My husband recently told me he definitively doesn’t want children. I knew he’d been leaning that way over the past few years so we’ve been waiting. Silly me, I’d always thought he’d eventually change his mind. If I’m honest my heart is quite broken. I’ve always looked forward to being a parent. How do I move from wanting a child to child-free?
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.
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…
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 may be looking for the right partner or not sure what you’re looking for at all.
I know that media and culture tells you that the clock is ticking. That motherhood is the ultimate feminine destiny; the next epoch.
But you know what, Childfree Woman? I’m a mom and I think that’s absolute bullshit.
In early 2008, I realized I was pregnant. Now to an outside observer it would seem a rather obvious outcome. I had just engaged in my first act of sexual intercourse, we didn’t use protection and I had no idea where I was on my cycle. I was 23 and had just started my second semester of college.
I have a niece, 20, and nephew, 16, who do drugs regularly. It started with pot, but now they’re into Molly, popping and snorting crushed pills, mushrooms, and taking cold medicine to get high. I know this because they’re pretty active on Twitter and post references to it and photos of their dilated pupils. They’ve also told me and other family members.
I would like to start off by saying that I have no idea what it’s like to be a mom (yet). I have no idea what 24 hours a day, 7 days a week responsibility for an ornery, screaming, time-demanding tiny human is like. All I’m saying is that becoming an aunt has given 10x more insight into it. I also got lucky with the BEST niece and nephew ever, not every kid is as cool as them. Here are some things I’ve picked up.
The first time Maggie saw it when she was around two and a half, she asked me, “who’s that?” “That’s Medusa, Maggie. She has snakes for hair,” I explained. She laughed, thinking it was hilarious. This became a constant back and forth nearly every time she saw me — asking about Medusa, laughing at the snake-hair. I quipped one day that it must be really hard for her to brush her hair. Maggie also thought this was hilarious and incorporated it into the routine — “So funny!” she’d say, hands over her mouth as she giggled.