• Tue, Feb 25 - 10:00 am ET

It’s Cool You Don’t Want Kids But Don’t Hate Me For Loving Mine

shutterstock_145694291-3I love the childfree by choice. I admire anyone who has strong convictions about what they want out of life and if that doesn’t include kids, I respect and appreciate that personal decision. But something I have noticed lately is that some people who adamantly don’t want kids also really don’t want those of us who want kids, or who have kids, to talk about how much we love being parents. I have never gone to a childfree by choice website and told those who don’t want kids they are wrong for feeling that way. I have never told the childfree by choice that they are missing out on something because they chose not to breed. But one thing I have noticed is that when we discuss mothering, or parenthood, on occasion the childfree will come along and drop some mommyhood hate on the discussion. And that sucks.

Recently, I was reading an article on the decision to become a parent, and it seemed like the comments were filled with a lot of vitriol towards breeders. I think part of the problem is maybe the childfree have felt so ostracized and judged for the decision not to have kids that when they see an opportunity to share their stories they take it. Fair enough. But I have also noticed that on occasion I have shied away from discussing my own found bliss in parenting because if I do so, I will be seen as being a sanctimommy, or worse. It’s almost as if I personally feel like I am betraying the childfree by admitting a fundamental truth of my own identity – that I really love being a mom.

I don’t sugarcoat parenting. There truly are days that suck, that are hard, that are frustrating, that make me wonder why I ever had kids in the first place. But for me, for the most part, it’s the best thing in the entire world. At my very core, it’s who I am and who I want to be – a mom. If I can accept the fact some people never want to be parents why can’t I be accepted for this being the favorite part of who I am? I don’t shove my motherhood down the throats of others. I don’t mention my kids to the childfree unless they ask. But even then I have a hard time fully expressing what it’s like for me, the love I have, the utter joy I find in parenting because I worry that to do so will make me seem less than, that people will think I’m stupid because I take so much joy from the fact I have kids.

It’s not just the childfree by choice who make me feel this way. I know plenty of parents who have kids who act like admitting to loving their kids, or being in love with parenting, or loving the whole idea of family is to admit some sort of defeat. Cool people don’t like their kids. It’s almost as if we have become this generation of people who hold parenting at arm’s length, because to admit to loving it is seen as being an idiot. We can only parent with a healthy dose of irony.

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  • MegzWray

    I was childfree by choice for 10 years. I KNEW I never wanted kids, but loved spending time with my 20 nieces and nephews. Perfect kid time without the commitment! I shuddered at the thought of the sleepless nights, the vomit, the laundry…everything. Who would sign up for that willingly?

    And then I heard about a baby about to be born that needed a loving Mommy and Daddy. Was this it? Was this my calling? I had a weekend to decide. I jumped off that bridge and never looked back. This newborn was trusting me to make the right decision and I’ve been “addicted” to her ever since. OMG! How much more love can my heart hold – it seems to grow more and more every day and she’s only 3 1/2. So yes, I was childfree by choice…and then another choice was made that I’ve never regretted.

    • Harriet Meadow

      This is wonderful.

    • Jules

      You’re great and that was beautiful.

    • Guest

      Also… me by the time I got to the end of your comment

    • Jules

      Also… me by the time I got to the end of your comment


    • Amber Starr

      You are AWESOME. (True story)

    • Katia

      What?! That sounds awesome (can kind of relate because I had an accidental pregnancy) but a newborn just fell into your lap? I thought adopting takes years

    • Kelly

      It happens sometimes. I had a teenage cousin who became pregnant and looked for adoptive parents within the family. The process is very simple and quick when the mother wants to sign over rights to someone she already knows.

    • BEG

      You were childless, not childfree. Childfree people never want to have kids and never will. Congrats on the adoption though!

    • Kelly

      Maybe you shouldn’t be telling her how she felt. She did not want children. She changed her mind at some point. Everyone is allowed to do that.

    • Raquel

      what part of “I KNEW I never wanted kids” did you miss?

    • whiteroses

      People get to change their minds. Life is kind of awesome that way.

    • BEG

      Ok – please understand where I am coming from. One of the biggest bingos the CF community hears is “Oh I was childfree just like you once! You’ll change your mind!” So, use of the term in this context only reinforces this. While I can appreciate people change their minds, etc, for the vast majority of the true childfree this would never happen. I meant no disrespect, I just wanted to clear up the definition of the word :)

    • whiteroses

      Sure. I understand that completely. But that’s not what she said, you know? She didn’t say that others who are childfree would change their mind. She said that she had. There’s a distinct difference, imho.

      I have a friend who is childfree. She does not want kids, ever, and I cannot imagine her changing her mind. If for some reason she ever did, I would fully support that. If she chose to stay childfree, I would fully support that too. She knows her own mind, and she has the right to live her life the way she wants.

    • meteor_echo

      And still, being childfree does imply that you won’t change your mind because you’re partial about not having children. Just look at the posts in http://www.reddit.com/r/childfree and you will see that there are people who have to break up with the spouses they love, to withstand harassment from family, or to withstand sexual abuse and reproductive coercion from partners because they are so consistent about not having kids.

      When somebody changes their mind, it simply means they have been a fencesitter and have been leaning towards the kidless side of the fence. We’re already on that side and not sitting on the fence.

    • Tikitavia

      Uh, no. Changing your mind doesn’t mean you were previously a fence sitter and it’s really rude of you to assume the original commenter didn’t know her own mind. People change all the time. No one said all child free people change their minds (sidenote: I know that gets said, it has not been said here however) but it does happen to some people.

    • meteor_echo

      Are you childfree yourself? If not, please do not be ignorant and don’t talk about something you do not know the particularities of. Honestly, none of us needs any more bingos, even if they’re worded in a benevolent, roundabout way.

    • whiteroses

      Got it. All I was saying is that there are some people who do change their minds. Most do not.

    • Vista

      I feel exactly the same way, so don’t worry about it! She wasn’t childfree, she was childless. The moment someone has a child, no matter how they felt before, they can never describe themselves as childfree. That bingo drives me crazy too! It’s our term, and the formerly childless can’t use it, sorry.

    • mikoda

      I agree. If you didn’t have kids before, but finally had them later in life, you were never childfree. You were just waiting. Real childfree people NEVER have kids in their lifetime.

    • Hess

      Did someone cut a load of onions in here?
      *flaps hands in front of face to hide eyes watering*

  • Lauren_Alli

    I couldn’t agree more. I always feel like a giant sap because I’m constantly babbling about my daughter. I just really don’t have anything else interesting to talk about. But, in my defense, I never wanted kids, and I thought I’d make a terrible mother because I don’t like kids. I think half the reason I beam about my daughter is because I am STILL so surprised how much I love her and parenting, and honestly, how good I am at it. It feels like this is what I was meant to do, even though I never knew it myself. I totally respect people’s decisions to remain childless, but I will never, ever regret my decision to become a parent. As cliche as it sounds, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

  • Harriet Meadow

    “I don’t know exactly when loving being a mom started to be so vastly
    uncool. I don’t know when admitting to feeling like it was the best
    thing in the world was something to be ashamed of.” A few months after we had our son, a friend of mine who is thinking about adopting asked me what the most surprising thing about parenting is. I told her that I was surprised at how fun it is. Because really, you’d think that endless feeding and changing and lack of sleep would just be awful, but I genuinely loved it and I felt that my days were full of joy and fun, especially whenever my new little human did something for the first time like smile or coo. Now that he’s almost 10 months, it’s even better, as he’s developing such a little personality. I LOVE spending time with him. Anyway, when I gave that answer to my friend, she was like, “Really? None of my other friends have said anything like that. I was beginning to doubt my decision to adopt.” That just makes me sad, because most of the mommies I know really do find it the most wonderful and joyful experience (despite all the negatives) – when did trash-talking it become so popular?

