Breed Responsibly?

Today on Momversation, Heather talks about the Childfree by Choice Movement with Dana and me. I'm all for choice. Pro-choice. Child-free by choice... Whatever empowers women (and men) to make their own decisions is awesome and fantastic. 

What I think is uncool is dissing OTHER people's choices. Especially when you call yourself "Childfree by CHOICE." Hello! Can't we all just get along? 

don't hate me because I'm baby...ful

There was a lot edited out of this episode, including a discussion about the environment and how many childfree-by-choicers frown upon our choice to have children, looking at us as environmental homewreckers of sorts which I find interesting because ... Hello? Aren't the children our future? Shouldn't we teach them well and let them lead the way? Isn't it important (and crucial to our society and planet) to raise aware, intelligent, learned human beings? 

Perhaps the issue isn't "breeding" so much as responsible breeding? As in maybe not the best idea to bring eight babies into a single-parent home living on food stamps? Then again, who am I to judge? It was her choice, was it not? (This is when things gets tricky/hypocritical/common sense rears its commonly sensical head.)

Then again again... anyone ever seen Idiocracy


That movie scared the shit out of me and now? I'm all for the spawning of intelligent and even halfway intelligent people. Read books? Make babies. 

I digress. Here's our vid: 




Your turn! Tell me how children (or not having children) has changed your life for the better (or the worse) and one lucky reader will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of the fabulous Geralyn Broder Murray's book, "Light at the End of the Diaperpail: Inspiration for new motherhood."

GGC

**Updated: Congratulations to Sarah for winning the signed copy of Geralyn Murray's book!

107 comments:

Single Parent Dad | 11:25 AM

Gotta love the child free by choice brigade, if only their parents had just thought of it first.

amber of TheAmberShow | 11:27 AM

Interesting. I agree, I think it's all about "choice", and everyone should leave everyone else alone, even if other people decide to have 14 children while unemployed. I hate when people stick their noses in other people's business.

missELAINEeous | 11:47 AM

I haven't really made my decision to have or not have children... yet. I'm 26, not married, and a full time nanny to my 17 month old little brother. I'm also going to school to be an elementary teacher. I want being a nanny and an aunt and a teacher to be enough. I want to not have kids and be irresponsible my entire life. But something tells me I will get bored. And meeting that special someone isn't off the radar just yet... I want kids, I'm just not 100% ready. Will I ever be ready? Probably not. Parents saying having kids is an incredibly rewarding experience -- and I'm not sure it's one I want to opt out of.

On another note: I'm in love with your blog. I think you are a beautiful woman and I really admire all that you share with us, the interwebs. I only hope that I can one day be as well-rounded as you are at 27. You have shown me that being a mom doesn't have to be uncool. Your kids are absolutely beautiful and Fable is the most precious baby I have ever seen in my entire life.

Melinda | 11:47 AM

I always knew that I wanted children. When I was still in high school I didn't know what I wanted to be career-wise because all I knew was that I wanted to meet a man, get married and have a baby. So I met a wonderful man in college and we got married after graduation. Check. Check. Now for the babies. Six, very hard, years later I am a mom to a 6 month old little boy. He is my little fertility miracle. That period of time when I struggled with infertility defined me in ways I never would have imagined. Being so helpless to change my destiny made me a stronger person and I am a better mother (and person) because of that.

Average Girl In Average World | 11:48 AM

As a Mother-By-Choice(MBC) I can honestly say that having kids has made me a better person. My heart has been introduced to unconditional love, something which I never thought existed nor fully understood. For that alone, I am grateful beyond words.

Amanda | 11:50 AM

I've come across those sites too, and they made my blood boil. Like you all said, Fine, it is your choice, horray for you. But don't expect to be able to never see or hear a child again. That is just ridiculous.

Its not so much the mindset, as the attitude of entitlement that is so ironic, as it is FAR more bratty than these dreaded children could ever dare to be.

Bea | 11:54 AM

If there's one thing I've learned while trying to become a parent, it's that your choice is just that, your choice. It's not my job to ask why, or even really to ask what your choice is.

The number of people who have questioned myself and my husband (both now in our late 30's) whether we will have children is overwhelming. Why should I indulge them? There are many reasons why we do not have children currently, the biggest one being that we only met 5 years ago and have moved to 3 different countries in the past 4 years. It's been our CHOICE to wait, and now it's my frickin' bodies' choice to make me wait.

So, I guess what I'm saying is: make your choice, but I won't ask you what it is or why if you don't ask me.

Miss M | 11:54 AM

I love that people have choices! And I also love that you allow people to have these choices. Just another reason that I read your blog. To each his own... I wish more people allowed others to have choices. Maybe there can be an "educated choice" party out there...

Jeni Angel | 12:03 PM

Rebecca,

I am the same age as you, with the no-child life. I never want to have children, though I adore them. Happy to be an Aunt to my nieces and nephews.

My boyfriend and I (not married, by choice!) love our disposable income, drunken nights out and limited responsibility.

But I respect all of the mom's out there. I love your blog and Heather's blog.

People who expect to rid public places of kids are really just in for a long, frustrating life.

Lady K | 12:07 PM

I made the decision to not have children when I was still single. It just didn't feel right to me. I didn't have the "mom instinct." When I met my Husband he, fortunately, had the same feelings as I did so it was a no brainer for us to not have children. The reasons behind my decision to remain child free are varied and many. That's not to say I don't like kids. I do. I adore them. Just didn't want any of my own. Biggest mistake of my life? Dunno. But I am happy with our choice and would never, ever judge anyone who chooses otherwise and hope they don't judge me for my choice.
When I was working in Africa I was asked many many times "how many children do you have" not DO you have any children. In some parts of the world remaining childless is inconceivable and frowned upon. I am lucky to live somewhere where that is not the case.

Sandi | 12:11 PM

As a mom of 14. Yes, you heard me correctly. I hear all about it. That is until people find out that ten of those fourteen were adopted. Then it becomes okay, because they were already here on this planet and I am just being a good person by giving them a home. "Oh, well Thank God I didn't give birth to them all then, I would hate to upset you."

I have a hard time with that attitude. If someone wants to have a dozen kids more power to them, if someone wants to have zero more power to them. What pissed me off is everyone that wants to tell me and Nadya Suleman, that NO ONE can have fourteen children. Oh really? That's good to know. Shall I fed ex a few of mine somewhere?

i called a LA radio station a few days ago, because I am so damn sick and tired of listening to them bash the octuplet mom. The babies are here, there is not a damn thing she can do about it now. This particular morning DJ, Valentine, says just about every morning, "nobody can raise fourteen kids." The reaction in my back seat of the car is priceless. Some of the kids gasp and cover their hands to their mouths, others yell at the radio, one child handed me her phone and said, "call him mom." So I did. But he wouldn't talk to me. I guess he knew I would ream his ass on live radio!

Bottom line, I know not everyone wants to raise a brood like mine, I know not everyone can raise a brood like mine. I don't know how you people with 2.3 kids do it either. But we all are entitled to our own family planning. What works for one doesn't work for all. We all need to keep our opinions to ourselves unless we are asked. Shit, I hope you just asked me for mine!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:16 PM
This comment has been removed by the author.
GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:20 PM

GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...
What I don't get is why people would judge you for NOT having children?

It's so funny because I have felt so judged for HAVING them. Maybe because I'm a young mom among very-much-older-than me moms? I mean... one would think two kids under my belt women would stop treating me like a child with children. Whatevs, man.

Judgment is the product of insecurity anyway, right?

Erin, Nick and Merrick | 12:21 PM

Ditto on the Idioocracy- my husband is always commenting, "We are getting closer and closer to being like that."

My husband and I were "CFBC" until we had Merrick, the best "oops" moment of our lives. : )

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:21 PM

That was my deleted comment, btw. I typod.

Misty | 12:22 PM

I am 22 yrs old. I have 2 beautiful kids. I got married at 19 and not because I was pregnant. In fact, I had kept the promise I made to myself to wait til marriage to get down, but that's a whole 'nother story...

