September 21, 2014

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. (adelaidenow.com.au)

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?

Weird.

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.” (adelaidenow.com.au)

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.” (adelaidenow.com.au)

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!

Childfree Dining Tips

Restaurant Enoteca

Image by Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains St. Moritz via Flickr

We’ve covered this territory before of course, but a the risk of seeming a bit curmudgeonly I’d like to pass along a half dozen simple, straightforward childfree dining tips “borrowed” (Thanks, CFN Editorial Team!) from a recent Child Free Nation post, “Eating Out: How to Enjoy a Childfree Meal“.

It’s no fun to go out and listen to the soundtrack of crying infants, whining, or even the sounds of responsible parents trying to discipline their children.

It’s not that these kids are necessarily doing anything wrong. Babies cry. Toddlers lack adult communication skills. Parents do need to intervene (please oh please) when their six year old is chewing with their mouth open.

That being said, it doesn’t mean we want to witness the experience! (Child Free Nation)

Sound familiar? For sensitive readers in our midst, exhale. I’m not bashing restaurants that allow kids. In some cases I’m a fan. Other times not so much. But that’s not the point.

The point’s just to remind adamantly childfree diners (let’s call them ACDs), that ensuring an agreeable supper normally is an easy enough ambition if you follow some obvious pointers.

  1. Avoid Family Friendly Restaurants
  2. Sit in the Bar
  3. Ask for a Quiet Table
  4. Adjust your Timing
  5. Dress for Dinner
  6. Consider Take-Out

No brainers, right? Right. Except when they don’t’t work. In which case you move on to “Plan B”. And that’s the real point of this post… What would you suggest for #7 on the Childfree Dining Tips?