Gifts to welcome your newly announced childfree friend into the fold #Families#childfree#childless#dealing with judgement#friendships#gifts#offbeat aunties September 15 2017 | Catherine Clark bijouxandbits Dog Mom Vinyl Die Cut Sticker from The Five 15 Related Post How do you drop the child-free bomb to your family members? Where are my fellow child-free Homies? Your insight is needed! Offbeat Families reader, Haymaker, has a mom-in-law who is desperate for she and her husband... Read more Being childfree (as in, choosing not to have children for any number of reasons) hasn't been and still isn't well accepted in a lot of circles, particularly more traditional ones. So the decision to declare yourself childfree to friends and family can be met with a lot of push-back. A lot of us (myself included) choose not to share that information with just anyone since it's not anyone's business but your own and your partner's. It can be scary to reveal something that may paint you in an inaccurate negative light. If you find yourself in a situation where a friend has told you they have decided to be childfree, perhaps you'd like to give them a token of support, and these childfree gifts are an awesome solution. Whether they'll be a traveling adventure-seeker, an kick-ass aunt or uncle, a devoted fur parent, or none of the above, there's a way to say you support them at every turn… 100% behind you card from Yellow Daisy Paper Co Adventure Fund art by Fiore Crafts Some relatable advice in book form More potentially helpful books here! Custom Couples Portrait by Ichigo Cake (because two can make a family) "Congrats On Getting A Fur Kid" card from Pluma Paper Cats not kids Vintage Floral side plate from Beau and Badger Pitter Patter of cat feet magnet If they are an aunt, a bracelet is a cute idea More advice for childfree life My childfree friends are a balm to my soul: In praise of childfree women I know the reasons that you're childfree are numerous. You may consciously choose it. You may want kids later but not right now. You may be grappling with infertility. You… Read More Why doesn't anyone ever talk about Child-Free men? "For all the stories written by and for women on this issue -- and there are markedly few -- men are more likely to be absent from the public dialogue… Read More Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Catherine Clark Catherine Clark is Offbeat Bride's Senior Editor. In her spare time she loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur baby, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS One clip-on chandelier with endless style NEXT Throw this creepy but elegant goth dinner party Show/Hide comments [ 11 ] I so love that magnet. Now I'm imagining how my cats would react if I put tap shoes on them 😀 5 agree Reply That magnet is epic! Fun gifts. 3 agree Reply Maybe…wait until that friend expresses that she is getting some bs until "gifting" this? I'm childless by choice, and while it isn't a "traditional" lifestyle for someone in my demographic group, it is such a minor aspect of my personality that highlighting it would seem absurd. It may not be this way for some people, but I don't see my choice not to have kids as an "opposite" choice or that I am "replacing" kids with my pets, job, hobbies, or whatever. It's just one decision among a million I'll make in my life. I think that people who have children assume the decision NOT to have them is as monumental or self-defining, when for many people it isn't (if I'm being honest, it's not even a "choice" to me, it's my natural default to not desire having children.) Just as many parents resent being defined by their kids, being defined by the choice not to have kids is also a squicky situation. Just my 2 cents, clearly people have their own experiences and know their friends best. 21 agree Reply This, and it doesn't necessarily feel like something that's worth congratulating. I mean, great, but I don't see the need to reward a choice not to do something. :/ My husband and I have decided not to have kids (with the caveat that our minds MIGHT change in the next few years but we're okay if not) and I don't feel like I need a reward or to announce it to people. When people ask if we're going to have kids, I simply say "no, we don't want them, although we're open to our minds changing" and that's the end of it. I don't need a gift or "support" for something that's my choice. I don't need a gift for having a cat. I have a cat. Lots of people have cats. Some people have cats AND kids. It's not mutually exclusive. It might be a different situation for someone who is childfree NOT by choice– I can see a token of support being appropriate in that situation. But for someone who has weighed the pros and cons and has decided to focus on travel and doesn't feel any desire to reproduce, it seems kind of pointless to "reward" them for that. I have seen people who have thrown massive parties for 50th or 60th birthdays in lieu of getting married, and that makes sense, but this seems… a little unnecessary and maybe even inappropriate. Sort of like a participation trophy for existing. 5 agree Reply I think it would be a nice/funny gesture for a friend who is complaining about unsupportive family, especially if you also are in that boat. More like a commiseration inside joke than a serious congratulatory gift. 13 agree Reply Yeah, I think fun for a situation where your friend is like "my mom is relentless with the grandkid biz" and you send her a little thing. But to just be like "hey, heard you at Jimmy's bbq last week saying you don't want kids, here is a gift basket" is a little weird! Though, I mean, if it's a Swiss Colony basket? You can give me one of those for any reason at any time lol! 4 agree Reply I get that sentiment, but can't we all use some more participation trophies for existing? Why not celebrate all the little choices, big choices, non-choices, and just… things? Why wait until a 50th or 60th birthday, or whatever – why not celebrate Tuesday 11AM? Or a sunny day? Yeah, sure, the gesture is unnecessary. Celebration is unnecessary. Reward is unnecessary. But it makes life more fun, raises oxytocin levels, and actually lengthens life expectancy. No, you don't *need* a gift for a choice, or for your cat, or for a holiday, or for your birthday, or for anything, really. But gift-giving is one of the five Love Languages, and is generally fun for people to do and experience (I'm actually not sure why I'm feeling the need to explain fun or gifts right now, but your comment just makes it seem like you're not interested in doing anything not "required" in life, or anything that optional and fun). So let's have some fun. Sure, if this might offend your friend, don't get it. I think it's common sense to not get things for your friends that might offend them. And, if you receive a gift that offends you, be gracious and say thank you for the thought, but then explain why the gift is insensitive. I think this is all pretty easy, really. I don't think anyone here is saying cats and kids are mutually exclusive, either. I don't think anyone is saying that having a cat or traveling replaces kids. The article specifically discusses the fact that many people who inform others of their child-free decision/inclination often face difficult push-back, and these are some fun and goofy ways to easily express support in what might be a tricky time for those people (without having to be too "deep). It's not a commentary on cats vs. kids. 7 agree Reply I kinda feel like saying that having cats and traveling replaces kids 😉 2 agree Reply I didn't say cats/travel and kids were mutually exclusive. I said I don't need a participation trophy for choosing one of them. It just seems downright ridiculous to fish for gifts for deciding to use birth control. 1 agrees Reply How about throwing an unbaby shower and really go all out, like that sentiment from SATC that people don't give you a "congratulations for going on vacation alone" set of flatware? 3 agree Reply That magnet is epic! 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.