Lesson 36: Choosing to Live Child-Free

Baby 110

Right now there’s some minor drama on the Internet about a woman’s right to choose to have a child. You might think I’m talking about “choice vs. life” but that would be far too obvious and actually worthy of argument. Instead the kerfuffle is over the fact that some women are loudly choosing to be childfree.

I actually have a pretty strong opinion about this.

Who. The fuck. Cares?

Choosing not to have kids is a lot like choosing not to wear a sweater. You may feel comfortable not wearing a sweater but most likely someone is going to say, “You need a sweater, you poor thing. You’re going to catch a cold.” Then you’ll explain that getting a cold from temperature is an old wives' tale but they’ll still insist you wear a sweater. Now you’ve got a sweater that you never wanted in the first place and you have to carry it around with you at the amusement park and it gets heavier and heavier and eventually you want to just throw it in the trash and when you finally let someone else hold your sweater you feel free and fabulous and like you could run a marathon if people would just stop throwing sweaters at you. And that’s what having a child is like. At least that’s what it feels like when one is thrust on you by society. 

People who have always wanted kids (myself included) sometimes have a hard time understanding why others wouldn’t want a sweater. Especially when it’s your favorite sweater. The one you searched for forever. Comfortable and snuggly and a little too baggy and probably not flattering at all, and all your sweater-free friends keep telling you to leave it at home but you know that later that night there will be a time when you’ll happily bundle yourself up in that sweater and feel like the whole world is right. You’ll look at your sweater-free friend and think, "She must be so cold. I wish she could feel as happy and content as I do right now." You might even be tempted to push a sweater on your friend but here's the deal. She doesn’t want your damn sweater. And that’s fine. Awesome even. There are already plenty of sweaters in the world and the last thing we need is a bunch of sweaters getting left at the bottom of duffel bags by people who never asked for your damn sweater to begin with.

I guess my point is, sweaters make terrible analogies. And that it’s okay people to choose to be parents or to choose to be child-free. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s the American way.

Stop being so concerned about sweaters, you guys. It’s embarrassing all of us.




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nonmember avatar Lilac

So moms get the right to be loud regarding having kids, kid rights, plane seating, family restaurant seating, close to the store parking, etc. but you would like us childless by choice to keep quiet so we won't upset you "real" women because you are "moms". Sorry, we're here, loud, proud and happy.

Aunt_... Aunt_ning

I am one of those "sweater free" people. My whole life I wanted to be an aunt, never a mother. Never even played mommy with my baby dolls, I was always the aunt.  My sister is 10 years older so I became an aunt at 13 and again at 18 from her. Also have probly every child I have ever met call me aunt. My goal in life is to love the children, spoil the children. And get to go home sometimes with out them (sometimes they tag along).  I love them, everyone says I would be the best mother, they just don't get I have just never had the desire. I love being the "best friend" the "awesome baby sitter" the one that everyone thinks is still a kid because I relate so well. In fact I even teach 1st grade Sunday School because I love kids. But stop asking me when I am having them! I dont want one, never did, most likely never will.

Kritika Kritika

I wouldn't ever think of someone as any less of a woman because she doesn't have kids. What a silly thing to say.

tnyangel tnyangel

Not silly. I work in a whole universe of professional women with degrees. ONE has chosen to be child free. She's happy, healthy, this is not a "can't have" issue. So i felt horrible when I heard the hens clucking about her. Every single time someone didn't like what she said it was "She's selfish, no children" or "She just can't understand, no children". A big ole Effffff that. She just doesn't need a sweater to be happy.

nonmember avatar Sara

Lilac, you got it wrong- she's saying for people to stop telling those without children to have children. She's not telling you to stop being loud or proud, she's supporting the fact that you get to make whatever choice you want. I don't know how you misread what the post says, but she's so on your side.

Also, love the bloggess! Another wonderful post :)

tnyangel tnyangel

Oh and love the Bloggess! I started reading her Blog because I found her here! The Sweater thing is great. Not as cool as Juanita Weasel.

nonmember avatar me

Lilac, if you are offended by people with "sweaters", don't go to where the "sweaters" are. The "sweaters" need to be out and about, just like you, enjoying life. The sweaters are here,they're not going anywhere. Get used to it.

Akash... AkashaGermaine

@lilac- the whole point of this blog is DEFENDING your right to be childless and not be bugged about it. Geez

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