Kids For Sale

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Here is some mandatory reading for anyone considering having kids! I know he thinks this is funny, but the fact that most of it is true kinda makes it scary: Kids For Sale

Thanks to Childfreedom for sharing the link with me.

Update: And now he’s upset because us evil childfree people are talking about him and don’t we know that parenting is hard?! (But in his next breath he is sure to smugly inform us that it’s harder than anything we’ll ever do. Yea, that old tune again.) He’s in such a snit, you’d think we’d said his kids were ugly!

I bet his next trick will be claiming he’s not at all insecure.

Extra Update: Do not go over there and pick a fight. Just leave it alone. They have a lot more free time on their hands than we do for internet dramaz.

Looking for NaNoWriMo writing buddies?

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Slightly off topic, but anyone NaNoWriMo-ing this year?

Some of you may not have heard of NaNoWriMo. It’s a project to get amateur writers who claim “someday I’m going to write a novel” to start writing one. You start a fresh novel idea November 1st and the goal is to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month — about 1700 words a day. To give you an idea of how many words 1700 is, it’s not quite three pages in MS Word (single spaced). NaNoWriMo is on the honor system, so you can cheat if you want, but what’s the point? All you get is a certificate. The real reward is the sense of accomplishment you get from actually finishing.

A friend and I got to talking about how difficult it was to find NaNoWriMo buddies who weren’t teenagers or stay-at-home moms. Teens can be, well, teens, and SAHMommy writing buddies are likely to spend a lot of time making kid-related excuses and getting annoyed if you get too far ahead and making snippy comments like, “Well, it’s EASY if you don’t have a FAMILY. ” *eyeroll* That’s why I prefer to steer clear of them, and perhaps you do, too.

So I agreed to set up a thread here where people who might be looking for writing buddies can match up. Post a link to your NaNoWriMo profile, a little about the genre you write, perhaps your age group, state or country you live in, perhaps other hobbies/interests, etc. – whatever you think might help you find a writing buddy that you might have something in common with.

And for all you NaNoWriMo-ers out there, good luck!

Dr Phil’s Childfree Segment

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Someone alerted me that Dr. Phil was doing a show on the childfree today and that I needed to watch, so I taped it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it, as Dr. Phil is almost as bad as Oprah for pandering to stay-at-home-mommydom, but I decided to risk it and made sure to have the barf bag handy.

It wasn’t a great segment but it wasn’t terrible. It was a short, maybe 6-minute segment squished in the midst of telling other (un-related) stories and a series of in-show commercials for ABC primetime shows. (groan)

The couple described themselves as “childless” rather than childfree, leading me to believe there will be a follow-up episode three years from now with them holding their new baby after they’ve seen “the light.” Time will tell. But for this show, they told Dr Phil about why they don’t want kids and how his mother is putting pressure on them.

The segment started out making them look incredibly dumb. The first thing they said about why they don’t want children (for now) was,

If we had children it would limit our ability to watch certain movies.

This immediately made me think of the Jeff Foxworthy routine where he says, And you know the thing is, southerners are as smart as anybody else in this country, our only problem is we just can’t keep the most ignorant amongst us off the television. That’s the truth. I mean, every time we have a disaster, they never film a doctor or a lawyer, they always get that woman in the muumuu and the sponge rollers.

Did Dr Phil and his staff specifically look for a couple who would lead off with remarks like that to diminish the childfree choice? I know, I’m not supposed to attack other childfree people, but let’s be fair. If he had on some ditz talking about why she just has to have kids, and the first reason for having kids out of her mouth was, “I want kids so I can go play at Chuck E Cheese!” we’d all be going, “Oh what a dumb bitch! You’re going to create a human being for THAT reason? As if you can’t go to Chuck E Cheese anyway!!”

And conversely, if someone’s first excuse for not having kids is that they want to watch R rated movies, they are going to look like dumbasses. Everyone, parents and non-parent alike are going to think, “Really? REALLY?” I know that in our childfree communities we joke that once you have kids, you no longer get to have any fun or do anything anymore, but you people don’t really believe that, do you? People with kids watch R rated movies all the time – probably more than we do. There are still two couples left in the United States who get a sitter and go out to see their R rated movies at the theater, sans kids. A few dozen rent movies and watch them after the kids are in bed, and the rest all just watch the R rated movies with their kids! So… judges? Yes, we’re all in agreement. That was the lamest ass reason not to have kids I’ve ever seen. Did they have to say that?!