    Also, I’m surprised by how much motherhood has changed me with regards to my view of motherhood. What I mean is this: most of my friends are childfree-by-choice for perfectly rational reasons (they love to travel, are busy trying to establish themselves in the world of academia, etc.). Before I had a kid, I thought this would be a perfectly good life choice for me, too – I mean, I’d always wanted kids, but I could totally see myself being perfectly happy without them. Now that I have one, I cannot even IMAGINE my life without him. The happiness I feel about him is absolutely sublime, beyond anything I’d ever felt before. And I was someone who was very happy in general – happy about my friends, happy about my family, my husband, my dogs, my career, my accomplishments…but none of it compares. However, I don’t want to say this to any of my friends, because even though it’s true for me, I worry that they’ll think I’m judging them for their choice, and I *do* know that it’s possible that not everyone would react to motherhood the same way I did (as hard as it is for me to believe that)…

  • JLH1986

    From what you described I can’t imagine anyone being upset by that. The only time I get annoyed with parents are when parents become lost. The ONLY identity they have is “parent”. They don’t know or rather WANT to know about anything in the outside world, they can’t have a conversation with me about anything that isn’t kid related. I’m childless (though I think we might be on the right track as to why we haven’t gotten pregnant yet) so I love kids and truly enjoy hearing about kids. But eventually I want to talk about Orange is the New Black, Defending Jacob, Charlie Sheen and his hot mess of a situation or whatever local news is imperative. From what you described I don’t see why people would give you side eye.

    • Mystik Spiral

      This. I have lost touch with friends because they had kids then suddenly we had nothing in common, nothing to talk about. I love to talk about how awesome my cats are and how much I love them, but I know that not everyone cares, and NOBODY cares as much as i do. I’m smart enough to sense when enough is enough and talk about something else. When people start referring to themselves as “mommy” and “daddy” and have no idea what’s going on in the outside world, then no, I probably don’t want to hang around them.

    • JLH1986

      I try to hang in there especially with new parents because BABY. But if after a year we still can’t talk about what’s going on in my life or silly stuff but only about how JR isn’t potty training or is “so big” all the time. I’m out. And I’m ok with it. People and lifestyles change and that sometimes means friends are lost. I am more than willing to listen to what’s going on with the kiddo. As long as somewhere in there the person I wanted to become friends with is still there.

    • Guest

      I try to give friends the benefit of the doubt too whey they have babies but I’m really over the disappearing act of some. If my friend can schedule a night out and she has two little ones (one with health condition) and she doesn’t even drive…then the rest of the people who literally talk to no one for 5 years (except their family) can step their game up.

    • Brainspace

      YES. I also think that, like anything with friends, each side needs to make an effort. It seems many of my friends with kids expect me to constantly drive to wherever is convenient for them, meet up at their homes and help watch kids (coded as “movie night” or “dinner at home”)–basically anything that eases their lifestyle…except I’m very busy, too. I get that parenthood is a life-changing experience, but you should be able to maintain some form of your former identity, too.

    • Guest

      Yes exactly. I think some people get it, some don’t, and some don’t care because now the only thing that matters are the bebes. It is the same as my friend telling me she was thankful I didn’t become a different person when I dated people. I expect things will change with a baby but I don’t expect you to become a new person who wants nothing to do with their old life.

    • Katia

      I don’t think those invites are that rude or will “help” them with childcare. Remember a night out without kids might be $40 for an adult babysitter (personally, I wouldn’t hire a kid even though I used to sit lots and noone ever got hurt) and otherwise bringing the kids put somewhere to hang with you would be all stress and no fun. I mean that could be why… Unless your friends are loaded and have perfect kids..

    • Brainspace

      Yeah, I get the expense. However, while I don’t always know their financial details, I do know when a husband is home who could easily watch a child, a neighbor who they trade babysitting with, etc. Like I said, BOTH sides need to extend some consideration. I’m a teacher, I take home a pile of work every night, tutor three days a week (sometimes until about 8), and am an active member in my local union. I am busy, too, and it would be nice not to have to drive all over the state to see my friends. That’s the attitude that a lot of childfree people take issue with: “I have a child, so you need to accommodate me now, because BABIES.”

      Not to mention, watching your two year old have a meltdown is not a relaxing night in. If we’re here to hang with each other, let’s do that. I’m okay with going with you to kiddie events, but there’s nothing wrong with adult time, either.

    • Brainspace

      Yes, I understand that childcare is expensive. Gas is also expensive. Dinner is expensive. The list goes on. I don’t know their financial details, but I do know that you can make an effort for your friends. If your husband is home or you exchange babysitting with a neighbor regularly, you can make plans to meet a friend at a time/place that’s convenient for both of you. I don’t mind being invited to kiddie events and activities at all, but if we’re meeting up to reconnect and chat, let’s do that somewhere we can enjoy each other’s company without constant tantrums and interruptions.

      I think the issue that a lot of childfree people face is that their friends become convinced that everyone should accommodate them because OMG BABY. Like I said, each side needs to make an effort. I’m a busy professional with my own commitments and I deserve consideration, as well, despite not being able to procreate yet.

    • JLH1986

      I get it people are busy, but I am too. I’m not asking for hours a day but the occasional “Hey are you still alive?” text or something.

    • rrlo

      I am not saying that’s what happened with your friends, but I found that I had less time to plan things with my friends (naturally) after having a baby – which put a dent in our relationship. Leading me to believe that I was doing the bulk of the organizing/reaching out in the first place.

    • val97

      This. I love my kids, and I especially love how funny they are, but I don’t really want to talk about them with my friends. Around other parents, ok, I’m fine with some kid talk, but I hate when kids are the main topic of conversation.

    • Lydia

      It costs so much $$$$$$$$ to have enough help to be able to have the free time to do any hobbies etc It

      As someone from a small family, that is just a reality.

      I miss my childless friends, but they assume I can just spend an entire day with them, often I cannot afford to hang out with people much more than a couple hours. It can be hard to find babysitting trades (that you would trust) when you have a baby.

      I think sometimes people outgrow each other mostly because they spend their time differently

      I wish I could have a lot more help. :/

    • Ddaisy

      That’s a shame that your friends just expect you to be able to spend a bunch of money. I have a good friend who had a baby a couple years ago, and they had a lot of the same challenges. It got really hard to hang out together.

      One of the best strategies we have for it is this: I’ll go over to their place for supper (I bring drinks and dessert) and we can eat with their kid, then after the kid goes to bed, we can hang out and visit or play card games or whatever as adults. They don’t have to lug the kid out of the house or find a babysitter, and all it costs them is one extra mouth to feed (and even then, I pitch in the drinks and dessert).

