Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Addressing Climate Change: Happily Child-Free

Researchers have calculated that one additional U.S. child increases the lifetime carbon emissions legacy of either parent by nearly six times. Thus, not having children is by far the single greenest action any one of us can take, although the child-free choice is not usually green-motivated.

If we are to hope for a humane human future, we must bring our populations down to a sustainable level, as we point out in our free online book, and this involves imagining just how joyful families of one or no children can be. The good news is that the process has already begun.
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Friday, December 02, 2011

Baby Surcharges? Child-Free Restaurants?

Dining with kids can be a pleasure when they are well behaved and a hassle when they are not. Especially if you’re one table over.
This summer a restaurant in Pennsylvania announced that it was banning children under the age of six. I’m totally against that – my 3 year old is just as well behaved in restaurants as my 6-year-old. But if I want a meal without the whining and seat kicking and even worse that goes on with some children, I expect a ban under the age of 12!

In fact, I’m all for it. I see no reason at all that some restaurants shouldn’t be able to declare themselves child-free zones. As a parent, there are times that I want to go out with my entire family – children included. As an adult there are times I want to be in restaurants without my own kids and not have to listen to other children. A restaurant should be free to clearly state its policy and diners should be free to patronize (or not) a particular establishment.
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Thursday, November 03, 2011

The craving for a baby that drives women to the ultimate deception

Mail Online
Of course, not every woman in my position would resort to extreme measures. But I do believe that any man who moves in with a woman in her late 30s or early 40s should take it as read that she will want to use them to procreate, by fair means or foul, no matter how much she protests otherwise.

A 2001 survey revealed that 42 per cent of women would lie about using contraception in order to get pregnant in spite of their partners’ wishes.
I'd comment, but I am dumbstruck by horror.
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7 Billion Means You Can Stop Asking When I'm Having A Baby

The bottom line is that when we pressure women to have children, even if we are just innocently asking "when" it will happen, what we are really saying is that women aren't worth much without them. Men aren't asked this question incessantly.
. . .
The truth is, no one ever tells us that we might, actually, not regret living child-free. We might not regret being the best aunts ever while having most of our personal time to devote to a great marriage or several great relationships. We might not regret having the time and resources to travel frequently. We can save for retirement in such a way that we won't need adult children to support or take care of us. And with almost one in five women in the U.S. remaining childless, according to the June 2010 Pew Research Center study, we won't be alone.
. . .
However, with the world's population hitting seven billion people this week, I'd venture to say that the pressure is off. Humankind will not end because you did not give birth. There are, officially, plenty of humans to go around, and it's safe to say that a significant number of them will produce more humans.

In other words, we are off the hook. If you want children, go for it, but do it because you want those children and because you want to be a mother, not because you're afraid of the alternative. Those of us who've taken the other route are doing just fine.
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Childless women 'vilified by bosses'

Why NOT having a family could ruin your career.
According to her findings, bosses often regard those who opt not to have a family as cold and odd.

They can be vilified, refused jobs and denied promotions, because some employers feel female staff who don't want children lack an 'essential humanity'.

Researcher Dr Caroline Gatrell, who spent six years researching women in the workplace, explained: 'Women who explicitly choose career over kids are often vilified at work and face enormously unjust treatment.'
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Jennifer Aniston Happy Being Childless?

JENNIFER Aniston might be in her forties, single and childless — but she’s happy!
ays she’s fine not being a mom because she’s surrounded by the kids of her Just Go With It costars Nicole Kidman, Adam Sandler and Dave Matthews.

“I’m constantly getting a kid fix!” she told Entertainment Tonight.

In December 2008, Aniston mused to Entertainment Weekly about having kids of her own : “I feel like that’s in my future and I’m on the verge of it in some way,” she said.

Please don't click through. You risk losing IQ points reading this thing.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why child-free still trumps child-friendly

Cape Argus
According to a study by Northwestern University in Chicago, men experience a drop in testosterone when their child is born. Thankfully, the reduction isn’t enough to bring about man boobs or a predilection for Meg Ryan movies, but it’s enough to turn hard-assed blokes into soft, blubbering egg yolks. Which is nice.

