PC Smith2

Uncovering [Childless] Women’s History: Pamela Colman Smith

By Laura LaVoie

When I was in college, I started to read Tarot cards. I found them fascinating and rich with history, archetypes, and symbolism. I eventually collected Tarot decks, at one time owning about 15. However, every Tarot reader, regardless of their love for other artwork, understands the importance of a single deck known popularly as the Rider-Waite tarot.

Except, the name for the Rider-Waite tarot doesn’t tell the whole story.

The artist who created the iconic images on the world’s first mass-market tarot deck was actually Pamela Colman Smith, a woman and an artist whose name was practically erased from history. Pamela was a biracial woman born in London in 1878 and raised by artists. 

She was the first popular tarot designer to create individual drawings for each of the suit cards. Previously, like a traditional deck of playing cards, they just had the number and the symbol on each one.  Game changer.

nursing home visit

Childless, Childfree & Old. Now What?

By Karen Malone Wright

2015 is three weeks old. This year, I decided against making an “official”  pledge, and then, one popped up quite organically. It’s about catastrophic language. I use an appalling amount of it, and I am going to stop it. Saying “I’m terrified” when I’m merely nervous; or “I’m so pissed” when I’m merely annoyed and already designing a work-around doesn’t accomplish anything good.

Right now, I’m engaged in the type of self-directed professional challenge that many women dream of, NotMoms and Moms alike. I’m planning and coordinating a conference from the ground up. It’s a glorious, challenging endeavor. But.

Have you ever heard the saying, “When Man makes plans, God laughs?” I’ve been believer in God’s sense of humor for as long as I can remember, so it’s an axiom that makes sense to me.

The hiccup in my plans was my mother-in-law’s major health crisis during Christmas week, 2014. On New Year’s Eve she was transferred to the ICU and my husband talked with the doctor about his Mom’s advance directives. One more pertinent point: I genuinely love my mother-in-law.

 Timelines and work plans were pushed back for both of us, replaced by daily or almost daily hospital visits and frustrated attempts to connect and communicate with doctors. As her health status began to improve, it was our intervention that stopped meals that she couldn’t possibly eat and alerted staff to symptoms that any layman would note.

At one point I turned to my husband and said, “I write about this all the time. No one should assume their child will care for them properly in their old age, but if you have a child, at least you’re in the game. You and me? We’re f—ed.”

NM PURCH-Talk to hand

Saying No: Speaking Up About A Culture of Consent, Gender & Power

By Laura LaVoie

I was standing in line at a local sub shop waiting to place my order. Just ahead of me stood a man and his young daughter. I’m guessing she was around 7. They placed their order and as they waited he amused himself by starting a tickle fight.

He played roughly. He picked the girl up, swung her over his shoulder. In fact, at some point in his motions, he caused her to kick over one of the shelves of chips. He only made a half-assed attempt to fix the mess while looking around to see if anyone noticed. I noticed.

On top of the incredibly inappropriate place for this kind of rough housing, I was most disturbed by one other aspect.

As he lifted and tickled his young daughter, she laughed and shouted, “No, Daddy! Don’t! Stop!” But, he never stopped.

I hate tickling. I have always hated tickling. When people would tickle me (friends, brother, cousins, etc.), I would laugh because that is sort of involuntary. Then, I would scream for them to stop and eventually I would reach a breaking point where I would lash out physically. That is when they would wonder out loud why I was so upset. You know, because I was laughing.

I watched this man handle his child this way and watched as she, in public, pleaded with him to stop. And I didn’t do anything.

blender

Wellness for One (or Two): The Ins & Outs of Detox Diets

By Samantha Pollack

I have a personal theory, one that doesn’t seem to have caught on yet: February is the absolute best month to do a dietary cleanse.

You come out of the holidaze, bumble through a few weeks of erratic self-improvement, and THEN you’re ready for business.

Let me break it down: January is usually a five-week month, but it feels like an eternity. This gives you some extra time to plan and prepare for a prolonged cleanse. (Meal planning, grocery lists, psyching yourself up, that sort of thing). Hence the reason we’re talking about it NOW.

  • February is exactly four weeks long – the perfect length of time for a cleanse! You could use one week for transition, followed by a three-week cleanse. Or, put the transition week on both ends, and do a two-week cleanse.
  • February is notorious for being the worst month of winter. Seasonal depression is at its worst, the weather usually sucks, and everyone is grumpy. Prime conditions for a food meltdown, and it probably won’t be over kale salad. A structured, specific meal plan can protect you from a doughnut shame spiral.
  • Speaking of which, a cleanse makes you feel AWESOME. Why not hedge your bets by cleansing during the least awesome month of the year?

