A “Momversation’s” View of the Childfree

Laura Carroll. childfree

I am struck by a “momversation” video on newparent.com. Three mothers share their views on people who have chosen not to have children.  One woman, Heather, says she cruised lots of childfree blogs and sites and got the impression that childless by choice folks are  “angry.”   I had to post a comment–

– while I have seen childfree sites and lots of posts that I would consider less than kind spirited, in my experience there are far more childfree that are not out there bashing parents or kids.  Heather also says she thinks the literature out there  is “colored with a tone” that made it hard for her to want to see the childfree perspective on things because it’s so “derisive” of parents.”  What literature does she mean I wonder.  In the last 20 years books have focused on understanding this choice and those who make it, helping women make the decision whether to become a mother, and examining workplace inequities. More recently some titles have had a more humorous slant (e.g., No Kids: 40 Reasons Not to Have Children, Baby Not on Board: A Celebration of Life Without Kids), but they are far from what I would describe as derisive.

Another mom says she is sorry childless by choice people have to bash her for her choice — she thinks it is only because they have been bashed for theirs. What do you think about this perspective? Is the childless by choice rant out there  driven by the fact we have often been criticized and judged?

Another woman says she is all about choice but seems to think that the childfree don’t necessarily respect herdecision to have them.  They remark that they feel looked down upon by those who don’t have kids.  So it seems that while often the childless feel their choice is not respected, some moms feel the same way. What is up with the mutual accusation of lack of respect?

Their comments left me thinking while I am all about freedom of speech, having posts and stuff out there in the digital world by childfree folks that are negative toward parents and kids does not help us gain more acceptance of our choice. It serves to work against this. There is a place to rant, but maybe not so publicly.

Where can we point moms like these to learn more about childree folks that aren’t about the rant?  Who want exchange for better understanding and acceptance of a lifestyle choice that is different than theirs? In my post, I sent them here!

Where else would you send them–give  me your thoughts and ideas~!

6 thoughts on “A “Momversation’s” View of the Childfree

  1. I love this post! I didn’t even realize that there was a division between parents and those who have chosen not to become parents. My man is in the military and is currently on a 10 month deployment. We met in our mid 30’s (rather late in life for some) which wasn’t a problem for me because I never had much of a ticking biological clock anyway…but when the deployment came up we realized we kind of had to make a choice and with that we decided that we have been separated for so much of our relationship that all we want to do is enjoy each other and our lives together. Does that make us selfish? I love kids and my nieces & nephew are my life, so I don’t see the problem. Please stop by our page written by three 30-something women who are still not parents and are not mad about it! Thank you! http://www.3pinkdrinks.com

    1. Thanks for writing! I sure don’t think your decision is selfish — responsible is more like it! You are separated a lot in your relationship and your child would be too from his/her father…thanks also for the link to your page — I will check out! ~L

  2. I don’t think there is anywhere to point mothers where they will learn to “get it”. The ones who don’t get it just don’t really want to and will only come away from (whatever website you point them to) finding something to be upset about or even making up something to be upset about. I have friends who have children and I never had to point them to some apologetic, mommy-pleasing childfree site for them to understand childfreedom – they were just open minded enough to realize that Yes, it’s okay to not want kids and that Yes, sometimes childfree people get shafted in the workplace (weekends and holidays are especially obvious). They instinctively know that I won’t be all that interested in constant baby talk and don’t assume I’m a “bad” friend for not wanting to hear about potty-training or colic stories.

    One of those moms that you talked about is the same gal who ended up in a mental hospital after her first child because she was so miserable as a new mom. Knowing that about her, I take her opinion of the childfree with a grain of salt since she is one of the “misery loves company” crowd. We should all have to suffer the way she has suffered, right? Why should we get to avoid that fate? The only reason she raves about motherhood now is that it pays her bills, being the poster child for Mommy Bloggers. If she told the truth, she’d have to go out and get a job again!

    I just don’t really see all this “mom bashing” done by childfree, at least not the way they see it. Of course, I don’t spend a lot of time on childfree message boards, but if that’s where it’s going on, I have wonder why mothers are spending so much time on childfree message boards! Where do they get the time? Aren’t they supposed to be SO BUSY raising kids? I don’t even have kids to raise but I don’t have time to read message boards!

    I write a childfree journal where I “rant” about bad parenting, but I don’t bash MOTHERS as much as I complain about bad and irresponsible behavior by parents and/or kids. No where on my site do I write “All parents are horrible and no one should be allowed to have kids!” although the mommy bloggers always accuse me of saying those things. I think a lot of the “bashing” that they think is going on is all in their heads.

    Keep in mind, they also think all the other moms are out to get them. Breastfeeding vs. non breastfeeding wars, co-sleeping vs. anti-co-sleeping wars, vaccinations vs, anit-vac wars, homeschooling vs. public schools vs. private school wars, working vs. nonworking mothers…. they think everyone is out to get them, not just the childfree.

    One of the things I like to complain about is how mothers have websites like “MOMSrising” and MOMMYsavers” as if only MOTHERS need the equal rights and only MOTHERS need to save money, but then they’ll turn around and complain to childfree women that we don’t have enough “Sisterly Solidarity” and we don’t support their causes enough. How “we women need to stick together.” But then look, just like a high school clique, they turn around and exclude us and look for things that benefit *them*, but they certainly want nothing to do with the childfree movement and they would prefer it if we would just shut up.

    That is my biggest problem with the mommy bloggers. It’s not a two-way street with them. They want us to accept and embrace their choice and help them in their fights for special mom rights, but they are not reciprocal in any way.

    Personally, I have no problem with people who have kids, I just want them to do it responsibly and without stepping on everyone else’s toes. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I would even cease ranting about bad parenting if parents (in general) were doing it — policing themselves and demanding responsibility, maturity and fairness in other parents. These days of “anything goes” parenting and “no matter how bad a parent is, no one can criticize them” is ridiculous.

    1. Phoena, Thanks for the thoughts~You make me think of some things that in our “child-centric” culture are no-no to do — talk about the dark sides of parenthood is one. Ok there is post partum depression that is talked about but that is supposed to go away…what about parents who have kids and realize they do not like it or made a mistake — can’t talk about that–directly anyway–anonymous surveys tell us many people would not do it over again if they could. Talking about and dealing directly with “bad” parenting is another. There is so much more out there about how to be a “good” parent than dealing with “bad” parenthood and how it is affecting the kids and our world. The pronatal face is still supposed to be that parenthood is the most fulfilling thing in life and we all can do it somehow naturally (well these days after reading a bunch of parenting books!). The truth is too many people go into it without thinking enough about the realities of what it means for them and their lives, and many would end up using words other than fulfilling. Wouldn’t it be great to blow the pronatalistic cover and present to kids early in life like in schools that parenthood is an option, and teach them about what good and bad parenting looks like… ~L

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with Phoena. One of the women in that video claimed to be a CFer at one point but then -gasp- she magically got pregnant and now she’s sided with the mommies.
    If anything, it’s arseholes like her that make the childfree look bad.

  4. While I am a parent, I definitely respect and support the childfree decision, and while I’ve seen rants about bad parents, I don’t consider them “angry” in any way. And I agree with them! 🙂

    As a mom who chose to stop at just one child because I didn’t want all the responsibility that having two or more kids entails, I was often criticized as negatively by other moms (with 2 or more) for my choice as you guys (CFers) are for yours.

    I definitely understand where CFers are coming from, and it can get really annoying when narrow-minded people get nasty with those of us who make a different choice from what society says we’re “supposed to” make.

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