      I don’t know if that would work for you, or if your friends would be up for that, but I hope I’ve helped a little :)

    • JLH1986

      I get that. I work 18 hours a day and most of that’s unpaid for grad school. Life is hard. I’m not looking for hours a day, a whole day. And if kids are keeping you busy that’s cool. But if EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION revolves around my friends kids…eventually our friendship is going to work. Just like if EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION is about me, I wouldn’t expect my friends to stick around. I offer free babysitting, I go to their houses (with the kids there obviously) instead of having them go out; I’ll send them a text and tell them to get back to me when they can. But if after all that my friend still can’t ask how school is going or talk to me about something other than Johnny and Susie it makes it hard to want to spend time with them. Or worse they just never respond to me and when I finally catch them 6 months later it’s “Oh I’m so busy”. As if my “childless” life isn’t just as busy. Like everything else it’s about finding the 3 seconds it takes to send a “I’m thinking of you, I haven’t forgotten you!” text.

    • IHTM: I lie about my cats

      I have this one friend who’s OBSESSED with children (she’s currently “childless”) and is constantly talking about them or sending me snapchats of the kids she babysits, so now I just respond with pics of my cats or stories about my cats. Sometimes I even make up stories about my cats because I’ve run out of actual things to say about them. She tells me I talk about my cats too much, but she hasn’t figured out that I only talk about them after she first mentions children. The worst part used to be how annoying it was to hear about these weird kids I’ve never met, but now its keeping my cat stories straight.

    • Katia

      Love it!

    • Ddaisy

      Hahaha my little sister is exactly like your friend. I don’t have cats, but I do have a stuffed cat. Maybe I’ll start telling her all about HIS adventures. You are brilliant. Thank you :)

    • JLH1986

      ha ha ha ha I love this.

  • Jell

    I could offer some insight as a once vitriolic member of the childfree ranks.
    I would wager a fair amount that every childfree person who takes it personally that people find delight in their children has someone in their life who is pushing them hard to change their tune. In my case, it was a family member who wouldn’t let it go that I had made that choice. She’s still at it but I’ve gotten better at dealing with it.
    Not an excuse, just a reason.
    Nowadays I don’t even consider myself childfree, though I’ve chosen not to have kids, the word has too much baggage. I tell people we don’t have children or that we’re childless and let them assume what they will. The older I get the more convinced I become that at it’s root it is no more a choice than who you fall in love with. It’s merely that you either want that deep down or you don’t. And then you chose accordingly depending on your lifestyle at the time. The urges of the body are a mystery. If I don’t feel any longing for a child then it’s not my calling to have one. With that personal revelation I adjusted my views accordingly.
    Your sympathy for those who are passionate to the point that they lash out at you does you great credit, it suck to be measured by the world and found wanting, but it is their issue to deal with.

    • MegzWray

      My mom once asked me when my last period was, then marked on my calendar the days I would potentially be ovulating and should have sex. I was 35.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Duuuuude. Did she call for follow-up?

    • CrazyFor Kate

      Please tell me you were actually trying to conceive and had said this at the time. It’s a huge boundary transgression either way, but a misguided mom trying to “help” is better than the other options…

    • MegzWray

      She’s never dropped it. At Thanksgiving this past year she asked if I was pregnant (nope, had a hangover) and finally told her I was removing the uterus in the new year. She has 13 grandchildren (including my daughter) and yet she won’t. give. up. Uteri = babbies

    • meteor_echo

      Frankly, I’d start harassing her about her burial. This kind of shit deserves a good hard trolling to the point where she should be uncomfortable to even be around you.

    • Guest

      I thought my MIL constantly commenting on any baby thing anywhere near any social media profile I have with “Are you trying to say something???” was annoying. Thank gawd she isn’t asking me about periods. :-O

    • JLH1986

      As with most criticism. It’s almost always about the criticizer not the target.

    • Bic

      This, so much this.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter
    • Bic

      How do you remember all the gifs, It’s amazing. Some days I can’t remember my own name.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I have that one bookmarked :( haha

    • jane

      Yes, thank you, I’ve long thought we need a Kinsey scale for parenthood.
      1 – have no interest in having children; generally dislike being around them
      3.5 – wouldn’t object to having children, but not upset if it doesn’t happen.
      6 – Desperately wants children; desire to have children drives most major life decisions.

      I’d say that I’m a 5.5, always have been. But I have friends who are 2-3s and that “orientation” is absolutely as valid.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      3.2: I never wanted kids, got knocked up by accident, discovered they are the coolest ever, had more

    • CMJ

      I enjoy this scale.

    • meteor_echo

      That’s a fairly good scale, actually. I suppose I’m a 1.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      yeah but see, I have never ever seen you say STFU to a parent when talking about their kids .

    • meteor_echo

      I have, several times, when they were talking about baby shit – literally. I don’t want to hear about anyone’s bodily fluids, unless it’s a cool (and yucky) medical story like this one (massive warning – gross but fascinating as fuck): http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/xo41d/doctorsnursesredditors_what_has_been_your_most/c5o66p2

      Also, if someone’s kid is a bully and/or abusing other kids, I’ll shut them up and chew them out before they can blink.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      High five for not being drug users?

    • meteor_echo

      And for never being on the receiving end of the scalpel due to a perirectal abscess!

    • Tea

      I’m a 2.5. I want kids in the same way I want a scarlet macaw, I like the idea but I probably shouldn’t do it due to the fifty year commitment, the cost, the screaming, crap everywhere, the biting, the risk of raising a nutjob… and birds get feathers and dust all over.

      Besides, the adoption agencies have said “Hahahahahaha-Nope.” and we went ” Okay then.” and that was that.

    • MegzWray

      Why do the adoption agencies say Nope?

    • Tea

      I’m visually impaired (a white cane user) and had a brief inpatient stay for mental health reasons back in college, we also don’t own a house.

    • jane

      I know the exact same thing could be said of my kids, but man, those fuckers are loud. Our next door neighbor has one and we can hear it in our house when her doors are open. And our houses are a respectable distance apart.

      Not to mention that kids move out in about 1/2 the time that a scarlet macaw does.

    • G.E. Phillips

      I’ve always been a 6 for motherhood and like a 3 for marriage.

    • Ddaisy

      I’m the opposite. I definitely, positively want to get married someday, but I’m ambivalent about kids. Currently leaning toward “no,” but if I end up with a guy who really wants them and would be a great father, then I’d be all for it.

      If I end up with a guy who doesn’t want kids, or is even just on the fence, then I’ll be perfectly happy without.

    • Elisa Probert

      Right now, 3.5, maybe 4. At one point I was more like a 2. Didn’t want any, didn’t dislike ones belonging to other people.

    • Guest

      This is so true! I have friends who are adamant about getting their lady parts tied asap, some who I honestly am not sure if they want kids or not, and then me who has all my kid’s names and nursery designs picked out. :-/

    • sup

      I’m definitely 3.5. My husband is probably a 3.

    • LiteBrite

      I’m a 3.2, maybe a 3.3. I was pretty sure I didn’t want kids. Then I met a man who wasn’t a child himself and changed my mind. :)

    • mikoda

      I actually don’t care about people who have children or how much they love teri children. It’s parents who harass and bingo the childfree into having children.

