Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mom Bloggers Weigh In On The Childfree by Choice

Christine Tarbet, the Web Producer of Momversation (a site that features video from mom-bloggers) emailed me last week giving me a heads up about a new video they had produced titled, "Childfree by Choice." It features some the top mom bloggers and their view of the childfree by choice “movement.”

Apparently one of the mom bloggers spent half a day scanning some the sites and forums, was taken aback by some of the content she saw there, and came away with the impression that the childfree hate kids and by extension their “breeder” parents for hogging all the tax cuts and benefits afforded exclusively to parents in our society.

Let me go on record. I don’t dislike children and I have no problem with parents unless they neglect or abuse their children. I confess I have used the term “ankle biters” in reference to children but so have some of my friends who later became parents. But I have never used the terms “crotch droppings” or “semen demons” (used by some childfree forum users) because I find them offensive and rude. I don’t look at a kid and automatically grimace because I have found some kids to be very cool and fun to be around, others not so. Likewise, some of the childfree just plain don’t like kids and some really enjoy their time with the little munchkins.

Writer Sarah Klein did a pretty good job resolving the question: “Are the childfree a fast-growing, misunderstood movement — or just a bunch of mean ol’ kid haters?” in her 2005 Detroit Metro Times article titled “Oh Baby.”

Klein noted that the Childless by Choice come in all stripes and flavors and quoted Psychologist Debra Mollen: “Many parents get upset because they internalize the criticism, and feel like their choice, the choice to parent, is negated. But most childfree people are simply saying, ‘This is what works for us.’”

In this article Mollen also acknowledged that the parents are afforded privileges not extended to the childless. “Pregnant women get preferential parking, those without children are expected to work longer hours, people with children get tax breaks,” Mollen says. “There’s social sanctioning for having children.”

Maybe that’s why the childfree feel the need to rant. If you look hard enough you are going to find the radicals, the shock jocks, and the righteously pissed-off in any population, whether you’re right wing, left wing, religious or atheist, parents or non-parents.


Anonymous said...

I am jealous that Momversation has 177 comments on their "Childfree by Choice" post!

I tried to register to add my two cents to the very interesting conversation, but there seems to be a time warp delay in getting that done.

We should let the ladies over there know about his blog. Some of them were very curious!

Patty Mooney said...

It's true that the tax breaks that parents get for having kids seems outrageous now on a planet with finite resources. Why do they get rewarded for using the resources up FASTER??? The rewards should now go to those who refrain from creating consumers and mountains of dirty diapers, don'tcha think?

Over the years, I have conversed with many friends with children who have admitted that if they had it to do all over again, they would not have children. One is a wonderful woman who has two special-needs kids. She doesn't get one minute to herself; it's all about the kids. She is essentially shackled by the children, by choice of course, but she readily admits that she envies my time to travel, partake of adventures and just lie out in the sun on a lounge chair when I like. I think women need to be aware of their choices prior to procreating. We really don't need more children on the planet. For a good fright about diminishing resources and over-population, go to www.chrismartinsen.com

JackHole said...

Man, what a luxury it must be to be able to sit around half a day to read through blog posts... Obviously her family doesn't need the tax breaks that they're getting. Even in my two income, CF household we don't have that kind of luxury time.

One thing in particular about the video I want to comment on is the young woman Dana Loesch and how she started off by saying that she didn't want to have kids and didn't want to have a family but when she met "the love of her life" they soon got married and had a kid. She's trying to make it sound like she had some HUGE revelation that when she was ****21 YEARS OLD**** she had a change of heart and wanted to have a kid. She also goes on about how she was sad because she had spent "so long" to be against the parenting lifestyle. Again, Seriously? You're 21 fricken years old, how long could you have seriously been debating that in your life, most 21 year olds I know are up in the air on whether they want children, that's a natural part of becoming an adult.

Sure, she goes onto explain that she had a troubled upbringing and that is certainly understandable why she would have thoughts about being CF but still, I think her story is over dramatized.



Kealapono said...

If I have trouble finding a parking space, I have no problem parking in those 'mommy only' spaces. I figure, if I have to deal with all of those kids getting in my way and screaming in the grocery store, then I deserve that spot!!

Kealapono said...

Seriously? She thought about being childfree for a LONG time?? and then had an epiphany at 21? give me a break.
21 IS a child.

Christy Ryan said...

I don't care how they label me. I just don't like kids