I’m fairly certain that this was spiteful editing by someone on Dr Phil’s staff, wanting to make this couple look dumb and idiotic, but honestly, if I was going on Dr Phil, I wouldn’t list all the little piddly reasons I don’t want kids. I’d only tell them the important ones. This way they wouldn’t have the opportunity to lead off with a dumb reason like that and make me look like a fool. Just last week I was talking to a friend who was complaining about her kids and I laughed and said to her, “This is why I don’t have kids! I don’t have to share any of the good toys with them!!” and while there is some truth to that, I wouldn’t say THAT while being interviewed for a national television program. Even if it’s a valid reason to not want kids, there are bigger and better issues to be addressed. Helpful hint: On national television, you’re kinda representing the childfree community at large. Try hard not to look stupid. Just saying.

Dr. Phil redeemed himself a little by being supportive of their choice (although he did take time out to talk about how he himself used to not want kids but he “saw the light” and the wax nostalgic about how wonderful parenting is and how he’s looking forward to his first grandchild being born. *gag*).

Two quotes I liked hearing from Dr Phil, that I’m sure his primary viewership is foaming at the mouth over:

1) There is a fair amount of research out there that suggests there is a significant percentage of mothers who regret it.
2) I totally believe… if you aren’t really just hot to do it, you shouldn’t do it.

Of course, then he ruined it by advising them to re-evaluate their choice every year. *eyeroll* To be fair, if you do consider yourself “childless” it couldn’t hurt to re-evaluate the choice from time to time. Still, if someone had told Dr Phil that they couldn’t wait to get married and have kids, he would never tell them to re-evaluate their choice every year. So it seemed a little obnoxious here, but whatever.

The segment was mostly a drive-by and had its good points and its bad points, but if you missed it, it was no big loss.

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P.S. If you’re wondering about the Bratfree website, it’s down because the domain expired yesterday. I have no idea if she just forgot to renew it or if she plans to let it go. You’ll have to check back in a couple of weeks to see if it’s back up or not.

Share your sterilization experience stories!

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Now that I posted the information on the childfree-friendly doctors, I have been getting a lot of requests for more information about people’s experiences with various procedures (Essure, Vasectomy, etc) and the costs. I know that everyone’s experience and cost will be different, so I decided to start this thread for you all to discuss your experiences.

If you could, briefly, give people an overview of your experiences from IUDs to vasectomies to abortions. Start about by explaining what you had done, how it was done, how much pain or discomfort you were in, what your recovery time was and how soon you felt back to normal. Did you have an complications? If your insurance covered all or part of it, what insurance do you have? If you found some charity or program to help cover the cost, please include that information. If you paid the whole thing outright, how much did it set you back? When talking amongst your friends who have had similar procedures done, what is the average cost of these procedures?

Thanks for helping share this information with the childfree community!

The Baby Trap by Ellen Peck

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I recently obtained a copy of the book The Baby Trapwritten by Ellen Peck, a childfree author. The book was published in 1971 and is now out of print, so if you see a copy, snatch it up. It’s pretty good, despite being a bit dated (the whole chapter on birth control and abortion is particularly outdated!).

The first seven chapters were especially good. She starts off the book explaining she is not going to be objective or tell both sides of the story on purpose to balance out all the pro-child sentiments society blasts at us.

She discusses how having kids is big business to capitalist society. Having babies keeps you spending money on them and they’ll grow up to be spenders, too. Meanwhile, workerbees can’t afford to risk their jobs because they have a family to support. She discusses how advertisers use children and family to sell everything, from baby cribs to socks. (There was a particular Hanes commercial a few years ago that annoyed the hell out of me. Mom and teen daughter bonded because… they wore the same socks?! I don’t think the socks are that miraculous!)

