The right to legal abortions is in mortal danger — I posted about it before, including here and here and here, etc. Lately, between that horror and the recent annual downpour of Mother’s Day “Odes to Motherhood” asserting all women are some sort of mother, plus “mom = saint,” I’ve yearned for another kind of day.
Dear friends, neighbors, and family, keep in mind that “childfree” implies choice, whereas “childless” is its sad opposite. If your language isn’t listed, it’s only for lack of space:
Happy Childfree Day!
!Feliz día sin niños!
روز آزادی کودکان مبارک
Haurrik gabeko Egun zoriontsua!
چائلڈ فری ڈے مبارک ہو۔
Schönen kinderfreien Tag!
해피 차일드 프리 데이
Feliç dia sense nens!
Glædelig børnefri dag!
La mulți ani fără copii!
ਬਾਲ ਮੁਕਤ ਦਿਵਸ ਮੁਬਾਰਕ
Diwrnod Rhydd o Blant Hapus!
З днем без дітей
Feliĉan Seninfanan Tagon
No offense to kids — I was one myself, hyuk hyuk, but was never into having one.
Seriously, though, as a kid I often reeled over the implication that a woman’s most valuable contribution is as a vessel. Barring that, childhood rumination involved a mini-me who I’d be angelic to in ways that I wished folks would be to me. (Insert genuine listening and caring for mini-me, rather than treating her as an appendage or toy.) Back then, I envied adoptees whose parents, I reasoned, were better equipped to regard their kids as independent and separate souls. If I were ever to become a parent, it would be that way, I told myself.
Shortly after I married Mr. Marvelous, I was pregnant again. In this case, we get along so well that once some of the initial terror subsided, I chose to go through with the pregnancy. Three months later, I miscarried. Sad, yes. However, it provided a valuable window of empathy for the many women who really want kids but can’t have them.
Also, I reminded myself, if I wanted kids badly, I could just adopt. After a brief glance into what’s involved with fertility drugs and adoption, I knew once and for all that I don’t want motherhood that badly.
My hat is off to those who desire children and become parents.
And I curtsy low for people like me who are best kid-free.
Here are some interviews with people who don’t want kids…
If you’re looking for a man’s take, I found only this one with a guy’s input…
For me, particularly as a younger adult, childfree folks were down-to-earth and easier to be around. Their lives were more fulfilled and interesting. People with kids often acted as if I wasn’t a full adult, even though I fully supported myself and lived independently once I turned eighteen…
Elderly parents moaned a lot about their kids not calling and not visiting. They complained that their grown children only kept in touch when they wanted money, grandkid-sitting, or to tell them what to do. They acted far lonelier than the non-parents who learned early to appreciate a family of friends…
What do you think of childfree people? If you don’t want kids, did people say you’re bound to change your mind? In your opinion, do childfree people seem pitiable or perhaps worse?
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Roe v Wade is the 1973 landmark United States Supreme Court decision that ensures all women have the right to obtain legal and safe abortions. Tragically, it’s on the verge of becoming history.
When I first published “My Abortion Story,” Roe v Wade was already under siege. Mobilized right wing groups do whatever they can, sometimes violently, to make it hard for doctors to work and clinics to exist. They murder physicians, set up false clinics, heckle patients, and work to undo basic legal human rights.
“… a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion confirms our worst fears: that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. But as of today, abortion remains your constitutional right.”
”It [abortion] is supposed to make us a bad person. But I must say, I never felt that. I used to sit and try and figure out how old the child would be, trying to make myself feel guilty. But I never could! I think the person who said: ‘Honey, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament’ was right. Speaking for myself, I knew it was the first time I had taken responsibility for my own life. I wasn’t going to let things happen to me. I was going to direct my life, and therefore it felt positive… In later years, if I’m remembered at all, it will be for inventing a phrase like ‘reproductive freedom’ … as a phrase it includes the freedom to have children or not to. So it makes it possible for us to make a coalition.”
By the way, when it comes to transgender rights, she and Mona Sinha co-wrote a letter to The New York Times in 2020. They decried then-President Trump’s elimination of civil rights protections for transgender healthcare and said…
“The health of any of us affects the health of all of us, and excluding trans people endangers us all.”
Abortion: My Story by da-AL
In my mid-20s, I terminated two pregnancies. That same year, I got pregnant twice, each time using different forms of birth control. At the time, I’d been living with a boyfriend since I was 18. He was a sweet, intelligent man who I loved dearly.
We were surviving on sporadic work, earning hardly above minimum wage. For that and many more reasons, I didn’t feel I could provide any child with a decent upbringing.
Abortions were expensive, and weren’t covered by my job’s health insurance. Each procedure was a physical ordeal of pain and then high fevers. I had to take days off from work, which I could ill afford.
I had a kind lover to help me through. Never have I regretted my decisions.
Later, in my 30s, I was sexually assaulted. Good luck, if the term can apply to anything about rape, is the only reason I didn’t get pregnant.
When people seek control, they say others “need to be held accountable.”
