Friends, Family, Pets & People
Away from the workplace and its issues, NotMoms share their time with girlfriends, family and animals who bring their own comforts and challenges.
♥ MOMFRIENDS: NotMoms offering unsolicited parenting advice can be walking a perilous path, but it can be a case-by-case thing, too. Even with an accepting Momfriend, presentation matters. “Why don’t you do such-and-such” may not be heard as well as “What if you did such-and-such” instead. Read More
♥ GRANDKID GUILT: By-choice NotMoms who are their parents’ only child may have presented their own parents with no-grandkids reality, but future in-laws are another challenge entirely. The weight of the news shouldn’t fall only on the person with the uterus. Read More
♥ WEDDINGS: Women without a date, mate or a child may not be expecting the happy event to be very happy for them at all, and that’s a shame. Preparation is the key. A new dress is the easiest part; of course you’ll be the best looking female there. The toughest challenge is inside your head. Read More
Give moral support to couples who choose to make their ceremony or reception “Adults Only.”More than a few parents can be upset by this decision, perceiving it as a rejection of themselves and their children. In most cases, the newlyweds aren’t anti-child, but they are budget-conscious.
♥ RESPECT IN THE WORKPLACE: Absorb this: The authors of a June 2013 study concluded that how people fulfill domestic roles has more influence on how they’re treated at work than how they perform professional duties. Translation: Men and women living an experience seen as untraditional for their gender get dissed for it. Who’s that? Childless women and caregiver men. Read More
‘What a strange question’ was my first thought. My real answer is simple and feels very true: A childless marriage is like a celebration of love. What’s yours?
♥ GIRLFRIENDS: Research has found that women are calmed by the very act of hanging with girlfriends. Females respond to stress by releasing a hormone called oxytocin, you see, and by befriending each other, we generate even more of it. (When men are stressed, they produce high levels of testosterone. Who’s surprised that testosterone negates the soothing benefits of oxytocin?)
♥ LOOKING FOR LOVE: Super-sized dating sites like Match.com and OK Cupid offer a “childless” filter to review people without children only. There’s also a free dating/networking site, No Kids Passions, part of the niche-focused Passions Network. But, some NotMoms report slim pickings. What advice can you share with women (and men) about finding compatible dates online?
♥ PARENTS TO PETS: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nearly 3/4 of American households own a pet. The May 2013 report also reveals that households of married adults without children living at home spent the most on their pets.
Is the question really “Are our pets a replacement for children?” Or, are we asking the wrong question to begin with? Some people simply have more of an affinity for animals and less of it for children. I know plenty of families with kids and pets who feel similarly about their own animals. So, why do the childfree sometimes feel judged for choosing to have a pet and not a child? Read More
ON-THE-JOB: Women without children want Moms to know that we are not the enemy. The only frustrating part is that we sometimes feel as though we are not given the same flexibility in our jobs. We understand that if a child is sick, it is extremely important to care for him or her. Perhaps some understanding can be shared with us as we are dealing with things that Moms may not consider to be a crisis.
Why not trade our flexible schedules? When a mother needs to leave two hours early for an important championship baseball game, she might offer to cover for me if I head home early on a day of my choosing. The relationship doesn’t have to be oppositional. Read More
HEALTHY CONNECTIONS: Relationships can be hard work, whether they’re romantic or simply social. Comedian (and NotMom) Chelsea Handler shares the best advice she ever received on sustaining healthy connections:
FINDING FRIENDS: Parents, fatigued, stressed and all the rest, enjoy various opportunities for new interactions with peers, but geography and other factors can cause NotMoms to work a little harder to find each other, In 2008, a Denver woman wondered why she couldn’t find girlfriends the same way Match.com finds dates. Her solution: SocialJane.com. Post a profile and search the database. Also for women only: GirlfriendCircles and Girlfriend Social and Girlfriendology.
NOT DADS: About the same proportions of men and women in a 2012 British study said they wanted kids (59 percent of men and 63percent of women). Among that group, half of the men said they experienced “isolation” because they weren’t dads, while just over a quarter of women said the same about lack of Mom-hood. All that prattle about feminine hormones? Out the window. If you want to be a parent and you’re not one, it can hurt. Gender doesn’t really matter. Read more
WOMEN & PETS: A 2012 study found that while a man can be quite content if his woman doesn’t like his pet, it’s totally different when it comes to hers. The conclusions focused on dogs conclusions focused on dogs because so few respondents owned cats or other pets. The results support a 2009 study by Lifetime Networks revealing that 1 in 10 of women pet owners have sacrificed a relationship for their pet, and more than one in four put the needs of their pet ahead of their own. Read More
♥ PITY, ENVY & REGRET: Beyond the demographic where people still question the choice to be childless, we move on to new perceptions which come in three general forms; regret, pity, and envy. Assumptions of how we’ll feel in the future, or envy for the lifestyle we enjoy. Read More