Being the youngest in a large family has its advantages: My siblings provided plenty of grandchildren already, so there’s no pressure on me to make more. (Christmas presents are expensive, y’all.) My family has also known since I was 19 — when I fainted while watching my older sister have a sonogram because it grossed me out so much — that I’m not sure this childbirth thing is for me. So, even after being married for 10 months now, no one in my family has broached the subject of bringing a Bogdanovs-Wakeman into the world.
That being said, minding-one’s-own-beeswax doesn’t hold true with outsiders — as I found out this weekend when a trip to the laundromat turned into more than I’d bargained for. Keep reading »
“Gayle [King] was the kind of kid who, in seventh grade Home Ec class, was writing down her name and the names of her children. While she was having those kind of daydreams, I was having daydreams about how I could be Martin Luther King. …If I had kids, my kids would hate me. They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”
This is Oprah Winfrey explaining why being childless by choice is the best decision for her and her career, including the baby
she had and gave up for adoption at 14. [Update: As a commenter has correctly pointed out, Oprah's baby was stillborn.] Can you imagine if we didn’t have Oprah because she’d devoted her life to motherhood instead? Or even half her life? It would certainly be a different media and entertainment business we would have and possibly a different world. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Keep reading »
I have a couple of girl friends whom I really envy. They know exactly what they want — or rather, what they don’t want. They don’t want to have children. Two of my girl friends are childless by choice, which means that while they enjoy being involved in the lives other people’s children, they have no interest at all in becoming parents of their own. There isn’t a doubt in either of their minds that kids are not a possibility.
My own feelings on the subject are much more hazy. Keep reading »
I’ve known for most of my life that I didn’t want to have kids, although I didn’t know or use the word “childfree” until I was in my 20s. For a while, it was easy to be childfree. My peers were also young, single, career-focused, and not worried about meeting The One, let alone procreating with The One.
Then I turned 30. Now that my friends are partnering off and starting to have kids, the way that I configure my childfree identity has changed. I still firmly believe that I don’t want children and am actively planning not to have any. But the way I talk about my choice with other people has definitely changed. Being childfree is definitely different in your 30s than it is in your 20s. Keep reading »
Last week, I was in a conversation on Facebook in which I admitted to not liking kids. (My comment: “Real talk: I don’t actually like babies, actually, or children.”) I thought about taking it down as soon as I posted it. An hour later, I was still thinking about taking it down. No one paid much attention to the comment; it’s not really a secret among my friends that I feel this way, although one friend wrote “Yikes,” which I’m still not sure how to respond to. Nevertheless, I felt like I had crossed some serious line. I post everything I write — mostly personal essays that connect to my political beliefs — on social media. As such, this status is definitely not the first time I’ve insulted someone with my beliefs. Yet affirming my dislike of children on Facebook seemed like a whole new level of evil.
But still, I didn’t take the status down. Keep reading »
Now that I’m an old-ass boring married lady, spending all my time vacuuming in heels, watching my stories and making martinis at 5 p.m. in anticipation of the imminent arrival of the most interesting man in my world, the only thing left for me to do in life is get pregnant.
But that is not the plan. Well, the making myself martinis at 5 p.m. is frequently part of the plan. Which would be a bad plan if, indeed, Patrick and I were trying to have kids. But this Sunday, and every forseeable third Sunday in May after that, I will celebrate my mom and my mother-in-law, and never be celebrated myself.
By my own design. Of my own volition. With the express agreement of my husband, who will similarly find himself celebrating his dad and father-in-law on future third Sundays in June, but never receive a hideous tie of honor himself.
I realize this isn’t normal for most people. But whether it’s normal or not, let me ask you to err on the side of not being a presumptuous snoot when talking to people who don’t have kids and who, moreover, don’t want to have kids. Keep reading »
I’ve been walking around with a sketch of a uterus and cervix in my reporter’s notebook for several weeks now, courtesy of my gynecologist. She drew it while explaining to me how an IUD works. I keep it around both because I like it as a conversation piece and because when you write about ladyparts as much as I do, it’s actually quite useful as a reference tool at the office or, you know, the bar. Wherever.
But what I like best about my little IUD sketch is that I don’t need it, because my husband is getting a vasectomy. When it comes to long-term contraception that isn’t sterilization, vasectomies are the bee’s infertile knees. The benefits are many: I don’t have to live with a foreign body inside me (either of biological origin or one made of copper), condom breakage isn’t a constant concern, and neither do I have to rely on hormones or head back to my doctor’s office regularly for a Depo shot. Keep reading »
Chelsea Handler and Gloria Steinem have been hanging out and I’m never invited. It’s cool. I’m not, like, devastated or anything. But I’m just saying, if Arianna Huffington walked up to Chelsea at a Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women event and lectured her how she’s “so maternal” and “needs” to have children, I would have had Chelsea’s back, too. Chelsea and Gloria and I can be “CGJ,” — sort of like “MVP” but feminist and smart and awesome. [E! Online] Keep reading »