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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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studio wrote:
My (step)sister will be visiting from Sweden with her husband and 6 month old daughter in a couple of weeks and I have mixed feelings about it.

This has all been said before in this thread and I'm going to try and not let this big ol' can of (patriarchal) bullshiitake ruin the visit, but I am feeling challenged by it all at the moment. Thanks for the space to share the frustration.


i hear ya, studio. i feel the same way and for me it's difficult when my spouse's brother or sister are at family events because they both have children and the children are always the center of attention or the main focus. even when they're at the kids table, the rest of the family at the adult table talk mostly of the children. i totally understand why so - i mean, those children they chose to have are super important to them, but it's just such child-heavy talk all the time. i hope the visit from your step sister, her husband and child goes awesomely. i hope everyone is able to talk about what they want and that the conversations aren't overly child-themed all the time. i bet there will be lots of catching up to be had & may interest be shown towards everyone equally. let us know how it goes!

last visit with my parents my mother blurted out during breakfast, "why don't you two want children?" my response, "because we've simply never wanted them." her response, "what did i do wrong." i look over towards my father and he says "i'm so sorry she's asking you this!" turns out my mother is asked multiple times a day by almost all of her patients she sees if she has grandchildren, when she'll have grandchildren, if she's expecting any grandchildren, etc. i started to get really offended, especially since she's never once pushed the subject of children in my life, even when i mentioned my spouse's decision to get a vasectomy. but instead of blurting out something i might regret and potentially hurting her feelings (even though she was really hurting mine) i found a way to see things from her side (even though i didn't think she'd be bothered by it, especially since she'd never pushed the issue of kids before) and to have some empathy for her. i was really proud of myself. just because i don't agree with her, just because she offended me and made me defend our decision didn't mean i needed to verbalize everything i was feeling and make the situation more awkward. i just stuck to "we've simply never wanted kids." and that was that. yay!


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:30 pm 
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Memorized Veganomicon

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I just wanted to say how much I appreciate this entire thread. Although I haven't posted anything, this is a really important subject to me, and I've actually been reading this thread on the daily. Thank you for this!


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:45 pm 
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I was musing last night about how people always tell me I'll change my mind, and then I remembered I once *did* change my mind. I just changed it back again.

I have not wanted to children for as long as I can remember; even as far back as elementary school. When I was in high school my first love/boyfriend who I thought I would be with forever knew he wanted kids, so I "changed my mind" for him. For the year or so we were together I tried really, really hard to want kids. I volunteered to babysit, I picked out future baby names, etc. As soon as we broke up I was back to knowing that I truly had no desire to ever be a mother and it was too damn exhausting to pretend I actually wanted that.

Luckily, I married a guy who is on the same page as me.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:30 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
I was musing last night about how people always tell me I'll change my mind, and then I remembered I once *did* change my mind. I just changed it back again.


Ha! Love it.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:45 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
I totally understand and agree. I know my parents would be way more thrilled about a baby than me getting my Ph.D.


My mom was infinitely more outwardly overjoyed when my cousin had a baby versus when I got my master's. I wish I had the thought to post my diploma celebrating at restaurants, hiking and camping with me, lounging by the pool, etc. Maybe wearing a cute bonnett. I would have opened a FB account just for that. I also would have made such pictures into my Christmas card.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:06 pm 
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emmalv wrote:
I wish I had the thought to post my diploma celebrating at restaurants, hiking and camping with me, lounging by the pool, etc. Maybe wearing a cute bonnett. I would have opened a FB account just for that. I also would have made such pictures into my Christmas card.


Ahahaha! It's not too late--- perhaps your diploma has a birthday coming up? Just promise not to share photos of your diploma with food on its face.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:08 pm 
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emmalv wrote:
couroupita wrote:
I totally understand and agree. I know my parents would be way more thrilled about a baby than me getting my Ph.D.


My mom was infinitely more outwardly overjoyed when my cousin had a baby versus when I got my master's. I wish I had the thought to post my diploma celebrating at restaurants, hiking and camping with me, lounging by the pool, etc. Maybe wearing a cute bonnett. I would have opened a FB account just for that. I also would have made such pictures into my Christmas card.


How long ago did you get it emmalv? You can post pictures from your MS's kindergarten graduation!

