slowcooker

Wellness for One (or Two): Four Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes

By Samantha Pollack

The slow-cooker is one of my absolute favorite kitchen tools. Just dump a bunch of food in there and push “on.” Go to bed, or to work, and when you get home/wake up, you’ve got a complete, nutritious meal waiting for you that dirtied only one dish!                                                                           

If you don’t have a slow-cooker, a) You should seriously get one – they even make single-serving models! And b) You could do all these dishes on the stovetop. They won’t take as long, but they will require a lot more attention. Stovetop instructions are included below.

Hang in there, kids. No winter lasts forever…not even in Boston.

D Alpert

The NotMom Interview: Dani Alpert of ‘The Girlfriend Mom’

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, and so, with the ‘Mom” label out of the way, we share the many other components that make us who we are.

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

Dani Alpert is a comedian and blogger living in New York City who shares personal stories on her site called The Girlfriend Mom. We are excited that Dani will be speaking at The NotMom Summit in October. She has identified an entirely new category of women that many NotMoms can relate to, those who can answer the question,  

In the dating world, what happens if you fall in love with someone who already has children?

Tell us about yourself, your blog, and your career.

I’m a writer, and a Pilates instructor. I was living in LA and working in the entertainment business, but after 16 years I had had enough. I spent time traveling and when I landed back in NYC, that’s when I became a Pilates instructor.

 I started The Girlfriend Mom blog in 2011. I had been dating a divorced father of two, and I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. The blog was an outlet. It was a place to rant and rave about this lifestyle choice.

I like that you differentiate yourself with the title “girlfriend mom” because “step-mom” would be too real. What makes it different for you?

I was having fun with it. I didn’t know what to call myself. I wasn’t married, so “step-mom” didn’t resonate. Especially the “Mom” part. I never wanted to be a Mom. When I described my role, I literally was a Girlfriend Mom. 

The lines can be blurred when you’re not married. It’s more difficult to describe yourself; to yourself and to others. For me, “Girlfriend Mom” doesn’t have the gravitas that “step-mom” carries, and it suited me.

NM PURCH dog money

Wealthy and Childless: It’s Always News When Pets Inherit

By Karen Malone Wright

I saw this headline go by on February 19, 2015 from the Hindustan Times

Raebareli Couple to Leave Property Worth Millions to Pet Monkey

OK, I thought. I don’t know where Raebareli is, but you do you. Then, Google Alerts delivered a more clarifying header from Nigeria’s Guardian News

Monkey Set to Inherit Fortune from Childless Indian Couple

Raebareli, I learned, is a city in India’s Uttar Pradesh State. And the story of Shabista and Brijesh Srivastava and their beloved monkey buzzed across the Internet. Even The Washington Post and Wall St. Journal took notice.

“People might say we are mad, they might even ridicule us. But we know how valuable Chunmun is to us. We are childless and Chunmun is a son to me,” Shabista, 45, told reporters.

Well, obviously. But haven’t we heard this story before?

NM bday cake

Small-Batch Kitchen: The Chocolate Birthday Cake You Won’t Have to Share

By Faye Davenport

I couldn’t believe it! My wonderful and bestest friend set up a lovely little celebration for my birthday, and what was the one thing missing that defines ‘birthday’ to me? Chocolate cake!

Does she not know me? Did she not read my birthday post from 2014? Do we not share a deep friendship-bonding love of chocolate? Did she not hear me when I whined about not having chocolate cake for my birthday last year?

I remember that this happened another time when I was having party for a milestone birthday. I was in charge of all the plans and my friends were in charge of all the work. The friend who had specific instructions to have his baking-talented sister make a chocolate cake showed up with a beautiful and delicious cake that….WAS NOT CHOCOLATE!!! I was not happy.

What is going on with a universe that would deny me chocolate cake for my birthday? Is a big slab of chocolate layer cake with a fat scoop of ice cream and maybe some chocolate sauce too much to hope for?

