March 10, 2018

G.G. Davis, Jr. (aka virtualDavis)

Don’t Have Any Kids Yourself

It's Thursday, time for verse, for edgy verse, and curiously potent advice from thoughtful English librarian and writer Philip Larkin. Childfree advice…

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

Philip Larkin (via The Poetry Foundation)

A quirky poem from a quirky poet. What say you? Is the childfree choice a chance to abbreviate the cycle of &$@#ing up? 😉




Childless by Choice Issues? Enough Already!

Is it time to mute the childless by choice debate?

Is it time to mute the childless by choice debate?

Let’s finish the week off with a quick look at Dani Alpert’s rant on HuffPo about childless by choice oversaturation. Sure, it’s a few weeks overripe, and there’s something decidedly disingenuous about reposting a post about the fact that there’s too much posting about childless by choice issues, but… I can’t resist.

Why do the Childless by Choice still feel the need to defend their decisions? Why is this still relevant? With all that’s going on in the world; Isis, Ebola, climate change, George Clooney’s wedding, why does anyone give a sh*t about the 10 things not to say to a CBC person? ~ Dani Alpert (

Right. Why? Sometimes I want to throw around asterisk-ornamented bombs myself, let off a little steam and tell all the bingo brandishing breeders to cut me some slack. To cut us some slack. Why is it any of their business whether or not my wife and I are childless by choice?

The answer is that I don’t know. I don’t know why the debate grows louder and more caustic instead of vanishing quietly into the background. Are childless by choice adults defensive? Maybe. But honestly, it usually feels like it’s the way around. I’ve honestly never heard CBCs question a parent’s choice. Never! But parents frequently question our choice to remain childfree. So you tell me, who’s being defensive?

I will never understand why what I do, and don’t do, with my uterus matters to anyone else but me and my gynecologist. ~ Dani Alpert (

Okay, so let’s cut to the chase. This is exactly the sort of gem that I couldn’t resist highlighting and echoing back across the interwebs. Seriously! And here’s another.

Do us all a favor and read a book, go to the movies or join the army. Whatever you do… stay out of my bed and womb. ~ Dani Alpert (

Wow! Dani’s pulling no punches. Sure, it’s effective venting language, and she’s certainly grabbed the “Hey, look at me!” spotlight, but there’s more to it than that. She’s right. She isn’t refocusing the debate. She is annulling the debate. Parents who question and/or judge their childless by choice friends are WAY out of bounds. Period.

Dani touches briefly on feminism and explains that she’s metaphorically “mothered” people, things, even a short film. She totally groks the mothering/parenting instinct, a point that she underlines in her stream of conscious list of CBC related thoughts. But that’s not the point. The point, is she wants everyone to shut the $&@%! up and start talking about something more important.

Fair enough. Let’s distance ourselves from the judgment. Let’s remember that how a woman chooses to uses her uterus is her business. Let’s recognize that questioning/judging a woman’s childfree choice is no less inappropriate and offensive than a CBC woman questioning/judging a mother’s decision to get pregnant, carry the baby to term, and keep it after birth.

But healthy conversation about the childless by choice option is just as important, especially for young women, as information about pregnancy, birthing, parenting. There is an awful lot of social programming to balance out, and women should be empowered to make the choice whether or not to become mothers with knowledge, intention, and confidence. That will not happen in a vacuum. Nor will it happen in a bellicose atmosphere of judgment. Let’s create a friendlier, more informative, more nurturing process for women and men to determine the the best choices. Sounds reasonable, right?

We Forgot to Have Kids: Gas Station Condoms and Childfreedom

We Forgot to Have Kids

We Forgot to Have Kids

It’s Friday night CFers! What’s on your sybaritic to-do list? Ain’t childfreedom a $#@%?!?!

Okay, snark aside, I’m confident that you’ll have a wonderful evening (and weekend), especially once you check out Kevin B. Morrow’s (@kbmrg) lighthearted but sincere reflection on his childfree marriage. His HuffPo post is called “Childless by Choice – Gas Station Condoms and Rumors of Infertility“, but the subtitle should be, “We forgot to have kids!” I’ve used this awe-shucks explanation often enough myself, so his words resonated for me. Might for you too. Anyway, it’s a quick read. You can squeeze in this quick read between your après-work massage and happy hour! You know, when your friends are picking up the babysitter…

But if you’re feeling too mellow after your massage (or you’ve already jumpstarted happy hour), I’ll pull a couple of my favorite quotes.

