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, September 19, 2010

Kids Have Feelings Too

It’s old news that the online world seems to give people a sense of anonymity or a sense of bravery/recklessness that causes them to put things in writing that they would never say to someone’s face. And though I have experienced this myself, I still find it a bit shocking. Say it to someone’s face, and you can deny it later or claim that they heard you wrong (unless there is a recording of it). Put it in writing, and it has the potential to follow you for the rest of your life!

It is also old news that online community sites like facebook have become bastions of all manner of overshare, in particular parental overshare. Be that as it may, I am consistently shocked at what some of my friends and family -- generally good and decent people -- will post about their kids. If it’s a quip about vomit or feces, I’ll just roll my eyes and move on. However, I feel a surge of anger when parents air grievances about their children or post sensitive information that could humiliate or antagonize their children. Granted, because he is not on facebook yet, 6-year-old Billy might not know that mom just told her 248 closest friends that Billy has been wetting the bed lately. But does that make it right?

I may be overly sensitive on this issue because as a child, I was very shy and I embarrassed easily. I could not abide adults laughing at me if they thought I did something silly or if I said something they thought was cute. I did not like being talked about, teased, mocked, or condescended to. Whenever I heard my parents tell a story about me, I found it completely mortifying -- and I don’t mean stories like “I.Am.Free got all A’s on her report card!”. I mean stories of a medical issue I had, or stories of something embarrassing that involved me (at which the adults would have a good chuckle), or stories of something serious I said that the grown-ups thought was funny. And of course, as I traversed my adolescent and teen years these feelings were magnified one hundred fold. I have learned to laugh at myself as an adult so that I don’t embarrass as easily as I used to, but I still have vivid and painful memories of adults who treated me as if I had no feelings.

So when people start posting about their 12-year-old daughter being a mouthy brat, or asking rhetorically if their 8-year-old will ever be potty-trained, or sharing the most “hilarious” (serious) observation made by their adolescent son, or wishing that their growing daughter would wash her armpits, I wonder how these kids feel about it? Whether or not the kids are on facebook, it seems that if you share this information with 200+ people, something is going to get back to the child.

In the instances where I feel close enough to the offender to say something, I do call them on it, as diplomatically as possible. I just hope it makes enough of an impact to save some of these kids from future wounds and scars. Let’s show these kids a little respect, OK?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

You Would Make Such a Great (Dog) Parent!

Though very clearly a cat person, I love, love, love dogs… their smiling faces, their fur, their antics, they way they get excited and romp around, the way they snuggle when they are worn out. When I go to the home of someone who has a dog, I usually greet the dog before I greet the people.

Interacting with other people’s dogs is a special treat for me. I roll around on the floor with the dogs, I talk to them, pet them, hug them, and spoil them. I get up in their faces and kiss their noses; then I let the dogs lick me in return. Truly it must be comical, if not a bit gratuitous -- especially since I tend to be very quiet, professional, and poised around most people.

So I suppose it should not be surprising when people respond to my antics with, “Oh, you really should get a dog!” or “You would make such a great dog-mom!” And, frankly, I would love to have a dog, but dog ownership is not a good fit for my personality and lifestyle (nor DH’s). We did foster a dog for the humane society a few years ago, and although she was a most wonderful pooch, we quickly learned that we were not well-suited for the life of dog-parents. The energy, mess, and attention involved became very stressful very quickly. (It didn’t help that after a couple of weeks she became increasingly aggressive toward our cats, at which time we had to place her in a new foster home before there was a disaster.) I recall the drives home from work, wanting to just go home and collapse from a long, hard day, and instead feeling my anxiety skyrocket as I thought about the dog who would be so needy upon my arrival. In contrast, the cats would greet me at the door, ask for a quick scratch, and then go about their own business.

Interestingly, when people tell me I should adopt a dog and I briefly explain why I shouldn’t, most people are content to leave it at that. No argument, no judgment. I wonder why it can’t be just as easy to accept when you insert “kid” in place of “dog”? After all, my observation is that children require far more effort and commitment than dogs. If I cannot handle a dog (a creature I love being around), what makes people think I should or could handle a child?