Jason Jones narrating: “The doctor held my life in his hands.”
Jason Jones: ”Would you say I have a larger than average vas deferens?”
Surgeon: “You have a great size vas deferens”
Jason Jones: “Thank you Dr. Weiner”
“Earlier this year, the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that the U.S. birth rate is the lowest it’s been in a century: a mere 13.5 bloody, oozing births for every 1,000 people. The tanking economy is one of the biggest reasons—baby food is freaking expensive.”
You may want to scroll down to check out the comments, as they are perhaps even more compelling.
“People assume children are the glue that holds a marriage together, which really isn’t true. Kids are huge stressors,” says Scott, head of the Childless by Choice Project whose documentary on childfree couples was just released. “Despite that, there is a strong motive to stay together. The childfree don’t have that motive so there’s no reason to stay together if it’s not working.”
This article is great, really layered and probing. It answers a lot of questions about who is “childfree”, why, and what the impact of such status on their marriage may be. However, there may be some confusion, or even unintended/inaccurate conclusions, as all couples without children are lumped into the “childfree” category, including couples frequently categorized as “childless” (those who want kids but cannot conceive) that “make up the bulk of the childfree” in this story.
As I read the article I wondered how many of the divorced couples were simply victims of a decision to marry too early. According to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, the rate of divorce among people that marry before 25 is astounding. I also hoped for statistics comparing older married couples. How do those who CHOOSE not to have kids compare to couples with empty nests at the same age? When the decision for parents to divorce can be made without complicating child rearing, like the childfree by choice, then who APPEARS to be more successful or happily married? (Not that remaining married is an accurate indicator of “success”) When I was in college, my parents finally divorced, and there was a rash of divorces among my friends’ parents as well.
This one is for the football fans and any parents or childfree readers that appreciate the role comedy can play in lightening a mood or dissolving taboos.
“Let’s just get this out of the way: Of course I love the television more than my own children. That TV cost a mere $700. I spend that much on diapers every fucking year. It has a functional mute button, which means I do not have to hear it if I don’t want to. The people who appear on the TV set are far more articulate than my 1-year-old, and thus more interesting to listen to (unless the people in question are Chris Berman and Steve Young). The TV takes up less space and doesn’t leave toys and bits of cake all over the goddamn place.”
They might be kidding or just pandering, but from my seat, it is clear that they make us laugh by shining a light on things that everyone thinks (sometimes?), but few are saying. That and just plain good story telling. And even if you aren’t laughing after reading and watching, maybe you’ll agree that these daddies are helping future parents and those who may one day choose not to breed by sharing their thoughts, experiences, honesty and hyperbole. We know having kids aint easy, and what better way to give us all permission to say so than through comedy? The only question is, are these things mommies can get away with saying. (If you know of any moms that are, please share them with us.)
Common questions and comments (Part 3)
“When are you having kids?”, they usually ask. Not “if”. And here are more of the most common responses to my answer:
6) “Who’s going to take care of you when you’re old?”
I’d like to say “me”. I’m responsible for myself. It’s my obligation to invest in my brain and my body and strive for healthy and happy. If or when I can’t, I should have saved enough money or given enough love to ask for and receive help.
Instead I say we’re open to adopting adults from the next generation of non-breeders, or blurt something else unfunny, dishonest and/or swarthy, while wondering:
How can I get an unborn heir to agree that, in exchange for me handling fatherly responsibilities, they will one day owe the same commitment to me?
How could I dare make my health another’s responsibility unless I managed my own body, diet, alcohol and nicotine consumption perfectly?
It’s already too late for that, so rather than saddling someone else with the burden of the bongwater I drank in my twenties, I hope that the economics of living child-free allow enough room for a giant TV and a smiley, shapely nurse with soft hands and a deep appreciation of the History Channel and eighties music.
Or maybe we’ll just invest in Long-term care insurance.
7) “Go to doctor what’s his name. He’ll get you pregnant!”
This happens more often than you might think. People are understandably presumptuous, and sincerely charitable when your spouse is a gifted teacher and children’s book author. (Touchtheart.com)
So when we lived in New York, parents of her students were eager to offer recommendations and referrals, assuming motherhood was an obvious goal for someone so nurturing and bossy.