There Is a Wrong Time to Start a Family

Kristen

As young as five years old, I understood without real understanding that when I grew into a woman I would someday, inevitably, become a mother.

As a little girl, I semi-regularly played the game of House with a friend who lived in the next apartment building, and we’d choose our roles before each game: Husband or Wife. We took for granted that choosing Wife also meant playing the role of a mother.


Read the rest in Human Parts.

If people needed a license to parent, these would be my guidelines

Kristen

Whether people should need a license to have children isn’t a new conversation. In 1980, Hugh LaFollette, Marie E. and Leslie Cole Emeritus Professor in Ethics at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Editor-in-Chief of the International Encyclopedia of Ethics, argued in favor of licensing parents because, in short,

And the CHILDFREE are selfish?

Kristen

A woman in Atlanta who knew she had a 50/50 chance of passing her own childhood eye cancer onto her offspring gave birth to three children, anyway.

All three have eye cancer. One of them started chemotherapy at a week old.

Somehow, acts like this – and they’re not rare – haven’t managed to garner the rallying “you’re selfish” chant the way choosing not to have children, which by definition hurts not a single soul, has.

“Oh, that mom wasn’t selfish,” someone who’s wrong might argue. “There was no guarantee her kids would get cancer, after all.”

Okay.

Why talk about being childfree?

Isabel, Kristen, LeNora

More than occasionally, enough times for it to be incredibly irritating, someone will roll their eyes (literally or figuratively) at someone talking about being childfree–whether it’s about their struggles with it or their excitement about it. This blog post explains, from each of our perspectives, why those people are wrong, why we personally talk about it, and why we think others should, too.

The stranger my childfree self will never forget.

Kristen

In my favorite picture of me as a child, I’m standing on my big sister’s Big Wheel. I couldn’t ride it, yet, because my legs were too short to reach the pedals, but I knew it was meant for me.

Once my toes could reach just well enough to turn the enormous front wheel, that toy and I were bonded until I was too big for it.

I know it’s easy – convenient – to assign any chosen value to things in your past based on what you know of yourself in the present, but I can’t help thinking that car represented independence. That even as a little girl, I wanted freedom. Options. Choices.

The kinds of things it made me feel sick to imagine losing when, at 20, the man I’d married at 19 started talking about having “a family.”