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 »
I am not a mother. This fact has kept me from expressing my heartbreak over the shootings in Sandy Hook. In the aftermath of this horrifying event, I’ve watched countless friends — mothers, all of them — post wrenching status updates on Facebook. I’ve read them, feeling oddly ashamed inside. These moms talked of compassion for those poor little children, of the need to step up to the plate as adults, of the fear they have for the future, of roiling anger toward the government, and of utter helplessness. They posted pictures of the beautiful young faces lost to this insane tragedy. They urged others to take a stand, and to hold their own children close.
The same thoughts streamed through my head. Tears welled in my eyes, too. I texted my siblings and begged them to hug and kiss their little ones for me.
But something was silencing the part of me that wanted to join these moms in their outrage. I felt it wasn’t my place. How could I know, after all, what kind of fear these parents were expressing? How could I possibly relate to their protective instincts? I am not a mother. 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 »