Featured List

My "Not Mom" Interview

Friday, December 14, 2012

I've reached the point in my career where I turn down more interview requests than I accept, both because I'm tired of answering the same questions all the time ("What's your favorite wreck?") and I am a terrible, terrible marketer. (Buy my books? Please?) And I think it goes without saying that all radio and TV requests are politely declined*.

That's why it's so refreshing to do an interview that focuses on something other than Cake Wrecks, and this recent one with Laura of The Not Mom was an absolute pleasure to write. She's doing a series focusing on child-free women online, but in a lovely, supportive manner that I think celebrates everyone's life choices, with none of the holier-than-thou attitudes that can sometimes invade both sides of the parenthood issue.



Head over to Laura's article to read my responses on things like how I'm treated as a child-free woman, my thoughts on what defines me, and the role blogging plays in my social life. It's not a long article, and I think it could help spark some deeper discussions on parenthood, life choices, and how we perceive others.

And thank you, Laura, for the great interview!


*To be fair, it's not like interviewers are beating down my door, but I do still get a few requests a month. And it's always nice to be asked. ;)

Posted by Jen at 11:31 AM Labels: , ,

64 comments:

  1. With the flood of "Mommy Bloggers" its nice to see someone giving a litte attention to the rest of us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interview! I'm also childfree by choice and a big nerd, too bad we don't live closer (we're in Michigan)! The biggest thing I struggle with is when my friends had kids, all of my close friends with the exception of a few have kids and it definitely changes things.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Excellent interview! "Children should never be a foregone conclusion; they should be a deliberate choice." It's funny that you can know, even at a young age, whether you will want kids or not. As a child, you only know grown-ups who DO have kids (duh!), so it's easy to assume that you'll have kids, because that's what people do. It's hard to buck that societal trend without making waves. As a little girl, I always knew I wanted to be a mommy. Now that I have two wild boys (oldest of which just turned ten), I'm not so sure! HA! :oP

    You obviously have a full, lovely, satisfying life. Thank you for giving a voice to another point of view!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Liking the interview! I have actually had a friend (now really just an acquaintance) tell me that the reason she didn't come to my house was because it wasn't very child-friendly and her kids had nothing to do. I was like, "Have you seen all the video games?" Ha!

    My circle of friends has definitely gotten smaller since they started having children. For a while it really bothered me, but I've just come to expect it now. You're having a baby? Great, here's a gift for the baby shower. We'll keep in touch on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for giving that interview. I'm only now realizing that I'm childfree, and reading interviews that are as well-written as yours, and come from someone I respect and whose work I enjoy, really helps.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If it helps, those of us who are "one and done" families (read: just one kid and happy with that) get the same comments about not knowing what we want and how fulfilled our lives are not without many offspring. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that no child or one child only are valid life choices (I forget what show I got that from, but I love it). And people have opinions about EVERYTHING.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As a mom of three and grandmother to 9 I can definitely say that parenting isn't for everyone. I salute you for making a deliberate choice and respect you for your decision.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so glad to see this interview series! I've faced a lot of disdain for my decision to be childfree and still get a ton of people telling me "I'll just change my mind" despite feeling this way for half my life.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love that there is love and support for NotMoms. I am a mom and I always tell my friends who are not sure - don't do it if you don't want to! And I know they feel oftentimes judged, which is such a shame. Most of our friends actually don't have kids because we can't stand talking the "parent-talk." We do enough of that when we're home. When we're out, we want to be adults and talk about the things we can't talk about with our kids around! There aren't many parents who can accomplish that, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jen, thank you so much for posting this. It was a great interview. I'm also not a kid person. However I've been married for 10+ years, my husband has a good job, and I currently do not have much of a job so this come up a lot. Usually people are well meaning and just trying to make small talk. I've learned not to get offended unless they really press the issue, but that took some work.

    It can be a very uncomfortable topic as DH hasn't always felt the same as I have about kids. Like many people I think he figured I'd change my mind eventually. We are at a good place now but there were a couple of tough years and being asked about it and having to smile through an explanation was hard.

