March 24, 2017

Scary Mommy: Cards For New Moms

Scarey House page 1

Scarey House page 1 (Photo credit: the_toe_stubber)

Wow. This site is truly scary. Scary Mommy gets a TON of traffic and the posts and complaints alone could be used to dramatically increase the frequency of vasectomies. There may not be a need for WNK or preach to the choir childfree sites after all. Maybe we should just provide a single link to these angry moms and let them take the heat? The cards are possibly the least depressing and most amusing part of the otherwise scary….

Cards For New Moms.

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Pregnant Women are Smug (Officialy)

Check out the video here: Pregnant Women are Smug by Garfunkel and Oates: The Official Video (if it didn’t automatically load above.)

Last year we posted an early version of this Garfunkel and Oates video. But now it’s OFFICIAL, meaning some new lyrics (?), gruesome graphics, high production value and a cast of characters that includes funny girl Arden Myrin from MadTV and Chelsea Lately.

Pregnant Women are Smug (Update)

Garfunkel and Oates at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater

Garfunkel and Oates at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater

Garfunkel & Oates’ song/video, “Pregnant Women Are Smug” continues to have legs. No surprise!

Here’s what Huff Post had to say:

When they’re not singing about getting older, their love of marijuana or the ever-baffling hand job, Garfunkel & Oates (a.k.a. Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci) are probably somewhere being relentlessly annoyed by mothers-to-be.

OK, probably not. But now we can see exactly what that would look like with this new video for their instant classic, “Pregnant Women Are Smug,” a song about (you guessed it) how irritatingly precious women can be during their nine-month stints. (Huff Post)

And here’s a Jezebel weigh-in for good measure:

Listen, the “miracle of life” is amazing and all that, but hundreds of thousands of women give birth every day. And surely we all know women who act normally when knocked up. But there are the others, the ones who behave in a holier-than-thou, self-satisfied manner, those who comport themselves as though they have suddenly become royalty, and make it clear that they’re doing something incredible and you and your empty uterus are not worthwhile… Should we put women on a pedestal and treat them as untouchable bastions of goodness just because some sperm managed to find an egg? Or are we allowed to make fun of the fact that sometimes, pregnant women are smug? (Jezebel)

Want to lead a “Pregnant Women Are Smug” singalong at your next baby shower? Learn the lyrics at LyricsMania. Here’s the refrain to get you started:

Pregnant women are smug
Everyone knows it, nobody says it
Because they’re pregnant
Effing son of a gun
You think you’re so deep now, you give me the creeps
Now that you’re pregnant (LyricsMania)

What are we missing? Keep this clever song/video aliiive… 🙂

 

(Child)Free Money #2: How much $ can I save by not having babies?

In (Child)Free Money #1: Can I afford to have kids?, we introduced the USDA’s “Cost of Raising a Child Calculator” and noted the high cost of having kids.

A middle income family, defined as a married couple with two children and a before-tax income averaging $79,940, spent approximately $13,050 per year on each child for their first 18 years of life.

Assuming the $13,050 as a starting point (spending varies and depends on household income), parents spend $234,900 per child just to get them out of High School.

So, congratulations, by choosing to remain childfree. Instead of having 2.1 kids like the average U.S. family, you saved about $470,000, and that is just the beginning.

That number assumes that there is no inflation or that wages keep pace with child-rearing and living expenses. It does not account for higher education, the boomerang babies, lost wages or productivity or unmeasurable costs of added stress and inadequate sleep.

It also doesn’t account for lost savings. The cost to parents is not only what they spend, but the lost opportunity to invest that money.

If instead of spending $13,050/child annually, you invest that money the end of each year to age 18, you will earn $107,000 in interest and save nearly $343,000 by not having just 1 baby.

If you invest $26,100/year instead of having 2 kids you will save $685,000 – before college!

These results assume investment in secure tax-exempt, insured bonds. The investment is virtually riskless. Based on average yields for similar investments over the past 18 years, I assumed an average return of 4.25% for an average investment period of 9 years. Feel free to write if you want more details.

In the next installent we will calculate saving/cost through college graduation. (Hint: ouch!)