The point is, when I'm out with my kids people look at me like a screw up. They look at me like no one in their right mind would have chosen this path. But I did. It WAS my choice and I am so happy. There are a lot of people who wouldn't want to be in my shoes. But what it boils down to is this is what I've always wanted. And I say, if you always dreamed of being a mom, what makes my dream less important than the one who wants to be a doctor??? Nothing, I say, because I got what I want and I'm a damn good mother.

Erica | 12:22 PM

I'm a mom. By choice, I have two kids. We decided to stop at two. For financial reasons, for sleep-deprivation reasons, we stopped at two. Before I got married, my life revolved around me. Once I got married, it revolved around "us". Now it revolves around "the girls".

Being a mom has made me more patient, kinder, more loving, more cautious of what I say and when I say it, more aware of my actions and how sarcasm and teasing appears only as meanness to kids who don't understand sarcasm.

Being a mom has opened my eyes to all of the children out there who are mistreated or don't have moms to love them. Being a mom has made me want to be the best mom I can possibly be. To raise aware, kind, intelligent, wise, wonderful people who care for others and the world that they live on.

Being a mom is everything (to me).

Jackie Z | 12:22 PM

I found this episode especially interesting considering the email I just wrote you about wondering why people have children.

I think its all about how you raise them, the decisions you make, and teach them to make. Unfortunately, those who question children and REALLY think it out are not the ones having a million kids.

Idiocracy, hit it right on the head.

Katy | 12:25 PM

It's pretty hard dealing with other people when you tell them you don't want children. People are very rude and condescending.

I just wrote a big blog about it.... Wanna read it? Here you go:
confuseddildo.blogspot.com

kelli(q) | 12:27 PM

I never made a decision to have children either way. I was in the middle. Then - surprise! I found out I was pregnant at 18. So the decision was made for me.

The first moments, the first year, with my daughter are a complete blur in my mind. But as I have become more settled in my life (and have since had a second child), I realize how awesome my life really is. Two beautifully healthy children that love me? How lucky am I? The challenge of raising them has taught me endless lessons, and to attempt to explain how much they have changed me for the better would take hours and many more characters than I am allowed.

I don't think being CFBC is a bad thing, however. I can certainly see the appeal.

mames | 12:33 PM

i love what you had to say about your stand on childing and choosing not to and how we can all make choies without hating on each other.

i have been with my now husband for 14 years, we got together in our late teens and had the time of our lives growing up together. we now have twin almost 2 year olds. it took awhile to get there. i was convinced i would not bring kids into this world because it is so fucked up in so many ways.

then my husband asked me a question one day...it had to do with a book we love called ishmael, he asked me if we could bring a child into this world for ishmael, wouldn't that be right? and it changed my mind.

we are good parents, loving and conscious and learning and teaching. and i have not regretted the decision one moment.

not that it matters, but our twins were au natural, i think the nut job with 8 plus 6 and no job should have her uterus removed...just in case she tries to implant 10 next time. you just should not be able to give birth to a litter.

Molly | 12:33 PM

I'm coming to understand that there will always be someone out there judging me for making a choice different than the one they made. As you put it, Rebecca, whatevs. I think a few years ago it would have bothered me, made me second-guess myself. Now: not so much.

The only thing that bothers me about the CFBC folks: don't tell me to get off the airplane (out of the restaurant, the grocery store, Starbucks, et al) with my kid. If you're so unhappy around us, go ahead and take a powder, since I'm not distressed in the least to see you.

Carry on.

CraezieLady | 12:34 PM

Sandi, I want to raise a brood like yours! My husband and I have four children right now, and I would love nothing more than, well, MORE!

The thing with the whole child-free-by-choice movement is, why the hell is it even a movement?! If you don't want to have kids, great, don't have 'em. And if anybody gives you any BS about it, blow 'em off. What's so hard about that? Yes, it's rough being criticized, I understand, but why can't childless people who feel the need to criticize those of us who choose to have children see that they are The Epitome of Hipocritical?!

I'm so sorry there are people in this world whose kids annoy you, but don't take that frustration out on me because I also have kids. And the whole kids-are-environmentally-unfriendly argument is the biggest load of hooey I ever heard in my life! For whom are we trying to hoard all of the earth's resources, anyway? Childless people usurp resources, too! And I bet some of them don't even recycle or bring their own cloth sacks to the grocery store! Or hold their breath to conserve oxygen!

People who don't have children, I don't judge you. People who judge people who don't have children, therefore causing them to attack those of us that do, Cut It Out Already! Amazing how all of this hatefulness would just DISAPPEAR if we could all just learn to treat each other with a little courtesy and respect!

Samtastic | 12:35 PM

I didn't want children or marriage or any sort of serious relationship when I got pregnant accidentally with my son... (SOME people don't tell you antibiotics interfere with birth control. SOME people being my doctor. and my ignorant 21 year old self didn't figure it out until a teeny tiny bit too late.)

i would absolutely 180% say that having my son has been the most wonderful, inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience of my LIFE! he makes everything better for me. and even though we struggle financially more than we did before, the quality of our lives has gone through the roof. i'm drunk off baby love 24/7 and i can't wait to add to my family in a few years!

Anonymous | 12:36 PM

My son is 14 months old this month and his addition in my life has been nothing short of amazing.

I struggled with depression and anxiety, feeling hopeless and directionless before he came. Strangely, it isn't that he has become my focus (the sun I revolve around, though that too is true) that has made me feel so optimistic.

Since he arrived, time has become more precious and life has more value. Nothing unusual there. I think most all parents would agree. I have come to value my time here more because I get to share it with him.

I have always had dreams of being a writer. A dream that was called impractical. Something I shoved aside for my free time, which there rarely ever was. Once I had my son, I focused on what I truly loved and have since gotten published!

With him in my life, I want to make an impact, become a better role model, be a satisfied person. The stories I tell him about my life shouldn't be wistful ones or could-have-beens.

He inspires me. I want him to be a confident, proactive, accomplished man. I feel the best way to help him do this, is to fulfill my own desires. That by gorging myself on love, I can be an example of how life is to appreciated and the path towards doing this is by first finding contentment within yourself.

Besides, how can I be depressed over the ugly things in life when my son finds such naked joy is tossing pine cones around outside?
-Autumn
www.felinefixation.com

Xdm | 12:38 PM

I visited a CFBC site once and WOW! The hate! Some woman called babies "C*nt Nuggets" and I thought it was so deliciously awful that our son was known as "The nugget" for at least the next six months. We even bought him a Peta t-shirt that had a chick on it and proclaimed, "I am Not a Nugget!" Maybe someday we'll let the poor kid in on the joke.

Sass E-mum | 12:39 PM

what a coincidence. I blogged about this anti-mum/child sentiment this week.

There was a lousy article in the Sunday papers that has got a number of British women going nuts.

stefiny | 12:40 PM

My husband and I (together 4 years, married for 2) are currently child free and aren't sure yet whether or not we WANT to have kids someday.

(I know my body would like to, but not so sure about my head just yet.)

What we DO know is that we have learned SO MUCH from having two dogs. It's definitely a mini form of parenting and has been SO valuable if we ever decide to have kids.

Bottomline is we KNOW we're not ready now and we MAY not ever be ready. So what?! Can't understand why people judge us for that or why they can't accept that being 'parents' to two little doggies might just be enough for us!! :)

(Love your site, by the way... I'm a fairly new but big fan!)

Sarah | 12:46 PM

I am Pro-Choice, in ever sense of the word. I CHOSE to have children, 2 of them. I am not sure I can even remember what my life was like before them, it certainly was not as amazing as it is now. I think I was selfish, no, i know I was selfish before I had my daughter. I cared about what other people thought way too much and I had priorities that really only revolved around me. Mt children have made me a better person, the type of persn I want to be...my children have turned me into my mother.

