Do we judge the childfree?
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Thread: Do we judge the childfree?

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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Default Do we judge the childfree?

    The Time magazine issue that Alyssa's Happiness/Misery article came from has generated a lot of buzz. The issue is about being childfree by choice. I haven't read the actual magazine but some of the other articles floating around out there about it were interesting to me. Many describe it as the new divide...much like the SAHM WAHM battles or the breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding. There are a lot of articles and editorials that bring up a lot of different points

    Does society judge the CFBC group? Do you have a gut reaction when someone tells you they don't want to ever have kids? I personally wonder if there is any religious criticism that plays into it to, even though that doesn't seemed to be mentioned a lot. Are they really marginalized or overly criticized? Or is it more silent and mild than that...or does this divide exist at all?

    I provided some specific quotes from dif. articles, and links to the entire things. Sorry i couldn't pick just one. Its kind of a loosey goosey debate topic, but i found it interesting enough that i didn't want to pass over bringing it up at all.

    The Childfree Are All Right -- Yes, Someone Needed To Say It

    Consider the most recently monthly Vanity Fair/CBS poll. For September, 2013, the topic was "The Perfect Woman." (The August 2013 poll was on the perfect man -- it's apparently equal opportunity ridiculousness over there.) When the 1,017 participants were asked the most important quality in a woman, 39 percent said being a good mother, above brains, a sense a humor and a healthy sex drive.

    This "mother above all" view of womanhood is Sandler's target, not the women she profiles, who don't want kids, or readers who have or want them. Her point is that no one is doing it wrong, but for a very long time, childfree women have been told they are. They are interrogated about their choice in salons and post offices even as they are marginalized by a culture obsessed with maternity and parenting -- see celebrity bump watches, the $49 billion baby product industry and articles accusing women who don't want kids of selfishness, all of which amount to what Sandler calls the "ambient roar" of motherhood.
    This one kind of says there really is no judgement, its just a matter of practicality
    Can Parents Stay Friends With the Child-Free?

    As a parent myself, I don?t read my tendency to gravitate toward fellow mothers as judgment ? I read it as practical. Fellow parents are more likely to understand if I bail on dinner because of a sudden teacher conference, and their eyes are less likely to glaze over if my preoccupation at that dinner is more temper tantrums than, say, the right way to temper chocolate (which might once have held my interest for hours). In fact, I?d argue that it?s win-win.
    This one tries to give both points of view in a dialogue that i wonder if it even really happened
    Is Being Childfree Selfish? Debating Time Magazine's Touchy New Issue

    SBW: As a working mom myself, I completely know what you mean. And I wonder why I, feminist that I purport to be, have a knee-jerk reaction when I hear that women (and also men, but less so) don't want to have kids. The other day, my husband said that one of his colleagues, in her early 30s, definitely doesn't want to have kids. I immediately went to "selfish, narcissistic." What is that about?

    BG: Do you think it could be partially that you are envious of her gall?

    SBW: I wouldn't ever give up the experience of being a mom. I think it?s that, somewhere back in my primitive brain, I see it as "natural" to have kids, and weird not to have that desire. Of course there are many reasons?economic, environmental?that might make it extremely reasonable not to have kids.
    Emma 08/31/01
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    Oy.

    I'm sorry, this just strikes me as navel-gazing. Seriously? This is like a "thing"?

    I have many friends who have kids and many who don't. Of the ones who don't, some are planning it and some aren't. I think that people who don't want kids shouldn't have them and good for them! People who do should have them and good for them!

    Seriously if I had friends who judged people for not having kids (or for having them, if they wanted them, or having lots of them) I don't think we'd be friends.
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddieflounder101 View Post
    Oy.

    I'm sorry, this just strikes me as navel-gazing. Seriously? This is like a "thing"?

    I have many friends who have kids and many who don't. Of the ones who don't, some are planning it and some aren't. I think that people who don't want kids shouldn't have them and good for them! People who do should have them and good for them!

    Seriously if I had friends who judged people for not having kids (or for having them, if they wanted them, or having lots of them) I don't think we'd be friends.
    This is kind of what i think...logically and rationally. Which is why i agree with the middle article that kind of says if you don't have a lot of friends who are childfree, its probably just because you have a lot in common with those who have kids...not because of some harsh judgment of the childfree.