 

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Free Reads

Sometimes there isn’t anything to add, extract or analyze, and bite-sized blog post isn’t enough to satisfy. Sometimes the writing is so compelling the only thing to do is present the entire story. So here are some full meals to chew on (again if you’ve seen them already) repeatedly. The comments are also must reads.

1) Think Before You Breed – NYTimes.com.

2) Child-Free: Do They Change Their Minds?. – Slate

3) Laura Carroll: Why Childfree Couples Have It All. – Huffington Post

4) La Vie Childfree blogpost: Why Isn’t There More Talk about the Ethics of Reproduction?.

5) In Praise of Downtime – Ellen Ruppel Shell – The Atlantic.

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Happy Non-Parents Day!

When I was in my early-ish twenties I asked a lot of questions of friends and colleagues that had kids and/or were married. What’s the best part? What’s the worst? Would you change anything? What are you not telling me? No, seriously…

As you would expect, I got a wide range of answers, and some questions in return. A lot of men that were then my current age, 40, cautioned me about marriage. No one with kids told me they regretted it, but several made sure I knew that kids would change my life and my relationship drastically.

Most repeated thoughtless shit they heard somewhere (everywhere) else.

“You have to work at it.”

“It was the best day of my life.”

“Marriage is hard.”

“It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

“… a miracle…. a blessing”

And when I asked again, “how?” or “why?”, they said nothing. I was young and dumb, but knew that skepticism is warranted whenever people are saying the same damn meaningless things, repeatedly. And what the hell does “marriage is hard” or “kids are a blessing” mean anyway? Nothing! People just said, and say, what the culture tells them they should say.

Looking back on this non-parents day, I want to thank those that were honest with me. I also want to express some regret that I didn’t really have any committed childfree adults to talk to. So I also want to encourage readers to share (in the comments or on Facebook) their most bare, honest answer to:

“For you, what is the best thing about being child-free?”

Because I know there are young people out there with no one to ask or no one that will respond honestly; and because I think all of us should be able to note, today at the very least, why we are celebrating.

Related articles:
August 1st Happy Non-Parents Day! – (whynokids.com)
Childfree? Really? Common Questions and Comments (Part 3) (whynokids.com)
Childfree? Really? Common Questions and Comments (Part 2) (whynokids.com)
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Travel for Couples Without Kids?

Couples Withouth Kids: CWK trips

Couples Without Kids: CWK trips

Back in early 2011, my husband and I started a social networking group in Boston called Couples Without Kids (our friends with children “affectionately” referred to the group as “Couples Who Hate Kids”).  We actually really like (some) children but had determined that we did not want them for ourselves.  As we were getting into our 30’s and 40’s, we found that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find other couples who didn’t have children.

Couples Without Kids

Our concept for the meetup group was that it would be a social networking group only – not a support group.  We weren’t looking to have intimate discussions about our reasons for being childfree, we just wanted to meet some nice people who could go out for drinks or meet for dinner on a moment’s notice.  How tired are you of making plans 3 months in advance only to have it cancelled because Billy’s got the Hershey squirts?  We like being able to call a CWK couple at 7 because we need a replacement at 8 for our trivia contest at the local bar (and we all know trivia + cocktails = fun).

Couples Without Kids Trips

Over the course of the past year, we’ve met many wonderful couples without kids and found one common interest (among many) was the love of traveling.  I’ve traveled extensively throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe and beyond.  Therefore, early in 2012, I partnered with Travel Concepts, a well-established American Express Travel company, to launch a new business called “Couples Without Kids Trips”.  The concept is to offer unique, personalized experiences for childfree adults.

We offer two kinds of services – Organized Group Trips for childfree couples as well as Personalized Trips for childfree couples and adults (small groups, singles, honeymooners and “empty nesters”).   Instead of “family-friendly” destinations, we are specialists in adult-only vacations and finding destinations and excursions which cater to childfree adults.

A client recently asked me about the possibility of scheduling them on a childfree flight.  Although we can’t make miracles like this happen (yet), we do our best to cater to our childfree travelers.  For a humorous look at childfree travel, check out this video from DINKLife.  For more information about CWK Trips, please visit our website at www.coupleswithoutkidstrips.com.  If you “like” us on Facebook, you’ll receive updates about upcoming trips and promotions.

