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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why I Love “Animal People”

The humane society where I volunteer takes great care to show its appreciation for volunteers, including organizing recognitions, luncheons, and other get-togethers. On several of these occasions, I have found myself surrounded by other animal lovers, the vast majority of whom have older or grown children (and some have no children) -- and all we want to talk about is animals.

I often feel as if I’m a bit of a misfit everywhere, but with these other animal folks, I’m accepted. No one cares that I don’t have children, so long as I have a great kitten story to swap. At one event, I was in the company of several women of retirement age, and a few of them had made comments about their children or grandchildren. One of the ladies looked at me. “Do you have any children?” “No,” I replied. Not missing a beat, she nodded in acknowledgement, and said to me and the group, “I have the craziest story from the spay clinic the other day!...” I was completely delighted at the no-hassle, let’s-talk-about-something-interesting tenor of the discussion. No babies? No problem.

At another event, we were going around the table introducing ourselves and telling some anecdotes about our work fostering animals. I shared that I have fostered only one dog (the first and the last) because while I love dogs, my personality is much better suited to cats. I gave the example of how excited I am when my brother visits with his dog -- I play with the dog, walk the dog, snuggle the dog, call him my dog-nephew -- but I’m also glad to see the dog leave. One of the gentleman laughed, “Ah, just like grandchildren!” Rather than the condescending attitude of “you wouldn’t understand anything since you’re not a parent” which I have encountered all too often, this grandparent was willing to make a connection with me. No kids? No problem.

And so it goes with almost every visit I make to the animal shelter. We are all so concerned with our common goals of saving the lives of furry companions, reducing pet overpopulation, nursing the sick, matching animals to the right adoptive homes, and keeping the shelter running smoothly that our own reproduction is seldom discussed. It’s just not important.

Monday, November 8, 2010

World Orphans Day

Today is World Orphans Day. Please take some time to consider the 140,000,000+ orphans worldwide... pray, sponsor, adopt, spread the word.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Is Being Childfree Like Being Left-Handed? (Part 2)

Another connection I began to wonder about was the nature/nurture aspect of left-handedness and childfreedom. Though it is a tremendous oversimplification (and probably quite inaccurate) to say that a particular human behavior is attributable strictly to nature or strictly to nurture, I tend to believe that left-handedness is mostly innate, given that the majority of us lefties would have been nurtured by a right-handed family, would have developed in an environment designed toward right-handers, and would have experienced less social acceptance of left-handed tendencies. There is little in our “nurture” that would influence us to favor our left hands, something we often exhibit even from early childhood.

I don’t think things are quite as clear when it comes to being childfree. Childfree folks come in various forms, which author Laura Scott describes in her book Two is Enough as Early Articulators, Postponers, Acquiescers, and the Undecided. As the names suggest, the undecided are those who are unsure whether or not they want to have children, the postponers put off having children and then became childless by intention or by circumstance, and the acquiescers made the decision because their partner was childfree. I suspect that for most of the people in those three groups, “nurture” had just as much impact as nature. (In my conversations with postponers and acquiescers, I have learned that some never had a strong desire to parent to begin with, so I think “nature” does contribute.) However, being an early articulator myself, I’d like to focus on that fourth group for a moment.

From my own experience, my gut feeling is that we early articulators are more likely to be innately childfree. When I think about my lack of childfree/childless role models, the number of children squeezed out by members of my family, and the absence of any childhood trauma that would have pushed me to the dark side, I’m confident that there was something within me that told me childbirth was not for me.

Regardless of how inherent childfreedom or left-handedness may be, we are not necessarily bound to our nature. I have met lefties who, as children, were “tormented” by adults into being right-handed and continue on as righties. Even I use scissors in my right hand (probably because I had no left-handed scissors as a child) to the point where I am incompetent with left-handed scissors. I have also gained enough skill to serve up food with my right hand while at salad bars/buffets. It doesn’t feel right, but it allows me to face the “correct” direction in the serving line. Similarly, I have met childfree people who chose to have a child rather than abort an unplanned pregnancy, and non-childfree people who embraced childlessness rather than traumatize themselves with invasive treatments. At the end of the day, there is a certain element of choice, even though one choice may feel more natural than another.

So here I am, innately left-handed and innately childfree, choosing to embrace both -- and curious about others. For you, was being childfree as “natural” as being left-handed / right-handed, or was your experience different? Did you follow a path that was “natural” for you?