... In all seriousness, it would be cool if the picture Christmas card thing wasn't restricted (not like anyone's policing your Christmas cards so maybe restricted is the wrong word) to people with kids sending out "family" pictures. I would love to get a Christmas card with a picture of my friend(s) on it. Beats the hell out of some random asparagus snowman, but maybe that's just me.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:10 pm 
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fezza wrote:

We are the unbred.

My "no child" situation doesn't really fit this thread, but this made me laugh and laugh. I am definitely going to co-opt it.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:51 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
... In all seriousness, it would be cool if the picture Christmas card thing wasn't restricted (not like anyone's policing your Christmas cards so maybe restricted is the wrong word) to people with kids sending out "family" pictures. I would love to get a Christmas card with a picture of my friend(s) on it. Beats the hell out of some random asparagus snowman, but maybe that's just me.

It's not! We got a few cards this year from couples, one with their dog, and another from biker boy's (single, child-free) sister made up of some pics from her summer trip. And last year a friend of mine got together with her core group of girlfriends and got their picture taken together in silly Christmas get-ups and she used it for her Christmas card. So... maybe more people just need to sort of celebrate themselves a bit regardless of their reproductive status and it won't seem weird.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:53 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
... In all seriousness, it would be cool if the picture Christmas card thing wasn't restricted (not like anyone's policing your Christmas cards so maybe restricted is the wrong word) to people with kids sending out "family" pictures. I would love to get a Christmas card with a picture of my friend(s) on it. Beats the hell out of some random asparagus snowman, but maybe that's just me.


I have two aunts who are both child free and single (although one got remarried later in life), and they used to send out picture cards of themselves on various vacations. There was this one resort sort of place in the Caribbean they used to go to all the time and there was this one steel drum player who they became friends with over the years and for a while he was a regular feature in the Christmas cards as well!

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:27 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
emmalv wrote:
couroupita wrote:
I totally understand and agree. I know my parents would be way more thrilled about a baby than me getting my Ph.D.


My mom was infinitely more outwardly overjoyed when my cousin had a baby versus when I got my master's. I wish I had the thought to post my diploma celebrating at restaurants, hiking and camping with me, lounging by the pool, etc. Maybe wearing a cute bonnett. I would have opened a FB account just for that. I also would have made such pictures into my Christmas card.


How long ago did you get it emmalv? You can post pictures from your MS's kindergarten graduation!

... In all seriousness, it would be cool if the picture Christmas card thing wasn't restricted (not like anyone's policing your Christmas cards so maybe restricted is the wrong word) to people with kids sending out "family" pictures. I would love to get a Christmas card with a picture of my friend(s) on it. Beats the hell out of some random asparagus snowman, but maybe that's just me.



I know! This is so weird. I have a lot of great friends with great kids. I like seeing pictures of their kids, but it's so weird to me when the xmas cards don't even have a picture of the grownups! I mean, THEY are the ones who are my friends (officially) after all. I mean, I get it, but also, I kinda don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:28 pm 
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And for the record, I always include all of us (furry and human) on our cards. In cartoon format only.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:38 pm 
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i don't get personalized christmas cards from anyone, but if i started getting a bunch with people's kids on them and felt excluded from the ritual, i guess i'd just make a baby. like, out of stuff around my apartment. and maybe some of my hair, i guess? for that genetic connection? because don't play like you own christmas, people with babies. i'll photo-card it up with the best (worst?) of you.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:38 pm 
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emmalv wrote:
I wish I had the thought to post my diploma celebrating at restaurants, hiking and camping with me, lounging by the pool, etc. Maybe wearing a cute bonnett. I would have opened a FB account just for that. I also would have made such pictures into my Christmas card.


You should ask people if they want to hold it when they visit you at your house.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:43 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
emmalv wrote:
I wish I had the thought to post my diploma celebrating at restaurants, hiking and camping with me, lounging by the pool, etc. Maybe wearing a cute bonnett. I would have opened a FB account just for that. I also would have made such pictures into my Christmas card.


You should ask people if they want to hold it when they visit you at your house.

YESSSSS!

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:22 pm 
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ameyfm wrote:
And for the record, I always include all of us (furry and human) on our cards. In cartoon format only.