Seeing the world as “them” versus “us” makes it easy to objectify one another. Not so long ago, United States medical officials conducted the infamous 40-year Tuskegee Study. They pretended to treat black people for syphilis when really they were studying the full progression of the disease. To their reasoning, white lives mattered and black lives didn’t. Sound familiar?
What if you’re very young and your family is the opposite of a Hallmark card? What if you’re not employed? Or your job doesn’t provide insurance and sick days? What if the rape was more than you could bear? And you don’t want the added burdens of facing the police, defending your reputation as well as your case, can’t afford a good lawyer, and don’t want to confront whoever assaulted you in court?
Or say you simply got pregnant at any age, and for whatever reason, just don’t want to go through a full pregnancy?
What if, what if, what if?…
It’s no one’s business why or how many times any woman has an abortion.
When statisticians tally how many people consider abortion acceptable, they sidestep the real issue. What matters is no government ought to be entitled to have say over women’s bodies.
No one should have a say over who is sterilized or who must bear children. End of story.
The organization offers a range of affordable health care to all genders, all ages, all over the world. Interestingly, in 1970, President Richard Nixon signed into law funding for family planning services, which included Planned Parenthood.
“Poland is one of the few countries in the world to largely outlaw abortion after decades of permissive legislation during Polish People’s Republic. About 10-15% of Polish women seek abortion in neighboring countries due to the strict restraints in their own country. Poland’s abortion law is one of the most restrictive in Europe, along with a group of other traditionally Roman Catholic countries of the region.”
Daunting news, yes — which is why we absolutely mustn’t succumb to burnout. Now more than ever we must be active in whatever way we can, big or small. Please share this post and podcast to your social media, tell lawmakers and whoever you know where you stand. Contribute time and/or money to organizations such as Planned Parenthood. Contribute to justice winning.
In Taupo, we had great fun! We stayed at Sharon Drinnan’s small family farm cottage (you can reach her at DrinnanClan@Farmside.co.NZ). Sharon was so kind that she even made sure we saw this charmer who’d hatched only hours earlier!…
Can one ever get enough of looking wonderfulnesses that includes a dog as black and cute as mine? This dog belongs to our hostess, Sharon…
After breakfast, we drove into town. On the way — “Stop the car!” I yelled, intending to photograph a mamma pig with her small piggies. She, however, had other plans! Before I knew it, she’d corralled the babies into a far corner, then returned to confront me!…
Anyone who visits Happiness Between Tails knows I adore libraries. Taupo has a great one! (More later about the Pūkana expression on the red Māori sculpture)…
The city of Taupo lies along the shore of Lake Taupo — where we enjoyed a river rafting adventure. We had too much fun to take photos. However, after our adventure, my husband took these photos of me with our river guide, Tau Thompson of Tongariro River Rafting when another river guide photo-bombed us. Those Pūkana expressions we’re making (same as on the library statue). Facial expressions are essential to Māori performance…
What’s your best facial expression?
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Books allow me to transcend my own experience of the world. In reading, I can assume the skin of people, places, times, and events that I’ll never otherwise inhabit. They make me feel more part of the world and more human.
How has reading shaped you? Blogger/teacher/parent Pernille Ripp why she believes children should be exposed to all kinds of books…
I get asked for a lot of book recommendations, I think it comes with the territory when you share the love of books. And while I love pairing books with potential readers, I have also noticed a pattern that causes me to pause, that should cause all of us to pause.
I get asked for a lot of books featuring male lead characters for male readers.
When I ask why the need for a male lead, I am often told that “they” just don’t think a boy will read a “girl book.” That a boy will not like a book about feelings. That a boy only wants books that have action. That have other boys in it. That feature characters that look just like them or at the very least think like them.
The twin puppies we adopted ate and ate and ate. And pooed and pooed and pooed. Six months later, they’d grown to 50 and 50 pounds!
Plus, I’d learned nothing about training them.
As usual, for 10 deafening minutes, they barked at the mailman across the street. Later that day, they destroyed yet another throw rug.
“Bad dogs,” I snapped.
They were too busy chewing to hear me.
“Bad, bad, bad dogs!” I hollered, my voice shrill, my throat raw.
They sat. Four watery eyes gazed up at me.
Fear made them urinate on the carpet.
My thoughts reeled back. That was me! When I was only four years old!
Back then, I tried ever so hard to be good, yet I didn’t always succeed. My father would yell at me.
One time, he sounded as angry as I had when I’d hollered at my dogs. Same as with my two puppies, the big person’s anger blotted out my ability to think and hear. All I was able to do was to feel — that my father was furious at me — and that I was terrified.
All I knew was that he seemed angry enough to kill me. Out of terror, just like the dogs had, urine streamed down my legs.
Looking into my dogs’ upturned faces…
I saw how they trembled. The little dogs blinked their moist eyes hard.
Sobbing, I sank to my knees and hugged them. It had taken six long months for me to learn that, all along, they had been trying their best to please me. Despite my ineptitude as a trainer, they had refused to give up on me. They had given me the benefit of the doubt that like them, I was trying my best.
They never gave up hope on me…
They knew I would learn to love them. Through the example of my pets, I’ve learned that the more I gaze upon everyone in my life with the benefit of a doubt, the happier we all are. We’re all doing our best, even when we could do better.