Friday, November 21, 2008

Thinking of Thanksgiving

As if Thanksgiving with my husband’s family wasn’t stressful enough, headlined by my husband’s judgemental stepsister, stepmom and stepmom’s twin sister, but babies are going to be front and center; both of my husband’s stepbrothers’ wives are currently pregnant. I got to hear all about it at dinner last week, about how pleased they are that one couple who had a traumatic pregnancy with their first child, preceeded by several devastating late-term miscarriages, finally decided to give their daughter a sibling while expressing that it’s cruel to leave a child as an only child. By the way, finally is relative; their daughter just turned two.

The other baby on the way is the couple’s first child, and it’s coming to the stepbrother who was married about a year after my husband and I were, and boy is everyone excited. Except I recall my conversations with my stepsister-in-law about how she wasn’t ready to have kids yet, how she wanted to travel, to do more before she wanted to settle down. I find myself wondering what changed her perspective so dramatically. She wasn’t childfree by any means, but it appears that the pressure to have as many babies as possible got to them. Who knows, maybe she had a genuine change of heart, but in my conversation with her, where I first floated the idea that my husband and I might never have children, she seemed quite sure that she wanted to wait a few years, or at least until she was able to take a trip to Asia.

The talk of us having babies has slowed significantly while my husband is in school, with everyone knowing that I’m the sole breadwinner in the house. But the dynamic will be changed with two pregnant ladies in the house. It’ll be interesting.

11 comments:

Margaret said...

Hi Stasha! Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope the procreation pressure is minimal this season!

Leigh P. said...

As part of my New Year's resolution list, I wanted to research childless networking options on the web. I got a big laugh out of the depressed and sad photos used on the Resolve website. I did some more searching through Google and came upon your blog. Reading your posts was like listening to myself! And I got a great laugh looking at the childfree items for sale at Cafe Press. Please keep writing! It is a breath of fresh air for me!

Screamer said...

This is interesting. Never before have I heard anyone declare that they choose to be childless when they can have babies (you can have babies, right?)

But I like that you and your spouse have made that decesion together and that you are happy. Its kinda similar to what virgins go through, or guys who decide to go celibate.

And c'mon, update your blog!

Easter Island said...

hi ~ i just wanted to mention that your site's quiz is great for including more options than most people consider, but falls short as well.

i'm childfree and proud -- but i am also deeply grieving my decision to remain childless, and confused about how that affects my role in society. sometimes people like me are hesitant about our decision, or bitter, or just plain messed up about it.

i know a LOT of women in this category. some always assumed they'd have kids someday, then found their lives following a path that didn't mesh with mothering--but it's still choice. others, like me, were happily childfree and then got our socks knocked off by the biological clock.

they *could* have quit their jobs, picked up some dude in a bar, and gotten knocked up. they --- we --- chose not to. it's just not always as simple as "childfree and proud, wa hoo!" it's more like "childfree, childless, confused, ambivalent, looking for peace."

some people also arrive at that place after going through infertility and deciding not to pursue any medical tratment for it (or deciding to stop their years and years of infertility treatmend and accept childlessness).

so i guess i'd like to see that weird grey area acknowledged in your quiz... i clicked "childfree and proud," but it felt incomplete.

-tiffany from
nymphe blog

Anonymous said...

What struck me here is your sister-in-law's remark that it's cruel to leave a child an only child. I suppose in her eyes I'm cruel because my daughter will in all likelihood be an only child!

miss.bokononist said...

Hello,
I find your blog really interesting and reasonable:) I'm keen on the issue of childfree women because I'm writing my psychological MA thesis on women remaining childless by choice in Poland. The aim of my research is however to compare the subjective experience of remaining childfree in Poland and on the West. Do you think you could help me in my research and fill in some small anonymous questionnaires? I would appreciate it very much. My e-mail adress is n.o.schiller@gmail.com.

Best regards
Natalia

Valerie said...

I am 45 and decided with my husband not to have children after we got married. Once we REALLY starting thinking about it like the intelligent people we are we were able to make up our own minds based on intellectual reasons. Yes, althought we probably could have children (never checked) we decided not to. I was 32 then. I have plenty of childless friends, but we are a very small minority. Here are a few of our reasons to remain childless

1. ENVIRONMENTAL - There are TOO MANY FRIGGING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD Who can possibly justify bringing another shitting, eating glutenous American into the world. period.
2. THE FUTURE: (related to environment) most people blithly go about reproducing with little thought of the 350000 man made chemicals introduced in the less than 100 years (plus the 10K new ones each year!), and what they are doing to our bodies (which we can only speculate cause no studies are done), the chances of our "civilized" species survive another 3 or 4 generations at best is questionable. Not to mention the decline in the quality of life resulting from living in an increasingly toxic world. What kind of place will this world be in 50 years when todays kids are elderly persons. I shutter to imagine. We are destroying our world and our bodies, already it is predicted that cancer rates (almost unheard of 100 years ago) will go as high as ONE IN TWO in my lifetime. And alredy infertility rates are as high as 25%!! That clearly indicates a species in deep trouble.

Finally, 2. PARENT CULTURE what a misery it seems to be a parent today. Sorry, it just does not look fun to me.

Regards, Valerie

ps are you still childless?
pps we have decided if we are ever OVERWHELMED by the desire to raise a child we will adopt one, How can anyone who calls themself an environmentalist not consider this option before reproducing.

Stasha said...

Hi Valerie!
I am still around and still happily childfree. I haven't updated in awhile but maybe it's time I come back to this blog. It astounds me that people are still finding it and connecting with it. :)

Valerie said...

One more thing, women in American can ACTUALLY DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES not to have children EVEN if she is getting pressure to do so. We can not be forced into it, we own our bodies as well as our minds. Women in other parts of the world (ie India) do not have that option. They are literally owned by their men and have no choose in the matter of having children even if her life is at risk.

Anonymous said...

Dear Stasha,

What a relief I stumbled onto your blog!!! We are childless and happy but the pressure and judgement we deal with on a daily basis is disgusting. I like kids (am a teacher) but have never felt the need to procreate. Yet for most mums that I know, I am seen as a freak, surely I MUST be barren and not ready to come out as infertile???? Why else would I not want a baby??? It is hard to give reasons, mostly because I don't think I should have to defend my decisions when the only answer I get when asking new mums why they had a baby is, 'I just wanted one'. Right, and I just want to be happy! Thank you so much for your blog and PLEASE, update it!

Anonymous said...

I remember in high school, I took some sort of an elective child care class. They gave us those baby dolls that cried and had to be fed and held a certain amount of time.

There was a microchip in them so the teacher would know how you cared for your baby during the week you had it.

The thing is... the cry was not NEARLY as loud as a real baby's cry and was not NEARLY as annoying sounding. It was so unrealistic.

This was in the 90's. I hope they made the babies more realistic as they've updated them.