Some people just don’t get it

A few weeks ago, Complete without Kids author Ellen Walker published an interview about my Childless by Marriage book at her blog on Psychology You can click the links to refresh your memory. Well, the comments have been coming in. Many are kind, but the anger has started. The first nasty one, which I read yesterday afternoon, made me so uncomfortable I abandoned the computer and started a massive cleanup of my garage. (Anybody got a truck I can take to the dump?) The next one was almost as bad, but that first one hangs on me, like spider webs. I want so much to defend myself, but I know it would not help.
I can’t quote the whole thing for fear of violating copyright, but here’s the opening passage:
“This sounds like ‘Oh the sadness of not being part of the Mommy club because
of my husband’. Cry me a river, why did you marry him if you weren’t compatible in one of the most important ways possible?”
She goes on to say nobody’s going to want to read my book, and she is grateful she doesn’t have children. She doesn’t understand why anybody would want to.
A sample from the second response: “Boo hoo. So you can’t have a biological child. Ever heard of adoption?…And really, the ‘should we have kids or shouldn’t we’ conversation should be raised way before marriage. Like, on the first date. Seriously. Are people
really this stupid?”
Well, yes, I guess we are. If you’re screaming by now, join the club, but lots of people think this way. You’ve probably heard comments like this before. The people who make them don’t understand how it feels to love someone and know you’re meant to be with him or her but not know what to do about that desire to have children. They don’t understand the grief and pain that come with infertility or that adoption is not easy or even always possible. It’s all not as simple as they make it out to be.
I admit that my not having children was at least half my fault, that in some ways every one of their comments is valid. That’s why they make me so uncomfortable. But I hope people can try to exercise a little compassion for people whose situations are different from their own.
What do you think? Go ahead and be honest. I have a lot more work to do in the garage.

My Childless Dog and I

You can tell I’m tired and overwhelmed when the blog is this late and I take to writing about my dog, but I’m still here. Keep those questions and comments coming.

I live with a dog named Annie. She’s almost 4 1/2, half Lab and half Staffordshire bull terrier. We started with two dogs, Annie and her brother Chico, but Chico got a little crazy and had to go live somewhere else. Losing my little boy broke my heart. But that’s not the main topic today. The subject is how my dog and I are both childless.

As soon as Annie was old enough, we had her spayed, vet talk for a hysterectomy. We didn’t ask her if she wanted to have puppies. Nor did we ask the two female dogs that preceded her in our lives. We just did it. We didn’t want to acquire a houseful of puppies, and I never wanted to face the heartbreak of giving them away and separating them from their mother. I know that’s the way it goes, and the dogs are probably fine. Annie’s mom seemed relieved when the puppies were gone. When Annie met up with her mother more than a year after we adopted her, they fought, and we had to pull them apart.

We hear a lot about the need to spay and neuter our pets to keep from having too many unwanted animals, and most of us do it because we really only want the one dog or cat and we don’t want the hassle of dealing with baby animals. We only allow our pets to mate when we want them to have babies. Otherwise, we strive to keep males and females apart.

Some advocates of the childfree lifestyle argue that we ought to do the same for people because there are too many of us. They fight for the right to have their tubes tied, often encountering doctors who refuse to do the surgery because they might change their minds.

Me, I never got spayed. I still have all my parts, but I never used them to make babies. Now Annie and I hang out together, two childless females mothering each other into old age.


Ellen Walker, author of Complete Without Kids, interviewed me about my book recently for her blog, and it was published Sunday. Give it a look at You might want to subscribe to her blog. It’s full of good things, and we’re all sisters in this childless game. Annie, too.