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Childless by choice

Fellow blogger, BitterballenBruid, has written a few posts about how she is childfree and plans on staying that way and how, very often, this makes people lose their minds. 

I used to be much more sympathetic to her plight. I used to get those comments all the time. Then, at 29, I got divorced. And people stopped asking.

If I had to guess, it’s because those same people who find it absurd that I would opt to not have children, find being unmarried at 30 a travesty. I’ve gotten a few delicate questions about relationships and my future “plans” but nothing like that I used to get. It’s akin to having a physical disfigurement. They don’t want to bring it up because they think it’s too embarrassing for me to discuss.



I can’t speak for people with actual disabilities, but being unmarried or being childless aren’t embarrassing secrets for me to hide away. They are decisions I made and stand by.

Last week, while having coffee with a colleague, I actually had the worst grilling about choosing to be childfree I’ve had in years. She tossed out all the tropes. “You’ll change your mind.” “You can’t know love without having children.” “Don’t you think it’s selfish?” “What if your boyfriend wants kids?”

My defense-of-a-choice-that-is-none-of-your-damn-business-and-doesn’t-affect-you-in-any-way debating tactics were a bit rusty to be honest. I nearly hid behind the “Well I guess never say never” line.*

Instead, I muscled up my newly minted thirty-one-year-old status and said

“I haven’t changed my mind about this since I was sixteen. No one that comes into my life is going to change my mind about this and if they try to, I don’t want them in my life. I have lots of people around me to love and who love me without having a parasite grow inside me of and spend the next years literally wiping its shit off of everything.”

And then I smiled and changed the subject.

*Side note: If you’re arguing in favor of someone having kids, and you hear this remark, you didn’t win. They are politely telling you to shut the fuck up so they can talk about something else.

Who Doesn’t Love To Say Fuck

Listening to a recent Lexicon Valley podcast, triggered a memory about how, as a kid, I was chastised for swearing. I was probably around 13 or 14 years old and had used, as teenagers often do, a word that some adult authority figure in my life thought was inappropriate.

Their response was that swear words were for uncreative and lazy people who couldn’t find a better way to express their emotions. And that my grandfather never had to say a swear word in his life to express how he felt.

I remember, even in my teenage brain, thinking this was one) untrue and two) ridiculous. So, I asked, “Well what did he say?”

To which there wasn’t an answer.


I am aware that one can thoroughly insult people without dropping a curse word. I’m also aware that one can do so with curse words. Or just not insult anyone at all but who wants that?

There are lots of great words in the English language. Some of them have been arbitrarily deemed “inappropriate.” Many of them because the Victorians were uncomfortable with bodily functions (shit, piss). Or because sexism (pussy, cunt, twat). Or because of shaming about sex (fuck, cocksucker*).

I don’t abide by this. Words aren’t inherently bad. It’s a social construct. Like race. And whether long hair is for men or women. And whatever goes into a pumpkin spice latte (maybe that’s a chemical construct?)



*Why do men use cocksucker as a swearword? Isn’t that like calling someone you don’t like “Hey delicious steak” or “Fuck off, excellent massage?”


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