Manufacturing Motherhood in the Pronatalist Nation

Manufacturing Motherhood in the Pronatalist Nation

“Know what keeps a community going strong? More babies.”

Or so says the billboard I pass on my commute to work. I must’ve driven by this sign a hundred times without ever paying much mind. I suppose this is a bad thing if you’re a billboard considering getting noticed is literally your only job. As I became more resolute in my decision to be childfree, the more the words on this advertisement stood out.

So just what is this advertisement trying to sell? Specifically, a brand new maternity ward at an area hospital. But in a more general sense, this billboard is pushing something else. It’s something that really shouldn’t even be up for sale: motherhood. And the method of choice? Pronatalism.

Pronatalism? What is the meaning of this word that even predictive text cannot compute?

It’s the idea that parenthood and raising children should be the central focus of every person’s adult life. Pronatalism is a strong social force and includes a collection of beliefs so embedded that they have come to be seen as “true.”

-Laura Carroll, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World
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My Top Four Replies to “When are you having kids?”

by: Colin Brolley

So, when are you having kids?

There are very few questions that make me more uncomfortable than this one and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. It’s not a matter of being insecure in the decision my wife and I have made to remain childfree that makes me feel awkward. Rather, it’s the nonchalant responses to my answer(s), which usually consist of brushing off our decision as immaturity or trying to delay the inevitable.

“That’s what you say NOW”

“You’ll find out”

“Yeah, wait until your wife decides she wants one”

And the list goes on and on and on. I’m sure you’ve heard this all before.

These replies are usually coming from co-workers and general acquaintances – people who don’t even know me very well. Frankly, there are times when I just don’t feel like getting into it with these people. So, I’ve come up with a new game- a game in which I volley the awkwardness back to the boundary-invader before the conversation has a chance to devolve into dismissive clichés.

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Childfree Date Nights – Separating Myth from Truth

Sometimes I get a little sick of dinner-and-a-movie dates. And when I do, I search the interwebs for new ideas.

One time in particular, I stumbled upon the article When You Don’t Have Kids, Every Night is Date Night written by Julia Pelly, a working mom/blogger.

Julia begins her post with “To my childless friends”.

A little background info: I try to keep an open mind in most situations. My goal is to listen to all sides of an argument. Even if I do not personally agree, I look to understand how others might. Even when I read articles addressing the childfree from the prospective of a parent, I do my very best to understand. I want to understand. I would say I’m fairly successful in doing so.

My mindset for this article was no different. After reading though, I did feel the need to separate fact from fiction regarding the childless and childfree. Here goes…

…the thing you might not realize, the thing I sure didn’t realize before I had my son, is that when you don’t have kids, your whole life is a date night.

-Julia Pelly

Is it, though?

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What to Expect when You’re Expecting…an IUD

Before reading this post, click here to find out why I chose to get an IUD.

As of last June, I am officially a member of the IUD secret society. While I have personally told everyone from my best friend to my hair stylist about this marvelous device, many women simply don’t talk about it. And I think that’s a real shame. Here’s the whole truth about getting my IUD and what to expect when you’re expecting an IUD:

Before the Appointment

My gynecologist didn’t give me any pre-procedure instructions but I wasn’t satisfied with doing nothing to prepare.

I scoured the Internet for pain management tips and learned that taking 800 mg of ibuprofen a half hour before your appointment can reduce discomfort upon insertion of the IUD and quell cramps afterward. I figured it couldn’t hurt and I followed this advice.

I also decided to break my No Sweatpants in Public rule for this occasion…

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“How I Made a Deliberate Choice Not to Have Children”: My Childfree Story Featured on Nonparents.com

I woke up this morning to quite a wonderful surprise. The post “How I Made a Deliberate Choice Not to Have Children” that I submitted to Nina Steele at nonparents.com was published! I was equal parts excited and nervous as I fired up the webpage to reread my narrative.

This experience has been especially meaningful to me. Soon after I realized a childfree lifestyle was for me, I turned to the internet for like-minded folk. It wasn’t long before I was glued to the screen reading all of the incredibly genuine Readers’ Stories Nina shares on her website.

And Nina’s story? Part of what makes nonparents.com so extraordinary is the reason behind its creation. Nina explains on her website how she and her husband battled infertility for nine years before deciding to move on and begin living childfree. Nonparents.com was launched in 2013 and Nina has been empowering other women (and men) who are still struggling with life sans children, whether by circumstance or by choice.

To find out how I made the choice not to have children, click here.

 

What are your thoughts on my decision? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Why You Shouldn’t Wait for New Year’s to Make Your Childfree Resolution


It’s that time of year again.

Many are starting to think about the year to come.
What things should change? What should stay the same?

New Year’s resolutions are drafted and many look to the year ahead with cautious optimism, despite a dismal 8% success rate.

I made a resolve nearly two years ago to become childfree. It may not have appeared a far leap from the (by chance) childlessness to the (by choice) childfreeness. However, it was.

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Couples Camping 101

Couples Camping 101Your first thoughts when it comes to camping may be more rain showers and mosquitos than rainbows and butterflies, but it doesn’t have to be. With just a little bit of effort, your next camping trip can be equal parts affordable and romantic. Yes, I used camping and romantic in the same sentence. No, I’m not (too) crazy.

How, you may ask, is this possible? The answer is actually quite simple.

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Top 5 Remedies for Baby Fever

Hungry? There’s a pill for that. Tired? There’s a pill for that. Don’t want to get pregnant? Well, we all know there’s a pill for that too. But what about a pill to prevent the urge to have a child? To date, there’s unfortunately no such thing. Even those of us who are extremely happy with their childfree lifestyle still succumb to Baby Fever.

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The Rinky-DINK Life: The Birth of a Blog

The Rinky-DINK Life

Nearly half of all the women in the world are childless. The majority of these women wish to remain that way, at least for the time being. When I started looking into the childfree lifestyle, I realized women are not the only ones thinking (or not thinking as the case may be) about having children. Where there are childless women, there must also be childless men, right?

It wasn’t long before my browser history changed from queries about otherhood and childlessness to DINKs.

What is a DINK? A cutesy acronym, of course. But what does it mean? To put it simply, DINK stands for dual income- no kids, i.e. working couples without children.

A few google searches later and I was able to put two and two together. I realized, Hey! That’s my life!

And the lives of many, many others it turns out.

I was pretty excited, perhaps overly so, that my husband and I fit into some sort of community that we could finally and easily identify with. There are people like us out there! But when it came time for me to share the news of my newfound DINKhood with others, they quickly became confused.

Don’t you have to be really well off? Career-oriented? But you are going to have kids one day, right? et cetera, et cetera.

Before my proverbial bubble burst, I took a deep breath and responded with a resounding “no” to each and every question thrown my way. And it really is just that simple.

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