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A Thank You Letter

January 3, 2012

My blog would not be here today if it wasn’t for Firecracker Mandy and her infamous blog post The Top 100 Reasons Not Have Kids, that has over 123 comments. I came across this article randomly on a Google search last year in early 2011 or 2010, and my entire outlook on procreating changed. My quixotic assumptions about parenthood and children came crashing down like a mirror, into a thousand pieces. Mandy breathed reality and common sense into my head.

I am Daniel, and she is Mr (or um…Mrs…). Miyagi. Mandy is a pioneer in the childfree blogging world and her posts are original, funny and eye-opening. She has helped connect me to other awesome childfree peeps, and inspired countless bloggers and Tweeters, including myself. If there is a snowball effect, she got it rollin’ for sure.

If you are new to making a decision, or even a fence-sitter, about having kids or not–Mandy’s blog is definitely where I would point you to  (http://childfreedom.blogspot.com/) and here are some of my select faves from her blog:

You will have the capacity and time for meaningful, engaged, quality adult relationships.

The mommies are none to happy with my “pathetic”, “selfish” self. How dare I criticize the glorious mommy life! (I think they’re just mad because someone is finally telling the truth about motherhood instead of promoting the myths they all fell prey to).

With bags under their eyes, empty wallets, splitting headaches, and husbands who intentionally work long hours just so they can avoid coming home, moms everywhere are heard shouting from the rooftops that motherhood has transformed them from self-centered creatures, to “much better”, “much less selfish”, “more caring” people who “finally know what real love is”.

Of course, The Today Show wouldn’t be The Today Show without an “expert” therapist chiming in with advice and warnings for the poor, confused souls who may be considering such a dubious life choice – insultingly suggesting they receive therapy to uproot the causes of their desire to not have children. Could it be anxiety? Baggage or emotional wounds from childhood? Suggesting, of course, that the young man’s choice is pathological and we need to make sure he really knows his mind and is making his decision for sound reasons and not because he’s psychologically fucked up.

What I would like to see – just once – are prospective PARENTS given the same third degree as happily childfree folks. When is somebody going to question the prospective PARENT about his reasons for wanting kids? When is somebody going to ask him if he has really thought his decision through carefully, and whether he has really considered all the ramifications of his life-altering decision? When is somebody going to question his potential regrets and what “escape hatches” he might employ if he later discovers he made the wrong choice and hates being a parent? After all, unlike a childfree person who can always adopt or become a foster parent down the road if he changes his mind, parenthood is irreversible, not to mention the fact that plenty of people are not happy being parents (although parenthood-glorifying venues like The Today Show would love us to believe otherwise). In fact, The Today Show itself has run more than one spot on research showing parents are less happy and have lower levels of marital satisfaction than the childfree and yet they continue to put well-adjusted, intelligent people like Toby Byrum on the defensive for an obviously well-thought out decision that brings fulfillment and happiness to his life.

 

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From → My CF Life

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