    I just wish that people would be more understanding of the issue. Not to mention, in our case it is about not wanting to have children, but for other couples it might be a more painful situation. It might seem like an innocent question but I think it is good for people to be more aware of exactly what they are asking.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would never make someone feel bad any choice they make about their life. Everyone should live life the way that works best for them. I have a friend who never wanted children but gave into pressure from her family and had one. She loves her son, but it is not a life she would have chosen and is always worried she will resent him in later life. As I 'only' have one child I constantly get the 'when will you have another' questions (I am happy with 1) and a friend with 4 kids gets the 'when are you going to stop' evil looks. I say let everyone live life the way that they want to and it will be a happier world. Just because a lifestyle choice works for you - doesn't mean it will work for someone else. That is what makes the world a more interesting place!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great job with the interview! I have kids, and they are a huge part of my life, but I think it is important for any parent to recognize that while my kids are occupying the center of my personal universe right now, they won't always. If I don't keep up with the things that make me who I am as a woman independent from who I am as a mom, when the kids move out, I'll find life rather empty and boring. Life is too short and too precious to lose yourself in someone else, whether that's a significant other or a child. You have to have your own passions and pursue them vigorously. That's why I love Epbot so much - you unashamedly pursue your passions and celebrate individuality and intelligence. You're a great role model for girls and women everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was a woman who wanted children & somewhat had the decision taken out of my hands by nature (God, etc.) and dealt with all of those emotions. Now, I cannot imagine my life *with* children other than my niece & nephews. I love them all dearly (as part of my coming to terms with being childless, I have their names tattooed on my back), but I'm happy to return them at the end of the day.

    Thanks, Jen, for your forthrightness regarding women who make a conscious choice to not be a parent. We're not selfish or wrong. We've made a choice that suits who we are, where we are, in our lives.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wonderful interview! I bookmarked her blog to go back to. :-) I make a gingerbread concoction every year at the office and have lost track of the number of times I've been told that I must not have kids, because I'd never be able to devote time to something so frivolous otherwise. I don't have kids by choice. I'm single by choice. I have a dog and foster other dogs for a local rescue. I'm happy with my life and that's what really counts!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love the statement, "Children should never be a foregone conclusion; they should be a deliberate choice." That goes for parents *with* kids as well! And yes, the well-meaning church folks can be difficult to handle gracefully sometimes ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks Jen.
    I'm a 40 year old NotMom, not by choice, and it has made me sad to watch some friendships cool after they started procreating. There's only so much "You'll never know (insert emotion here) until you have children" one can tolerate. So now you're saying my life is less rich and rewarding than yours because I was unable to conceive? Oh, thanks friend, thanks for making me feel even worse about myself.
    It's good to hear women speaking out on behalf of the childless crowd, whether by choice or not.
    I'll have to seek out more NotMoms to hang out with.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Another chorus of thank you for doing this interview! I, too, am childfree and have always known I didn't want kids. Thankfully my husband came to the same conclusion. But I agree that it can be hard to find and maintain friendships when it seems as though everyone else in your life pairs off and has babies.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I hate the judging from both sides of the fence on this issue, so I appreciate her site and your interview.

    While I chose to have children, I will fully support my kids if they choose to remain child-free. I even remind them as they're growing up that it is a valid choice and they don't have to have children.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That was a TERRIFIC interview, Jen. The world is just too damn judge-y, and the idea that you're somehow diminished because you've made this choice for your life is ridiculous. As a single mom with no man in sight, I get the "look" from time to time. These days, I just find it amusing. You find my status threatening? What DOES that say about the stability of your own relationships, bub? ;-) You're a strong, amazing woman, lady, and you've got so much in your life that's terrific. Bottom line, haters gonna hate, so we gotta laugh. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am a 53 year old not mom, I knew by 24 (in 1984) that I wasn't going to have children, I was treated like I had leprosy!
    I am still happy with my decision to be child-free, it left me to be a much better aunt and a very good friend to my friends who had children.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been married for 8 years - and we were together for 8 before that (he was my blind junior prom date) and we constantly get the kids question, mostly from his mum, and my dad. It drives me crazy because we are so not ready for them yet, if at all. As an engineering student, I have no time or energy to devote to a child, I'm not sure I would want to bring one into this world, and right now I'm just too selfish (I totally admit it) and I don't feel mature enough right now (babies scare the crap out of me). Children shouldn't be expected and couples shouldn't feel pressured either - that can be a huge relationship killer. We shouldn't be made to feel like second class citizens just because we made a choice in our lives, be it one kid or no kids. Why take on more than you *know* you can handle emotionally, financially, or whatever?
    That being said - I love the kids my friends have, once they're old enough to not have to worry about breaking. I love to spoil them - and then give them back ;)