  • jsterling93

    I was child free by choice for a long time. I never reached that level of “OMG BREEDERS SUCK” that I sometimes see. Of course I also wasn’t pressured by anyone in family to have kids. Occasionally I was called selfish, which I hated, but it was always followed by “It is ok to be selfish.”

    When i met my husband he was the one who was starting to feel like he wanted kids. When we started talking marriage we also started talking babies because we knew we needed to be in agreement before the wedding. Ultimately I decided that with him as my partner I wouldn’t mind having a baby. My pregnancy was easy, recovery from the c section wasn’t bad and my son has been an truly “easy” baby. My husband is so active as a parent that I want another baby. Which is weird. I am another one who was shocked at how much I love being a mom. This isn’t the life I thought I would have but I love every second of it. I know part of it is I have had the dream experience and maybe if things had been harder or worse I would feel different. But I love it.

    I have childfree friends and none of them are mean. I still make time for them and limit my talk about my son. That is what my mommy friends are for. But I have also noticed that my childfree friends love being around my son. Because they get a “baby fix” and get to go home! I just don’t know why there are some people who need to crap on other people’s choices. If I am being a pushy “You need a baby. you don’t know love till you have a baby.” Yeah you can tell me the STFU but why be nasty if I am not in anyway insulting you?

  • gammachris

    I think being a parent is wonderful. I’ve raised 3 myself. However, I’ve always had interest in other things as well. I’ve known parents that literally don’t seem to have any legitimate interests outside of their offspring. Talking to them is like watching paint dry.

    • meteor_echo

      As a plastic figure painter/assembler, I can tell you that watching paint dry is more interesting than listening to lost-identity parents babble about their kids :)

    • Sri

      I could really care less about hearing about how my “friend’s” (in that, oh, glob, she’s obnoxious now, but I’m hoping she pulls out of it soon) son loves firetrucks soooooooooooo(o’s ad infinitum) much for the 1000th time. However, when the paint starts to look less glossy, I know that I can do stuff soon, and that is exciting!

  • Crusty Socks

    The world would be a better place if everyone lived their lives the way I want them to.

    • Elisa Probert

      Command me, O Great Socks of Crustiness!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    It’s funny how breeder used to be a term us queers would use to refer to straight people (yep, in a derogatory way, as in ‘oh man I had to spend 3 hours at a breeder bar last night and now I smell like Axe and shitty cocktails’) but in my city, it seems like every other parent I meet is queer and now WE ARE BREEDERS and ahhhhhh.

    It Happened To Me: I became a queer parent and now I don’t know what word I can use to make fun of straight people.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Also, I love my kid and think she’s super fun and Eve your article is so sweet and gives me so much hope.

  • Magic Green Pills

    I was a member of a chlidfree “team” when I was younger. I didn’t want any children and I found people who desired them metally unsound ;) but I never criticized their choices. They, however, criticized mine and sometimes really used quite nasty arguments. They also repeated endlessly: “You’ll understand that once you’ll have your own children”. Some of them disussed solely their children and were unable to have conversation on other topics. I am not childless anymore and I am absolutely love being a mother (which I didn’t expect) but I still remeber why some people having children got on my nerves before. I think that childfree people are sometimes agressive towards those with families because they a) are constantly told to have children b) they are bored with stories about other people’s children c) some are frustrated because deep down they would like to have family but for some reasons they can’t d) they are just nasty. That is why I never speak about my positive experience with parenting and about my baby unless I am asked about it. I never try to convince anybody to have children even though I belive it’s the best thing that happened in my life.


    • AE Vorro

      I’m CF and in my travels around the interwebs have noticed that there’s an unfortunate, vocal minority of the “d” variety: the type of folk who think that children do not belong anywhere in public, ever, for any reason and think that landlords should be able to discriminate against parents; the CF people usually ruin credibility for the rest of us who simply don’t want kids. (Oh, the arguments I’ve had with those kinds of people who think we should de-fund schools or suggest that women who breastfeed in public are looking for attention. *Facepalm*)

  • Ptownsteveschick

    #momlife #lovebeingamom #mykidismyworld #Idontgetwhypeoplehateme

    But seriously, the people who really hate “breeders” do they want the human race to die out? Will that make them happy? I had my kid because I wanted to and I love her soooo much. But I am the first person to say that if you don’t want kids, please don’t have them. I don’t get why there needs to be hate either way.

    • meteor_echo

      There’s a nuance about the term in the childfree community. A “breeder” is the person who, for example, has multiple kids and then abuses them, or neglects their offspring, or harasses other people about procreating because clearly everyone can be happy if they only pop out a kid or two. All the people featured on STFU, Parents are breeders (aside from the gold star nominees, obviously).
      People who simply have children, pay attention to them and put effort into raising good human beings are parents.

    • Kelly

      I hate the term breeder normally but I am totally cool with it being used to describe shitbag parents. They deserve the insult.

    • Allyson_et_al

      There may be a nuance with some, or even most people, but I’ve been called a breeder online more than once. I have only two kids. I love and don’t neglect them. And I have nothing but respect for people who know they don’t want kids. Seriously, I love my kids, but being a parent can be a real pain in the ass a lot of the time– definitely not a good job for someone who doesn’t really want children.

    • meteor_echo

      Well, it’s not like the people online can see who you are. I mean, I’ve been called, and I quote “a heartless shriveled cunt who will only be good for a lay”, because my choices pissed some assparasite off.
      There will always be assholes who get particularly offended by our choices, whatever those are. Don’t get annoyed too much, because, once they open their yaps and spout shit, they’ve already lost.

    • Allyson_et_al

      Exactly. I have no problem at all with people who don’t want kids; I can’t even fathom how some obnoxious parents came up with the idea that choosing not to procreate is somehow selfish. But I don’t understand why some people act like having kids makes me stupid or automatically an asshole. I mean, not everyone needs to have kids, but some of us do, right?

    • Surfaces

      Well actually, I am an extinctionist. The world is already dangerously overpopulated.

  • Armchair Observer

    Let’s sum it up in 6 words: Free to be you and me. :-)

  • Alicia Kiner

    This. So much this. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, all I could say was a mom. It was the only thing I 100% knew that I wanted. And then, once I grew up, I was told I had to be more, that I couldn’t be JUST a mom. When did being a parent become JUST? Don’t get me wrong, I have interests outside my kids. Currently, I’m working on photography. I might even make it a business. I enjoy reading, and we all read at least 30 minutes every day. I think it’s a good thing to pass on. We watch TV together and apart. But my kids are always my focus. Teaching them to be good people, encouraging their interests, disciplining them when needed, feeding them, and yes, doing their endless laundry. But we have fun together too.

    I don’t have a problem with people who don’t want kids. I have a friend who loves playing auntie to all of our kids, but has zero interest in being a parent herself. My opinion? More power to her. Maybe if more people realized they didn’t actually WANT to have kids, there’d be less victimized children.

    • AE Vorro

      That’s a good point. It’s important to support parents (and continue to find better, increasingly effective ways to do so), but I really hope that the visibility of Childfree people (the nice ones, not the vitriolic sort who are the minority) will help some people feel more comfortable about opting out of or delaying parenthood, if that’s what truly will work for them. There are a lot of social pressures to just do it and that’s not always in the to-be parents’ best interest.

