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 29, 2010

Love Being Married, Hate Being “Mrs.”

In contrast to my longstanding desire to not have children, I always did want to marry. Of course, being the nontraditional gal that I am, I was not planning guest lists, choosing flowers, and designing my wedding gown for a dream wedding, as some girls do from a young age. No, I think I was considering something more long-term, being married as opposed to getting married.

My friends started marrying off when I was about 19, and as I attended their weddings, I became distressed by all of the chaos, the pomp-and-circumstance, and the waste (I just about had a heart attack when one friend told me she was spending $800 on fresh flowers… this was 16 years ago; and don’t even get me started on the $5000 dress that you wear once and then store in a box in the attic for the rest of your life). I don’t like being the center of attention anyway, and all of this wedding stuff seemed too extravagant and tiring. I decided that I wanted something simple, perhaps a cheesy ceremony in Las Vegas with just me and my guy.

Of course, things don’t always go as planned, and when a long-term relationship crumbled, I found myself wondering where my life might be headed next. I was at first frightened but then excited about my newfound freedom, and I rededicated my life to God. Because of the pain I was still feeling, I could not imagine ever being close to someone again. Maybe I didn’t need to marry after all. I met a missionary woman who married for the first time in her late 70s. I could do that! And if I never married, that was OK too.

But again, God looked down and saw a couple of misfits and thought, “These two will be much better off together than they would be apart.” DH (dear husband) and I sometimes joke that it is almost tragic that we found each other because we could have been such shining examples of confident, secure, and happy single people. Be that as it may, I believe God saw fit for us to minister to each other. We play off each others’ strengths; we make up for each others’ weaknesses. And we absolutely love being married.

In case you are wondering when I’m going to cut out the sappy sentimentality and get to my point… cultural expectations of married women drive me nuts. I do not define myself by being married, and yet others sometimes want to define me that way. My very first “bingo” came when I returned to work after my honeymoon. As I was clocking out for the day, a coworker smiled and said to me, “So now you have to go home and make dinner for someone.” Huh? I replied, “No, actually, he is supposed to have dinner waiting for me when I arrive!”

We have an agreement about certain roles in our house. He cooks, I do the laundry. I load the dishwasher, he does the dishes that need to be hand-washed. He makes the phone calls (for insurance quotes, hair appointments, car repairs, etc.), and I make the money. I mow the lawn, he removes spiders from the house.

When we first moved to our current town and began attending church here, people there kept asking me, “So did you move here for DH’s job?” Not, “What brings you to this town?” or “What attracted you to this area?” No, the assumption had to be that I was following DH around and had no aspirations of my own. As I explained over and over that we moved here for my job, no one had any issue with that, but I grew tired of the assumptions and the looks of surprise.

I think this also irritated me because I had looked forward to a teaching career since I was a child, so it was one of the major goals of my life. These incidents brought back bad memories of a guy I dated in high school who said he wanted a good job so that I wouldn’t “have to” work when we were married. I remember being offended and disgusted that he could belittle my ambitions and my calling by implying either that I should not teach or that it would just be my “hobby,” something I did not “have to” do.

At work, despite that I introduce myself to my students as “Professor,” many insist upon calling me Mrs. __, even before I tell them that I am married. Not only do I find this unprofessional, but I kept my family name, so when my students call me Mrs. __, it sounds like they are talking about my stepmother. Meanwhile, they readily call their male instructors “professor.”

This probably adds to the laundry list of reasons that I would not want to have children. Despite that the women in my social circles are highly educated and career-oriented, I have watched their gender roles/disparities become far more pronounced after having children. By cultural expectations or by their own choice, every such woman I know has become shackled with the responsibilities of full-time career and full-time motherhood while dad carries on his life as if little or nothing has changed. And worse, if mom doesn’t continue her career, she is considered a drain to the family financially. And if she doesn’t do all of the right kind of mothering, she is considered a disgrace as a wife and mother. She can’t win.

As my commenters and I have often summarized after my rants about people’s judgment of the childfree, I think all of this boils down to respecting people’s choices and callings in life. Don’t disrespect someone (female or male) for leaving a paying career in favor of a career raising children; don’t act condescendingly to someone who chooses not to have children at all. Don’t treat someone differently because s/he marries; don’t treat someone pitifully because s/he is single. Don’t try to put people into a box that fits your expectations. Yadda yadda yadda.

There is more to me than the ring on my finger.

(By the way, we did marry in Las Vegas. The wedding cost $120.)


  1. Can't agree enough!

    I'm a childfree husband, and lots of what you say resonates well with us! I also do the cooking; gender roles aside, I'm better at it. :)

    I can't speak for what my wife experiences with the marriage prejudice, but I often get it from the male perspective. Things like "oh, do you have to call the mrs to get permission?" and ridiculous notions like that. I've even got the "dinner on the table must be nice" one.

    Most of all; we too love BEING married as opposed to GETTING married. We didn't elope, but we excluded everyone but close family and kept costs way down. We just couldn't justify an expensive party.

    Instead, we had an expensive honeymoon :)

    Why Don't You Have Kids

  2. Thanks, Jake! It's nice to hear a guy's perspective -- as mentioned in you and your wife's blog, a lot of the discussion going on is among women.