It’s very strange that I had no problem buying liquor or illegal drugs when I was in my late teens but I was too embarrassed to buy condoms in a drug store… My solution to this dilemma was to buy condoms from a vending machine in the bathroom of a gas station that was at the end of the airport runway.

It honestly is odd how uncomfortable males are about buying condoms, many even once they’re all grown up. Why is that? Maybe we need to make it cool so that teens will make smarter choices…

Anyway, Kevin grew up and now he’s buying his wife’s feminine hygiene products and condoms without even flinching. I’ve got to admit that I’m still working on the cool-as-a-cucumber tampon purchase. Maybe I’ll update you once I master it. Kevin tacks from here to the first subtle look at why he and his bride opted for a childfree marriage.

Children can’t be let out in the yard to play until you get up at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday because you were out late the night before. Dogs can.

Obvious humor here, and I have a weakness for folks who can shine light on serious stuff by making me laugh. But there’s another aspect of this droll throwaway that’s less droll and not really a throwaway. When I grew up we were out in the yard, the woods, and everywhere else all day on weekends. And summers. And snow days. But somehow this basic and wonderful aspect of childhood vanished over the last decade or so. Poof! Gone. It’s uncanny how few children wander neighborhoods nowadays, how few sleds and snowballs fights criss-cross postcard perfect snowy lawns. I know this isn’t what Kevin’s talking about, but it’s on my database of reasons why I’m child free. Somewhere we lost something. How? When? Why?

The reality for me and for Kevin and many others, we just sort of forgot to have kids.

The reality was that neither of us ever had a strong desire to be parents. The wonderful mental images had crossed our minds; coloring with a cute three year old, taking them trick or treating on Halloween, or seeing their faces on Christmas morning as they opened presents. We recognized however that this was a romanticized view and not everything that was involved in parenting.

It’s interesting to me how often I hear this explanation. This is the main reason that my bride and I skipped breeding. We love children, but we felt no burning desire to make one of our own. We borrow them. We spoil them. We return them. And so far that’s worked out just fine for us. We weren’t – and we still aren’t – anti parenting/kids/etc. We just had a lot stronger interest in other parts of life. And the prime breeding years shuffled past without provoking much interest from us. We forgot to have kids!

I’ll wrap up with Kevin’s final funny anecdote.

My father-in-law had some sort of surgery and my wife had gone to Florida to be his “nurse” during this time. As he woke up from the anesthesia, she was standing there and he asked her “Have you had Kevin tested?” her response was “for what?” Thoughts of STDs and AIDS ran through her mind. He then said “well you’ve never had kids.” Her response:

“I guess it might help if we stopped using birth control.”

If only that were enough for most people…

Childfree Adults Can’t Relate

Are the Childfree Cut Off from Most of the Adult World?

Halloween strikes me as an appropriate day to wade back into the childfree wilderness for a moment. A day of tricks and treats for children. And for childfree adults… Happy Halloween, childfree adults!

I have a funky costume to model and lots of chocolate to wash down the hatch with ghoulish bourbon, so I’ll make this quick. No probing nulliparity ruminations tonight, just a “Hunh?” moment to pass along. Among the usual doltish Breeder Bingo questions in this recent post, 10 Ways I Win the No Children Argument, is one that bears repeating.

Aren’t you cutting yourself off from most of the adult world? You can’t relate to them!

True. I’ve been stunned into silence as parents of newborns talk about what baby poop should look like — and where to find helpful photos. I’ve never had to tolerate a play date with parents I can’t stand because my kid likes their kid. And I can only provide moral support as parents complain about their under-achieving teens. Then my wife and I dine with unmarried couples and talk about the rest of the world. Thankfully, it’s a big place with lots going on. (

Big world. Lots going on. Don’t worry, parents, we childfree adults will manage alright. But thanks for your concern. And happy Halloween!

No Kids No Worries: Childfree and Loving it in Australia

Ben Mahoney has started a group of people called No Kids No Worries for like-minded singles. Picture: Keryn Stevens.