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is an excellent article! As a kid I always pictured myself married with lots of kids (boys specifically) but as I have gotten older and am now in my 30's my desire to NOT have kids grows stronger each day. Don't get me wrong I love kids and I love being an Auntie, Tante and Tia, but I just don't want any for myself. It is so nice to hear that there are other people who choose to be without kids of their own.
    I am still struggling with the child-free friends who are having kids and don't want to hang out (even when I say let's do it on your schedule) and the other friends who tell me I will change my mind, but it is nice to know that I am not alone like I thought I was.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can certainly relate to this. When DH and I got married, I thought I might want children. But as I’ve gotten more health issues and really thought about other issues- I really don’t. We haven’t really been telling people, especially family- my friends know but that’s about it. We’ve gotten the uncomfortable “when you have kids…” statements and at this point just grin and bear it. Our current church group has a few other NotMom couples despite the denomination (especially this congregation, being on the conservative side) being very pro-children. We’ve got a neurotic “furbaby”, isn’t that enough?

    ReplyDelete
  24. From reading, I know that giving interviews generally isn't your thing, but I just have to say thanks so much for doing this one. I am also not a mom (mostly by choice - I have PCOS but did not try fertility treatments) and struggle socially because of that decision. My husband and I have lost good friends, just as others have mentioned. It's difficult to find people in the married without children category, and even when you do, many of those are actively trying to have kids. Its nice hearing that others have struggled with this as well.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great interview Jen! I'm a nerd, we're childfree too and we love our life. It's never been difficult for me as I've never really gone with the flow. I've never in my life wanted a child. It's also easier in your late 30s when people stop asking when I'll have kids.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jen, I applaud thee!

    I am a mother of 3, or 4 if you count the one who married me! I understand people who choose to not have children and feel sympathy for those who really want children, but can't have their own (I've gotten over feeling guilty about this last part). It is never an easy decision to make one way or the other and no one should be ridiculed either way...that's just idiotic on so many levels.

    I have noticed that some of my childless friends complain that I'm not available anymore, or I'm always busy doing the mom-thing. It hurts to hear that and realize that between the 3 kids and the husband whose job doesn't line up with the 8 to 5 deal (I'm a "single mom" most of the time), I really don't have much time for a girls-night-out. I miss it...very deeply. But that feeling is compounded when my friends without kids feel hurt that I can't go out Friday night or go shopping on Saturday.

    I just wish that people would step back and realize we are all just doing the best we can. I applaud those who choose to forgo parenthood. It's an important decision and perfectly resonable. I just wish that they would put forth a bit of understanding when those of us with kids have different demands on our time and life. I have lost touch with a few of my closest friends because of this issue even though I've tried to make it work. My heart breaks every time I realize I can't fix it without both sides trying. -Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm not a mom. Growing up I always thought I would have kids and I've always wanted them. It's looking more and more like it isn't in the cards. Thank you for being someone I can look to with a wonderful, happy, full life that doesn't include kids. It is helping me start to feel better about envisioning a life that doesn't involve motherhood.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for this interview! You guys are some of the sweetest, most selfless people I *virtually* ;) know, and have brought so much light into people's lives around the world.

    I love kids (think they're the most awesome thing that happened to the planet! :D) but I think that the goal in life is to leave a LEGACY, no matter how you do it. You both have def. done that several times over, and I say kudos to you all for helping people through some of their toughest times. Even though you AREN'T parents, you've encouraged people who perhaps didn't have very good childhoods, and I think that says something, overall.