    • whiteroses

      This. I’d rather see people who are on the fence about parenting delay it for a few years until they’re more sure than see them have a kid because of societal pressure and- whoops- it turns out they hate parenting.

      That’s how kids get abused.

  • Valerie

    Good thing I don’t give a sweet poop what anyone thinks about how much I delight in my children. I just have no.fucks.left.to.give.

  • Kay_Sue

    I imagine a lot of the vitriol is driven by the judgement and criticism face by a lot of folks that are childfree by choice. My aunt faced this for many years–people were constantly asking her when she was going to get married, didn’t she want kids, didn’t she realize she was getting older, didn’t she know she’d be all alone, didn’t she realize she’d die alone, didn’t she want a family, was she that selfish…yada yada yada. And she’s one of the most selfless and loving people I know. And no, she won’t be alone or die alone–she has a family. Her six nieces adore her…because she’s one of the most loving and selfless people I know. But I honestly wouldn’t have blamed her if those years before folks realized that YES, she was serious about never marrying or having kids, had made her bitter and resentful. I can’t imagine facing that level of people digging into your personal beliefs and convictions and feeling that it’s totally and completely within their rights to comment on it and even rebuke you for it. I try to remember that when I encounter some online. I don’t know what they’ve been through.

    For me it’s like this: I wear a lot of hats. I’m a daughter, a spouse, a friend, a sister, a mom, a woman, a human being, a sci-fi/fantasy fan, an avid reader and writer, a little bit of a shy person, etc, etc. Mom is just one hat, and yeah, it’s one of my favorites. I’ll rock it anytime. I kind of imagine it as a really shiny, very purple fedora.

  • AP

    I read an article- in Cosmo of all places!- that made the point that caring about other people is now uncool, that everyone is pressured to pretend they care about other people less than the other person cares about them.

    I’m starting to think it’s true. People who try to seek out friendships tighter than acquaintances are clingy, people generally only want to socialize a few times a year, etc. Everyone is expected to be fulfilled only by themselves and their interests, and not be reliant on other people for anything.

    That said, I suspect some of the parent-hate is based on the fact that there are a few bad parents that ruin it for the good ones, and everyone just starts preparing themselves for the worst. (I do hate the people in SUVs or minivans with stick-figure families on the back going 50 who revv their engines and try to run my bike off the 25 mph residential road because their kid is late for Cub Scouts. Sorry, my life > Timmy’s paperclip chain badge.)

    • Guest

      I do think this is really accurate. People just want to seem cool and post unrealistic crap on fb meanwhile don’t interact with people in real life but pretend its because they’re just too busy/important/cool. Meanwhile most of the people I know could REALLY use some more friends and especially close friendships. I understand it because its much easier to avoid being hurt by never putting yourself out there but it also sucks immensely to be lonely.
      Also, people on the roadway kill me. We’re driving in a MN winter, I don’t think you need to try to get me to speed and put my life in danger because you’re late for cub scouts, work, going home and watching NCIS or whatever so go to heck.

  • whiteroses

    I think that most people don’t understand it when someone makes choices that are radically different from the ones they make. The thing is- I would have been a complete, fulfilled person without my son. I know this because I lived for 28 years before I had him, and those 28 years didn’t entirely suck.

    But… (and isn’t there always a but?) he’s a major part of my life. I talk about my husband and my son because they’re my family. And if you’re a friend of mine and I can’t talk about two of the most important people on the planet to me, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with our friendship anyway.

    I don’t dislike the fact that other folks are childfree. I admire that they know themselves well enough to know that kids are not something that they want or ever will want. But I’m not going to pretend that my son doesn’t exist just to make someone I see maybe twice a year feel better about their lives. It just isn’t going to happen.

    • LiteBrite

      “And if you’re a friend of mine and I can’t talk about two of the most
      important people on the planet to me, then there’s something
      fundamentally wrong with our friendship anyway.”


      To be honest, I was pretty sure I never wanted children. Even after my husband and I got married, I wasn’t sure. I was pretty happy not having a child and if it hadn’t happened I don’t think it would’ve been the end of the world for me.

      I can’t pinpoint exactly what changed my mind, but I will say that now that he’s here he’s one of the most amazing things in my life, and I can’t imagine my existence without him (even if he does interrupt me while I’m trying to watch “Sherlock”). And as a big part of life, I’m going to talk about him, and yes, I too would think there was something wrong with a friendship if I had to hide that part of myself. However, I’m also going to talk about other things: roller derby, “Coven”, my job, my husband, my cats, whether Martin Freeman looks like a hedgehog, and wine. Lots of wine. All the wine.

      Two of my friends are childless – one by choice, the other not so much – and I like to think they get that my son is a huge part of my life and would think it weird if I never talked about him. At the same time, I also believe they would think there was be something wrong with the friendship if that’s ALL I talked about.

    • whiteroses

      I was told I could never get pregnant when I was eighteen. I wanted kids, but I adjusted. I had plans, dammit. Flash forward nine years and I’m living in Southeast Asia teaching English to kids (part of the plan, so go me!). My fiancé (now husband) and I were traveling around enjoying ourselves when I got pregnant. To this day I can still say “Can I have a pregnancy test” in three different languages.
      When it came back positive? To say I was freaking terrified would be an understatement. Since I never planned on having kids, I was determined I would NOT be a mombie, and I’m proud to say that I’ve mostly been able to stick to that. Turns out my kid is pretty cool, thank God. But I have not lost my sincere love for everything BBC, crafting, snarking on “The Bachelor” and consuming fine French cheeses.

  • Kristen

    “It’s almost as if we have become this generation of people who hold parenting at arm’s length, because to admit to loving it is seen as being an idiot.”

    I don’t know if I agree with this. Where I live, so many people fall into the attachment parenting philosophy. I don’t personally subscribe to a specific philosophy, but have nothing against AP. However, being a parent becomes so all consuming. If you admit you really enjoyed your 2 day business trip, you’re a lousy parent. I think what you are describing is a reaction to that. People either want to be an ironic, cool parent, or they are someone who has little life away from their kids.

  • Elisa Probert

    I’m currently child-free. If that changes you all will probably be the first to know, then hubby, then family. LOL


    I don’t hate people for loving their kids. I hate people who love their kids and tell me I couldn’t POSSIBLY understand what love is. (cause, you know, being willing to die for OTHER family members doesn’t count) I hate the ones who say I’m “selfish” for not having any kids even though I constantly do things for their kids just because I like to. I hate the ones who actually prayed for me to get pregnant even though at that time, I DID NOT WANT any kids, because “I think you should.” I hate the ones who, when I say I’d rather adopt an older child (but would likely get turned down) say “But don’t you want a baby who’s blood related?” as if somehow a child who needs a family and is already made is less worthy of love.

    If someone is just happy and talking about their kids, that’s a whole different thing. Although if they forget that they are actually a whole person and “mom” is just a part of that, it kind of bums me out. Scares me, too. What if, when and if I have a baby of my own, I forget that I am a whole person, too?

    • Elizabeth Darcy

      And yet, it is true. You don’t know how it is to love your children. Parents have one time been childless. We have seen both sides. We know there is a love no one is able to fathom untill you see it for yourself. And that is so beautiful.