Kendra | 12:46 PM

I think it's sad that people have to justify the fact that they do or don't have kids. I have three of my own and also do day care, so I spend my time (all of it) with small, loud, often preverbal, frequently poopy people. But they are extraordinary. And on the days when I am especially sleep deprived and cranky and resentful, I remind myself that often the things that are hardest to do are the things that imbue our lives with the greatest amount of meaning. Are there people who are not parents who are living powerfully meaningful lives? Of course there are. But would my life be full of meaning and purpose without my kids in it? Never. People can make any choices that they think are right for them, but I am eternally grateful for my kids. And I have to say as well that I've always been amused by people who "just don't like" kids, as though they can deny that they every were one. You can choose not to have any of your own, but you certainly can't pretend that they just don't exist!

MLB | 1:13 PM

I'm a mom of 3 by choice and absolutely think that people who choose not to have kids are given a hard time generally. Too many people automatically ask "When are you having kids?" That said, my kids are my choice (as other posters have said) and I would appreciate my choice being respected as well. To create forums, etc. for the express purpose of bashing children and those who have them seems almost that these people "doth protest too much". After all there are plenty of places where people don't bring children - is it really necessary to highlight the moments in your life when you encounter them?

Miriam | 1:16 PM

I *sort of* get the injustices about not getting an equivalent to maternity leave or tax breaks, but these folks need to really calm down. No one listens to people who are run by anger - and nothing will change with that kind of rhetoric either.

Christine | 1:30 PM

I never wanted kids til I turned 30. Then magically, the clock started ticking. I can remember being somewhat judgement about what I saw as preferential treatment in the workplace towards people with families (holidays off, no night shifts, etc). Now, however, I am on the other end of it and appreciate having a workplace that takes my parental status into consideration. I would hope that I make up for my lack of flexiblity with extra hard work. Sometimes I wonder though if my co-workers hate me because of it.

casadekaloi | 1:40 PM

Our first is due in May, so I'm not sure how it will change our lives! I'm 24, and my husband is 23, so we'll obviously not be into the same activities many 24 & 23 year olds are into. Other than that..it's all up in the air! :) We'll see.

Ashley B. | 1:57 PM

There is one thing I haven't seen any of the "childfree" people bring up yet, so I'm putting it out there just for the sake of seeing if anyone knows where I'm coming from.

I want children some day, but my best friend has decided he never wants any part of it. Through knowing him, I've come to understand his perspective on the issue.

One thing illustrated in a lot of these comments, and I am not ragging on anyone whatsoever, is the notion that having children makes you a better person.

That may absolutely be true for a great deal of people, but oftentimes parents will go on about this at GREAT length to people who they have discovered don't want children.

I understand that most of the time, it's just an urge to share the great side of parenting with someone, to share your joy and happiness at what you've created. To someone who does not have the drive to reproduce, they see this as "Unless you have children, you will always be selfish, unenlightened, self-centered, and juvenile." And that is absolutely untrue, obviously.

One might say they are overreacting, but I think perhaps a parent might feel just as slighted should their single friends go on and on about their fabulous single life, freedom, ability to just pick up and go, etc.

It's not that you're insecure in your role as a parent and that's why it upset you. It upset you because it's just plain rude.

People who have chosen not to have children feel the same. That it's a choice, they're happy with that, so why the interrogation or implications that they are making some huge mistake?

I also have to say that I think the "How can you not like kids when you used to be one?" thing is really silly. It's illogical.

Just because one used to be a child doesn't mean they have the patience for them as an adult. When you were a child you WERE that age, you didn't know any better and that drove your behavior. As an adult, it's rarely possible to think of life before you knew better. A lot of people just can't relate to kids for that reason.

JessicaToday | 2:22 PM

Personally, I think the child free peeps who chose to take their frustration out on their blogs concerning all of the things that they face in the world that challenge their decisions to not have kids is perfectly normal and it turns into an "us v. them" type of tirade, that's when i loose all respect and frankly, interest. Because then they are just like all the rest of the crazies out there who talk only to hear themselves speak and think nothing of of the gnarly generalizations they are making about people who do want or have kids.
Why must it be much a division?
I completely agree with everything you say Rebecca...why cant we just all make our own choices in peace and instead of throwing stones at our counter parts, learn something from them? We would all live richer fuller lives being satisfied that we allow ourselves to become educated about others views without having to be all ninth grade and shit. Jeeze!

m | 2:44 PM

I'm child-free because 1. I don't like kids and I think I'll be an incompetent parent, and 2. I have health issues which are possibly genetic and unfair to pass on, and issues in which I can't tolerate harsh noises, light, smells, all of which accompany children. [And too many adults, also.]
[I don't want to, Rebecca, but I do cringe at squalling babies out of reflex. I try to subtly cover my ears, but I never, ever glare. Please forgive.]

It has been suggested that childbirth may change my body and help the health issues, but gee, I don't think having kids is like taking vitamins. Personally.

Great parents are.. Admirable. Really, that's the only word that I can think of. My in-laws are fantastic parents, it's awesome to watch, and I have such respect for them.

Simply, it's important to know your capabilities, make choices that are ethical and right for you, and hey! I am all for a great next generation. For social security. Just kidding, that's a lost cause.

Hahah, my verification is orrsPUKE!

jjlibra | 2:45 PM

just had a conversation with a 26 yr. old girl yesterday about how she doesn't have kids yet and when people ask if she does and she says no, they say "oh, i'm sorry" as if she has a disease!! But she is child free by choice for now. Not in the conserve energy and resources kind of way, just in a hasn't had any yet because she doesn't want any yet kind of way.

I am always surprised by these movements out there (i had no idea about the non-circumsision one until the momversation!!) Maybe i'm sheltered. or maybe i just don't care enough about other people to troll the internet looking for a beef.

Three Scobeys | 2:50 PM

I am feeling completely behind the times because I didn't even know that there WAS a "child-free by choice" movement. Learning new things everyday, I suppose.

That said, I am 7 months pregnant with my 1st and I am not sure that having children or not having children, for that matter, should have any bearing whatsoever on your opinions about other peoples' wants and desires. From either end. Hell, I was never totally gun-ho about having kids (until marriage...lots of sex...and a 99% effective/ 1% ineffective-was-all-it-took-pill) but now I am totally excited.

I still have the capability as a human to respect other peoples' decisions to do what they want with their lives. I will let you not have babies, you let me HAVE them...and the world will be a better place. Didn't we learn to sing Kumbaya in, like, 3rd grade for goodness sakes?

Katy | 2:56 PM

Very well said, Ashley B... And Rebecca, I wonder if being in LA and being younger has something to do with your perceiving people are less patient with parents, than they are with childless people?

I am in the Midwest and many people my age are through having children, let alone waiting or abstaining. I have had several women say they "pity" my decision not to become a mother, and I have had to sit through countless diatribes from relatives, friends, random people at the bar, about how important parenting is, and how unselfish they now are and how they were once blind and now they see...........

And it is all quite obnoxious.

I don't mind if you want kids. Take care of them, is all that I ask. But please, please, please, get your nose out of my womb, because it is none of your business.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 2:56 PM

Very interesting point Ashley B. I can totally see why childfree peeps would feel offended by parents waxing poetic about how much better their lives are now that they are parents. TOTALLY understand.

I also think once you become a parent you get invited into the "we have kids hooray!" club and some might feel slighted by that. But in the same respect, being the sole parent in a group of non-parent friends? And "peace-out, Bec! You're on your own now, girlfriend!"

Maybe if we were all a little more sensitive to other people's feelings and stories we wouldn't be constantly at one another's throats. It's insane that anyone anywhere should be up in arms about other people's choices whether they're childbearing ones, marriage, etc. It's just proof that as a society we have far too much time on our hands.

We really should be concentrating on ways to better each other and ourselves instead of tearing one another down. Easier said than done, right?

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 3:00 PM

That's insane, Katy. No wonder you're pissed. Who are these people? Move to L.A. Where women under 35 pushing strollers are assumed to be nannies. No one will give you shit again.

Abby Johns | 3:20 PM

Recently was directed to your blog by a friend and I have since fallen in love <3

This topic fascinates me, I wasn't even aware that such a thing existed. The Momversation got me interested and now I will most likely spend the next couple days searching the internet for all kinds of information on such a matter.

