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The Childfree Experiences Project: Lauren
My experience coming out as childfree is still in progress. Though most of my friends and family know I’m childfree I have to wonder if they honestly believe me or if they think I’ll change my mind. I don’t know how many times I have to say before I’ll be taken seriously or what I have to do! Certainly pregnant women or women with children aren’t chastised and told they’ll change their minds! But I digress, to understand my coming out we’ll have to go back to the beginning.
When I was young I wanted nothing to do with babies or children younger than myself. I thought of pregnancy as a curse, one that I did not want. I spent most of my time with my friends at my house avoiding their younger siblings. As I grew older I longed desperately to be sterile I even once proclaimed that i wanted to not have any reproductive organs and start a sexless tribe! My ever-growing persistence should’ve been enough to quell any ideas that I would ever have children, but was it?
Surprisingly, just last year I had to have “that talk” with my mother. I guess it’s different coming from a twenty-something adult than a child but I think finally she took me seriously. I explained to her my feelings and reasoning behind not wanting children and she said she understood, that it made sense and she agreed with me. I’ve had similar conversations with my father. It seems for whatever reason or another I’ve had more conversations about being childfree in the past year than ever before. Maybe it’s because I’ve become more articulate? I’ve joined several online childfree groups as I was just realizing there were others like me and there was a word for it. Childfree. I loved it.
It’s not really my family that I worry about so much is my future-n-laws. My lovable man is also childfree, though before meeting me he hadn’t put much though into it. Now he might be more childfree than me, he likes children less than I do and he’s scheduling a vasectomy before we’re married. Even with all of this, he is an only child and his parents are still clinging to the hope that we will change our minds. Even though he told them he’s getting a vasectomy. It’s funny, when it’s my own family I can backhand a bingo in a second flat but when it comes to his family the words don’t come. I just sit there dumbstruck and he has to step in. Well, no more.
In part of my coming out journey I have decided to write a book. Instead of a book all about me it will be a book for all childfree. I’ve come to call it The Childfree Survival Guide. I’m going to gather up my own experiences as well as those of friends and online comrades to produce what I hope will be a witty and insightful book about navigating the awkward social terrain of being childfree in a pro-natalist society. There’s so much we have to deal with: doctors refusing us sterilization even IUDs in some cases, awkward family gatherings, baby showers, friends who seem to disappear after having kids, feral children in restaurants, the list goes on. I just hope I can reach a segment of the childfree that isn’t active online, like I was only a few years ago. I also want it to be a testament to my choice. Something with my name on it that says YES I’m Childfree and PROUD! I’ve made my choice and I’m not changing my mind.
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