    However, and I am just being totally and completely honest....i get this weird twinge of negative feeling when people are adamant about not wanting children. Just so you know and so you don't 'internet un-friend' me ...i fight it tooth and nail and ignore it with all my might and beat it into submission and bury it away 6 feet under, very purposefully because i don't know where it creeps up from. But i can't deny that i get it.
    Last edited by KimPossible; 08-08-2013 at 09:41 AM.
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    I will never un-friend my friend Kim!

    I totally don't get that, though. I have some friends (and a big sister) who are adamant about not having kids and I commend them for knowing that they shouldn't. I don't want people having kids who don't really want them. I don't have any reaction at all unless I feel like people are judging ME, thinking I'm lame because I don't go to the movies anymore and I'm always racing home from work to be home in the evening with my cuties.
    Laurie, mom to:
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    I agree that I feel people should never have children who don't want them. It's a hard enough gig when you do.

    I do admit to always being surprised when I hear someone say it. Not so much a "they are selfish" thought but more in a way of not being able to wrap my head around it. I always wanted kids and I think the majority of people want to have children so it just seems out of the norm so to speak but like Kim...I don't say it and I squash that feeling down because it's judgey.

    I also seem to accept it more from people in their late 20s and into their 30s vs teenagers and early 20 people...only because I know how much I changed during my teen years and early 20s that I don't know if those feelings will last for them. They very well may but I think you are still forming your adult self that not wanting kids may change.
    Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)

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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica80 View Post
    I do admit to always being surprised when I hear someone say it. Not so much a "they are selfish" thought but more in a way of not being able to wrap my head around it. I always wanted kids and I think the majority of people want to have children so it just seems out of the norm so to speak but like Kim...I don't say it and I squash that feeling down because it's judgey.
    I think thats it for me...i can't relate to it at all, i don't understand it. And the explanations, when given, i don't know, i can't understand them either. I really can't put my finger on it. So its hard for my rational side to kick in and say "hey, you don't need to understand it"

    And i absolutely 100% agree that people who don't want children shouldn't have them because its expected of them. That would be awful.

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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I cant believe this is even something that is a topic? I am guessing the people that choose not to have children must feel very judged and it has become an issue?

    I dont think I judge people, but when I encounter people that dont want kids I do have a reaction. It just takes me a minute to comprehend it.
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    Posting Addict Rivergallery's Avatar
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    I think they are judged.. I see it among women more than men when it comes to mother's day.. or baby showers. Especially for those that are not necessarily CFBC but chose not to adopt when they couldn't physically have children.
    It is a deep issue (tender) for some of these women especially.
    It is the same feeling I think that I have seen with people who are unmarried.. who can't find someone to commit to.. The long time single people in their 40s that want to be married but haven't found someone.

    I do think some segments of society feel pity upon women that do not have children.. I haven't seen the similar "pity" for men. Men get the oh so sorry.. when they get "tied down".. etc.

    I do not think it is a huge issue, especially since the Women's Rights Movement has come along.. people do not put all their worth onto if they have children, what gender they are, how many they have etc.. One's legacy.. especially a Man's was his sons.. A woman who wasn't allowed to own property needed to have sons to survive.. unless a family member took care of her... Historically since most societies have been patriarchal has been the issue... caring for widows is even addressed in religious texts.

    Children are viewed very differently now.. in American society.. some of that is good.. and some I think is not so good.
    DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03

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    I can completely understand why people would choose not to have kids...it doesn't seem strange to me at all! It's all about the kind of life you want and the level of responsibility you want. It does not seem weird to me in any way to make that choice.
    Laurie, mom to:
    Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 7 )




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    Prolific Poster Danifo's Avatar
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    I don't judge people who don't have kids. Before I had kids, I felt like part of me was unfulfilled and it was filled by my kids. If they don't have that, then I think it is great they find something else they are passionate about.

    2 of my CFBC (mid 30s) friends have said that while they are convinced they don't want kids, their biggest fear is being 53 and wishing they had them. They get asked all the time about kids (one is married, one is single) but I don't think single guys get the same amount of hassle.
    DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
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