Thursday, April 03, 2014

The flexible working debate shouldn't be made into an argument between women

Anne Perkins | Comment is free |

An excerpt:

"Day claims that childless women do end up working longer and are harder to cover for than the mothers in the office who have (by implication) swanned off for a little light childcare. Passing over the gritty reality of parenthood, if that was really the case then they should be directing their rage not at the parents but at their employer. It is not acceptable to give one person flexible hours and make others pick up the tab. One of the (long list) of reasons for refusing a request for flexible working is if the employer can claim that it is difficult to reorganise the work among the remaining staff."
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Who Has a More Satisfying Life: Parents or the Childfree?

Kathy Buckworth

An excerpt:

"Having the comfort of blaming my bad moods, disorganization and
occasional stained blouse on the children has been one of the mainstays
of my parenting technique. While no one can scientifically measure the
joy of a first smile or the bliss of a newborn's smell, let me tell you
there are many dissatisfying moments every parent goes through on pretty
much a daily basis, and I guarantee that these are not the moments when
they're filling in a satisfaction survey.  "
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Baby Shower Invitation Etiquette - Don't Be Gift Grubby

Baby Shower Invitation Etiquette - Don't Be Gift Grubby

After reading the horrifying behavior of this mom-to-be, suddenly the monotony of our friends' baby showers won't seem so bad . . .(Hint: I volunteer to write down the gift and giver so I don't have to pretend to ooh and aah over baby clothes!)

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Monday, February 03, 2014

The Perks Of Being Child-Free Are Summed Up In This Brilliant Parody 'Try Not Having Kids'

'Try Not Having Kids'(HuffPo)
"Are you beginning to feel pressure from others to have children of your own? Do you find you are not yet ready to obliterate any chance you have left to enjoy life to its fullest?" asks the voiceover lady. Solution? "Then try Not Having Kids!" she chirps.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Childfree Life: Kids Really Do Ruin Marriages, Study Finds

Childfree Life: Kids Really Do Ruin Marriages, Study Finds
In a study of more than 5,000 adults, findings showed that childless couples have happier marriages and feel more valued in their relationships, reports The Guardian. But researchers also found that women without children were the least happy with their lives overall, whereas mothers were happier than any other group, even if they had troubles in their relationships. Yet fathers were twice as likely as mothers to report a lack of sexual intimacy as the biggest problem in their relationship.
If society stopped putting pressure on folks to procreate, I wonder what that rate would be? I suspect that deliberately choosing parenthood would result in happier parents than those who simply stumble into it as the default. Recently, a very close friend and relative had a child. She told me that having childfree people in her life had caused her to make the decision differently than she would have otherwise; she spent more time deliberating on the decision. I don't think it is a coincidence that a year later, she is a happy mother. Still, without a larger sample size, it is just speculation.
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Friday, January 03, 2014

How Not To Be A Dick To Your Childfree Friends

1.“I thought I didn’t want kids, too -– but then I grew up.”
. . .
This line of reasoning is scarily similar to things queer people often hear -– it’s just a phase, you’ll get over it, you’re just trying to be edgy/trendy.

But by declaring that your childfree friend will change his or her mind implies two things:
  1. You know your friend’s mind, hopes, dreams and desires better than your friend ever could. Your friend is mistaken about his/her desire to live a childfree life, and, by proxy, maybe not so smart.
  2. You think your friend’s very responsible, often quite difficult, decision has been made flippantly and without much consideration.
I find that this is often coupled with the idea that I don't know what I am missing, so as to justify the idea that they know better than I do.  I have a ready-made retort handy:  My mother knows what I am missing, and she doesn't think I am making a mistake.  I'd say she knows me a fair bit better than you do.  Indeed, I have never heard this from someone who knows me well at all.

Still, even if this were coming from someone close, the speaker only knows what parenting would be like for them - someone who actually wanted to parent.  They are completely incapable of understanding what parenting would be like for someone without that urge.  Therefore, they are in no position to understand your choice at all.

Click over to the article for a far longer list of ways not to be a dick.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Responding to 'Child-free': Missing out on so much

Piper Hoffman write a piece entitled Our Unexpected Choice. Your Voice
Piper, I was hurt by your line, “Life would be better without kids.” How could you know? Life could be different, yes; quieter, perhaps; less direct responsibilities for other people’s lives, OK. But better? How could you say that without ever experiencing having your own children? And it is just not true. Your comment is very hurtful and degrading to all of us parents and our marriages.
What we see here is the kind of failed thinking that leads to people rejecting the childfree. The writer (Dina Bacharach) jumps immediately to the conclusion that Piper is judging her own choice, instead of merely making the decision that is best for her own life. Then, she assumes that she knows what would make Piper happy even though she doesn't know her at all. Who is to say that more quiet and less responsibility isn't exactly what Piper needs to be happy? However, the biggest signal of disordered thinking appears in the line before this quote:
And I see your pain of a lost dream. Because you clearly wrote that you wanted to be a mom.
I don't see that anywhere in the original letter. Indeed, Piper explains her early thinking:
I didn’t yearn for kids but they seemed the thing to do, so we debated how religiously to raise them.
To read that sentence and conclude that Ms. Hoffman wanted to be a mom shows that Bacharach isn't actually reading, but simply projecting her own feelings onto anyone else. This is bigger than the childfree. I think this could apply to many situations. Just because you feel or experience something does not mean that experience is universal. Once we learn to respect the perspectives of others, understand that we are all different and want different things, we will be a better, more accepting society.

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Why we’re child-free and happy

Irish Examiner:
Controversial research at the London School of Economics recently proposed a correlation between high female intelligence and childlessness. Satoshi Kanazawa analysed the UK’s National Child Development Study, which followed a group of people over 50 years, and found that childhood intelligence predicted childlessness in females.
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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Our unexpected choice: Living child-free - Families Families:

We have never regretted that choice, which is more common now than it was when we made it, but we feel bad about disappointing our mothers. Mine repeatedly warned that I would regret my decision and miss out on great happiness. Contemplating an extended trip to Israel, she sighed pointedly, “I might as well go. It’s not like anyone here needs me.” Knowing I let her down hurts, but not as much as it would to live a life I don’t want.