I consider your cards to be pretty close to my ideal as a card receiver!

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:07 am 
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We got so many christmas cards with pics of people's kids this year. My dad doesn't understand it. Every time we got one, he would say, "Why do I want to see pictures of someone else's stupid kids? How is that Christmassy? What happened to cards with Santa or Christmas trees or snow on them? Huh? You can keep your stupid kid pictures. I want cards that look like CHRISTMAS." He got so worked up about it. I thought it was funny. I taped all of the cards up in the living room so he could complain about them every time he walked by.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:54 am 
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Ha ha, your dad sounds awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:03 am 
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Oh man, I'm actually a little sad that I never get any christmas cards with people's kids on. Especially because I know that the parents I am friends with would totally make sure it was the ugliest and most hilarious cards ever.
Every time I babysit, if a child falls asleep, I'll decorate them with random stuff while they're sleeping and then take pictures and send them to the parents. I mean, obviously, the fact that you have the complete power to dress up a child to look ridiculous is the best part about them!

Now I really want to make ugly christmas cards with me and my boyfriend, but I'm almost 100% sure that he will not go for it. I could do it myself, but that would be a little weird. Maybe I can find a friend who will be into it. And a cat. Definitely a cat!


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:15 am 
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smoothie, I would love to see pictures of you and/or boyfriend decorated while asleep.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:53 am 
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My cousin's most recent Christmas card was a pic of his two kids tying each other up with string lights, with these totally evil grins on their faces. It fit their personalities perfectly, and we all loved it! SO much better than everyone in matching red vests in front of an Olan Mills backdrop. I mean, if you're gonna do it, may as well do it right.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
emmalv wrote:
I wish I had the thought to post my diploma celebrating at restaurants, hiking and camping with me, lounging by the pool, etc. Maybe wearing a cute bonnett. I would have opened a FB account just for that. I also would have made such pictures into my Christmas card.


You should ask people if they want to hold it when they visit you at your house.


YESSS!!!! Omigod this made me laugh out loud. I do also like coldnsleepy's idea of celebrating the milestones, like kidnergarten. Little Master's is probably getting ready to go to all day school, 1st grade! My how the years fly!


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:22 pm 
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raspberrycomplaint wrote:
We got so many christmas cards with pics of people's kids this year. My dad doesn't understand it. Every time we got one, he would say, "Why do I want to see pictures of someone else's stupid kids? How is that Christmassy? What happened to cards with Santa or Christmas trees or snow on them? Huh? You can keep your stupid kid pictures. I want cards that look like CHRISTMAS." He got so worked up about it. I thought it was funny. I taped all of the cards up in the living room so he could complain about them every time he walked by.



Your dad = my husband. He says the same thing. However, those that have clever kid photo cards with personality and/or humor, those get the stamp of approval and I actually like those.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:13 pm 
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Calls "cavemen" on that
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The other day, a coworker was talking about her kids, showing me pictures (they are totally adorable) and stopped herself. She said "Sorry, I'll stop talking about kids now. I know you hate children."

WHAT THE ACTUAL FORK. I don't hate children. I love kids! I went to school to be a teacher! I was a nanny! I adore my friends children, I go to their homes literally to hang out with the kids! I get super excited when people have babies! etc etc.

I took some offense to this. I almost said something nasty, but stopped myself. Just because I don't WANT children, does not mean I hate them. That's a big misconception. That's what I told her

Then again, there is a sub on Reddit called 'childfree'. I was a subscriber, but had to leave since there was a whole lotta kid-hating going on. So I guess there are some people like that. But I am not one of them. It made me sad to think people think of me like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:39 pm 
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That's totally a thing Chicki! People thinking because you don't have/want any, you hate them. I don't want to be thought of that way either, especially because the children I tend to not like are really how they are because of the parents' poor parenting, kind of not the kids' fault. Some kids absolutely crack me up and I just want to hug 'em. (Others make me wanting to run screaming in the other direction.) If someone says I hate kids or asks me if I hate kids I respond that no, that isn't true, its just that I like my life just the way it is! Enthusiasm! I feel its a relatively graceful response that is positive instead of negative and deflects some of the kid-centricness of the equation, if that makes any sense. Kind of "its not about kids or no kids, its about my life and I'm happy."


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