    Bless you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am a mommy, but I love my friend that chose to remain childless. She is the cool Aunt to my children. I love getting together with her and having a non child centered day. My husband and I decided if we were not going to have children the natural way then it was not meant to be. In our case it ended up, meant to be(more to that story but not to bore). As long as you are happy with what you decide, then it is the perfect choice!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Awesome interview! I have 4 kids but when I was a teenager I was very sure that I would not be having any kids (which I think was a rebellion thing because of Church)when and if I decided to get married. I did change my mind but those early thoughts did stick with me so that I don't center my entire life around my kids. I have hobbies that do not involve my kids, I have a lot of child free friends who I am relieved to be able to talk about non kid related stuff with. Kids grow up and I refuse to loose myself into taking care of them.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great interview, Jen.

    I'm a grad student living in a big city, but I grew up in a little town. Right out of high school, my (very well meaning) friends and mentors back home started asking when I was going to start a family.

    At a time when many of my not-grad-student friends are settling down into marriage and children (mid-20s), it is hard to not turn to bitterness and resentment. It takes about all I can do when I get the "but you should be having children now!" or "when are you getting married?!" comments to not scream back "yeah, but I'm curing cancer and improving science literacy in inner-city schools!"

    I think it is especially hurtful because I DO want children...just not now. The decision to wait until my life is more stable always results in eye rolls and shrugs. Again one of those things, though, right? We all need so much support from others, no matter what decisions we make regarding being a mom.

    Anyway, after a lot of rambling -- thanks for being my support. Even though you have no clue who I am from across here on the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a wonderful article! I'm in a similar boat as you - I have never wanted kids, even when I was a child I said so. I find babies to be creepy and they make me uncomfortable. Some kids are cute, but not for me. I get so sick of older people just assuming I will grow out of it; I'm 28 years old, I'm old enough to know if motherhood is something I want in my life or not.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I look at this debate (the "mom" vs. the "notmom") with a raised eyebrow. It's just that I hear similar stories from both camps.

    As a "mom", I actually have had "notmom"s openly pity me for my choice to have kids. As one girl put it - I was in a prison I couldn't get out of now. (A gay gentleman once turned his nose up at me and called me a "breeder" as if having kids was a bad thing. I was pregnant at the time.)

    I have listened in HORROR at "mom"s ragging on "notmom"s to have children for ultimate fulfillment. I have had friends who are in their 30's reduced to tears because they were single and childless/free. One of them had been left at the altar, and the other is terrified of relationships due to past experiences. But people wouldn't know that unless they knew the girls.

    The "us vs. them" attitude that some people develop is what will drive us all apart.

    We should focus on that which brings us together.

    Whether or not someone has kids is NONE of my business. Am I looking for a friend who shares interests or for someone who shares my personal marital/parenting status?

    I think we can use a little more understanding from all sides of the issue, yeah?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you for doing this interview and linking to it on your site. I really needed it. Thank you, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Fabulous article! I'm newly married and still deciding on kids. Its great to hear about people respecting the decisions of others and not judging based on those decisions. If only I had a nickel for every time I heard "you don't know cause you don't have kids" or "just wait till you have kids"... I would be rich!

    Thank you for being an amazing role model for geeky girls and other NotMoms.

    Best,
    From one geeky girl to another!

    ReplyDelete
  36. All my life, growing up, I thought I wanted to be a mom. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to have just one child, and that it would be a girl. (I *knew*, man.)

    At 22, I had a baby. (It was a boy. :P) I hadn't planned, I hadn't thought it through, I didn't know what I was doing. At 24, I sent him to my parents -- I was not in a good place, literally or mentally, and I wasn't able to care for him. Later, we learned he had some mild special needs, so I'm very grateful he went to be with people who'd recognize that and help him grow.

    They've since adopted him. I don't tell most people about it; I just smile and nod at all the exclamations of "You have a nine year old brother?". When people ask when I'm going to have kids, I tell them I'm not.