In another chapter, Ms Peck discusses how the mainstream media sells motherhood, partially by glorifying celebrity mothers and perpetuating the “baby saves marriage” myth. Next, she discusses how our culture has become more obsessed with reproducing itself than with improving itself — something I’m sure we all recognize.

…babies are emphasized and adults are de-emphasized… a woman is regarded as a means to an end (propagating the species)… she is not seen as beautiful, vibrant, valuable in and of herself.

There is so much true about that, even today. How many mommies do you know who claim that their children are their “crowning achievement” – they de-value any personal accomplishments they might have had educationally or professionally or even hobbies they were really good at. No, the children are her only real glory – because she sees herself as just a baby producer. It makes me ill. As far as she’s concerned, the first twenty (or so) years of her life, before having babies, was almost like wasted time where she were nothing but an empty shell, waiting to fulfill her destiny as mother. Really, I think I’m going to throw up here!

Ms Peck goes on to argue that there is no “maternal instinct” but rather a sexual instinct, and babies just happen to be a consequence of that. The maternal instinct is wholly manufactured to keep women busy and at home and spending money on lots and lots of things for baby. What happens if more and more women decide not to have kids? Why, we might get educated and realize there is more to life. We might take valuable jobs away from men. We might not be stuck staying with shitty husbands, and then all those crap guys might not get laid anymore. Oh no, can’t have that! Better to keep women down and their expectations low – it’s better for men, especially the assholes.

I could go on all day, but these are the highlights. While there isn’t anything new in this book – it is almost 40 years old, after all – but it’s an interesting read and puts a lot of ideas we already have into print, validating them. I’m proud that our fore mothers and fathers were working for the childfree movement four decades ago to pave the way for our choices.

I really enjoyed the book, and you likely would, too, if you can find a copy!

Post Secret is Honest on Mother’s Day

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I know some of you were expecting an awesome Mother’s Day rant from me today, but I don’t have it in me right now. I thought about complaining about how creepy it is that women think Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day is sort of the same thing, but that’s about all that needs to be said about that.

In 2008 I ranted about why we even need this holiday, anyway — it’s just attention whoring after all. And in 2005 I complained about those ridiculous overinflated figures of how much a mom “should” get paid. (I thought about covering that topic again this year, with a twist, but I didn’t see those figures in the news this year. Have they finally figured out how stupid they are and stopped doing them?)

More importantly, I recently wrote about how just the act of being a mother does not make one worthy of respect, despite what this holiday stands for!

And I’m not going to wish you all a Happy Non-Mom Day or a Fur-Mommy Day, because that all seems kinda dumb and awkward. After all I wouldn’t wish my non-Christian friends “Happy Non-Christmas!” or “Happy Yule” on December 25th.

So I really thought I had nothing left to say. Until I saw this.

Shockingly enough, the folks at Post Secret posted this secret on today, the high holy day of mother

I expected to see nothing but lot of dumb, breeder-pleasing, pro-mommy cards on that website today — which defeats the purpose of the site. And much of it was. Like the one today that says:

When I was three the best thing in my world was a hug from my mom. I’m 20 now and proud to say nothing has changed…. I hope when I’m 40 I can still hug my mother.

and

Every day I become a little bit more like my mother and I couldn’t be prouder. (smiley face)

and

Let’s always have this much fun. We love you, Mom.

*Yawn* Why do the people running that site post these “secrets”? They aren’t secrets. People can tell these things to their mothers to their faces. I hate when people waste time with postcards like that, and I hate when Post Secret puts them up. I suppose they get hundreds of post cards a week so one would expect they’d have a lot to choose from and could put up the most interesting ones, not the most “feel good” ones.

(One might argue that the secret I posted isn’t much of a “secret” either, but it’s still not exactly socially acceptable to say that out type of thing out loud everywhere. I know people who are still closeted about their childfreedom and wouldn’t say this out loud for fear of offending their child-burdened friends and relatives. No one has to hide “in the closet” about loving their mommy!)

The folks at Post Secret also, surprisingly, posted cards about crappy mothers today, too, which is rather daring. No one is supposed to acknowledge that there are shit mothers in the world today. Heck, we’re not really supposed to point them out on other days, either, but most especially not on this day! Good for Post Secret for considering all viewpoints on this day.