. . .
But there is that final finding that negates all the positive effects: baby blues. The East Virginia Medical School found that one in 10 fathers – the same ratio as women – experience post-natal depression. Couple that with the man’s new sensitive state, and all hell could break loose.
. . .
Indeed. That’s why I “almost” reconsidered. Having children is a personal choice and I admire those who do it, but I’m not nearly grown up enough to undertake it myself. And even though I do the grocery shopping, walk the dogs, have un-massaged feet and know where the doodat is, I like my husband just as he is – even if he thinks Virginia Woolf is a character from True Blood. More than that, I like us just the way we are.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Real Deal on Childfree Guys

We still don’t hear as much from childfree guys and why they have chosen the childfree life. And when it is out there, it often misses the mark, because it is really an article about his “resistance” than lack of desire.

Read more:
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No Kids Allowed: New Options For People Who Prefer “Child Free” Holidays

Weiss has gathered the addresses of 283 hotels, pensions and resorts on his Internet site In the Caribbean and Central America, child-free resorts have existed for a long time. Europe lags behind, he says, although he notes a trend in both Spain and the Canary Islands for child-free hotels. And market demand has been recognized by the Austrians for years, he adds, pointing to the Hotel Cortisen on Lake Wolfgang (Salzburg) that in 2005 decided not to admit children younger than 12 saying that they’d taken the decision in answer to “the wishes and needs of a modern, enlightened society.”
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Why I'm Perfectly Happy Being The Child-Free 'Cool Aunt'

Some women would call me selfish for not wanting kids...and I would whole-heartedly agree with them.
do not regard myself as "childless," nor will you see me running around telling people that I'm "childfull." My motherhood status shouldn't matter just because we live in a society that has told us that yes, having children is something that comes next once you're married; it's just what people do; it's imparting survival on the species; it's some sort of duty and if you don't fulfill it you're selfish and self-absorbed. Well then, so be it.
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Childfree By Choice: I Don’t Want Kids, And I’m In Good Company

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

DINKs: Childfree By Choice

In a posting on the site, a woman in Birmingham, Ala., shared her surprise and dismay that friends were unsupportive when she and her husband told them they planned not to have children. “Too many conversations, painful moments and emotional emails to recount,” she wrote, “but the statement we feel best sums it all up was when a very close couple told us that they did not see us in their lives anymore as we were making the ‘unnatural choice.’ ” She said she and her husband have since found solace in charity work and activities like a barbecue competition team.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The 5 Most Horrible Things Nobody Tells You About Babies Read more: The 5 Most Horrible Things Nobody Tells You About Babies

Hollywood comedies about parenthood depend entirely on making raising a kid look a ridiculous, hectic mess. Then, eventually the leading man finds out that in the end, the rewards make it all worth it. That's mostly because for whatever reason, baby murder is still taboo in modern Hollywood comedies.

When you have a real kid, you realize there's plenty of stuff those movies don't show you. If they did, their zany comedy about a single father finding a baby on his doorstep would quickly become a nightmare inducing horror that would shut down the genitals of any aspiring parent. Maybe that's why you don't see...

Or dear. Some of that is a bit traumatizing, but for the squeamish like me, I will warn you that it is (tolerably) gross.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Made You Decide To Have Kids?

StrollerderbyThe journalist solicits answers from her readers, which are posted as comments. One response:
This is one of those moments when I wonder about our kids reading the blogosphere. A friend of mine decided to have kids “to save the marriage”. When it didn’t work, but left her single-parenting instead, would you want her to tell her kid that?

Another friend grew up in the era when our parents said “when you grow up and have kids” rather than “if … you have kids” … and she decided to have kids because “that’s what you do when you’ve got married, saved a chunk of both salaries, bought the house, decorated the house, and your friends start having kids.” She quit a job she loved to “do the right thing” and stay home to parent. Hated it. Out of her four kids, today two are in jail. Should she be posting to Babble that she wishes she never had them?