As for me? I love my daughter. I swore up and down in high school that I wanted nothing to do with having children. I now look at my daughters chubby little face and want at least 4 more. I need a nice steady diet of baby fat rolls to snack on over the next 8-10 years!

*mary* | 3:23 PM

I used to be really selfish and immature in my early 20s, so I was against having children- for myself. Even then, I didn't care if someone else chose to have children. To me that is just silly.

My HUGE pet peeve now is when I go out to eat or whatever with my daughter and people around us sort of do that sigh that says, "Great, our meal is ruined. That baby is going to start screaming any time now." You know what? Most of the time she does. Does that mean I should never let her leave the house? EFF that!

Do you know how many times I'VE had to eat while listening to the guys at the table next to me talk graphically of their exploits, or even sports for that matter? Several. That is much worse than a baby crying, in my opinion. They are old enough to know to use their inside voice, you know?

Also- on the maternity leave issue: it is actually a family leave act in which a person who doesn't have children can also use it in certain circumstances, ie to are for a spouse or loved one. It's not as though a recovering mothr is just out partying on maternity leave. Ugh. What do they suggest? Have a baby and be back n Monday? Get real.
If persons without children were to be hospitalized there is short-term disability they can use. It's fair, so what's the problem?

I wish we operated like some countries and let women (or men) take a 6 month or full year maternity (or paternity) leave.

Muriel Jordan | 3:39 PM

Hi hi, I just thought I would leave a comment about the fact that you're young and are married with two kids. THANK YOU. I'm 24, living in Los Angeles, and have been married for a little over a year now. I don't know anyone else in my situation. We plan to have kids soon enough, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm here too. You're not alone, even if you wanted to be ;D

As for CFBC - I haven't done any research on their creed, but I'm assuming a big part of it is a tax break. My question is - why? Why would a person that only has their money to spend on themselves require the same break that a parent receives? I think many people lose sight as to why these policies were put into effect and years down the road expect it all to benefit them.

But that's an assumption on one of their issues, so I'll just leave it at that before doing some research.

Anonymous | 3:42 PM

I always knew I wanted kids from the time I was 12. I also like to travel, have extra money, and a busy social life. I'm 36 with a 18month old, (I hope I can get one more in before I hit 40). For a long time I was childless because I hadn't met the right person. I'm thankful I did and have my baby. But I am really, really thankful I got to do what I wanted for so many years. I was able to finish school, establish a career, travel the globe and have a ton of fun.

So when I'm sitting home most every night because my husband is working late and my baby is sleeping. I don't mind. Not one bit. I had my time to focus on me and now I can focus on the kiddo.

Why people care if others have kids is beyond me. Kids take a ton of work. I'm proud of them for taking the precautions and not having children they don't want. Better for them, the child and the environment.

Mary- right on for mentioning the Family Medical Leave Act.

Ashley | 4:47 PM

I totally agree with breeding intelligent human beings who will contribute to society in a positive way. I believe this is a primary responsibility when having children.

I have two very close friends. Both are married. One had no interest in having children. She was happy with her life and her career. She got knocked up and is a wonderful parent and loves being a mother. The other wanted a child soooo bad but it took four years and thousands of dollars later to have that child. Her baby is now a year old. Her and her husband have had a very tough time adjusting to becoming parents even though they wanted it so bad.

I think choice is a wonderful thing, but sometimes fate steps in. Then once again you are presented with a choice.

What I am attempting to get at is that no choice is just black and white, cut and dry.

The Casual Perfectionist | 4:59 PM

At one point, my hubby and I were Child-free by Choice (per se, we didn't join the official club). And people were all bent out of shape over that.

Then, we changed our minds and decided that we only wanted one child. And people were all bent out of shape over that.

Oddly enough, I have a feeling that if we decided to have oodles of children, people would be all bent out of shape over that, too.

I used to let a lot of what people said bother me, until I realized that what people were saying to me was more about themselves than about me at all...

Because I've been so bombarded from all sides regarding my variety of choices, I try to tread lightly.

I really enjoy the different Momversation topics!

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez | 5:09 PM

I am loving your blog right now. So glad I found my way over here (thank you Geri!!!) I am a mom to three boys and my third son has Down syndrome. I started blogging the week I found out about his diagnosis. Motherhood has made me a better human being. I often feel the same way as you do about Fable. Joaquin is such an angel baby that I too would consider octuplets!!!! Being a mother also fulfills a deep desire inside me to nurture others, something I've thought about since I was 3 or 4 years old. I remember thinking before I had kids that if there was one thing I wanted to experience in life (before I died), it was to be pregnant and have a child. It's such a profound experience.
I look forward to following your blog. If you have a moment, check out mine at www.trisacharm.blogspot.com.
Jen

Hillary | 6:07 PM

Having The Boy has made me rediscover feminism, has reminded me how important it is to be passionate about something, has made me laugh more, has made me realize how much I love his daddy.

K | 6:32 PM

At 24, I am neither a parent by choice or a non-parent by choice... yet. I am still unmarried (not that that necessarily matters), in graduate school, and so on.

I would just like to add that, from the perspective of someone who isn't sure what their child future will hold, both groups can be equally annoying. Especially this whole "you don't know what your missing" thing. You know what? No one knows what they're missing. The only experience anyone has is their own.

On another note, I have to say that I do believe that there should be child-free spaces, or at least child-free times. I totally get that "kids will be kids" and that is endearing and adorable 90% of the time, but sometimes people just want a night out or a nice dinner or a movie at the theater or whatever without them. It is this parental entitlement to bring your kids everywhere all the time that drives me crazy sometimes.

And don't worry, I don't mean the coffee shop :)

Karen | 6:44 PM

I think people may be judgmental of the non-children-havers because children are such little miracles and blessings. How could anyone not want to jump on the fertility wagon?

I absolutely adore children and was revived every summer in college when I taught kids of all ages to swim. I just love their different ways of thinking and their 'kid energy', but I am kid-less by choice. The reasons are mine, alone and personal and that's that. It definately goes against convention, and the fact that I'm in my forties and have not been married either is another strike against my 'normality!' hee

I adore the freedom that I have and don't want to change it-- I also know that I'll never have that adoring love that parents experience, and that tradeoff is OK with me.

Love your blog, Child Girl!

Mutt | 6:57 PM

I never wanted kids until I got married. Then I wanted to create something wonderful out of marriage.

I'm not against people with kids and I try not to pressure anyone into having or not having kids. It's a personal decision.

On the flip side, it seems a little over the top when a single woman has 14 kids she doesn't seem to be able to support. If my tax dollars are feeding/clothing and otherwise supporting her family I have issue with that.

Side Note: I love your blog. It's fun, fresh and your kids are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

K | 7:34 PM

Rebecca, I think I finally understand your take on being a "young" parent given your last comment above. I come from a large city, too, but on the east coast. You would probably be considered "young-ish," but not out of the ordinary by any means. I always wondered why you considered yourself to be a young mom when you were in the out-of-college age range when you had Archer. I guess it has to do more with geographical location than anything else! Your nanny comment made me laugh :)

minniemama68 | 7:37 PM

I have three kids. We have our good days and our not-so-great days.

I grew up wanting children. I wanted to be a mom since well, as long as I can remember.

I had Matt at 21, I was young, and heartbroken. I wish I could have redone the circumstances of his birth and relived his infancy and toddlerhood. My heart was always somewhere else. When I was out with friends and he was home with my parents, I wanted to be home with him. When I was home with him, I longed to be a carefree 21 year-old--out and about and having fun.

When I was 26, I married the man of my dreams and he adopted my son. And then 8 years of the hell of infertility.

I'd like to think that made me a better and more patient mother. Or maybe I really had to grow up in those years. I had to learn to wait. And all three of them are cherished.

I don't have much to say about people who choose not to have children. If you don't want to have them, then don't. Good for you. But don't begrudge me for making the decision that works for me and my husband.

Shannon and Carey | 7:46 PM

I used to think everyone needed children. Now I'm not so sure.

