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, August 30, 2011

A Summer Day in the (Childfree) Life

As summer comes to a close, I reflect on the beautiful, lazy days and look forward to recapturing them next year.

For most of us, having a job does mean life can be a rat race. Plenty of times, I have rushed around all morning to get to work and then spent a 9-hour day at the office only to bring 3+ hours worth of projects home with me. However, in the summer on the days I’m not working…
9:20am. I must have slept right through the noise of the garbage trucks this morning, because I don’t stir until about 8:45am. Bleary eyed and groggy, I need a little time to come out of my morning stupor. Lounge in bed for about half an hour as I continue to wake up.

9:30am. No place to be, so I’ll bum around the internet for a while. I enjoy some breakfast and coffee while I check e-mail and update facebook. Read the news, check the weather, see what’s up in the online childfree world, do a little blogging. Maybe I have time to research some upcoming purchases or new music or travel destinations. The cats take turns sleeping on my lap.

11:30am. Enough messing around. Time to exercise and then have a bite to eat.

1:00pm. Lawn needs to be mowed. I love working in the yard, so I take my time watering the flowers, pruning, weeding, and anything else I notice that requires attention.

3:30pm. Finally time to shower and fix myself up. Still no hurry to be anywhere, so I’ll dawdle through the process, stopping to take care of things around the house – unload the dishwasher, hang up my clothes that have been accumulating on the chair in the bedroom, balance the checkbook, whatever.

5:30pm. In anticipation of going to the drive-in tonight, we make a run to the grocery store to pick up some junk food.

6:15pm. My guy and I make dinner together and then eat a leisurely meal while watching some sci-fi and discussing the ethics of the prime directive (for you non sci-fiers out there, a prime directive is a code of non-interference with the development or practices of another culture -- i.e., another planet -- though it may go by a variety of names).

7:30pm. Head to the drive-in for a double feature. Popcorn – check. Candy – check. Drinks – check. Blanket – check. I wonder if I’ll stay awake through both movies?

2:00am. Finally home, and because I was able to sleep in this morning, I made it through both movies. Be that as it may, I’m eager to crawl into bed and listen to the quietness of the house.

I wouldn’t have my boring, quiet life any other way. (Wait – aren’t the childfree are supposed to be party animals? Or jet-setting in all of their free time?)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I’m Going to Be an Aunt… and I’m Not Happy

Some years ago, one of my siblings expressed an interest in not having children. Based on the details of that conversation, I never categorized him as staunchly childfree, but perhaps more comfortably on the fence. He would have been quite happy to not have children, but becoming a parent would not be devastating either. Falling prey to carelessness, he is now going to be a father. And though I wish him happiness, I mourn the childfree community’s loss, and my loss.

My feelings on this are very complex, with tentacles that spread far and deep. I have spent (probably far too much) time reflecting on the extent of my sadness and why this should bring me to tears, and I believe I have come to a modicum of understanding of my heartbreak.

I acknowledge that many of my reasons are selfish. The rejoicing of my parents dredges up reminders of my family’s disappointment in me. I often think I have accepted, for example, my father’s wish that I, his firstborn, had been a son. Now that the son, the golden child, will give the family its only grandchild, I have a new and enduring reminder of why I am second-class.

I will be losing one of my dearest friends, at least for the next 12-18 years or so, and maybe for life. Every person I have known pre- and post-parenthood has become worse after becoming a parent. Perhaps I just know the wrong people, but I have only ever seen parenthood exacerbate people’s most negative qualities, or take otherwise kind and interesting people and push them further down the spectrum of selfish, entitled, single-minded, boring, obsessive, self-aggrandizing...

At the very least, I don’t like to be around children, not even relatives. I dread the thought of future family Christmases and reunions. We have had the most wonderful visits / holidays, vacations together, and so on. That will all be over. The quiet joy of meaningful conversation with people I love will be replaced with people being interrupted by and obsessing over a shrieking brat.

I wanted my brother to have what DH and I have. This one is a little sticky because, of course, for all of its benefits, it also entails the pain of being an outsider and a disappointment to others. Even still, I wished for him to have the best marriage possible, less worry, more general happiness, and freedom.

Or even, I wanted “more” for him -- more than just to follow the lifescript, more opportunity to grow his amazing accomplishments.

I’m also sad for the orphans. I realize I risk opening myself up for some snarky comment like “How many kids have you adopted?” or “Why don’t you adopt, then?” (uh, I’m not in the market to increase my family size), but I cannot help but find it devastating when someone chooses to create a new human being when millions upon millions of children out there are crying for homes.

And I’m sad for the child itself. The dangers and demands of my brother’s job are unfair to the child. The burden of the U.S. financial situation will fall even more heavily on the next generation. The world is in a tremendous state of unrest (as it always has been, I suppose). I still cannot fathom why anyone would rejoice in condemning a new life to this earth. "Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3)

So I muster a half-smile and a nod when the family talks about the impending child, but all the while I’m crying on the inside.

(Flashback: True Confessions about becoming an aunt.)