    Almost everyone asks why. And I tell them, "I'm not parenting material. I'm too selfish with my personal time. I don't want to raise a kid; I want to sleep when I want, eat when I want, go out when I want, and speak without worry of four-letter-words and small ears."

    Every single time, the response comes back, "Oh, you'll change your mind when you have one! It's different!".

    No. No, it really isn't. And I know this, because I did it. And I didn't change my mind. I was miserable. I love the little guy, and I'm really sorry I couldn't care for him the way he deserved, and I think the only thing I did right was making sure he was in a good home.

    I would be a terrible parent. I know this, and I'm okay with this. I'm tired of people "reassuring" me that it'll change someday. Why should it?

    I get my baby-fix by playing with other people's babies and running my own photography business. Then I can go home and live in my little introvert-cave without squeals, messes, and runny noses. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wonderful interview! I'm a NotMom by circumstance, not necessarily choice and I've lost so many friends over the years because they became moms. And it wasn't for lack of trying. I would contort my own schedule to accommodate naps or not-naps or whatever. But eventually I was always put aside for new mom friends who had kids for playdates.

    I'd love to see more advertisers on non-parenting blogs. I drive cars, wear clothing, clean my kitchen and cook food just like a parent does.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for the great interview, Jen. I am a mom of 3 by choice and I share your blog with my kids, who love it. I love your statement," Children should never be a foregone conclusion; they should be a deliberate choice." And I want my kids to know that being childfree is absolutely an option for them and that they have all the choices in the world, children, no children, whatever is right for them. Thank you thank you thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  39. It's nice knowing that other women knew they didn't want to be moms at a young age, either. I wasn't much for playing house, and I never imagined myself as a mother. I do have the instincts for caring and loving children, but that is not a part of the life I want. I get kind of tired explaining how it's not that I don't like kids, it's that I don't want to be a mother. It's a life long job, commitment, and it's not for me. My life is fulfilling with my dog and my husband, and many things I find enriching. I will enjoy the nieces and nephews I acquire, whether it's by blood or just great friends. I will love them as much as I can love any child.

    I know that kids can change friendships, but I'm willing to go through that- I can be a positive part of the lives of the kids who will call me Aunt Jessica. :) ...And then I can come home and sit on my La-z-Boy and quietly read.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love your responses for that interview and I love you. I've made the choice not to have children, and I keep being told that I'm still young (actually, I'm 28), and that I'll change my mind when I find the right guy (which is even more patronizing than the young thing, in my opinion). People also don't seem to understand that not wanting kids does NOT equal hating children. I like children, I just don't want my own.

    Anyway, it's nice to hear from people who understand <3

    ReplyDelete
  41. I appreciate the way this interview approached the kidless. We aren't (all) fire-breathing, bra-burning, baby-hating rage machines. Or conversely, bambi-eyed neophytes who just haven't figured out how badly we secretly want kids yet. (But someday...!!! Ugh.)
    I'm 31 and happily child-free. I don't hate kids or the people who have them. But, my uterus has a voluntary flashing "no vacancy" sign for the duration.
    Thank you for sharing the link, and for being such a positive voice in all the ways you are.
    -Alison

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jen, I've been reading Epbot since the first post. And I think you are pretty fantastic. I had never thought about you as being "childless", even though I knew you didn't have kids. Maybe because you have cats. ;) So, here's my story. In my mind it is a calm, story-telling voice, not anything accusatory, angry, mad, etc. I was raised in a very religious household, in a religion that sometimes seems to value people based on the number of kids they have. The more the better. So, I thought I would have three or four kids, coming from a family of four kids. My husband is one of five kids, so at first, I really saw us as having those three to four kids. We had our daughter, and she was so fantastic, I knew I wanted another child. Each was a deliberate choice, in fact, I decided to get pregnant sooner than we had planned with the second one. After our son was born, my husband told me he was done having kids. It was so soon after having him, that I was shocked to hear him say, "no more kids". So, I had a decision to make. After lots of thought and prayer (see, I told you I was raised religious), I decided he was right. And I had a hysterectomy. One of the best decisions of my life. However, at church, which is a very small group (geographically, as well as socially, since we all live in the same neighborhood), I constantly feel judged for only having two kids, while some friends my age (32) have five. But, I know my limits, and know that more kids would push me over the edge mentally, emotionally, and probably physically. I envy you and your "Not Mom" status. I wish my husband and I could be one those couples that could accept spontaneous dinner plans. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but life would be so much simpler without them. Anyway, this is very long, and it's very late, but I just wanted to let you know that I think you are an amazing woman, and that living your life, being true to yourself, is the best gift of all. Live long and prosper, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  43. But Jeeeeennnn - if you have kids you'll slow your crafting down so I can catch up...or you'll do another awesome nursery and I'll look like a lackey still....