Well, we have twins, so with that being said they have changed my life for the better. I stay home. Yes it's grueling. Yes it gets boring at times looking at the same four walls, living on a strict budget. I am so tired all the time. Worn out tired. (I'm an older mom; had 'em at 36). (the twins are almost 3; (feel my pain?)

When I think I've reached the end of my rope, one will say something or do something that will fill me full of laughter. It's the small things.

Just yesterday I as in the kitchen (where I always am!) and Miss A stuck her head in and said "Mom, come outside!"

-Shannon in Austin

Jesse | 8:03 PM

I feel the same way. When my partner & I first got together, he was torn between yearning for kids and feeling guilty about overpopulation/environment, etc. I also had these feelings at one time or another, but eventually realized that, holy shit! Who is populating the earth right now? The Duggars, all the girls I went to high school with who dropped out, and the whole right wing. If we care about the world as it is now, we should logically also care about where it will be when we are gone, right? We need more thoughtful, educated and caring people in the world.

I understand where some of the child free peeps are coming from, but it doesn't make much sense to me to shit on *anyone* who has children. It's also my experience that it's my friends *with* kids who are marginalized and feel like they can't go anywhere in the city.

We're expecting our first in September and we're stoked!

Amanda | 9:07 PM

Despite the fact that I too believe in the freedom to choose, I can't help but feel as though those 'child-free' sites are bollocks. So arrogant, hypocritical, close-minded and sad.

I have friends that don't want children. I've always respected them for that. Just the same as they respected my decision to see my unplanned pregnancy through. Did our relationships change. Hell no.

These 'child-free' boast about how novice and inovative they are. 'Oh I spent the night drinking tea and reading and having great sex with my husband look at what a free spirit I am!"

Guess what? I did the exact same thing (only wine and 'Tropic of Cancer' per your rave reviews...man does that Miller know a randy word!), three nights in a row this week, all the while my son slept peacefully in his room.

I loathe that these people think we've sold our souls for diapers and lost ourselves. I know this to be the exact opposite (obviously I read your site because you are empowered and amazing AND a mother). We are still ourselves...plus one (or what have you).

Likewise, I can see the annoyance of the "oh, you wait and see. The sun shines out of MY babies ass", type of parents.

I guess the former crowd gets me the most insenced.

I actually wrote about this at length on my Facebook page. So I'll stop my venting here.

foodiemama | 9:27 PM

i never wanted to have children and got pregnant without wanting to. I have my awesome boy now and am a better person for it, for him and for my family. i always loved kids and always thought they were amazing creatures but never personally wanted them. now i see the light, i see the joy but it came at me out of the blue!
i don't see how bashing someone for having kids can make their child free existence any better... ugh on the child free by choice. don't do it, who cares, haha... some people should not be parents anyway. i never think twice over our many friends who will likely choose to never be parents.. not my place right? to each his own. I am happy the way my life turned out and when I can make up my mind about a second one i will gladly add to the well loved, cared for and generous population of good people out there!

Baby B | 10:30 PM

Wow. What a topic! I am not a parent and not married; I am a college student who babysits a lot and works at a day camp during the summer, so you know.

I am all for responsible breeding by people who want to participate in parenting! I have always known I want children when I am older. Some people know that they don't. A family member had two kids young and then made the choice not to have any more. Thank goodness we all have the choice! I think it's really, really self-absorbed and narcissistic to believe that your choice is the *right* choice for everyone. Holier-than-thou attitudes do nothing to further their cause, or any cause for that matter. They don't need "intellectual ammunition" like their site says. They need to respect others' decisions if they expect others to respect them. The same goes for "breeders," they need respect the decisions of people who do not have children.

I watched the Momversation, and I agree with all of the points made. Oh, the anger coming from CFBCers! (I did some poking around after watching the video). EVERYONE gets questioned by others for their choices. It's a part of being active in society, a part of being a human interacting with other humans. A child-free society certainly wouldn't change that! People who have children get plenty of unsolicited advice, and apparently people who don't have children get plenty of unsolicited advice. Learning to handle that is a part of becoming an adult, I think.

Ali | 12:15 AM

watching the momversation video and my 5 year old points to rebecca and says "MUM! i need my hair like THAT when i get older!"

Rebekah | 12:32 AM

You know how people always ask, "What was the best day of your life?" or "What's been your greatest accomplishment?" and then there is silence and emptiness in your head because the best answer that comes to mind is, "Umm, I won a spelling bee once in 3rd grade?". Well, since having my baby I now have an answer to those types of questions. Hands down, best day/best moment of my life is the first time my little baby boy looked me right in the eye, raised his eyebrows, and gave me his first smile. Me. Little old me received another person's very first smile. And no one tells you that when a baby first smiles, it's like an eyebrows raised, mouth wide open, pure happy, pure joy smile that makes you cry at 3 in the morning because you made this person, and after months of midnight feedings, diaper changes, and scary red stretchmarks, you are rewarded with baby love that comes in the form of a heart breaking, I'll never be the same again smile. My life is infinetely changed. However you spell that.

Anonymous | 3:40 AM

In regard to Idiocracy...I'm always amazed at how many of the most intelligent of my acquaintance don't have children. Scientists, literary novelists, Ph.D.s, etc. all declaring they don't want kids. The Idiocracy episode has a point. However intelligent these folks might be I know them well enough to say that genius IQs can also mean emotional retardedness. Thank God they're not putting their genes and dysfunctional personal lives into the gene pool.

megan | 7:19 AM

I decided to have children at a relatively young age, 26. One of the reasons that I did not want to wait was because my mother died at the age of 38 from breast cancer. If I were going to have the same fate I wanted the time to get to know my children and for them to know me. I can't imagine being at the end of my life and not having experienced motherhood or to know that I would live on, in some way, through my children.

Sallie | 7:36 AM

This is a complex issue. There is a laundry list of wonderful things about having kids, and horrible things. I feel like if I hadn't been with my husband for five years before we had our daughter (I married at 20), we would never have made if past the first year. Just because she takes SO MUCH time, there is not much left over for us.
The idea that somebody wants a "childfree" time to go to a movie or have dinner is crazy. You can't restrict people from taking their kids out. I personally won't take my kid to a nice restaurant because I do respect the fact that people want to eat in peace, but other people have the right to do it.
My sister doesn't want kids, and she feels immense pressure from people about it. Other women are constantly telling her she is missing out, she's not a "real woman" until she has a kid, and that is unfair. We do need to respect other people's choices. Regardless of what our personal feelings might be. Oh, so complex! This topic could go on forever!

dharmafrog | 7:53 AM

I didn't want kids or a husband either until I met my James! 12 years later, I'm a young (30) mom of 3 and I get those looks all the time like I have been irresponsible with my own uterus. I am supportive of all moms, it's a tough job. But we should all mind our own business. Good topic!

CKD | 8:11 AM

New to reading your blog and absolutely love it!

I'm 31, single and childless right now and I see myself having a family at some point, with or without a partner. Oh man, you think the debate ends at whether to have kids or not? Because I have been catching hell for the manner in which I would like to have children (adoption) and how many (one, but I would MAYBE consider two). Mind you, I don't care if anyone else out there wants to give birth to 8 biological children, and I haven't even ruled that out for myself. For some reason adoption just really appeals and one feels like a manageable number to me. But holy hell, the lectures I get on how if I'm not willing to sacrifice my body to the cause, I will be so ill-prepared to weather the extreme sacrifices of motherhood...it's ridiculous, really. Like my reasoning is based on not wanting stretch marks or something? No. And adoption isn't "easy" either. It's not like you sign up for it and a healthy baby shows up on your doorstep.

As far as this Momversation goes, I was kind of offended by Dana's sarcastic "You don't want kids? Well, woohoo for you but please don't talk about it" attitude. Because blogs are only for extolling the virtues of parenthood? No one else can voice an opinion? I mean, I want kids, but Childfree by Choice peeps have the same rights to speak their minds.

