pet move

Moving in 2015? Your Pet Needs a Resume.

By Laura LaVoie

In my local community, and on several online groups for the childfree, people are often frustrated that that they can’t find a home or apartment to rent because they own pets. This is leading to an epidemic of older pets being torn from their families. The problem is so bad that some communities have banned “re-homing” posts on their local discussion boards.

In today’s world of rental law, landlords can’t discriminate against families with small children, but they can decide that against renting to people with pets. Sometimes restrictions are only for so-called “dangerous” pets such as pit bulls. In the past, Rottweilers were the dog-ona non grata.

Some landlords can’t stomach the idea that a cat might scratch up the carpeting, even though not all cats scratch up carpeting. Urination, destruction, liability, and more are all reasons given for not renting to our precious pets.

But that doesn’t mean that every time you move, you need to give Fido to a new family. One possible solution is to create a Pet Resume.

school bus

Wellness for One or Two: Back-to-School Season Matters – Even if You Don’t Have Kids

By Samantha Pollack

You head to Target to pick up some toilet paper. And maybe find a cute dress, some sunglasses on sale, and a trashy best-seller you won’t tell anyone about. It’s just a normal Saturday.

But when you pull into the parking lot, it’s mobbed. Kids throwing tantrums. Frazzled moms trying to herd cats. Grannies careening around in scooters. What the heck is happening? 

You enter the store with trepidation, and then it all makes sense. Back. To. School.

All your coworkers show up late one Wednesday morning with their hair standing up and their clothes in a twist. “First day of school,” they explain breathlessly.

A quick scroll of your Facebook feed tells you the same thing: Tommy’s First Day of First Grade! Suzie’s First Day of Third Grade! (They have signs now.)

Huh. Just another Wednesday for lil’ ole you and me.

As relieving (and entertaining) as it is not to have to deal with Back to School and all the crazy that comes with it, this time of year can feel a little off for us NotMoms. Like everyone’s at an important meeting, and we weren’t invited. Like we’re missing something.

booties

Why Does Facebook Show Ads For Kids’ Products to Childfree Me?

By Laura LaVoie

I get a chuckle every time one scrolls past my page. I belong to a few childfree discussion groups on Facebook, and every few days someone will post a screen shot of an ad that features a child or a child’s product with the caption, “Why are you showing this to me, Facebook?!”

And, of course, I find this humorous for a few reasons, not the least of which is because Facebook isn’t always sentient. But there is also the basic misunderstanding of advertising algorithms at play.

Most of us use Facebook for one simple reason: to stay connected with friends and family. We share photos of our cats or vacations. We talk about our day and read about what others are up to. Pretty straight forward.

The truth is that Facebook comes with a price; the only catch is that we don’t pay it. As basic users on Facebook we are not their customers, we are their product. The site actually sells access to us to advertisers who can target ads based on key information such as words we use a lot or our location. For the most part this feels innocuous and we ignore it.

But when we don’t ignore it, the real fun starts.

G Perez-Mojica

The NotMom Interview: Gladys Perez-Mojica, Reproductive Coach & Counselor

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, and we define ourselves without the label of ‘Mom. And if you’re not a Mom, who are you?  

The regular series by TheNotMom writer and childfree blogger Laura LaVoie featuring interviews with women without children with public voices is shifting focus: Laura is introducing presenters and speakers at for The NotMom Summit to let you know more about who the women at the podiums really are, and what to expect (or why you should be there).

Meet Gladys Perez-Mojica, counselor and speaker. At The NotMom Summit, she will speak with Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta in a breakout called “Mean, Rude, or Ignorant? Smart Responses to Unsolicited Comments.”

 Laura says: When we were in the early stages of searching for women to speak at the event, Gladys appeared as if out of the aether. When we initially reached out, we had no idea how much her story would affect us.  It was important to us to have both a By Choice and By Chance woman in the conversation about other people’s intrusions since we are all subjected to inappropriate comments about our lives without children. Gladys is inspiring and we can’t wait to meet her in person in October.

M Sanger2

Margaret Sanger at 136: Still in the News and Maybe, Your Sex Life, Too

By Karen Malone Wright

Sometime early in 2015 I found out that the woman credited with founding Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was born on my birthday, September 14th. (1879 vs. 1955 if you’re wondering.) For me it was a happier discovery than when I learned September 14th is also the day that Francis Scott Key wrote America’s national anthem.

I had decided to write about the connection between 1800’s Margaret and 2015 African American NotMom Me for my birthday post this year. Margaret won the fight to end a federal ban on birth control in 1938. In 1950, she was in her 80s when she led funding for research that resulted in the first human birth control pill. Pill, IUD, condoms, diaphragm. I used them all and I owe this lady…a lot.