    All kidding aside - having kids is awesome - so is not having kids. The hard part is losing your identity and just becoming a "parent" - I swear there is more to my husband and I than that we are parents.

    ReplyDelete
  44. You probably need these.

    wooden gears

    Also, loved your interview. As a fellow child-free girl in her 30s, I agree, people do seem to back off a bit when one hits that magic number. :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm so glad you did this interview. I'm another who has always known she would be kid free.
    Of course, I always hear the standard arguments and I long for the day I'm 50 and still child free. It will be a delightful "told ya."

    I couldn't agree more that children should be a deliberate choice. And seeing other women go through it reaffirms my position.

    I have great respect for women who become mothers. It's not an easy task.

    Stay strong fellow NotMoms, and rock on Moms!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Girl, for real, you and I are SO MUCH alike, it's seriously starting to freak me out, so knock it off or move to San Diego. ;)

    Between my physical and mental health problems (and my mentallly ill mother who barely taught me how to be a person, much less a parent), I recognized long ago that I never wanted to have children. You know what the worst bit is about being childless by choice? Just TRY to get your tubes tied, especially if you've never had a child and you're under 35-ish; I swear, people wanting gender reassignment surgery go through only *slightly* less BS that a grown-ass woman choosing to "fix" herself. Seriously, I understand the need to make sure the patient is 100% dead set on her decision, but damn, it's a LOT harder than it is for a man to get a vasectomy, I tell you. But then, I'm 44 now, and starting to start The Change, so I haven't bothered to look into it in many years, so I may be talkin' out my neck; YMMV.

    After 14 years together, I recently asked my Vulcan to truthfully tell me (seriously, he can NOT lie, it's weird) if my choice has disappointed him in any way; did he see himself as being a father someday? Did I ruin it for him? He thought for a moment and said "Honestly? I never thought I'd be a HUSBAND, much less a father. You and the Girls (our Pug and cat) are quite a handful enough, thank you." Ah, bliss... the Vulcan to my Klingon, the Brain to my Pinky, the Silent Bob to my Jay. :D

    Cheers, thanks a lot

    Storm

    ReplyDelete
  47. I really appreciate the tone you used in your responses. Having children is definitely a life choice - and it's one that takes time, commitment and energy - but so is anything that is worth doing. I really believe that pure feminism is being able to choose the lifestyle that you want to live. It's the choice that makes us strong, not the ability to be more like men. Thank you for being a strong woman who made a choice.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Awesome interview! Once we had a kid our lives definitely became harder since most of our friends are child-free. But what we did is start having game nights or just open nights at our house. They know that if it's after 8pm, they can come over and we can party like adults! But also my child-free friends are incredibly supportive. Most of them will hang out with us during the day when we're out and about with Ari. They've gotten used to the insanity, I suppose. Our group has managed a nice blend of families and situations. That's probably why I love them all so much :D Well, one of the many reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thank you everyone for your very positive response to The Not Mom. I blog for a living and I was becoming frustrated by the over saturation of Mommy Blogs looking for writers but no opportunities for women without kids. Then I discovered The Not Mom. I'm grateful to be a part of it and to work with Karen who runs a great website. Thanks to Jen for helping me and thanks to all of you for reading!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Keep the friends who have kids in your rolodex :) Those first few years can be hell, but as the kid grows, it can be lonely when you suddenly have time and no friends to spend it with.