 

Photo Essay?: Childfree Celebrities

Celebrities

Celebrities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you recognize these faces? Can you tell who’s missing, based on previous Why No Kids stories about childless or child-free celebrities? Are there any celebrities without kids missing? Do you recognize anyone who has recently had a baby?

Related articles

 

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(Child)Free Money #1: Can I afford to have kids?

There is ample evidence that household finances affect relationships, stress levels, lifestyles, choices and happiness. Financial security and flexibility are obviously on any list of reasons childfree or childless couples are often happier than parents.

 

So if you are planning to have kids or wrestling with the decision, you might want to consult a calculator or accountant, especially in this uncertain era in which resources are limited, household incomes are stagnant or shrinking, inflation is lurking, and the cost of raising and educating kids has increased rapidly.

 

The USDA’s “Cost of Raising a Child Calculator” is a great place to start. “Cost” is a bit misleading, because the USDA numbers reflect what parents spend on kids before they are 18.

Dr Mark Lino, USDA Economist, explained in an email to WhyNoKids:

“The data we use (the Consumer Expenditure Survey) examines what families are spending. Cost can be a somewhat subjective concept. For example, we look at how much families are spending on children’s clothing. This is a different concept than what it may cost to adequately clothe a child (two pairs of shoes a year, five pairs of pants, etc.).“

 

The USDA site and study are worth a look. But start with this story published July 16:

Priceless and pricey: USDA tallies child-raising costs | Management content from Western Farm Press.

 

Middle income parents of a child born in 2011 can expect to spend about $234,900 ($295,560 if projected inflation costs are factored in*) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise a child over the next 17 years. Let’s look at the breakdown:

  • A middle income family, defined as a married couple with two children and a before-tax income averaging $79,940, spent approximately $13,050 per year on each child for their first 18 years of life.
  • Expenses averaged about $760 less for younger children from birth to 2 years old, and averaged $1,270 more for teenagers between 15-17 years of age.
  • Teenagers are more expensive because they have higher food costs, as well as higher transportation costs when they start to drive.
  • Housing accounts for the largest expense (30 percent) for a child.  Housing expenses escalate with the need for additional bedrooms and bathrooms. This is followed by child care/education (18 percent) for those with this expense, and food (16 percent).

 

In (Child)Free Money #2, we will calculate how much money couples can save over 18 years by not having children and investing what they would have spent instead.

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Dads Are Using Their Kids’ Sporting Events to Get Out of Household Chores

“at least dads are doing something to keep kids from mucking up the house with their dirty fingernails and carelessly-brandished Ring-Pops”

OK. Lets agree to save the anthropological discussion about how men are not meant to be domesticated for another post, or another era maybe? In the meantime, perhaps someone can do a study of mens’ dorm rooms, bachelor pads and fraternity houses so we can conclusively report that MEN ARE DISGUSTING! We are the last beings anyone should want to be responsible for disinfecting! Men will give themselves double diarrhea or watch The View (or give themselves double diarrhea by watching The View) in order to avoid cleaning toilets, so “I have to drive to a swim meet while listening to (childfree) Justin Bieber songs” must absolutely be an acceptable excuse to get out of household chores. No?

Those conducting the report, or commenting about it, don’t necessarily think so:

“men aren’t making much progress in taking over some of the less-glamorous housework. “The fathers we studied,” said Kremer-Sadlik, “are finding ways to create a new ideal of fatherhood, but they are not creating a new ideal with their partners.” He added that some fathers even use sporting events as an excuse to get out of doing housework”

via Dads Are Using Their Kids’ Sporting Events to Get Out of Helping with Household Chores.

Childfree News: From Tubal Ligation to the Baby Matrix

Topless in the Adirondacks via virtualdavis

Topless in the Adirondacks via virtualdavis

Drowning beneath the avalanche of childfree news? It’s staggering how quickly and widely childfree news has been transformed from whisper-only taboo to mainstream media fodder. So much is being pondered and debated, it’d hard to believe that even a few years ago childfree news was so hush-hush that television, newspapers and magazines didn’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole.