    • pixie

      But it’s more accurate to say it’s a different type of love. People love others in all different ways. I love my boyfriend in a different way than I love my parents and I love my friends in a different way than I love my parents and my boyfriend. What she’s saying is it’s not fair and inaccurate to say one does not know love at all if they do not have children. Full stop.

      I know love in relation to my boyfriend, my parents, my friends, and the horses I ride and those are perfectly valid feelings of love. I do not know the love between a parent and a child because I’m not a parent yet, but not knowing that version of love does not invalidate the other types of love I have and feel.

    • jane

      Yes, thank you, lovely.

    • AE Vorro

      “What she’s saying is it’s not fair and inaccurate to say one does not know love at all if they do not have children.”

      Yes! This! It’s incredibly insulting. People without children may not know one kind of love, but to suggest that any love we feel is inferior to a parent’s love for his or her child, is pretty cruel and close-minded. Not to mention, sticky: should we start comparing how bio parents’ love trumps the love of an adoptive parents’ love? Not a great idea…

    • Kelly

      I’m a parent and I don’t agree with you, shockingly enough. I have much younger siblings and the love I feel for them is just like what I feel for my son.

      So this idea that the childfree can’t possibly understand that kind of love is bullshit. I know I did before I became a mother.

    • Brainspace

      Yes, so well-said. As a teacher, there are quite a few kids I’ve come to genuinely love over the years. When one boy’s mom abandoned him to his 18 year old brother, I made sure he ate at school every day. I helped send him to prom. I still talk to this kid regularly and am probably more of a ‘mom” figure to hi than his own mom and I love this kid more than I can say. I feel like Forrest Gump–I know what love is! :P

    • whiteroses

      I’m sorry- I don’t agree. Some parents don’t love their kids even slightly. And some people who have never been parents would give their lives for the little ones they care about. Also, different people love in different ways.

      It’s nice to think that we have a monopoly on love just because we’re parents- but it’s just not true.

    • meteor_echo

      Sorry, but nope. Love is in the head, not in the uterus. I know what love is and I’m not going to have children ever.

    • Victoria

      Parents, can we please stop saying “You don’t know what it’s like to be in our position, but WE know what it’s like to be in your position.” Because, you really don’t. You know what your life was like before you had kids. That’s not the same as knowing what it’s like go through life without planning to have children (unless you changed your mind, but even then I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that you know exactly what it’s like, though it’s a better approximation than those who have been planning on parenthood their entire life). I don’t assert that I know what it’s like to be a parent, and yet I have encountered parents who assert that they know what it’s like for me based on their life before kids. The thing is, many of them became parents at a younger age than I am now. So they don’t know what it’s like to not have kids at my age. It would be like me saying that I know what it’s like to not have a college degree because I didn’t have one for the first 22 years of my life. While it’s true, it’s not the same as going through my entire adult life without a degree. (I know you are talking about one facet of parenthood, yet I’ve seen this argument played out in broader strokes).

    • Harriet Meadow

      All that other crap is, well, crap (I especially hate the idea that it’s “selfish” not to have kids), but I have to say that, with regards to the first one, while you certainly *do* know what love is (I love my husband, my family, my friends, my dogs, and all in very different ways), in my experience there’s simply no way to understand the intensity of love for one’s child until you’ve experienced it. And this is coming from someone who used to feel the same way as you when people said things like that. Again, this is in no way to suggest that your life is somehow less fulfilling or less wonderful without children, but it’s true that there’s no way to comprehend *that particular* love without being in it. I still don’t quite comprehend it.

    • jane

      I would never ever EVER say that a person who doesn’t have kids doesn’t understand what love is, because that’s BS. What I will say is that the love that I have for my kids is very different than any other love I’ve ever experienced (and I know many other parents feel the same way). I think it’s often described as “more” love, but I feel like that’s super judgmental (as if the childfree/childless are somehow “less”). But it is a very different love. And I think that the reflexive response from a lot of child free people is to say “you’re accusing me of being less than you because you’re claiming that you have this thing that I don’t!” I’m not saying that what I have is better at all, but it is different, and I think it’s ok, actually responsible, for both “sides” to own that. Because it is a difference between childfree folks and parents. But difference doesn’t have to be barrier.

    • whiteroses

      In my experience, you only forget you’re a whole person when you have kids if you were never a whole person in the first place. I still love my parents, grandmother, friends and hobbies. I still love to travel and go to the movies and all the other stuff I loved before I became a mom.

      Having kids changes your life- no doubt. In incredible ways and bad ways and every way in between. But it’s not that you didn’t know love. You just have more love to pass around.

    • Sri

      I have expressed this fear so many times. What if I turn into someone from a STFUParents post instead of the person who makes fun of those people? Is there something that just snaps inside of a person and makes them think that posting about their utter disconnect to the outside world is endearing, or were those people always disconnected?

      I have no problem with people talking about how much they love their kids. It’s part of their life, just like I like to talk about my family and my job. I just really cannot stand when that’s all they can talk about ever and any other topic is just an opportunity to cut back to their kids. I honestly talked to a friend the other day about a terrible fire near my school and how some of my students knew the people who died, and she replied with “Brayden really likes his toy firetrucks…” Someone died, lady. Cool your jets. I know your kid really likes firetrucks. That’s why I got him one for his birthday. I’m too nice to tell someone to STFU about their kids, though. I smile and nod and pretend to be engaged, but inside it can feel like a small furry animal is trying to dig out of my brain.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      I’d say they were always disconnected. Most self absorbed parents were self absorbed before children. I’m a mother and still feel like me. Many mothers still retain themselves, especially if that’s what they actively desire.

    • Guest

      -I too hate the “you don’t know true love unless you have a kid”. All love is love. It is just a different love. I’m glad you feel like it is the best love ever but not everyone is going to feel the same way.
      -I also think the blood related thing gets on my nerves though I know for some people it is really important – TO THEM. I know if I ever adopted a child I’d love that baby as I would any other bio or not child of mine. I have encountered others though who just aren’t interested in adoption (I don’t want someone else’s baby) or who treat their own step child horribly while favoring their bio children.
      -The “selfish for not having kids” thing makes no logical sense.
      -Nobody should be praying for a child for someone who doesn’t WANT one at that time. That is rude, weird, and wasting prayers that could be better spent on other things IMHO.

  • Deetag

    I was one of those childfree people until I had my daughter. Now I am the mom who gets a night off and spends it showing random strangers pictures of my baby. I love her, I think she is the most awesome person on this entire planet. Every little things she does I am *that* mom “omg she farted, wow she is so great” ‘omg she smiled, let me grab my camera” “omg she is reaching for something, she is so smart”. I know I annoy people and honestly I don’t even care. Hell I annoy my own baby ALOT. I am always asking for kisses and hugs and snuggles. Now that she is older she hits at my face and pulls my hair when I bother her to much. Isn’t that so smart, It’s like she just knows how to defend herself :)

    • Kelly

      So, wait… You were an asshole about it when you didn’t have children and now you’re a boring woman with no life outside of her child?

      Is this satire or are you serious?

    • meteor_echo

      Mommyjacker, I suppose?

    • whiteroses

      If you think it’s cute when your daughter hits you, you’ve got bigger problems than not having a life outside of being a mom.