    My kids are four and eleven now, and it's WAY easier for me to go out and do stuff now than it was when the first was a baby.

    Also, go you for adding a voice to this! I have kids, but many of my child-free friends have had issues talking about their choices because it's assumed that they can't have kids, not that they've decided not to have kids.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Great interview, Jen! I'd love to adopt, but I've never had a desire to actually birth a baby. I realize that greatly damages my marriage potential, and as I approach 30 (I'll be 28 later this month) I struggle to come to peace with what a life childless and partner-less might look like. It's refreshing to read that there are others out there who also face this. Right now I feel a lot of shame for not being able to do what everyone else is doing, so I am cheered by the prospect that with time, some of that shame and stigma might fade.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Loved the interview. I have two rambunctious little boys that I absolutely adore and I am hoping to one day add another child to my family. But, as I believe with everything, to each his own. Just because I always wanted to be a mother doesn't mean everyone else did. I also always wanted to be a scientist and I certainly don't expect everyone shares the same desire. You should do whatever makes you happy and fulfilled :)
    Plus, though there are a million mom blogs out there and I do read them, I am my own person first and I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  53. It was like I was reading my own interview (if I'd participatd in one). While we eventually did change our mind and now have a son, we did it later in life and are now considering the only child scenario. I've been through the "no friends left" roller coaster and it is still hard sometimes being the "new" mom at 37. Even my best friends with kids feel like strangers when they talk about thier multiple and older kids. I love my little guy (he is so awesome at this age) but we honestly would have been happy without him if that was how things turned out.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I loved the interview, I'm 36 and been married for 7 1/2 years and we are childless by choice. Recently there has been some talk of trying for one, but if it doesn't happen naturally in the next year, it ain't gonna happen. I'm the oldest of 8 (my youngest brother is 11!) so I've done the babysitting things most of my life, now nieces and nephews have been added to it too. If I get pregnant, great, though I'm terrified cause my anxiety past, but if I don't, I'll be perfectly happy to stay a PANK (professional aunt, no kids)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you so much for this interview, and the words "Children should be a deliberate choice." I'm 40, single, childless, and wouldn't change a thing about my life. I always thought about kids, but then decided my health issues would be too much of a strain, on me and on any kids. I always told myself that if I managed to get to the other side of my mental issues, I would adopt. I'm still not there yet, so I know I made the right choices.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thanks Jen and the Not Mom blogger! When I was younger I was asked incessantly when we were going to have kids. I explained over and over again that I am diabetic and we chose not to have any. Even with that I was judged because they "knew lots of diabetics who have had children".

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thank you Jen for being interviewed on this extremely important topic! I enjoyed reading everyone's comments on this page and look forward to more. As a 31 year old woman who has been married for 10 years, I have only been asked a few times (by some REALLY nosy people) where the kids were at?! Other than that, I find most people don't care. I have actually always wanted to have one kid of my own and adopt one kid during my lifetime. The latter issue is one that my Mom and husband are not happy with. They feel that if your baby isn't yours genetically, then it is an inferior relationship. This makes me sad - as I always thought adopting is a wonderful act - as it deliberately says - "I went out of my way to choose you, and I really love you." Ironically, my husband's dad is really his stepfather, but he doesn't seem to take that to heart. I TOTALLY respect NotMoms and NotDads, since both my sister and brother fit these descriptors. And you know what, their lives are fruitful and happy! My sister teaches junior high kids and comes home to her own life, while my brother is dating someone who has a daughter from a previous marriage. This used to make my Mom upset, but I think she has gotten used to the idea that not everyone can be neatly pigeon-holed into the traditional married + kids role. Again, thank you Jen for offering people a glimpse into the "alternative lifestyle" that not everyone is comfortable talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  58. so, how ironic is it that i've read the interview and most of the comments while breastfeeding my second son, and am writing this while he is asleep on my shoulder? i've always thought that i wanted kids "some day in the distant future, just not now". i had my first son at 28, and he wasn't planned (although i actively decided to risk NOT getting plan B). i never wanted to have an only child because i absolutely hate being one myself, so now we have two kids, and i positively think i'm done now. i'm 31, so when my kids are old enough to leave the house i'll be around 50, and i believe i'm going to have some years left were i can do whatever i want with my hubby before we are too old to enjoy it.

