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.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Childfree Confessions, #6 (pregnancy announcements)

I cannot bring myself to be happy for anyone who announces a pregnancy.

Stereotypically, women are supposed to respond to such an announcement with squeals of delight, hearty congratulations, and girlish giddiness. I just feel a little ill.

Sometimes I try to fake it with a half-smile and an un-heartfelt, “Congratulations,” in which case I feel like a fraud. When I have more time to think about it, I am able to pull together a more honest response such as, “I wish you the best.” With a couple of my closer friends and acquaintances, I have blurted out without thinking, “Well, better you than me!”

There are so many events in which I can share another person’s joy (new house, adopting a pet, getting a job or promotion, etc.) that I have asked myself over and over again, Why must I feel so unhappy when these expectant parents proclaim their news?

I can promise you that it is not envy or jealousy. I have not ever, even for a fraction of a second, wished that I could be the one making the announcement. I have no questions or concerns about my childfree status, nor do I ever desire any part of the lives of my childed friends (in fact, whenever I leave the home of someone who has children, I am overwhelmed with relief and gratitude that I can retreat to my quiet, peaceful, clean home). That is, unless you count the simple feeling of being on the outside. They are being initiated into the parent club, and I will not be joining. They will have their conversations about exploding diapers and sleepless nights, smiling knowingly at other parents while they make comments to me along the lines of, “You can’t understand unless you have kids.”
And so, “I’m becoming a parent” = “I’m better than you now.”

I will admit that some of my ire springs from pure selfishness. When my peers become parents, without fail they stop spending time with me. No more invitations, no more e-mails. They cannot come to my parties because they cannot find a sitter. They cannot come to my house for dinner because they need to go with little Isabella to her friend’s birthday party. They cannot attend event X with me on Saturday because the kids have a soccer game. (And of course, on those rare occasions when they do spend time with me, they remind me that I’m not a part of their club anyway.)
And so, “I’m pregnant” = “It was nice knowing you, but don’t bother contacting me anymore.”

But it is not all about me. Every new pregnancy means the loss of a potential home for a less fortunate child who has already been born. I have expressed before that I am passionate about adoption and about caring for the world’s orphans. As the reality sets in that may never be ready to adopt a young person myself, I grow increasingly weary that people who want children completely close their minds to adoption. Many times I have tried to plant the seed in the mind of a future parent, but my words have always fallen on deaf ears. The lack of compassion and empathy breaks my heart.
And so, “I’ve made a baby” = “Who gives a rip about the orphans suffering in the world? I need someone with my own superior DNA!”

Corinne Maier said, “…every baby born in a developed country is an ecological disaster for the whole planet.” I consider that hyperbole more than anything else, but I do believe that every child born in the U.S. is headed down a road filled with unbridled consumption and waste, the likes of which the orphans in the world could never imagine.
And so, “I’m having a child” = “I and my family are going to become more gluttonous and wasteful than ever before.”

Wait… why should I be happy about a pregnancy announcement?!