Danielle | 8:36 AM

Hahaha!!!! Great call on the whole Idiocracy bit!!! That movie terrified me too and I believe played a small part in my swift crossing over from a pretentious 'child-free' lifestyle (yes, I was one of THOSE people)to my now more satisfyingly humble 'wife/mom/step-mom' existence.


I used to say things like 'the world is going to hell in a handbasket, why would I want another person to experience all this pain and suffering' or 'the world is becoming so overpopulated and resources so diminished that I want to do my part by not adding to the problem.'


The truth was, I was scared. I was scared that I would fail at being the kind of parent that guides their children to do good in the world and make changes for the better. I was selfish and didn't want that responsibility on my shoulders.


Since becoming a parent though, I have begun to do more MYSELF to help the community and the environment so I can play my part in building a better life for future generations. I hope the example I am setting will set the foundation for their participation in making this world a better place.


Because god knows, no one wants to see the day when 'Ow my Balls' is the highest rated primetime television show!!:P



Take care all,
~Danielle

Sarah | 8:48 AM

When I saw the video, I thought the question was whether or not the child-free by choice population: a) were considered an acceptable community, and b) were entitled to receive “family” benefits such as tax breaks and family leave.

Look, my answer to A is that I’m all for the freedom of choice. If I can choose to have children and that is considered a viable option, then you can certainly be afforded the choice to not have children. It really isn’t any of my business why you choose to have or not to have kids and I try to make sure I never ask.

But my answer to B is different. Child-free by choice individuals choose to not only have children, but also to not take advantage of some family-oriented benefits like tax breaks. I have no problem with a child-free person taking family leave if their sibling/parent/spouse/etc are in the hospital or WHATEVER, if there is a viable family or medical reason to take leave then PLEASE TAKE IT. But pursuing a career writing books? Jet-setting around the world? I just don’t think those are viable reasons to take leave. If you want to lie to your employer, fine, but I don’t think those are viable reasons for parents to take leave either. Family leave is intended for people who have circumstances within their families which require or deserve their attention. It doesn’t have to be a birth or an adoption.

Anonymous | 8:51 AM

I grew up thinking I never wanted children. Now, at 32, I have two beautiful boys and am looking forward to trying for #3. Its all about what makes you happy at each stage of your life.
What bothers me is the mom who now has 14 kids. She knew going into it she can't support them. She lives with her parents, has no job etc. Its up to me as a tax payer to help support her (food stamps). What kind of life can she give them?
I know you're never really financially ready for kids and all you (should) need is love, but I don't feel you should try to get pregnant if you can't even put food on the table.

Stacy Quarty | 8:52 AM

That Idiocracy clip is scary!

I'm with you ladies- pro-choice. It's unfortunate that many "childfree by choice" are so hostile towards people with children. I think there's something more to it than just judging our choices. I think it stems from jealousy. What are the REAL reasons they are childfree?

bmcgetsmadeverytimeihearthewordoctuplet | 9:06 AM

i havent watch the momver or the idocracy clip. but i will say this.

this is the only place i know of in the world where i am ANTI-choice (which is NOT to say pro-life): when a woman with 6 kids whom she can't afford CHOOSES to have 8 MORE CHILDREN born at risk and likely with health problems, and then leaches off the government to pay for her "choice". that is some unacceptable, selfish bullshit.

those embryos could have been donated to families who CHOOSE to responsibly have children they can support, or even nearly support even if they have to scrape by to get there.

further, i have just totally dissed that bitch's choice, so i hope you can still love me in the manner to which i am accustomed. those irresponsible doctors should be forced to pay out of pocket to support and educate each and every one of her 14 children. those poor children.

otherwise, childfree by choice, childfull by choice, childlike by choice, childish by choice, i could care less how you do as long as it doesn't mess me up at all.

goodgawd, apparently it's tirade thursday and i'm on a muthereffin roll.

Anonymous | 9:42 AM

People can be so nasty like your very first commenter what a jerk!

I am 28 and have no children. I would love to have kids but I am in a relationship with a man who does not want anymore children. He was very up front about this from the begining. He is 42 and has a 15 year old son. It is so NOT what I had planed for my life, but I am happier than I have ever been. But let me tell you that I am so sick of people telling how it will make me a better person, how much I will regret it when I am older, that my boyfriend is a bad person. Its really crazy.

Anonymous | 9:47 AM

I do not think that people are wrong for wanting to be able to go certain places without children. I love kids to death but I do not want to go see an R rated movie at ten o'clock at night and have someone bring their child.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:53 AM

Have you ever been to an R rated movie at 10:00 and seen someone there with their child? Because thats insane. There are insane people out there for sure. People with absolutely no respect for other patrons and thats totally annoying. I would never bring small children to a nice restaurant. I think most parents would agree that there should be childfree setting ans scenarios. Fo sho.

joy | 10:14 AM

I posted a rather lengthy comment, which I don't see on here now...

The comments from several people on here are downright insulting. Intellectual but emotionally retarded (really?), pretentious attitudes, "I was selfish and immature then, so I didn't want children"... And now "I think it stems from jealousy. What are the REAL reasons they are childfree?"

WOW. This thread (though clearly not you GGC) has pretty much reaffirmed the judgmental, condescending attitude that many devoted parents give off to those of us without kids.

To imagine that someone without kids might NOT be jealous of you? Might actually be emotionally intelligent? Might not be selfish OR immature? It's just astounding to me how quick people are to slap insulting labels on those whose choices differ from their own.

I can only say that if I do some day choose to bring a new life into this world, I will strive to teach him or her a true sense of tolerance and respect for everyone and their choices.

(And BMC - I'm right there with you.)

Sallie | 11:10 AM

Joy, is this not a discussion? Where people get to say things that other people might not like? If we all have to stick to being PC and not really saying what we think, where does that leave us? I don't remember reading any comment here saying that Childless By Choice people are immature.

K | 11:40 AM

What an interesting discussion. BMC, I hear what you're saying, and it's tough. We all pay for things we don't agree with, from what you're saying, to many people not agreeing with our money funding the war, to my being pro-life and having my taxes supporting pro-choice organizations/hospitals/etc. It's the unfortunate side of getting what's important to us paid for - although, I'm on the conservative side, so I hear you since I'm not usually happy about government's funding of several things!

I know families with 14 children (no multiples!) who did just fine getting by, each one happy and healthy. And I whole-heartedly think that each one of those 8 little babies deserved a chance at life after they were conceived, because who are we to judge what the quality of each of their lives will be? It's just a shame for them that their mother seems to be a bit off her rocker. I hope there's a lot of love there.

I don't yet have children but definitely plan to. My university is sponsoring child-free by choice support groups, and I am half tempted to peek in just to see what the tone is like. I get the judgmental comments all the time - how could I POSSIBLY be considering staying home with my kids for a few years once I have them, if I have my Ph.D.?!?! GASP. I'll be wasting all of that education.

It's all ridiculous, really.

And Bec, sadly enough, I saw the 10:00 showing of the Dark Knight in a bad part of my city with a 2 year-old in the audience. After the movie, the child was left in public in her stroller while the mother went into a stall to use the bathroom. I stood by that stroller for a good 5 minutes until she came out. Crazy people....

em | 11:49 AM

Rebecca-

So I might be the only other young mom in Hollywood and yes I feel judged everywhere I go! At the park, people assume I am the nanny and at the restaurants and (gasp!) bars, I am irresponsible. I am really conscious of my daughter's behavior and at the first sign of tantrum or yelling, we leave. And leave big tips. And I know that kids can be noisy and annoying, but so can grown up adults. LA is such a great place to raise kids, it seems strange that we should just keep them at home all the time. I am all for choice, it is the judgement that gets to me.

joy | 11:52 AM

Sallie -
Of course people can say things other people don't like. I was contributing to a discussion, not trying to stop it.

People can express their opinions - am I not allowed to express my disappointment in the insulting connotations laced throughout several of those opinions? I didn't say "everyone stop saying things I don't like" - I basically just said some of the things being said are condescending and offensive to me.

