I know I’m late with this week’s post, but I’m coming up empty. Usually by the time I set fingers to keys on Wednesday morning, something has begun to form in my mind, but right now, Thursday evening, I’ve got nothing. I can tell you a few things:
1) It’s spring break here on the central Oregon coast, and the place is swarming with tourists, half of whom seem to be either babies, young children, or pregnant women. I mean, everywhere I look. It’s bumming me out. Most of the time, I don’t see that many kids or pregnant people because the population is so heavily slanted toward the over-60 crowd, but wow, they’re all over my world this week. Kids, parents, grandmas and grandpas in my face every time I leave the house.
2) I seem to be doing a lot of caregiving lately. No, my dad is fine, but a good friend had heart surgery last week, so I’m back to sitting beside a hospital bed. Also, my elderly neighbor needed someone to sit with her husband, who is suffering some serious mental and physical problems after his heart surgery turned out badly, so I hung out at their house. And now, my dear dog has Kennel Cough/aka Bordatella. Every time she starts coughing, my heart stops. The drugs seem to be working, but all of my mom cells are engaged in taking care of her. And yes, she did get vaccinated.
3) The childless news is full of the usual stuff: somebody’s leaving their fortune to their pet monkey, the Pope says childless couples are selfish and sad, pollsters are predicting a lot more seniors living alone in the future because fewer people are having children. The childfree crowd is still claiming you don’t need children to be happy. And I keep getting comments from people who claim a spellcaster has solved all their problems and now they’re happily married with children.
Help me out, you guys, send me some ideas. I might even accept a guest post or two. Let’s keep the conversation going.
4 thoughts on “Childless readers, I need some inspiration”
What a great site and I am thrilled to bits to have stumbled upon you. I'm soon to be 37 and my 39-year-old husband is closing in on the last four years of his 20-year military career. We are also childfree by marriage. I was always kind of ambivalent. He changed his mind after we married seven years ago. Yikes. Let me say that the military is not just a defense machine but also a baby-making machine. Trust me, we are freaking unicorns around these parts.The topic of married and childfree in the military is rarely discussed. I have plowed through your blog hungry for a salve for all that I've experienced being a lifetime military brat and now spouse. There are babies left and right. I've lost most friends to babies except a few rare jewels. I've been told to keep my opinions to myself because “we don't need to hear from a woman without kids.” The list is long and seems to be ramping up with my shriveling fertility. What we do have are three dogs, and that has become our couple identity. Well, they don't have kids, but they have dogs. Huh? I've found I am constantly defending myself. I am still a MOTHER. I am a woman, maternal, and I am a daughter and have a mother. Seems like I've got some qualification to speak, but I am reminded daily, I don't. Weird.Sometimes it's been a bumpy road to navigate. I've literally given up my religion (converted from Jew to Catholic), job security, stability, and now children to be with a man who is without a doubt the love of my life. That doesn't mean that it's always easy for me or us. As a man, he gets high fives for dodging the baby bullet and I get a button jar assortment of judgments. The sacrifices have been and continue to be huge, with no real dangling carrot. Martyr? Sadist? Who knows. The psychology here is a bunch of clowns in a tiny car for sure. I wish I knew where more of us military spouse types without children were getting our coffee. I'd love to sit at that table sometime. So there is a topic that could use a spotlight if you can make sense of my ramblings.Your blog is vital, important and was a gift to my morning. Don't stop.
Kam, Thank you so much for sharing this. It's well written and I may share it on the blog. We have not had any of this perspective before, although from what I have seen you are absolutely right about the obsession with motherhood among military wives. I love your line about how the man gets high fives and you get the judgments. So true and so not fair.
Thank you also for the kind words about the blog. I may have to reboot sometimes, but I have no plans to stop. You all are very important to me, too.
Thanks Sue. It can be so isolating and lonely. It also seems to make the whole Pinterest mommy/milspouse/woman cattiness go into overdrive if that makes sense. Motherhood is also another tool to harm in some cases– another weapon to wield against other women. It's the weirdest thing to watch. I'd like to say I'm above it all, but I can't tell you how many times my husband and I armchair parent after a night out with friends with kids.My blessing is that I am Aunty KA to a few of my friends’ kids and I love that, but… it's not my own cute, fat, little pudge of a baby. It's a hard decision to accept. I go back and forth. My husband goes back and forth. So, WE end up going nowhere. We feel the pressure, but he really doesn't want or like kids. He loves dogs. While I would not have minded having kids, I am a back seat driver. I'm a limp handshake on the topic and that hurts as well. Why don't I have the baby burn? What is wrong with me? I've never felt it as much as I do now. The military lifestyle is so tough too. People like to say, well, you knew what you were getting into. It's so much more than you can imagine. I see a lot of unhappy families and moms that feel so stressed out. Some of them are really stressed out. I have a young, fit friend who is my age, a mother of four, and she just had a heart attack! Because we move every 2-3 years, we are isolated from our own families, suffer career-wise and it seems that having kids is just the filler for that (not all of them, but some). I've tried to carve out a different life, but finding civilian friends can be tough too. I wonder if any of your readers are military childfree or know of any sites out there that tackle this topic? Thanks for posting my comments! PS- I'm from the PNW–Washington State and I used to live in Portland (my first grownup job out of grad school before I got married). The dream is a wee getaway cottage on Cannon Beach. Lucky you!
More good stuff. I have never been an active-military wife, although both my husbands were Navy vets, but I have had friends and family doing the military thing. It's hard, even without kids. As you say, you keep having to move, you're away from your people, there's always the possibility the military person will get injured or killed, and it must be hard for the spouse to get or keep a job. I can see why babies might seem to be the only option. I'll be doing some research. Meanwhile, if anybody here can offer some insight on the topic, please chime in.