A Shoutout to My Sistas and Brothas


Thank you to sistas Oprah and Octavia for being candid about their childfree status lately. In a recent interview in the Hollywood Reporter, Oprah talks about Gayle writing down future children’s names in 7th grade, while she was daydreaming about being Martin Luther King. When I read this, I thought “Yes!” Not that I too dreamed about being MLK, but I am a “big-picture” person like Oprah. I’d rather spend my energy volunteering and helping a lot of people in small ways than helping one or two people in a big way. Sure, if my hypothetical kid someday found a cure for a disease or became POTUS, he/she would be helping in a big way. And sure, I could volunteer with my hypothetical kids.

But it’s not the same to me. It’s difficult to try to explain why you feel a certain way when you feel differently from most people. No explanation seems sufficient. But then, why do I need to explain? Why can’t people respect other’s choices when they’re not harming anyone?

On to Octavia. She told the Hollywood Reporter she was fine with “her eggs dying on the shelf.” Right now I concur. I do wonder as my eggs inch closer to their expiration date if I’ll be weighed down with regret. I’ll just have to wait and see.

These admissions made me think about the childfree men out there. Do they get off easier because their sperm don’t have as short a shelf life? And because there are different expectations of men?

Naturally, I immediately thought of Jon Hamm and George Clooney. I found an article from a few years ago about Jon and his girlfriend Jen, in which he says he doesn’t have the “marriage chip.” He is also hesitant about having kids because it’s such a huge commitment. George’s reasons align with Oprah’s. George also isn’t interested in marrying again.

Are we all afraid of commitment? Of course not! All of us who are born without marriage and parent chips can be and are committed to other people and spend a lot of our time helping said other people and causes that we believe in. I appreciate these and other celebrities who speak this truth!

Divorced Dads

Math is not my strong suit, but I would guess that at least 40% of the men in my online dating pool are divorced dads (and another 40% want children…).

Once in a while, I hear the distant echo of friends and family saying “Be more open-minded about dating men with children.” So I half-heartedly try to persuade myself to try dating a divorced dad. “Just try it,” I say to myself. And my self replies, “No, you are happily childfree. You don’t even want your own children, so why would you want to deal with someone else’s?”

Not to mention an ex-wife, ex-in-laws, etc.

I readily admit that my baggage monogrammed with the letters ACOD (adult child of divorce) plays into my hesitation as well. Parental divorce sucked at 24; it would be hard to watch a toddler or teenager go through it. And I would find it nearly impossible for the dad to win in my book: if he didn’t see his kid very often, I would think of him as a deadbeat. But if he saw his kid a lot, I would feel like second fiddle. And who wants to feel like second fiddle?

I don’t think that a woman who is open to having her own children would feel the same way about it. Maybe a woman with happily married parents would feel different as well.

I know that some people say that it’s better for children if their unhappy parents divorce. Maybe it’s better in some ways (especially if abuse is involved, of course). But I wonder how the current and recent generations are being affected by the high divorce rate. Is the divorce rate destined to keep climbing?

Continuing in the childfree vein, I just came across this great essay written by a single, childfree artist a few years ago. He talks about a phenomenon that hits middle-aged folks, which I can definitely relate to.

And my friend Anya, who writes a great blog about childfree life and dating, invited me to guest post recently. I wrote down my top ten reasons for being childfree. Check it out.