About this Blog

After banging my head in frustration over the obsession everyone around me had with procreation, I went online to find a community of people who were more like me. I have met some fascinating people along the way, but I have also found that many in the childfree community are quite hostile toward Christianity and a Christian world view. I understand that, unfortunately, many of my Christian sisters and brothers have given them a lot of ammunition (undoubtedly, I have been guilty of this at times too). Not wanting to be perceived as "trolling" for expressing my Christian perspective on other people's forums and blogs, I use my own blog to share my musings on childfree life while at the same time expressing my faith.

My intention is to show support to childfree people, both Christian and non-Christian, but from my own Christian perspective. Questions and constructive comments are welcome; negativity and intolerance are not.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What a Christian Family Should Be

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my mother’s family. I do love them, but they can be difficult to get along with: old-fashioned, resistant to anything different, sometimes judgmental, and engaged in too much drama… simple things become such a scandal in the family. Though I was a bit of a black sheep among them, I always identified with them because of my familiarity with them. Over the past 12 years or so, I have had several occasions to spend time with my father’s side of the family, and being around them has been like looking into a mirror. Despite the “nurture” of being with mom’s family, I and my siblings are by “nature” like dad’s family.

Prior to my parents’ divorce when I was 18, my mother had an affair with a married man. When the details of this came to light, my mother’s family all but disowned her -- but not until after yelling angry, hurtful things at her or sending her hateful letters of condemnation. The next step was to refuse to speak to her or even be in her presence. At about the same time, my paternal grandmother died. My mother came to the visitation to pay her respects (after all, this had been her mother-in-law for about 20 years), and my father’s family welcomed mom with open arms. There were tears, hugs, and kind words. This woman who had hurt all of us and crushed my father was shown such love by dad and his family. It became more and more clear which side of the family I wanted to identify with.

As you can imagine, much of my mother’s family is not too pleased with me being childfree, although I have been able to deflect much of the judgment by saying that I might adopt someday. Of course, this means that at every family event, my aunt wants to know the status of the adoption. And at every event, I am surrounded by obsessed aunts and cousins doting on all of the babies. I know they all think I’m a bit of a freak.

So when I went to a gathering of my dad's side of the family last weekend, and I knew that my cousin's new baby would be there, I felt a little trepidation. Would someone ask me to hold the baby? Would the baby be the focus of the entire get-together? Would someone suggest that I would/should be "next"? I kept reminding myself that dad's family is not like that. They are accepting, non-judgmental, and rational (doctors, mathematicians, architects, computer programmers, etc.). But I was still nervous.

After I arrived, I realized that none of the other cousins there would be bringing children. One cousin is 35, unmarried, and has no kids. My sister is in a similar situation. A younger cousin is still in high school. Most of the other cousins (who were unable to attend) do not have children. A few of our oldest cousins have children who are now ‘tweens and teens. Ok, so I don’t stand out so much.

At one point in a conversation, my husband said something about us being "done" having children after zero kids. It's no secret, but I sank a little as I held my breath for the fallout. NO ONE in the room even batted an eye. The conversation just carried on as if he had said the most normal thing in the world.

When the baby arrived, of course his grandma wanted to spend a lot of time with her first grandchild. There was a very small amount of baby conversation, but most people just went on about their business. For most of the time, the baby was quiet and in a separate room from everyone as a few people took turns holding him. We cousins (including the baby's mom) had a chance to catch up, and I was pleased to see that the mom did not appear to have placenta brain. Instead, she wanted to talk about things like triathlon training.

So, I am once again grateful to have been surrounded by intelligent, educated, and informed people who are kind and accepting of people for who they are. This is what a Christian family should look like.


  1. That's what every family should be like! You are very lucky to have them. What a nice get together. :)

  2. Thank you! Yes, I do feel extremely fortunate to have them.

  3. This reminds me of how my mother was with me the few years/months before me and my husband married.

    When my older sister came to visit with her children she had given me the duty of taking care of her youngest child, as an aunt I loved the fact of her trusting me with this. My mother had suddenly decided on warming up the milk in a bottle, I got upset with her, telling her this was what my older sister had trusted me with doing. She then looked at me, then said; "You can do it, you would need some practice." I then didn't feel as doing the rest, this was when me and my husband were still quite early in our relationship.

    Then when I stayed at their place the last months before our wedding day, my mother often liked to say things or show me things with babies or children in mind. She was awfully pushy with me. I told her that they would have all of my bedsheets and it would be good if they would ever have guests to sleeping over, then my mother adds; "Soon we will be having a lot more grandchildren coming over too." Once she showed newborn babies on tv, she looked at me smiling, I only looked away from it all. Once when our neighbour lady came over for a visit, my mother showed her a baptizement dress she had made herself. The neighbourlady asked if my older sister had used it for her children or so, my mother said; "No." But then added; "But Sylvia will be the first one!" I told her that she shouldn't think too soon about this. She only looked at me whilst having an annoying giggle.

    Already before we even got married, she was very pushy about us having children. And well, to saying the truth I am no longer too excited about babies/toddlers either. I do like children from 3 years old and up. But when they are below that, I am not much interested.

    It is great that your father's side is more supportive with this choice of yours. Like with us and my parents in law, we appreciate it a lot that they are so understanding as well as supportive. Even my mother in law had also had in mind once that she didn't thought this was something for us, that we would fit better with not being parents. :-)