Childfree by choice

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My latest episode for Momversation is up and the discussion is about people who choose not to have children and the judgment parents get from some within that community.

One of the points I made, which was edited out due to time constraints, focused on how some who choose to be childfree would like maternity leave and the same benefits as families. My point is that they chose not to have children and with that went the choice to partake in family benefits. I was a little offended by the analogy that writing a book (one of their examples) or going on vacation, et al., was equal to or as selfless as bringing a life into the world and nurturing it. If people who are childfree want to have a positive impact on the world, they can start by not being cranky towards parents or large families. Respect for choices goes both ways! Don't you think?
 

Also, I've made a decision with regards to India. I'll discuss it tomorrow.

13 Comments

Child free me... I don't get irritated when children are out in public unless it is at a weird place... like a bar. Completely inappropriate, ya know? I kind of think there are a lot of other benefits that childless people have that people with children don't get. Say... sabatacles. A lot of businesses offer them. They aren't restricted to "child-free" people, but if you do have kids taking a month off work to backpack through Europe might not be as open as an option.

Plus, without kids working insane hours to get a promotion is a little more feasible b/c you don't have the guilt. Again, that's not to say parent's don't do it... it is kind of one of those things that is easier if you don't. I see it kind of as a trade-off. There are different opportunities for different people.

The one thing that does kind of get to me... parent's can leave early from work or take a day without it counting against their vacation when kids are sick or school is closed. I wish I could do the same when the weather is crappy or I have to take my dog to the vet, ya know?

If childless parents are upset about the "benefits" that those of us with children have, then I'm going to start a rally at my workplace to get my smoke break every hour (I don't smoke).

Isn't SLEEP the big benefit that childless couples get?

As far as the maternity/paternity leave goes, I have no problem with childless couples taking family leave for family circumstances. I'll take my family leave so that I can have a baby and spend time with my baby. And I figure, you know, if you'd like to take your family leave to take care of your mother when she's in the hospital or something, that's fine. I just don't think taking a vacation really qualifies.

Melody -- many, many parents DO have to take vacation, or be docked pay, when leaving to pick up a sick child, school canceled, etc. I just WISH I did not have to do so. Would be ever so nice!

Child free, or tons of kids - each person's own. But not all perks are available to all people; nor should they be IMO.

Hmm... This one had me for a minute, but I'm with you --- raising the future generation and writing a book are not the same thing. These "benefits" that people are upset about are kind of imaginary too. In most places, "maternity leave" is FMLA, to which everyone is entitled. You burn your vacation and sick days and then you're unpaid. Some people use short-term disability insurance to cover the rest of the time off --- but again, most people can get that.

What company allows this "benefit" to parents???? "parent's can leave early from work or take a day without it counting against their vacation when kids are sick or school is closed" NOT MINE! I think that there are a lot of misconceptions either way and that it's easy for both groups (parents or child-less by choice) to feel like the other group has it made. Those of you without children can be me (parent of a toddler) for a few days and then get back to me.

"Respect for choices goes both ways."

Amen, sister. If only people acted on that sentiment.

I noticed your title says "Childfree by choice". I think I have to point at that some people are not childfree by choice - in fact many people (including myself) suffer from infertility. It's a rather painful thing to suffer from - there are constant reminders of what you don't have everywhere around you. Some infertiles opt to claim that the childfree lifestyle is their choice, because it makes it a little easier not to see the pity in other people faces, or have to explain to them why you can't have children. And after years and years of trying, sometimes you have to just embrace the life that you've been given for your own sanity. And giving birth is not selfless - raising a child is.
Now, I'm not saying that I think I should have the same exact treatment as a parent who wants to take off early to take their kid to the doctor, but it's just something to think about next time you assume some is childless by choice.

Sarah, I completely understand but my title was intentional. We are discussing people who chose to be childfree, a topic that came about after looking at childfree by choice websites and literature - and some of the hostility that has been expressed with it. (I've read some who were upset that women who didn't accept their infertility, which totally blew my mind.)

I do disagree with you though that giving birth is not selfless. I wouldn't get 13 stitches in my yaw-yaw for nothing. ;) But yes, raising a child is also.

Respect for both choices, absolutely, whenever possible--just hard when being judged by strangers for breastfeeding (with the darn apron on, okay?) in public after a fairly sleepless night with baby or a childless friend insists for the millionth time that loving her dog is the same as loving a human baby, but who has baby food and spit up in their hair and dark rings under their eyes and worries about SIDS or vaccines or viruses??? Next: Respect for anyone who gets in an airplane for a 30 hour plane-filled trip without screaming so loud they get arrested before take-off: 100%

Nothing wrong with living the all-American, consumer-driven, minivan-driving, breeder's life. Or not. I don't see why it has to be such a big deal. Neither lifestyle is the better one. They're just different, with plusses and minuses to each.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you've decided to do about India. I was there a little over ten years ago. It was quite an experience.

Life's about choices. The reason we get maternity leave at my company is beucase it's medically-revevant leave (you need the leave to heal and care for something that can't care for itself)...for 6 weeks - after that - it's FMLA, which is unpaid.

If someone wants to take a sabbatical to write a book and not get paid for it - great. GO. DO. I can't wait to read about it.

Now...if you're talking selfless acts...maybe if a childfree person volunteers, they could get some time comped - like one would on a maternity leave or something....but I don't think big business really cares that much....

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