From my own personal experience I will tell you that the joys and challenges of motherhood were the area of the biggest lying in my family. Mothers, grandmothers and aunts pushed the notion that motherhood would be my biggest joy and that they never regretted their choices for a moment. So when I found parenting challenging, I thought I was defective in some vital way. But by the time I was in high school, these same women were willing to ‘let me into the club’, sharing their frustrations and regrets just as if they’d never led me down the garden path.

I could say more about this, but maybe my kids are reading it?
However, other commenters simply say they "always wanted them" without giving a reason, and don't seem to be aware that they are not answering the question. I wonder what this says about their decision?
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

If I’m not sure I want kids, is having one the best way to find out?

The Globe and Mail
I’ve been bombarded with such seemingly helpful comments as, “It’s different when it’s your own” and “You’d make a great mother.” However, if I am not sure that I want them, is it not a risky experiment to find out the hard way that I don’t? Regardless of whether or not I’d be a great mother or that it might be different, I am not certain that having a child is the best way to arrive at that realization.

There are innumerable pleasures to be had in this world and having a child is not necessarily the trump card when it comes to a happy and complete life. Some may argue that I will never know love, as the love one has for their child is the deepest and purest form of all. This may be true. I am unable to fully imagine the love one would have for a child just as I am unable to imagine the exhilaration of winning an Academy Award, but I am not less of a person for lacking in those experiences. Perhaps I will miss out on understanding a certain form of love, but that in no way discredits the love that I do feel in my life as any less than deep and pure.
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We say no to babies and yes to NYC Read more:

NY PostI feel a little dirty just having gone to the Post's website, but, well, the article was relevant.
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Monday, August 08, 2011

Childless couples still divorce at a much higher rate than those with children

Deseret News
Childless couples still divorce at a much higher rate than those with children
Published: Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 10:25 a.m. MDT
About 66 percent of American divorced couples are childless, according to a Huffington Post article that looks at multiple studies, while 40 percent of couples with children have divorced.

"The absence of children leads to loneliness," author and journalist Anneli Rufus wrote as part of a Divorce Magazine list of 21 factors that increase the risk of divorce.

Couples without children are prone to divorce issues, according to, and studies are showing it could stem from sexual incompatibility. Childless couples also show symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Yet Laura Carroll, author of "Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice," told the Huffington Post many childless couples are happy, because they "have more time, energy and money to spend on their careers, friends, each other and themselves."

Huffington Post writer Vicki Larson shows that divorce rates among the childless have been significantly higher for more than a half century. She suggests that while children may not always be the glue that holds a marriage together, "the childfree don't have that motive, so there's no reason to stay together if it's not working."
This article is so poorly written that it barely warrants commenting. Suffice it to say that some Journalist's opinion on loneliness in no way negates the possibility that the difference is entirely due to unhappy couples staying together for the sake of their children.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Your Child-Free Friends

I mentioned that I had kids to someone recently, and her reaction was shock, “You have kids?”
. . .
My new friend looked a little disappointed. She was going to pre-break up with me, and I wanted to tell her that I can have grown-up conversations. I won’t talk too much about my kids. No stories of potty training failures or videos of my kids doing some silly dance. I like fine dining and good literature as much as I like swiping fries from kids’ meals and rhyming books.

Keep up you pre-kid hobbies and volunteer commitments.

Don’t let the responsibilities of parenthood drain the life out of you.

Being a good friend is about finding points of connection.

Don’t judge or be a matchmaker or be a fertility counselor unless someone asks.

Not all child-free people are averse to kids. Invite your friends to a birthday party in the park. The ones who aren’t into kids will gracefully decline. The ones who love kids will appreciate the invite (and chance to throw water balloons).
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On maternal desire

I have heard, more than once, young women describe themselves as ‘bad feminists’ for aspiring to motherhood. I don’t think this is only because of ingrained notions of feminism meaning a focus on career and financial independence (although feminism sometimes still means these things and that’s not always a bad thing.) I think it’s also because women who love babies are liable to be stereotyped as ditzy, unambitious or sentimental at best. Sometimes they are seen as emotionally voracious or, well, gross.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Childfree Novel

Is Child-Free The Way To Be?
In her new novel The Barreness, Lewis explores the fraught and emotional territory of going child-free. We called up this Georgia-born journalist and writer in her current home in London—where she happily lives with her husband—and asked her all the questions you’d be too polite to ask.
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Someone to help blow out the candles

Tasha Kheiriddin:
But a word to the childless: These are also snapshots of the future. There will come a time when Zara makes her own way in the world and I can once again read the Saturday paper in bed.