Ben Mahoney has started a group of people called No Kids No Worries for like-minded singles. Picture: Keryn Stevens.

Seems that our friends down under manage to tackle the whole childfree question a bit more lightheartedly than we do in the United States. At least Ben Mahoney does. He landed in the limelight when he launched an Adelaide-based childfree  social group called No Kids No Worries.

The thirty something is gainfully employed, recently single and drawn to childfreedom over diaper talk. Go figure! He’s gambling that there just might be others on the same wavelength, and No Kids No Worries just might offer the sort of interaction that they’re looking for.

No Kids, No Worries is a social meet-up for people to share and enjoy nights out at the pub, conversation, travel and spontaneous new experiences without worrying about the babysitter. (

We’re seeing more and more of these initiatives all around the world. Childfree singles and couples are “coming out of the closet”, realizing that the backlash from peer-parents isn’t worth stifling their own life choices. It’s refreshing! And it inevitably flames the fiery tempers of those who believe that true happiness is only possible through procreation.

Evidence? Check out the comments below the article about Ben Mahoney. There are friendly, understanding cheers from other childfree Australians as well as constructive feedback about venues, etc.

But there are also the nasties. Why does parenting seem to make some people so darned angry? So vindictive? So defensive?


But that’s not new. Nor is it interesting… Back to Ben Mahoney.

“Obviously having children is a totally valid life choice, it’s just not for everybody… My career is a bit of a focus at the moment, and I want to keep travelling. I don’t want to be tied down. It’s nice to go out with friends and not have to hear about nappies or sleep or worrying about the babysitter.” (

Ha! Procreating is a “valid” life choice. Indeed. If only adamant parents could recollect that choosing not to have children is likewise a valid choice we might all be in a friendlier, more understanding soup. Mahoney is sympathetic to those who endure derision by others unable (or unwilling) to tolerate and accept their childfree choice.

“I think there are a lot of people out there that don’t want kids but are too scared to voice their opinions, because of the condemnation they receive. People say to me ‘when are you going to start being responsible and settle down, when are you going to grow up and have kids.’ There’s a prevalent attitude that you just have children – you don’t think about it – it’s just something you do. But it’s just not in my life plan at all.” (

What to do if you’re not in Adelaide? You could always book a flight. After all, who needs an excuse to visit Australia?

But that’s not the only option lonely childfree singles and couples can choose. Search for similar childfree social groups in your own area. And if you can’t find one, perhaps Mahoney’s decision will inspire you to launch your own group. Go skiing. Or swimming. Naked. After all, there won’t be any innocent children around!

Kickstart Our Baby: Baby ProjectFunder (A Kickstarter Parody)

This clever “Kickstart Our Baby” Kickstarter spoof features Beth and Robert Sweeney (played by Brigid Boyle and Steve Siddell) drumming up dollars to making a baby. Too funny, almost, except for that nagging notion that somebody has probably contemplated this. Really…

Kickstart Our Baby, v1.0

Kickstarter Logo

Kickstarter Logo

The tongue-in-cheek (yes, I feel a need to say that) “Kickstart Our Baby” video comes from The PIT New York City.

The PIT is dedicated to the instruction, performance, and development of original comedy. The PIT strives to entertain and educate the community about the comedic arts in a safe and nurturing environment. (The PIT)

Team Waterbirth (@WaterbirthPITtv), PIT TV’s in-house team, is behind “Baby Projectfunder”:

Coach: Jason Messina
Line Producer: Ryan Clark
Director/Editor: Joon Chung
Director: Brian Phares
Editor: Philip Maniaci
Editor: Madeline Smith
Writer: Susannah Bohlke
Writer: Cat Crow
(via PITtv – Waterbirth)

Kickstart Our Baby, v2.0

If you enjoyed PIT’s Baby Projectfunder spoof, then you’re in luck. Here’s another by another “Kickstart Our Baby” duo:

Just in case you’re feeling inspired to create your own “Kickstart Our Baby” fundraiser video, please note that these are parody videos. Kickstarter [probably] won’t let you raise dough to make a baby.

Try Childfreedom (Unless It’s Too Late!)

