not equipped for it. The paper in my printer is damp, the wind is whistling through the loose windows in my old house, and my backside has been cold for days!

According to the local paper, our average rainfall for December is 1.09 inches. So far this month we’ve had 5.62 inches and more to come. I know we need the water; I know we’re in a drought, but I need it to stop raining for long enough for me to venture into my (probably sodden) basement to rescue my Christmas decorations so I can decorate my poor naked tree.

Wah! Poor me!


Whiny Wednesday December 1, 2010

It’s Whiny Wednesday and I have two whines today.

The first is that even though I’ve been using the usual Whiny Wednesday image since the dawn of this blog, suddenly my computer has decided it’s no longer a valid image. Whatever. Technology and me…we’re just not getting along lately.

Whine #2 is this: I’m toodling around on the internet last night, doing a bit of research for a new project and, of course, I get distracted. Through a series of “Hmm, that’s interesting” clicks I end up looking at a website offering fertility retreats. Sisters, I have been down this road before. I know how this story ends, and yet I still catch myself thinking, “Hmm, what if…?” 

It’s a sickness, I know. I took my medicine, stood in the corner and said, “Bad Lisa,” and I’m okay now, but really, when is this insanity actually going to end?

Anyway, it’s December 1 – 30 days until the end of another year – and I have a long list of whines I could share, but for now I turn it over to you. Whine on, sisters.