But, I couldn’t wait until her 136th birthday to write about her.  Blame the Republican presidential hoopla and some very inaccurate “talking points” about Ms. Sanger that frankly, ticked me off.

Let’s start with Margaret’s backstory. PBS tells us:

“One of eleven children born to a working class Irish Catholic family in Corning, New York, at age 19 Margaret watched her mother die of tuberculosis. Just 50 years old, her mother had wasted away from the strain of 11 childbirths and seven miscarriages. Facing her father over her mother’s coffin, Margaret lashed out, “You caused this. Mother is dead from having too many children.”

friends gift

Thirteen Gift Ideas for Moms and Moms-to-Be from Their Girlfriends Without Kids

By Samantha Pollack

My little sister is a Mom.

When I ignore the cognitive dissonance produced by her mom-ness (I mean, it’s weird, right?) – I recognize what an excellent Mom she is. How hard she works to bring in a decent income. To be there at dinner time. And all those other little things that make my nephew the sweet, funny kid he is.

She still runs almost every morning, and somehow manages to eat home-cooked meals 90% of the time. Dude – I don’t even do that.

So, she’s pretty special. And, she’s a Mom. And, for her birthday, I wanted to find the perfect gift.

Mom-ness. Not a life choice I relate to very easily. But you know what I CAN relate to? Working hard. Pounding the keyboard all day, and still making time to cook dinner. Wanting to provide the best life possible for my family (of two.)

And this is where I start, whenever I have to get a present for a Mom. Do I know anything (or care) about baby toys, or diaper wipes, or nipple salve? No. Do I ever want to set foot in a Babies ‘R’ Us? Hell no.

I’ve got a tried and true gift-giving method when it comes to the Moms. It works for baby showers, birthdays, Christmas, and Mothers Day. And now, it’s yours!

tantrum

Crying Child v. Adult: What Really Happened in Maine?

By Laura LaVoie

Summer 2015 isn’t quite over, and neither is the chatter about the female owner of a Maine diner who yelled at a toddler during a  weekend breakfast rush in July. The anti-child faction is singing the owner’s praises while parents and their supporters demonize and proclaim her a villain.

So, people wanted to know what I think.

I think the owner was an ass. I think the parents are asses. I think everyone in this entire situation is an ass, with only the possible exception of the child. However, if things continue on the same trajectory, the little girl may eventually reach ass status.

childfree poster

Look for the Childfree Woman of 2015 at TheNotMom.com!

By Karen Malone Wright

International Childfree Day is finally here! Today is August 1st, 2015 and I am proud to announce that our own Laura LaVoie has been selected as the Childfree Woman of the Year!!!

Oh yeah! That’s right! My girl is ALL that!

Of course, there’s a Childfree Man of 2015, too: Mario Amaro, now serving in his ninth year with the U.S. Navy.

Both winners are living their dreams in very different ways. Neither one is afraid to share their truths to explain why non-parenthood should be acknowledged as a viable option for any adult. (Extra points to Mario, who proudly changes the traditional military profile.)

2015ICDBanner

 

hold baby

Childless or Childfree, ‘Do You Want to Hold the Baby?’ Isn’t an Easy Question

By Karen Malone Wright

“Do you want to hold the baby?”

A simple question that’s not simple at all. My assumption is that for childfree (by choice) women, the answer isn’t difficult: No! For those of us childless by chance, it’s not so easy.

I always want to hold the baby. Any baby. Any age. But, as my husband reminds me time and again, doing so will mess me up for days. 

It’s been a long, long time since anyone has asked me that question. My 60th birthday is within sight. The last infant I held was my goddaughter, and she is now almost 25. The children of my closest Momfriends are in or out of college, and it’s been at least 15 years since I was at a baby shower or at the home of a new Mom.

Ah, but what about the GrandMoms? 

My next door neighbor rang my bell holding her new infant grandson. I opened the door and she said excitedly, “Do you want to hold the baby?”

smoothie juice

Smoothies vs. Juice: What’s the Difference, And Why Do You Care?

By Samantha Pollack

“I’m juicing every day now!” declared my mom.

Really? Juicing is not something you just start doing out of nowhere. You have to research juicers, save up the money, find recipes that don’t taste like dirt, take 15 extra minutes in the morning to clean the juicer…I was skeptical. I asked her what kind of juicer she had.

“A Nutri-Bullet!!”

Bzzzzzzz! Wrong. “Those are smoothies, Mama.”

Now that everyone and their mother can afford a Nutri-Bullet (see what I did there??), there seems to be some confusion about the difference between juices and smoothies.