Adjusting to Childfreedom

Adjusting to Childfreedom (Credit: BABY OFF BOARD)

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, then you may be a candidate for childfreedom.

  1. Feeling overwhelmed?
  2. Feeling stressed and burdened?
  3. Is it because everyone you know is having kids?
  4. Are you beginning to feel pressure from others to have children of your own?
  5. Do you find you are not yet ready to obliterate any chance you have left to enjoy life to its fullest? (via NEW! Try, “NOT HAVING KIDS”)

If these symptoms sound familiar, then you may want to “try not having kids…” It’s called Childfreedom!

Childfreedom Infomercial

Check out this “helpful” video if you would like to self-diagnose (and self-medicate…)

A hilarious parody of prescription drug commercials gives people a groundbreaking alternative to having children: not having children. Brought to you by writer Jason Messina, this video addresses marital anxiety about childbearing by listing the potentially lethal side effects of bringing a little one into the world. (Huff Post)

Amusing video. Thanks, Jason Messina (of Sure Thing Chief!) And thanks, Huff Post, for bringing it to our attention. And lest this childfreedom pharma spoof doesn’t charm your chuckle boom, there’s a final hurrah:

While the video had us laughing, its creator also issued a more serious warning at the end: “Please, tell your doctor if you already have kids before you try Not Having Kids. As this may result in being a neglectful asshole.” (Huff Post)

Serious warning indeed. Sorry, ‘rents, but once you’ve signed your future away, there’s no turning back. Unless you want to be a neglectful @$$hole! So, suck it up, and enjoy living the childfreedom dream vicariously through your CF friends. We’ll do our best to share the bliss…

DINK Debate: Sylvia D. Lucas on Childfree Guilt

WNK readers will appreciate this candid look at childfree guilt (or the absence thereof) and the persistent pressure on women (rather than men) to become parents.

Sylvia D. Lucas (@SylDLucas) wants to redirect the conversation away from why women are choosing not to have kids and toward the far more important message that women need to understand that they have the choice. In short, debating whether or not childfree women are selfish, etc. is the wrong focus and is overlooking an important demographic shift. Lucas (aka Kristen J. Tsetsi, @ktsetsi) and NBC Connecticut’s Shirley Chan. effectively dilate the conversation without succumbing to bingo volleying and book promo. Well done!

No Childfree Guilt

No Children, No Guilt, by Sylvia D. Lucas

No Children, No Guilt,
by Sylvia D. Lucas

That’s right, Lucas recently published No Children, No Guilt, a nonfiction book about the choice to opt out of parenthood. Drawing upon her own experience (including two failed marriages) Lucas offers a welcome antidote to the those concerned with the risks of childfree guilt. I just purchased a copy from Amazon, and I’ll pass along my verdict shortly. For now, I’ll defer to the ever wise Laura Carroll.

You will turn the pages grinning, definitely be prone to giggling or even laughing out loud, as I did. Ideally for those who have not 100% accepted they are childfree or are not quite completely ok with it yet, this slim Ebook is also for those who have made peace with it. Like any fun ride, it ended too soon. ~ Laura Carroll (“Anonymous” Was a Woman)

Or, in the words and interpretive dance of the author, “Guilty? Hahahaha…” Take that, childfree guilt!

What’s Your Baby? My Baby Is…

Miriam Schaer asks "What's your baby?" My baby is... (Photo: Leo Selvaggio)

Miriam Schaer asks “What’s your baby?”
My baby is… (Photo: Leo Selvaggio)

Miriam Schaer and Melissa Potter are asking you to answer a childfree question: What’s your baby?

No, not your cute little bundle of time-released anxiety and tuition payments. Your metaphorical baby. As in, “My baby is my medical career.” And, “My baby is volunteering in my community.” Or, “My baby is a travel ‘bucket list’ a mile long!”

Childfree adults often cite non-childbearing priorities that trumped their reproductive genes. Sometimes our reasons for not breeding are overarching and a bit abstract like freedom, autonomy, etc. But I think that Miriam Schaer (remember “Childfree Women Lack Humanity”?) is on to something.

People often refer to their passion, their vocation or avocation, their life’s work as — their “baby.” What’s Your Baby? … [explores the] broadly embedded cultural hostility toward women (rarely men) without children that appears on the rise even as non-traditional families gain greater acceptance. What’s Your Baby? seeks to re-frame this conversation. (Miriam Schaer)

Schaer’s unflinching look at a woman’s childfree existence offers solace and perhaps even a glimpse of optimism to Melissa Potter. The following much abridged excerpt captures a familiar (if often concealed) feeling of judgment endured by childfree adults.

“We’ve always felt sorry for you and Rene that you couldn’t balance your amazing career with a family.” 18 words that hit me like a ton of bricks…

I realized I’d been sorta hoodwinked. This same family member said many times she was so thrilled with my career, and even said she didn’t think having kids was necessary, particularly with such a life fulfilled like mine…

But to know that even to a Quaker radical feminist who adores me thinks I am at some deficit sucks. I admit it: I care what people think. And this is what people think of my gender, in the age of “have it all.” You are never enough, you are always somehow fucked up for not having a baby…

I invite you to take part in the amazing Miriam Schaer’s artwork, “What’s Your Baby?” This project celebrates YOU, in all your iterations. It is working to bring some 21st Century complexity to the question of life and what we contribute. (via Melissa Potter’s “Gender Assignment” tumblr)

Experience toughens up childfree adults, but it doesn’t mean that the judgment doesn’t sting. And while parents knock us for overreacting, suggesting that we’re responding to criticism and judgment that is overstated or doesn’t even exist at all, I’m confident that Potter’s experience will be familiar to many CF, especially women.

Rather than sawing away on little violins, the “What’s your baby?” project flips the coin. If we childfree have prioritized other life choices over reproducing, let’s own them. Out loud. Let’s celebrate them!

My Baby Is

Think about your own answer to the question, and jot a quick note. “My baby is…” And then submit it to inspire others.

As for my own experience, I can’t narrow my babies down to just one. While I can’t imagine fathering multiple flesh-and-blood progeny, I’ve had the good fortune of gestating and loving and supporting quite a few metaphorical babies. And for the most part, there’s been no greater satisfaction than sending them out into the world when the right time came.

As a college student I edited a pedigreed literary and art magazine called the Georgetown Journal back into thriving existence from mere embers. That was my first “baby”. There were other babies in my early twenties too including teaching, coaching and launching an innovative service learning program. I adopted and parented a lacrosse program in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a swimming program in Paris, France. I adopted and adapted two innovative interdisciplinary humanities curricula and launched an early e-learning platform. In my thirties other “babies” of mine included developing a spectacular luxury vacation property in Paris; co-parenting a fast growing ecommerce portal for marine supplies; launching two now-thriving nonprofits in the Adirondacks’ Champlain Valley; transitioning an AEA theater through growing pains and success in its late twenties; and several eco-friendly historic rehabilitation projects including ongoing Rosslyn Redux. I’m not bragging. I’ve often struggled and sometimes failed at parenting my “babies”. (And to be honest, I’ve left the biggest flops off the list!) But the point is that I have had the good fortune of many “babies”! Life has been extremely full for me and immensely rewarding. I harbor few regrets and bold hopes. Perhaps that’s my most important “baby” of all: a life free to dream up and dive into new challenges and adventures without the risk of losing or damaging a flesh-and-blood baby.

Now I’m on to a new “baby”. As I headed out into the world from college I didn’t know precisely what career path I intended to pursue, but I understood that my ambitions including writing and entrepreneurship. Along the way, many of my “babies” have included this DNA. My newest adventure is no exception. I am a blogger, a storyteller, a writer. Full time. That is my newborn. My “baby” is my story. Thank you for helping make it possible!


Why No Kids? Pee-pee Teepees and Tinkle Targets!

Tit Tent

Tit Tent

Before tackling the topic of Pee-pee Teepees and tinkle targets I’d like to digress briefly to matters more mammary and less urinary.

I remember hearing from a friend when he became a new father that his wife had received a breastfeeding cover-up (aka nursing cover, Bebe Au Lait, etc.) called a Hooter Hider. Although I practice selective hearing when talk turns to tykes, this gem caught my attention.

“A what?” I shot back.

“A Hooter Hider, you know, like to cover up your boobs when you’re nursing,” he explained.

No, I didn’t know.

This remains one of my bigger disappointments about choosing childfreedom. No breastfeeding chez nous. I’m sure it’s a less sexy proposition when your wife is oozing funny colored milk, but the idea of a bare boob being thrust into the limelight around the clock has always fascinated me. But I’m getting offtrack.

Introducing the Tit Tent

As if the name Hooter Hider isn’t good enough already, my friend brought it to my attention because he was certain he’d dreamed up a viable contender brand. Tit Tent.

While Tit Tent could indeed inspire clever advertising ditties (and graphics), I suspect that it would not be a big hit with the target market: mothers. Fair enough.

But I couldn’t resist the urge to Google “Tit Tent”. And much to my surprise and amusement I discovered that my friend was beaten out by a clever European marketing team.

The Tit Tent: This one was really popular in Belgium in the summer of 2009 after a massive marketing campaign by the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad! A tent in the shape of, well, a boob. (10 Coolest Camping Tents)

808 Solutions… designed round tents (a breast is round -not square like most tents are-) fully customized, including a nipple and aureole on the top of the tent. (808)

I must admit that I can’t figure out exactly what the marketing campaign was promoting. Nor can imagine that market demand for Tit Tents is high enough to justify manufacturing these maternal camping cribs for campers. But it sure would make finding your own tent at the end of a concert a little easier. (BTW: Two-tone beanies which looked just like the Tit Tent were allegedly part of the marketing campaign. Sleeping caps, I suppose.)

Okay enough with my breast digression. On to piddle products.

Pee-pee Teepee

Pee-pee Teepee

Pee-pee Teepees

I sometimes joke that the more I lower my standards, the more I exceed my expectations. Well, my poop post inevitably invited similar potty post suggestions from the peanut gallery including links to the two following items. So, yes, I apologize in advance. Part of being childfree is being able to avoid poo-poo and pee-pee conversations. In fact, it’s a HUGE bonus. But, I figure parents’ don’t have an exclusive on potty talk, so I’m weighing in.

First up, is a product that looks for all the world like a fun party hat. Referred to elsewhere as wee-wee tents (the moniker that reminded me about Tit Tents), “Pee-pee Teepees for Baby Boys” were just too bizarre to resist.

Why is it that the act of diaper changing always seems to inspire an extra “contribution” from the little one? Parents of baby boys have been particularly vulnerable – until now. Just place a pee-pee teepee on his wee-wee during diaper changes, and the hazard is averted. An ideal baby shower gift, the five powder blue 100% cotton pee-pee teepees are decorated with airplanes and arrive in a miniature cotton laundry bag. (UncommonGoods)

Are you kidding? I’ve heard that the occupational hazards of changing little mister’s diaper include sprinkler shows on a par with the Versailles fountains, but a Pee-pee Teepee?!?! Won’t the little rocket either:

  • fall off, or
  • blast off?

Weird. And ready for weirder? Remember my all-too-real urinal deodorizer experience? Sorry, but we’re headed back in that direction again.


Soccer Ball Tinkle Target

Soccer Ball Tinkle Target

Tinkle Targets

At first I thought this was a pretty cool idea. You know, give the little man a fun challenge that will keep his junior manhood trained on the toilet bowl. Small boys’ attention spans wander, and their wizzers’ wander with them. If you can lock their attention on the inside of the potty, you might be able to reduce the perennial pee-pee parfum of children’s bathrooms. But I’m not certain soccer balls, cars and airplanes are the best tinkle targets. Sends sort of a mixed message. Next think you know the rug rat will be tinkling on your soccer ball and marking the airplane aisle. If recent experience is a useful guide, I’d recommend using a target that looks like the front cover of the New Yorker magazine sitting in a caddy next to the toilet. They hit that every time!

But there’s another little issue with the vinyl targets that adhere to the inside of the porcelain. Splash back. If I were target training my sharpshooter, I’d want him focused on the deep well in the middle of the toilet, not the sides which soon enough will result in pee ricocheting back onto the New Yorker. Again.

And besides, would you want to install and clean and remove those?

Yuck. Why no kids? Pee-pee Teepees and Tinkle Targets!