And then, decades later I hope, will come a time when I have trouble leaving my bed at all. Aging is not pretty or dignified; one day I – like my toddler today – may not be able to hold a spoon or stay continent. And who will be there when that happens?

Of course, you can always pay someone to care for you, and the childless will crow that they will be able to do so, having not spent their savings on their kids’ college education. But nursing home attendants, attentive though they may be, are not family. They are not bound by ties of blood, memory, and love.

While having children does not guarantee their presence in your old age, not having them makes their absence a certainty. My father’s struggle with dementia, still in its early stages, makes me realize how precious family ties are. He delights in the antics of his granddaughter. He revisits his own youth and retells stories of when he was a child. Like Mandela, his eyes light up, sparked by the presence of new life, and love.

Who will blow out the candles on my cake when I no longer can? Hopefully, my daughter, or her children. I can’t think of a better way to spend a birthday — now, or then.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

No kidding, it's not tragic

Women find richness in life without children
"People are waking up to the fact that parenthood has moved from an assumption to a decision," Scott said. "The question 'When should we have kids?' has morphed into 'Should we have kids?'."

A childless man does not find himself subject to the same scrutiny as a childless woman. Childless celebrities abound, from Oprah to Condoleeza Rice, but many people still harbor prejudice against women who remain childfree.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Melanie Notkin: It's Time to Stop Calling Career Women Without Children "Delayers"

Melanie Notkin: It's Time to Stop Calling Career Women Without Children "Delayers":
"Any woman who didn't have a child by the time she hit 30 used to be called a 'career woman' until someone knocked on 2011's door and said that careers for single women, even married women, even moms, are not so much of a choice these days.

So now you've got a new name: 'delayer.' 'Women with a college degree are experiencing a 'delayer boom,' the Census Bureau states in a report, 'giving birth at a later age than other women but still having fewer children overall by the end of their childbearing years.'
Although the article is pro-childfree, I do take umbrage with its purported representation of the single set. I am sure there are plenty of single folk just looking for love. I do quite enjoy marriage, and my life wouldn't be as good if I didn't have someone who knows me better than anyone, who is always there at the end of the day to laugh with and talk about nothing to. But guess what? That's a product of who I am, and the way I am wired. It is not universal. There are also people who love nothing more than coming home to a peacefully empty apartment, or some cats, or perhaps an iguana.

I think one of the biggest lessons the world needs to learn about the world is that people are different. Just because kids are the best thing that ever happened to you doesn't mean that I'd like having them. Of course this realization has implications far beyond parenting - it applies to every single facet of life from where we live to what we watch on TV. That's one of the reasons the childfree often make such great advocates for singledom and gay marriage. Having opted out of what the world tells us in almost a singular voice is the greatest joy to be had, we are forced to recognize that there is pretty much nothing that everyone *should* do; no happiness that is universal.

Heck, I even know someone who doesn't like chocolate.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Thomson appeals to adults with child-free holiday brand

Marketing Week:
"It is launching Thomson Couples to appeal to adults that want to enjoy a holiday experience without children - both theirs and other people’s.

The holiday operator claims that more than three quarters (79%) of adults admit their holidays have been affected by other people’s children and more than a third claim “hell is other people’s children on holiday”.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

January Jones Has a Twisted View of Motherhood | The Stir

January Jones Has a Twisted View of Motherhood | The Stir
I'd prefer to think I spent two-plus decades being a contributing member of society, not a vessel in flux, waiting to be filled with a fetus.
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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Parents vs. Childfree Adults-- Why Can't We Just Get Along?