    we have friends who have kids, and friends who don't. we usually just don't meet them together. the friends with kids are usually afternoon meets where the kids play together while we sit and talk, it's more convenient, because the kids entertain each other and no babysitters are needed. the no-kids friends usually visit us for talk and board games in the evening when the kids are in bed. before we had kids we would have our game nights at a different friend's place each time, now we do all the inviting, but that's the only thing that has really changed.

    i firmly believe that wether to have kids or not should be each persons own decision. and while i might sometimes ask couples if they do plan on kids in their future when the topic comes up, i'd never judge them about their decision or try to push them in any direction. life without kids is without doubt easier, you can go on holiday off-season, go for dinner or a movie spontaneously, can stay up late and sleep in the next day without little ones jumping on your bed at 6am sharp, etc etc. life with kids is louder, you can jump into ball pools and go down slides on the playground and buy geeky children's toys without people looking at you like you're insane or a creeper, nobody thinks you are lazy for "just" going to the pool or lake every day in summer... each life joice has their advantages and disadvantages, but non is better or more valid than the other.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Brenda J. has the best answer to those nosy questions about personal choices - “I’m happy with my life!” A source of clear answers to invasive questions about topics such as adoption, same-sex relationships, being childfree, etc. is, ironically enough, a parenting book by Elise Mac Adam, See Dick Bite Jane.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I am a mom of four, but I think choosing not to have children is as valid as choosing to have them. I knew from elementary school that I wanted to be a mom, but not everyone feels that way. If it's not impinging on anyone else's life, then it isn't anyone else's business.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Can I please amend/edit my earlier post, since there's no edit function? I swear to you all, I totally meant to say "...people wanting gender reassignment surgery go through only *slightly* MORE BS that a grown-ass woman choosing to "fix" herself", NOT LESS. It was a slip of the fingers, if you will; I know too many transgendered people not to know better than that about the effort and ordeal it takes to acheive the procedures. I feel like a dork, and I'm checking myself accordingly.

    Thanks in advance!

    Storm

    ReplyDelete
  62. Great interview Jen! To mom or not to mom is something all women seem to experience lots of pressure about. It seems like so many people feel entitled to comment on something that is such a personal issue.

    I know you have mentioned before that you don't necessarily identify with the label of "feminist" but I think this is a real issue of changing how society views families and women's roles and choices. So as someone who proudly identifies as feminist, I say thank you! for sharing your voice and your story about this.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'm a divorced mom and I enjoyed your blog, Jen. I wanted to remark on your comment about losing touch with friends after they have kids - it's weird, but most of my friends now and even when I was married, are singles. I have a few married with kids or divorced with kids friends, but its so hard to schedule get-togethers with them. But once any of my friends got married, it was like that was the beginning of them drifting away.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I'm so jealous. I see pictures of your home (mess free?!?!) and all the awesome stuff you make (breakables???!!!!) and wish that I was able to have stuff like that again. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. And I'm raising them right (read: geeks). But sometimes, it's nice to hang out with grownups *without* kids. Why? Because most people-with-children can't get out of "people-with-children" mode. If I wanted to hang out with kids, I'd stay home with my kids, ya know?

    And Andi is spot on with her comment " If I don't keep up with the things that make me who I am as a woman independent from who I am as a mom, when the kids move out, I'll find life rather empty and boring."

    What Casey said - " The hard part is losing your identity and just becoming a "parent" - I swear there is more to my husband and I than that we are parents."

    True confession, I never wanted kids. It wasn't (isn't!) in my nature to be a nurturing, baby-wearing, breastfeeding type. But once they were here, I couldn't very well send them back. And they're cute, so I guess we'll keep 'em. ;-D

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>

Related Posts with Thumbnails