The immaturity I referenced was from a commenter's statement that "I used to be really selfish and immature in my early 20s, so I was against having children..." While the commenter was stating that was a decision for herself, I'm just saying that the comment seems to convey an implied sense that those are the people for whom it makes sense not to have children.

I guess you don't have as much of an issue with "pretentious", "emotionally retarded", "jealous", or having "dysfunctional personal lives." There's nothing PC or anti-discussion about me saying that I do.

Steph | 11:59 AM

Okay so I don't really have an opinion regarding the child vs. no child ideas. I want children someday, just not tomorrow.

But I was trying to think about why childfree people would be so angry, so I likened it to religion vs. non-religion. Just because that's something I'm more familiar with. Really there are a lot of similarities. Having children and being religious is the majority, the "right" way to live according to some. So if you choose not to be religious, you are choosing a lifestyle that has the stigma of being "wrong" I know when I finally admitted to myself that I was not religious, I was angry at religious people just because they force their way of life onto others and would assume I was religious just because I'm a kind person, similar to how some child-bearing women may assert themselves on those who are childfree by choice. So I guess I'm saying I can see why childfree people could feel that hostility. Definitely not a great feeling to have and probably stems from some insecurities like mine did. But I kind of get it. People are different, and we all could learn a good dose of patience and understanding. I know I'm always working on that.

Anonymous | 12:02 PM

K- As a society we judge the quailty of life of others, and interfer daily, no secondly, no wait it is probably every hundredth of a second.

As a society we set standards of what we feel is an acceptable quality of life. Granted there is a WIDE/HUGE range of acceptable.

The problem is the edges. People disagree on the edges.

If we didn't have "standards" for quality of life, we would not have public programs such as affordable housing, food stamps, childcare assistance, heat assistance etc.

I hope desperately hope those 14 children have a good quality of life. Now that they are here they do deserve help. BUT, the docs who also play a part and didn't follow the standards of practice should be looked into.

And BEC and K, I live in a state where a man took his child to the Dark Knight and left the 2 yr old in the figgin'car at midnight while he went into the movie! Some people should never have children.

K | 12:13 PM

Anon - agreed. Especially here: "I hope desperately hope those 14 children have a good quality of life. Now that they are here they do deserve help. BUT, the docs who also play a part and didn't follow the standards of practice should be looked into." I wasn't saying there were no wrongdoings or horrible decisions by the adults in this process. Just that I feel for the children, and who knows, there could be the next great scientist or president or athlete or whoever among them. But the adults around them, they f-ed up in many ways. And I hope the kids have access to more sensitive adults and good resources to help them as they grow.

Rebecca in WI | 12:51 PM

I have four children. My very very best friend (WE could make stupid movies no one would understand very easily!!) is Child Free by Choice. She SAYS she doesn't even really like kids - except mine of course. :) But she most definetly is NOT judgemental of those of us that chose to have them.

I too don't understand why those that are judgemental are so angry about the whole thing. Can't we all just get along?

Katy | 1:48 PM

Stacy Quarty, it is ignorant, smug and righteous comments like yours that fan the flames of vitriol people who are CFBC( NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE SO JEALOUS OF YOUR AWESOME LIFE), have towards society and ignorant parents at large.

I think it is funny that Mom's can get so angry about people asking them about breastfeeding, or giving them unsolicited parenting advice (which all of the above suck and should NEVER happen), when someone writes a blog about it, geared towards a "Mom audience", with applause all around..... YET... take such offense at the anger people without kids have towards being treated like they're wrong, constantly questioned, and then have to suffer the indignation of mouth breathers like Stacy who accuse us of being JEALOUS, when they write it on their blogs.

Really?


Good for you that having kids was the best thing you ever did.. I am happy for you. BUT, I have other plans that don't include motherhood and I am sick of being looked down upon about it. Generally people who have kids have really shitty, condescending attitude about MY CHOICE that they feel the need to comment on, and if my anger about it makes someone uncomfortable, that's their problem.

Sallie | 1:56 PM

Joy,
You're right. I realized after I made my comment that I was doing what I was telling you I didn't like! Internet communication scares me for this reason. It's easy to get caught up in the edges, as another commenter says. Group hug, everyone?
Sallie

joy | 2:12 PM

Katy - Right on. Just reading someone claiming to be pro-choice then COMPLETELY undermining others' choices with "What are the REAL reasons they're child-free?" makes me want to scream. And not in a good way.

I don't think I realized the depth of my own feelings on this issue. I'm no child-loather - I actually ADORE kids more than pretty much anyone I know. I'm the oldest daughter of 8 kids, I cry at every Fable video, and one of my best buddies is 7 years old. I've never complained about kids acting like kids in public places - I believe the children are the future, etc.
It's anger at the attitudes of too many parents, too much judgment, too many pitying or self-righteous comments. I'm tired of being viewed as flawed somehow, or being put in the position of having to justify or defend something so personal.

Nicole | 2:14 PM

This has been a really interesting topic. Totally off topic.... GCC- I wonder what your most controversial post was?

nicole | 2:15 PM

oops I mean GGC.

joy | 2:19 PM

Sallie -
YES. Thank you! And I'm sorry for the bitter edge - I just commented again on how I didn't realize the depth of my own feelings on the subject. I'm sorry if I directed them at you - definitely not intended.

Though you're right - it is scary to communicate on the internet sometimes, it's also pretty amazing to read so many views (heated as they may be) from so many different people. GGC has a way of stimulating some great exchanges, and I'm appreciative of the insight (even when it gets me fired up!)

Thanks for your peacemaking spirit - Group Hugs for sure!

Beth in SF | 2:21 PM

Commented on Momversation, but I'll comment here too. I am so completely open to the idea of the childfree by choice, and for the better part of the first 4 years of my marriage, I figured I'd be one of those people. Something inside of me just clicked one day and I knew I wanted to be a mom. But that's a story for another time. The only thing that bothers me about the CFBC folks is, as you also say, they aren't giving the respect that they're demanding. They think they're entitled to something just because they have no children. They think it's *unfair* that some women get maternity leave. And it's impossible to explain it to them because, truly, you have no idea what it's like until you have a newborn. Women have fought for years for equality, freedom and CHOICE. So, we should let each other make the (responsible) choices that we want to!!!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 3:03 PM

I love the love in the room. Disagreement, sure but also love? I say it everytime but I'll say it again: My readers ROCK.

Katy | 3:44 PM

I have no issues with time off for kids. I know that sometimes I have had to leave work early to step in for my step kids. I have no issue with maternity leave, I think mostly there is not enough time given. I have no problem with tax breaks, when you have more people to feed, you need more of your income.

However, Beth in SF, I think that it can be argued that many parents throw out the "entitlement" card when it comes to their kids. For example, I have to supplement my income by working as a server. I work in a Thai/Sushi bar now, but also have worked in many ethnic restaurants. I am not against waiting on kids (in fact I am one of the only servers there who will and many have their own kids, kids are messy, loud, boisterous, and many parents leave crappy tips compared to the footwork and mess it takes to wait on a table with three kids). I do get really annoyed when a parent gets all bent out of shape when we don't have a kid's menu. IT'S A THAI RESTAURANT, NOT A FAMILY RESTAURANT.

A lady chewed me out when I worked at an Indian place, with this"WELL, WHAT ARE THE CHILDREN SUPPOSED TO EAT?"

She didn't like when I answered "Children in India, eat INDIAN food."

Now, I have many regulars whose kids love ethnic cuisine, who are a pleasure to serve regardless of the tip amount... But, if you want to take kids out who are picky (Like my step kids, our FANCY place is Cheesecake factory, because they like the FRENCH FRIES, bleargh), don't take them to ethnic restaurants and proceed to get all bent out of shape because we don't have crayons or specials on french fries and grilled cheese. Also, try to keep them in their seats as much as you can. It's a real drag trying to work and not step on your child.

Also, as I addressed in my last blog, DON'T BRING THE KIDS TO THE BAR. It's just wrong.

But, GGC, I love your blog and the readers. I am totally digging this discussion.

Cath | 6:15 PM

What annoys me the most is people who claim that they won't have children because of the way the future's going, and how they don't want to increase the burden on the planet or whatever.