Parents vs. Childfree Adults-- Why Can't We Just Get Along? | Care2 Healthy & Green Living
"Not too long ago a client picked up a copy of my book, Complete Without Kids: An Insider’s Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance, at the local bookstore. I saw her a couple of weeks later, and she shared with dismay that her teenage son had confiscated the book and was enjoying reading it. She added that she hoped he wouldn’t get any “ideas” from the book, because she is so much looking forward to being a grandmother."
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Child-free Couples On The Rise; Do You Wish You Were One Of Them?

Stroller Derby
Having a child changes so much of your life, it’s impossible for me to imagine what or who I’d be if I weren’t my kids’ mom. That would be like regretting having blue eyes, or being an English speaker. I can’t change these things, they’re part of the fabric of who I am.
I thought the author expressed quite well the uselessness of trying to ask this question and get answers with a societal meaning.
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Friday, April 01, 2011

Free Childfree Book: Complete Without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance Complete Without Kids: An Insider's Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance eBook: Ellen L. Walker: Kindle Store

Right now, the Kindle version is free. If you don't have a Kindle, you can read it on your computer or smart-phone.

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Don't Hate Me for Being a Mom on Facebook | The Stir

The Stir:
"In a survey by daily deal site Eversave, 57 percent of women said they have a 'proud mom' friend on Facebook who annoys the pants off of them. Before you run off crying, a word. Buck up mom; this isn't high school. That's their problem, not ours.
Oh, get over your persecution complex. They don't hate you because you're a mom. They hate you because you're boring. We get annoyed with people who post constant banal updates, and are amused by those who tell funny stories or post interesting articles.

The trouble is, moms are more likely to be annoying. So are people who just started going to the gym. And new dog owners. When your life revolves around something only you find interesting (or you think people will be impressed by), there's a temptation to post updates on that. If you give in to that temptation, especially to the exclusion of the good stuff (which is probably in short supply if you just replaced adventures with evenings in) you become boring.

I myself had to get a Dogster account, since after two days I realized my desire to post such updates would lead me in that direction. My dog doesn't like rain! Look at these 17 pictures of her with her Kong! New parents and those with new puppies also spend way more time dealing with the scatological. If this leaks into your Facebook world - voila! You're now boring AND an oversharer.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ryanair to introduce child-free flights-31 March, 2011

Ryanair to introduce child-free flights

"Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “When it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people’s little monsters when travelling.

'While half our passengers would like us to divide our cabins up into ‘adult’ and ‘family’ areas it is not operationally possible due to our free seating policy, with optional priority boarding.

'However, with clear demand for ‘child free’ flights Ryanair will introduce child free flights on high frequency routes from the start of our winter schedule in October.”
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Monday, March 28, 2011

No, I don't have children. But it's MY business | Mail Online

No, I don't have children. But it's MY business | Mail Online: "Maybe I’m being oversensitive, but I find it incredible a stranger thinks it’s fine to probe my ability or desire to procreate. For I’m certain the same people would never dream of asking me to reveal my salary, how often I have sex, or who I voted for.

So why is the subject of whether my eggs will remain unfertilised fair game? Do people not suspect that this, too, might be a sensitive issue? For all they know, I could have been trying for a baby for ten years. Perhaps I’ve had several failed attempts at IVF, or suffered multiple miscarriages.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Deliberately, delightfully child-free (and Jewish)

Tribe | Jewish Journal: "Their mantra is that it only takes two to make a family.

“Our lives are complete,” Alissa said. “We don’t need kids to have a full life.”

Some relatives had a tough time being persuaded, however.

“Jewish parents want grandchildren,” Ken said. “My mother’s probably still holding out hope.”

Both of the Kovens, whose parents have other grandchildren, were raised Jewish but are not members of a synagogue.

“I do feel some Jewish guilt about not having children, because I do, or did, have the opportunity to increase the Jewish population by one or two and am not doing it,” said Alissa, who does freelance work in market research and as a copy editor.