    • Deetag

      Umm considering my daughter is 7 months old, when she hits at me what am I supposed to do. Spank her?? Yes part of my comment is satire. But having a child also truly changes you. It is a love like no other. And yes Kelly I am very much a boring woman now. Most of my nights are me sitting at home taking care of my baby. You guys come off as a bunch of bitches….jeez

    • meteor_echo

      Yeah, definitely one of those moms.

    • deetag

      Why are you even on this site if you never want children? Seems pretty lame to sit on a mommy blog and insult people who actually have/want/like children.

    • whiteroses

      She doesn’t insult most of us. Just for the record.

    • meteor_echo

      Uh, because this blog has quite a few articles that are pertinent to my interests? You know, like feminism and people’s rights and whatnot?

    • whiteroses

      Time outs work wonders for that. Also, you know, saying “No” repeatedly, along with stopping the behavior that’s causing her to “defend herself”. Allowing your kid to hit you isn’t good for anyone- because if you allow her to hit you, she’ll think it’s cool to hit other people. My son outweighs most of the kids in his peer group. If he started hitting his friends they’d end up with bruises. So I do not allow him to hit me. I’m raising someone who will one day be an adult, and I need to teach him respect for others. Teaching him that respect starts now. He’s nearly two, and he knows not to hit others, because I have reinforced that from the time he was old enough to make the connection- eight months, actually.

      Also, if you deliberately do things that annoy her for no reason other than your own enjoyment you are teaching her that the only way she can say no is not effective. Which is bad.

      I changed when I became a mom too. My priorities shifted. But I still am interested in pretty much the same stuff I was interested in before I had kids. Loving your child (as you should) and making them your priority (again, as you should) doesn’t mean that you suddenly become one of those people who has no life outside her child.

    • Deetag

      Wow really put my 7 month old who has no concept of time in a time out…thanks for the great parenting tip. *thumbs up* I reinforce gentle and tell her mommy owwie. That’s about all I can do at this point and anyone who would suggest anything different is out to lunch. And me deliberately annoying her is asking for a kiss or hug and she gets upset and pushes my face away and hits at me. I’m guessing the reason she does this is BECAUSE SHE IS A BABY!
      Sorry my original comment didn’t come through the way I intended. I am not a mommyjacker or an asshole or any of the other shit I have been called on here. Learn to interpret tone, it might get you all somewhere instead of a free pass to bitchville because if the shoe fits.

    • whiteroses

      Pretty sure I never called you any of that. You have, however, called me a bitch.

      I could attempt to defend myself/my parenting choices, but there’s truly no point. Because a) you wouldn’t listen and b) you’re resorting to personal attacks.

      I am truly sorry if I couldn’t read your tone and automatically divine your purpose. I am sorry that I based my assumptions on several Internet postings in which you attacked childless or childfree people (who can go wherever they want on the Internet, since it’s a free information exchange) and people who suggested that allowing your child to hit you, no matter their age, was inappropriate. I am also truly sorry that you’re so invested in said internet postings that you feel compelled to resort to childish name calling.

      Best of luck to you.

    • NanaDiana

      Don’t put your 7 month old in time out. Geez…I really love when overtly smug women give advice, like “Oh if ONLY everyone would raise their kids like me, then the world would be so perfect.” Ok, no I don’t actually love it…that was sarcasm. What I truly love (no sarcasm at all) is seeing them humbled when their second or third child has a different temperament and they have to stop patting themselves on the back and judging others because it was NOT their “wonderful” parenting that caused their child not to hit (or whatever behavior they are – so helpfully (ok, that was sarcasm) trying to help others correct ( I also apparently love run-on sentences, sorry!). Time and perspective mellow these Momma’s right out, if they had a lick of sense to begin with! I thought your comment was sweet and funny and I liked how you poked fun at yourself. Go gobble that sweet baby and try to ignore the mom’s who put others down!

    • whiteroses

      1. Not overly smug. Just a mom who has a two year old who doesn’t hit. He’s plenty undisciplined in other ways. If he wasn’t, my job would be over. I don’t claim to be perfect. Far from it. I am quite proud of the fact that my son doesn’t smack someone to get his point across, though. It’s a work in progress.

      2. This isn’t my first spin at the rodeo. I help raise my godson- he’s got a wildly different personality than my son does. You’re assuming a LOT. I’ve spent my life around kids of varying different ages, genders, temperaments and personalities, which is why I know that time outs do (in fact) work.

      3. Continuing to do something that your child hits you to get you to stop doing- something that they don’t like, that involves their own bodily autonomy- teaches them that saying “no” in any situation is going to get them nowhere. That’s not a good lesson, imho. Ymmv.

      4. I am extremely supportive of most moms who don’t call me a bitch. I’m funny that way. Everyone parents differently. But allowing your kid to hit you because you think she’s cute sounds like a recipe for disaster.

      5. When, exactly, are we supposed to start disciplining? When they’re one? When they’re two? Never? Discipline doesn’t mean abuse. You start early and consistently, and make sure they know they’re loved and that’s why you discipline. If your child is old enough to hit someone and shows a cognitive connection between the smack and “defending themselves”, they’re old enough to know that the behavior’s inappropriate.

      6. The funny thing about the Internet- you can’t read people’s tones. Satire is a form of communication where you ridicule behaviors. I didn’t read a lot of satire in the OP’s original comment, esp. since she didn’t include “just kidding!” in any of it.

    • Sri

      Also, for a baby or young toddler, a “time out” generally just means “I’m not going to hold you right now while you smack/bite/pinch me, so I’m putting you down in a safe spot until you calm down,” not “I’m putting you in a corner for the rest of the day.” I don’t see anything wrong with that. I don’t think anyone in my family has had a time out spot before their child was 18 mos or so, but the kids sure as heck got time outs before then. It didn’t work for everyone, but it sure worked better than my brother who thought everything his daughter did was adorable as she bit, kicked, and clobbered her way through the family.

    • whiteroses

      Yeah- that’s what I want to avoid. I mean, people refer to my kid as “Gerber Baby”. He gets things in grocery/toy/candy stores because he’s pretty. (Curly blonde hair, huge blue eyes). Which is why I’m as strict as I am. I don’t want him to think that just because strangers let him get away with murder that I will, or that everyone will let him get away with everything.

      My kid is smart. And stubborn. He is the kind of kid who demands reasons at every turn when you tell him to do something. Parenting him is a huge challenge. And if DH and I weren’t consistent with our discipline, we’d be screwed.

  • Natasha B

    Thank you so much for this Eve!!!! I loved everything about this piece…it summed up so much of how I feel. While I try to avoid overly sappy hashtags, no lie, my Instagram is 90% of my kids being freakin adorable, cuz they are. And a select group of grandparents/aunts/uncles get their daily iMessage photo/video of the cuteness…but they ask for it

  • Rachel Sea

    There’s this rule with improv acting: don’t be clever. If you’re sincere in your interactions and writing, and presentation, then cleverness, and sentimentality will happen naturally. When people try to be clever, instead of sincere, things can get really sappy, or really jaded, or just really stupid in a hurry. I think a lot of people, especially online, go for clever. It leads to people saying the kinds of things that no normal person would ever say, either to a friend or a stranger, and warps people’s sense of what’s cool.