Childfree News Glut

Today we’re awash in childfree news, and not just in the blogosphere. Mainstream media finally read that memo about more and more couples are opting to remain childfree by choice. Concerned about spiraling audiences, niche audiences took on a sexier appeal. Result? It’s tough to find a new outlet who isn’t flogging the childfree news horse. It’s always fun to swing from the fringe to the mainstream, at least at first, but it’s actually become challenging to keep up with the latest childfree news because there’s just so much of it.

We’ll attempt to distill the best from the rest, making it that much easier for you to join the childfree intelligentsia! Or at least wile away a sleepy afternoon at the office…

Top Childfree News

Sterilize Me, Please: Why is it so difficult for young women to get their tubes tied? (By J. Bryan Lowder) There are some people who don’t want to have kids. Then there are some people who really don’t want to have kids… some men and women never heed (or even feel) the tick of the biological clock. But others are more proactive. Monica Trombley is in the latter camp… [she] decided at the age of 26 that permanent sterilization by tubal ligation—a procedure colloquially called “getting your tubes tied”—was the right choice for her. But as Trombley quickly learned, many gynecologists disagreed. (Slate Magazine)

I Wish I’d Never Had Children (By Sonja Ebbels) Over coffee with a group of friends recently, there was an understanding atmosphere when one of the mums, a close friend of mine, started discussing the struggle she was having with her children. We all nodded sympathetically and sighed with agreement, until she announced that if she had her time over again, she wouldn’t have had children. At once each of us looked around, ensuring our children hadn’t heard her comment. (Stuff.co.nz)

Please, Please, Please: Do Not Make Your Kid The Center Of Your Universe (By Cassie Murdoch) It’s so hard to know whether becoming a parent will ruin your life or be the only thing that makes it worth living. We may not get a grand verdict anytime soon, but new research has at least figured out one thing: moms who believe they are the most important person in their baby’s life and that they should always put the kid’s needs first are way more likely to be unhappy. Perhaps feeding them like a bird or hovering over them like helicopter is the key to their lasting happiness, but is it the key to yours? (Jezebel)

I Want to Want a Baby (By Liz Ference) Having a baby would, of course, be terrifying – but at least I’d have the benefit of knowing that everyone else around me would be going through the same thing and I wouldn’t be alone, and that my remaining days would now be filled with a very definitive purpose. Going it alone… means that I’d be, well…alone, and entirely responsible for defining my purpose in life – coming up with some reason why I’m walking the Earth and making meaningful use of my time. (Maybe Baby, Maybe Not!)

Accidentally Childfree (By Farzana Gardee) I never imagined that I would one day be discussing a childfree life, let alone my childfree life. I had never been taught to think of this as an option… My family is large — babies popping out of every crevice — with only a scattering of childfree women… They lead fringe existences when compared to other robust women speed cycling between pregnancy and breastfeeding and changing nappies and doing school-drop offs and living lives as full as their engorged breasts… And today, I am childfree. (The Huffington Post)

10 Things Never to Say to Childless Friends (By Charlotte Latvala) When you’re an enthusiastic member of the mom club, it’s natural to want your pals to join too. But making assumptions about your buddy’s baby-making plans can be offensive and invasive—and thinking you know better because you’re a parent can hurt your friend’s feelings… Whether a couple is childless by choice or struggling to conceive, prying questions are likely to hit a nerve… Here are some gaffes to avoid with childless friends–and what to say instead. (Glo.msn.com)

Laura Carroll Interview About The Baby Matrix I want people to know what pronatalism is, its origins, and why it remains so pervasive in our society, even though in so many ways it is to our detriment. I want readers to understand why we have believed seven long held pronatalist assumptions for so long despite the fact that they either no longer serve us or have never been true to begin with. I want readers to understand why it is time to stop blindly believing pronatalist beliefs, realize their serious costs, and why it is time to move toward what I call a “post-pronatal society.” (Laura Carroll)

Childfree News Recommendations

What are you reading in childfree news? Anything we missed that you think we should pass along to other WNKers? Please add your recommendations in the comments below. Thanks!