Despite the divine commandment in Genesis to “be fruitful and multiply,” fertility rates among Jewish women are lower than those for U.S. women in general and are not high enough to replace the current population, according to the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey, sponsored by United Jewish Communities and Jewish Federations.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Airline Fees Worth the Cost

New York Times
The results of a recent survey of business travelers we learned about from, for instance, suggest that some travelers may be willing to pay extra for adult-only flights or cabins. To dig deeper, the asked readers whether they would pay extra for a child-free flight and if so, how much extra they would pay. Two-thirds said they would be willing to pay more. And other publications have also delved into the idea of such fees.
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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Big Families Are Not Status Symbols

Big Families Are Not Status Symbols
Maybe women who have four or more children are showing off a little bit. I mean, I'm impressed. But to imply their status is more important than their love for their children is way off base. Even those of us who know we're done having children -- seriously, the idea of even one more is exhausting -- have moments when we look at our children and think how amazing it would be to have another one. If money, pain, or space weren't an issue, who says we wouldn't all have a house full?
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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Child-free By Choice

Africana Online
So, people tried to reason with me by using the same logic that they apply when they watch me stuff Oreo after Oreo into my relatively thin frame—“you will change when you hit 30.” Mind you, I was married only four months prior to my 30th birthday. When the magic number 30 came and passed, the logic was that I would want a kid when I was 35. I haven’t reached that number yet to disprove the masses, but it is fast approaching.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Childfree Wisdom & Resilience in Later Years

I recently posted on a wonderful story by Kathleen O'Connor who writes about her 97 year old childfree friend Libby, her life, and most notably how "Her last years and days were an illumination of why children aren’t necessary for a happy, cared-for old age." This message has since come closer to home. . .

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Friday, February 04, 2011

In the middle of a baby boom

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Childfree living in a family-focused society | Easier

Childfree living in a family-focused society | Easier:
"Licensed Clinical Psychologist Ellen L Walker examines the often-ignored question of what it means to be childfree, by choice or by circumstance, in a family-focused society."
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Childfree Couples Eat More Healthfully Than Parents of Children
"Results from the British government, that took nutritional information regarding the grocery purchases of over 7,000 families and were compiled to compare the eating habits of the English show that apparently, I’m not alone.

The results showed that the more well-off the family, the better they ate, with a diet including vegetables and fruit, as well as meat. Younger households (age-wise) tended to eat more fats and sweets, with older households seeing a decline in those kinds of foods.

But some were taken aback by the finding that one group who ate more healthily than another group were child-free couples, as opposed to parents."

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Are Parent and Childfree Brains Different?

Are Parent and Childfree Brains Different?
"We have a name for people who pursue rare moments of bliss at the expense of their wallets and their social and professional relationships: addicts.'

It seems there is a good deal of science linking “addiction regions” of the brain with parenting. The idea is that humans evolved these regions of the brain so we would seek out and persevere in parenthood—why? A Darwinian view might hypothesize that it’s to ensure the continued evolution of the human species. We have evolved to where some underlying mechanisms in our brains have developed by natural selection to make us seek out and, at least in the big picture, enjoy parenthood. "
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Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been a "Breeder?" - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
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Why I got my tubes tied at 27
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Why It's OK to Discipline Other People's Kids


A new mom gives us permission to discipline kids, mainly because she still thinks like a childfree person about how unruly kids have gotten.
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Child-Free Celebrities

Marie Claire

I actually knew who most of these people were! I was a bit delighted that such a mainstream publication used this approach. I have seen women's magazines trash George Clooney for his single, childfree lifestyle. Such a double standard - we should ALL be able to choose the life we want, be it kids, no kids, marriage, or not.

I didn't realize Helen Mirren was childfree, but this is no surprise; skin that looks like that is usually only paired with the childless choice.
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Passengers Push for Child-Free Flights -

A giant eyeroll at the commenter and letter-writers who claim that loud adults are just as bad and, therefore, childfree flights are stupid. Yeah, a loud, drunken adult is annoying. However, any given adult they let on the plane has only a small chance of being that guy. Meanwhile, the odds of a 2 year old being disruptive? Quite high.

I guess I'm advocating profiling at the airport. Ah well. :)
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Tubes Tied at 27

The Story from APM: (Radio Interview)
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The Preachers of Parenthood

Piper Hoffman
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