    It should never be cool not to love your kids or your life. Those are admirable things to attain and hold onto. I think the childfree who are lashing out online are yelling at the wrong people. A genuine conversation with the people pushing them to breed would be a lot more effective, and a lot less mean.

  • hbc

    What a disingenuous title. No one (okay, hardly anyone) hates parents for loving their kids. What they hate is having to hear about how much they love their kids, on a regular basis, as if it’s some kind of news every time. Would you want someone to come tell you how much they love their job once a week? How awesome their parents are?

    If you’ve got an objectively interesting story about your kid (or your job or your hobby or whatever), please share it, and your love of it will come through. If you’re getting into a deep conversation about meaning in your life with a close friend, then your passion should definitely be discussed. But most people in your life will love that you love being a mom (or distance runner or engineer) while simultaneously not wanting non-newsworthy updates.

    • whiteroses

      That’s probably true. But what’s newsworthy to you might not be newsworthy to someone else and vice versa.

    • rrlo

      Yes – we are all guilty of this. I don’t think we can go around demanding our loved ones be “more interesting”. Whether they like to have in-depth conversation about crocheting (Grandma), terrible boyfriend or dead-end jobs.

      I am not a cat person – yet you would not believe how many cat anecdotes (of cats being cats) I have to hear from friends and family. So what? That’s what friends and family are for.

    • hbc

      Don’t get me wrong–I put up with a lot of boring stories. If it was someone complaining that their fishing-loving friend told too many stories about fishing, I’d tell them to suck it up. But complaining that not everyone in your orbit wants to hear about how much you looooove fishing will have me reaching for my clue stick.

      We shouldn’t demand our loved ones be more interesting, but that’s not an excuse to knowingly bore our loved ones to tears.

  • Amber Starr

    So, I used to be one of the childfree who had a smart-assed comment every single time someone so much as mentioned parenthood. I hated kids. I hated babies. I hated happy parents. I never wanted children and the very thought of breeding made me queasy.

    The thing was, I was told that I was pretty much infertile. I had lost my right ovary at 16 to ovarian cancer, and since 2008, I had 4 surgeries on my left ovary because of dermoid cysts. I had an amazing oncologist who was trying everything he could to save my only ovary, but I was getting to the point where removal of it was inevitable. I saw a fertility specialist at 29 years old to see how much it would cost to freeze some eggs (if I was even ovulating… scar tissue was causing big problems). I was told that I would most likely need 5 or 6 cycles of IVF with a 15% chance of success and it would cost (if I remember correctly) about $15,000.00 PER CYCLE.

    Needless to say, that was out of the question.

    So, to help ease the pain of “being broken”, I had convinced myself that it was for the best because I hated everything about parenting, children, and all that happy horseshit. The second I would allow myself to think about being a mother and having a baby, I would curl up into a ball and cry so hard that my eyes felt like they would pop out of my skull. I never admitted it to anyone, but I felt hollow, damaged, and incomplete.

    Thankfully, I got my miracle recently and did have a healthy baby girl with no fertility treatment. I am beyond blessed, but I will NEVER forget how it felt to be told that I would never be able to have a child. It doesn’t excuse the bitterness, anger, and downright jealousy that I displayed towards parents…. but I was more upset and angry at MYSELF for not being able to do the one thing I wanted more than anything: have a baby of my own.

    Wow. Sorry for the novel.

    • MegzWray

      It’s funny how the human mind creates justification for things out of their control. So glad you got your miracle!!

    • meteor_echo

      I wish I could give you my ovaries :T

    • Kelly

      Seriously. I’m never going to use mine again, I wish I just could donate them to somebody who desperately wants a child. I’ve looked into egg donation but I don’t do well with hormones so I can’t go through that process.

    • Maria Guido

      I totally understand this.

  • Kelly

    God I hate the term “breeder” and I hated it long before I even thought about having children. It’ so dehumanizing. Right up there with that shithead who called pregnant women “hosts.”

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      IDK, all my gay dude friends used it when I was younger and I always thought it was cute and funny.

    • Kelly

      I used to stop talking to people entirely if they used it. Now I just ask them not to compare me to a farm animal and that usually does it. I don’t think it’s cute or funny at all, to me it’s like hearing someone use the word fa**ot. Just a mean spirited, dehumanizing insult against a large group of people. I cringe when I hear it.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      That’s so funny, it never bugged me at all. I think stuff like this is so interesting, how different words affect people, I am with you on the F word, hate that, also when people say “that’s gay” ugh

    • Villa

      I don’t like the term either, but it is absolutely *not* comparable to that f-word or any similar slur that is tied to a history of wide-spread discrimination, violence and murder against a particular group. The term “breeder” does not have a similar history or weight, unpleasant as it is.

  • Kristine Kimmel

    Love this.

  • LuckyDuck

    I’d like to hear about parents who genuinely enjoy their children. I’m really wary of motherhood and have never felt the tug toward it, so I frequently dwell on the negatives. All I see and hear is how hard it is, how exhausted and vomit-covered they are, how expensive and all-consuming it becomes … with a “but it’s SO worth it” tacked on the end. Really? Doesn’t sound convincing.

    I asked my mom once when she started enjoying her children, and she said, “I guess I always did. Maybe I was lucky.” Maybe if parents like Eve (and my mom!) felt comfortable voicing the joys of parenting, it would give people like me hope that it’s not all bad.

  • KayeStar

    No CF person hates parents for loving their kids. Many of us just don’t give any fucks.

    You love your kid. Great. You’re supposed to. Now, what else is new?

    • whiteroses

      It’s the ones that DO give the fucks that are annoying.

  • Jess

    You know what its like- I’m sometimes afraid to say how much I love my husband.
    And I love- truly- I am helplessly devotedly in love with him.

    But I rarely never say it out loud (unless its to him)- its somehow more accepting for me to talk him down among my friends than to extol his many virtures.

    I feel like there’s some secret shame to saying how much I love my husband- almost like I am betraying the sisterhood in a way. Particularly among my single friends- they’re all “yeah! men we can live without them!” but honestly- I couldn’t and wouldn’t live without my husband.

    I’m not blaming feminism in any way- but it’s like we spent so long fighting against the idenity that we SHOULD be wives and mothers- so when there are those among us that are very happy to be fulfil that role- the collective mob rises and declares they are traitors to the cause.

  • Katia

    I never have crazy atchment parents or Childfree people approach me in the ways described on mommy ish

  • Victoria

    It’s great that you love your children and love being a parent. I would be very concerned if you didn’t. It’s cool that you express your love for parenting. However, there is a point where, if all you are saying is “I love being a mom,” without any new information, it starts to feel like a covert argument. If you tell me your daughter is a talented artist or your son is at the top of his class, or your baby smiled at you for the first time, that’s a cute story about what’s happening in your family and it’s more than welcome. If you just say on multiple occasions “being a mom is great and I love it,” without any real context, I have to wonder what is the point of telling me this? Is there a subtext here? Am I wrong to be reading the lines and assume that you are suggesting me to try it? Maybe you aren’t, but if every time I see you you say it, I can’t help but wonder. I think that’s where this resistance comes from.

    • Victoria

      And Eve, I will say that I love the amount of respect you have for child free people and I have nothing but respect for your choices, too.