Really? That's bulls***! When you want to have children, you WANT to have children. No ideology of so-called self-sacrifice for the planet is going to stop you.

All of it is a little story they tell themselves and others to make their choice more acceptable to others and their annoying little conscience.

Karen | 6:39 PM

I think the reason some people want 'child free zones' is because lots of little ones have not been taught manners.

There wouldn't be so much protest if the little ones were taught better manners, and if they happen to start screeching or screaming one of the parents would take them outside.

In Olden Times (when I was a kid) my sister and I joined our parents to eat at nice restaurants and always behaved ourselves. After dinner, we would all leave together and then she and I would run around like the hyper kids we were- OUTSIDE.

courtney | 6:47 PM

I have no problem with people who choose to remain child-free. That's fine. I also have no problem with people who choose to have children. Awesome. I have no problem with people who choose to have a whole whack of children AS LONG AS THEY CAN AFFORD IT. I may think that they're batsh*t crazy, but the Duggars seem to have their 18 kid family under control... without handouts.

In my life, I have one daughter and she is my ray of sunshine. She makes me happy, she wrings my heart. She is my world and my life is enriched because of her.

courtney | 7:04 PM

I thought we were the only ones who saw that movie.

As for kids, we are currently trying for our first. I had a miscarriage last month, and that changed me more than I thought possible.

Rock It | 7:28 PM

This was wonderful to me as a "young" mom...it's nice to know there's more out there that not teenage moms either.

Loved how intelligent and logically given this piece was, and yes...just because you don't want children don't frown upon me for loving mine.

breedermama | 9:14 PM

It's just another side of the same thing. Two groups of people on either side of the fence. Each group will have members that see the opposite group as threatening their choice.

Can we not just all get along?

There are some child-free people who are down right nasty about people with kids, calling us "breeders" and calling the babes nasty names.

There are some parents who think that all child free people are kid-haters.

Both are stereotypes and both are not true of all people. We must learn to be respectful of other's choices.

Peace!

Jamez | 9:21 PM

I like you had mine young, my first three months before I turned 21, and my second two months before I turned 23, and as much as i miss my old life, I would not change it for the world. I can't imagine life without my two little boys, and waking up the the words " mama.. mummy.. MAMA" everyday. and my heart hurts for those who dont/wont experience that, because it truly makes life worth living. And ya i know people say kids aren't for everybody, but sorry, i just find those people selfish, but hey that's just me.

Amanda | 4:25 AM

I have Tokophobia (fear of giving birth) and so the Choice to NOT have chidren was decided for me. I'm ok with it, I never really wanted children anyway, but I'm only 28, so if the urge does hit me, I'll turn to adoption instead (if my husband also feels the same).

Strangely enough, no one has asked us about children since we got married last March, so I'm not getting the usual 'first comes love then comes marriage, then comes.....hey where are your babies in the baby carriage?'

It's hard to say at this side of the fence if my life has been better or worse for not having children, because I have nothing to compare it to (having not had children, obviously), but I enjoy being only resonsible for myself and my 2 dogs right now.

I enjoy your blog and even though I don't have nor plan on having children, I still watch all of the momversations!

Katy | 5:17 AM

Jamez, how am I selfish because I don't want to have kids? How can you dare say that what is a right choice for you, is not for me?

Also, I counter you with the argument that there really is no practical reason for having children anymore. We are no longer an Agrarian society who depends on offspring to lend a hand to sustain ourselves. In fact, children are a drain on personal resources and natural resources. Even the most environmentally conscious family leaves a huge foot print. So why?

Personal egos? Because we want to see a little "Me" running around? How is that NOT selfish? Why do you feel you can call out a person like myself for my choices and call me selfish, when I can easily call you a vain, egotist?

AS with the "biological urge", we have many biological urges that we ignore everyday to be productive in a civilized society... Why does the need to procreate garner such support?

Oceans are being categorically de-fished. Farmland is being relegated to suburban housing tracts. No one grows food for themselves, and almost none of our textiles and raw materials are produced domestically. No one can bear to not be convenienced. Most of the food you buy is shipped in daily from Central America. Most of the clothing you wear is from Southeast Asia or the India subcontinent. Most of your raw building materials are now shipped from China.

Guess what? The more children you have, the more food you have to buy that's shipped in daily from Central America. The more children you have, the more clothing you have to import from Asia. And here's the big one: the more children you have, the more children they have. It's not a guarantee, but it's a pretty safe bet that two siblings will produce fewer offspring than eight siblings.

It's a sheer numbers game, paired with a little sociology. Assuming that each generation is imbued with the idea that their family size is "normal," then they will seek to have a family of similar size when the time comes to make a family. That said, a person who comes from a family of only one other sibling might reasonably be expected to have a quantity of great-grandchildren in the teens, maybe the twenties. However, a person who comes from a family with seven siblings could potentially have a quantity of great-grandchildren in the hundreds, potentially even the thousands. That seems far-fetched, but that's the math of it. People beget people. More people beget even more people still.

So, Jamez, you may think I am selfish, but I can easily point that finger back at you.

Heidi | 6:32 AM

i must live in a bubble out here in New Hampshire, because i have NEVER felt judged for any of my choices or lack of choices. i've silently followed these conversations and after each one, i've had to check and make sure i wasn't invisible. i got married late...30...had a baby-late...35. chose to breastfeed...sometimes in public AND no one had the gall or balls to ever say anything to me anywhere at anytime about anything. no one tried to touch my pregnant belly. i never heard any snide comments, nor saw any dirty looks. (wait, actually some one once said i was selfish for not giving my child a sibling.) so, i guess, i'm wondering, if all this talk isn't just stirring the pot?

Sarcastica | 6:22 PM

Fantastic video guys! I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and agree with all of your points. I've always found the Child Free by choice community to be contradicting and discriminatory towards the "mommy" community. I'm not saying ALL of them are like that, but there are quite a few people who make me shake my head in wonderment.

I'm 19 and pregnant with my first child (like I THINK I've mentioned before?). While my pregnancy wasn't planned, I still made the choice of carrying through with it. A child is a blessing, even if unplanned. I always knew I would end up having kids one day, and although it's happening sooner than planned I'm pretty excited about it.

It has already changed my life by making me grow up A LOT in the past 6 months. It's made me mature and take charge in ways I never thought possible. I like the changes I see in me (well maybe not the stretch marks LOL) and I'm excited to see what other changes happen in my life over the next year or so!

katie | 1:02 PM

What an odd topic, and a little disappointing, perhaps because my first impulse was to question if there was really a movement. This reminds me of the PUMA's and all the air time they got during the election cycle...that allegedly huge group of Hillary supporters that were going to vote for McCain. Gave the talking heads something to talk about and Lord knows they have a lot of airtime to fill but PUMA turned out to be a laughable number of people, a political joke. This appears to be cut from similar cloth. A simple google search turned up several child-free blog sites and their membership numbers. One of the larger ones has 571 members. A few numbered in the 70's. The same search turned up media discussing this movement and then bloggers discussing the media. All very PUMA like. It's just fringe, hardly worth the angst.

daftladybird | 3:12 PM

Having a child has improved the quality of my life immeasurably. I have struggled for many years to understand why I am who I am, and have often blamed my upbringing for my myriad shortcomings. And then my son was born and it dawned on me: I can reclaim my childhood by being the kind of mother that I had needed when I was a child. I can be my own mother as well as my son's by learning along with him, with a fresh wonder that a new life inspires. What a gift, what a rebirth!

Laura | 3:15 PM

Katy - I couldn't agree more with your last comment. I do not currently have any children. Over the past few years I have started to WANT a baby and it has been a huge personal dilemma for me. When I think about wanting to have a child I can't help but feel selfish. Yet, almost every person I know who has children tells me I'm selfish for not having children. I do not understand their logic. To be honest, it is frustrating to live in a society that requires me to pay for other people's children. A huge portion of my property taxes goes to the schools, income taxes help pay for children's state medical, etc. Why am I paying for people to have children?