What is this “cleanse” you speak of? Is that where you drink weird concoctions and poop out green stuff?

Um, no. At least, not in my world.

pork roast

Small-Batch Cooking: Getting Creative with Pork Roast and Chicken

By Faye Davenport

I discover a lot of things through the “it seemed like a good idea at the time” method of cooking and shopping for food. Sometimes my “good idea” takes hold because I see something new (to me) that I want to try, and other times I give in to the little voice inside going “oh, look, it’s on sale”.

Or, I see something on the grocery prowl and just decide to try it. That last one explains the rutabaga that keeps staring at me from the bottom of the vegetable bin.

I recently bought something that Seemed Like a Good Idea At The Time not only because it was on sale, but because it was also a small cut of meat. Rarely are there small serving roasts in the meat case, so when I spotted this 2-pound pork rib roast I had to have it.

Then I hid it in the freezer because I didn’t know exactly what to do with it. Until one day, my taste buds wanted pork…and there it was.

Whitney and Paddy

The NotMom 1.15 Profile: Whitney Clem of Childfree Life Adventures

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.

In this series, childfree blogger Laura LaVoie interviews women bloggers without children who answer the question, “If you’re not a Mom, then what are you?”

This month we had the pleasure of speaking with Whitney Clem of Childfree Life Adventures, a travel blog inspired by her own childfree lifestyle. On the site, Whitney shares stories of wandering adventures with her husband, childfree resources, and inspiration. Travel is truly her passion, and she encourages women and couples without children to pursue it regularly.

What inspired you to write a travel blog from a specific childfree perspective?

There are a ton of travel blogs out there. You kind of need to have a specific perspective–backpacking on a shoestring, travel with kids, travel in a specific part of the world, etc. My husband Paddy and I also have full time jobs and can’t travel all the time.

So,we decided to make our blog about our adventures as a childfree couple. Travel is the main focus, but we also blog about our other adventures in cooking, baking, crafts, home improvement, and other things. All of the adventures and things that we love to do that we feel like we wouldn’t always have time or money for if we had small children.

Irish

In Search Of Couples Without Kids — In Ireland

By Karen Malone Wright

With the unwitting assistance of a NotMom in Dublin, Ireland, I may have figured out the secret of why Taylor Swift is A Thing. I’m no hater; she’s been on my playlist since Love Story

Taylor understands that Celebrity or Real Person, 14 or 44, from Minneapolis to Monaco, Love and Life can break a woman’s heart. Try as we might, most of us don’t know how to eloquently vent the experience in words, much less in song. Enter Taylor, a 25-year-old earth-shaker and Master Communicator.

Even now, with too many millions, houses, and superstar moments to count, at her core Taylor hangs on to the space where she is Everywoman. The shared space feels special…illuminating. There are many paths to get there, and today it’s through Ireland. 

leap imagekind

Wellness for One (or Two): New Ideas for New Year Resolutions

By Samantha Pollack

Aren’t you tired of the same old New Years’ Resolutions? Earlier to bed, more time at the gym, keep in touch, eat less sugar?

The intention behind our most common resolutions is great – we want to be better people, is all. And we can! With specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-sensitive goals (otherwise known as SMART goals). 

Coaches loooove SMART goals. But I’m sick of them. There’s something funky about all these self-improvement goals – they imply that we’re not OK right now. That we need fixing.

The last few years, I’ve experimented with some out-of-the-box New Year’s Resolutions. I encourage you to try some this year, if you’re the resolution-making type.

Fun, Seemingly Pointless Resolutions

A few years ago, I resolved to see all the Oscar movies before the Oscars. Then I had all my friends over to watch the red carpet. (This looks like a great year to do that, by the way.)

Here’s why this resolution rocked:

second chance tv

Reality TV Discovers Couples Without Kids. Oh Goody.

By Karen Malone Wright

Just when you thought you’d heard it all, buckle up and get ready for Second Chance, a self-described “groundbreaking” new reality TV show about married couples with relationship issues. What’s so groundbreaking, you ask? The couples are childless/childfree.

Thanks to a follower of TheNotMom Facebook page, I received a copy of the application form. (Thanks very much for thinking of me, but…)

Casting is now underway. Here’s what the producers are looking for: