Childless and childfree women come in lots of shapes and sizes. We are all colors, all cultures, and all ages. As much as we have in common, we are also very different. Some people say it is strange to define ourselves by things that we are not, so let’s determine what we are instead.
Childfree blogger Laura LaVoie interviews women bloggers without children who answer the question, “If you’re not a Mom, then what are you?
In interview 8, we meet Liz, the woman behind Maybe Baby, Maybe Not, an online diary by her, and by extension, her husband, about their thinking whether or not to have a baby. (Photo: Liz & her husband, Drew)
Tell me about yourself and your blog.
I’m an early-30s lady living in Los Angeles with my husband and (child-free cliché warning!) two cats. My blog, Maybe Baby, Maybe Not, chronicles our ever-wavering decision of whether to remain childfree-by-choice or prepare ourselves for a home permanently coated in a fine layer of Cheerio dust. The topics I cover range from philosophical questions like what Puppy Lust can teach us about Baby Rabies, to childfree celebrity spotlights, to how cooking for two sucks, and everything in between.
There was a time when young couples simply weren’t public about these conversations, so why did you decide to blog about your baby journey?
Precisely for this reason! There were a handful of childfree blogs out there when I started, and a billion mommy blogs, but nothing for the Fence-Sitters. While those of us who are undecided can relate to many of the woes of the child-free, we’ve got a whole other set of issues unique to living in this land of limbo. Lots of questions that weren’t getting asked out loud while we quietly drove ourselves insane. I just decided it was time to take the insanity public.
Do your readers feel the need to give you advice? If so, what was the best advice you’ve received, and the worst?
Yes, we get it all the time! I’ve received some really great gems over the years, and even compiled them into a Bits ‘O Wisdom page. I’d have to say my favorite was, “If you’re waiting for a screaming answer of ‘NO!’, you may need to come to terms with the fact that your ‘No’ on the baby decision may be more of a silent ‘No.’
The advice most people might consider the worst was, “One surefire way to stop wondering if you should have a kid or if you should remain happily childfree is just to have a child and put an end to all the questioning.” In a weird way, it certainly does make sense!
What do you think of the way the Internet tends to treat child-free women?
I’m less concerned with how the Internet treats us than I am with how we’re presenting ourselves online. So many childfree blogs seem downright PISSED about living in a child-centric society and spend a lot of time name-calling (breeders, etc.) and bragging about how awesome the child-free life is. I’d love to see us move to a place where we can have less defensive and more productive conversations between parents and the child-free. I imagine it would result in less frustration all around.
If you could say one thing to advertisers, what would it be?
The child-free exist, too. And dammit, we have the most money! I saw a commercial for Disney that followed a couple doing all these awesome things (including hitting up Disneyland) while the narrator listed off things like “no homework to check, no school vacations to work around…” and I thought – this is amazing! Disney is featuring a child-free couple! Then, they introduced the couple as, “Mark and Natalie with no kids…yet.” *Sigh*
Looking forward 10 years from now, what kind of advice might you give yourself?
Stop hesitating for so long before hitting the Go button – whichever button that is. Do a little research, a gut check, make a decision and throw yourself into it 100%. Because whatever you choose, you’ll making the right decision.
Can you give us a hint as to the direction you might be going with this decision?
Six months ago, I would have said we were 90% in the NO category. Today, we’re leaning in the YES category. Tomorrow? Who knows? That’s why we plan to sit on it a while longer. (Shocking, I know).
Are you a childfree blogger? Do you want to have your story told so other women can understand they are not alone? Please let us know you’re out there.