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.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

I’m terrified of most spiders. For as long as I can remember, the mere sight of a spider would induce panic, and spiders have been the subject of many a nightmare. A spider bite 10 years ago that has left me with a dime-sized scar has not helped my phobia either.

Particularly in the summer in my region, yard work needs to be done. And indeed, I actually enjoy weeding, tending to flowers, and raking leaves. Unfortunately, with gardens come spiders; and what’s worse, spiders are beneficial to the garden and should thus not be driven away. I am learning to coexist with them through the systematic desensitization of working side-by-side with them, but most of the time I just lie to myself.
“There are no spiders here.”
“That was not a spider web that I just walked through. And if it was, there is no spider dangling from me.”
“There are no spiders here.”
I keep repeating it.
I see a spider. “Well, that was the only one, and he has run away. There are no more spiders here.”
I lie to myself so that I can cope with the fear and discomfort of what lurks behind every shrub. I lie to myself so that I can function well enough to complete the work that needs to be done. I lie often enough so that I can behave as if I really believe it.

So when I recently heard the infamous “Bitch and Backpedal” it’s-all-worth-it speech yet again, it struck me at a much deeper level than it had before… is this self-talk the exact same coping mechanism I am using in my garden? Merely a lie so that one can endure the task at hand?

That idea is nothing new to me or to anyone else. Years ago, Wanda Sykes did a hilarious stand-up routine about it (watch here). Even I have blogged about related issues and potential regret in the past. What was new to me, I suppose, was an ability to empathize. Though I have always been puzzled and skeptical about “it’s all worth it” (because I never felt the need to justify anything in my own life in that way), I have only recently realized that I was doing essentially the same thing when it came to coping with my fear in the garden.

I think I finally understand.


  1. Great blog post! Personally, the whole "it's all worth it" saying never really bothered me. I say it all the time in conjunction with schoolwork among other things. When something is so important to you, even when it's hard, it is worth it.

  2. I cannot help but wonder, if the "bitch and backpedal" has more to do with our child centric society, and less to do with parenting in general. In our society parents tend to raise children who think the world revolves around them. Parents continue to reinforce this idea within their households by involving their children in every sport/activity known to mankind and buying them every new gadget every other household has. I don't know if it's because I was raised by parents who had next to nothing, or because I was married for 10 years before children (thus firmly establishing the relationship between my husband and myself), but I think it's absolutely ridiculous to shape your entire lives around your kids. Don't get me wrong, I deeply love my children (and would die for them if I had to without hesitation) but nobody's going to be happy if my husband and I put them at the center of our universe. I think that's where a lot of the "bitch and backpedal" stems from--I don't think it's all parenting, just overindulgent parenting.

  3. @Angie, thanks for the comment. I don't think the "it's all worth it" phrase used to bother me until I had heard it in the "bitch and backpedal" context for about the 1,789th time. Then it just started to annoy me to the point it has become a pet peeve, even when used out of that context.

    It's funny that you should bring that up, because I was already working on a follow-up post about why "it's all worth it" should go without saying, haha. I'll be very interested in hearing your thoughts on that next post. :)

    @Laura, I agree 100% with your distinction between overindulgent parenting and "good" (?) parenting (for lack of a better term). I have many friends who are parents and who have never given me the it's-all-worth-it speech, and I think that is due in part to what you described.

    I also know and love several parents who are very pragmatic about parenthood. They will tell me things like, "My daughter is a handful!" Full stop. No excuses or disclaimers afterward. And they don't have to follow it up with "but it's all worth it" because the evidence is in their relationship with their kids.

    You sound like one of those parents that I love and admire. :)