Once again, I’m doing my own chocolate birthday celebration. For me, by me.

chinese zodiac

Lunar New Year: Might As Well Call It ‘The Year of the Woman’

By Karen Malone Wright

Happy Lunar New Year! You may know it as ‘Chinese New Year’, but once I learned it’s recognized in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan and other Asian communities around the world, I switched to ‘lunar’.

Anyway, celebrate the Year of the Sheep, which arrived on February 19, 2015. I’m a Sheep, so this is my year! If you were born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979 or 1991, it’s your year, too.

I’ve known that I was born in a Sheep year for as long as I can remember, only because back in the day, every single Chinese restaurant in my world plastered their tables with red-and-white paper placemats featuring the full Chinese zodiac

Some folks are fascinated by the Chinese-to-English translations, (Is it sheep or goat? Woolly mammoth?), but it’s the feminine aspects of this New Year that deserve some attention.

pope

Pope Francis & Childfree Women: Flip-Flopping or Staying the Course?

By Karen Malone Wright

Pope Francis, broadly viewed as a ‘good guy’, is now will forever be Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ and Successor of the Prince of the Apostles (that would be St. Peter) He is perceived to be more liberal than his recent predecessors and considerably more understanding of the common person’s real life. 

I’ve come to like him, too, generally speaking, but don’t get it twisted. As Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church — the Catholic Church, that is — his core values are pro-child, pro-motherhood, and anti-choice, in all its reproductive definitions.

Speaking in February 2015 to the assembled crowd in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said,

“The choice to not have children is selfish [because] Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies.”

Several news outlets were quick to note that in the previous month, speaking with reporters, the pope said this:

“God gives you methods to be responsible. Some think that — excuse the word — that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No.”

Is Francis a flip-flopper? 

pill flag

What Women Don’t Know About Modern Birth Control

By Karen Malone Wright

So many of us dream of “changing the world” during our lifetime. Few of us do. In that frame of mind, I confess that I had never hear of Carl Djerassi until I saw his obituary at the end of January 2015 . I had no idea who he was. Do you?

Because his work did, indeed, change our world. The entire world.

In 1952, Mr. Djerassi created the key ingredient used in oral contraceptives. He is most often referred to as “The father of the Pill.” How did he impact the lives of women, and men, today? Do you have to ask?

50 shades movie

Women Have No Doubt: ’50 Shades of Grey’ Will Be a Hit Movie

By Karen Malone Wright

Honestly? I am nauseous from hearing about the 50 Shades of Gray movie already! Even if box office receipts are poor (and who can imagine that?), this is the type of movie that will enjoy a resurgence of money-making when DVD, Blu-Ray and cable-on-demand make it affordable, private, and everywhere.

I fell into the hype soon after the book was published in 2012. I remember the experience not only for the constant, kinky sex, but also because it was the first time I realized the power of my Kindle. Not a single soul sitting with me in my dentist’s waiting room knew that I was (let’s be frank) reading porn. I’m pretty sure 50 Shades upped e-reader sales nationwide.

I zipped through it. Frankly, even Jackie Collins writes better trash, in my humble opinion. Even so, I tried to give the second book of the trilogy a chance. I wasn’t surprised that Fifty Shades Darker failed to hold me even until the halfway point.

But, Shadesmania lives on, and it reminds me that I heard from a woman without children who was quite open about her appreciation for the sexual freedom a childfree home provides. Hmm. Could NotMoms be a target audience for pop culture erotica?

pos pregnancy test

Open Diary: Childfree and Pregnant, Part 2

By Laura LaVoie

In a previous post, we learned that during her 20-year, mutually childfree relationship with Matt, Laura became pregnant with a child she never, ever wanted. Worse, ER doctors feared it was an ectopic pregnancy. Read Part 1 of Laura’s story here.

A hospital emergency room is a place where you wait. I tied myself into the hospital gown and watched the nurse draw blood. They gave me an IV line just in case I had to have emergency surgery. I tried not to panic. Matt and I waited for the pelvic exam.

Then, we waited for the ultrasound. We waited and waited and waited.

The hospital staff was pretty attentive. The medical assistants and nurses checked on me regularly. But after all that waiting, I didn’t get any real answers.

The good news: it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor sent me home and told me to follow up with my gynecologist the next day. The fear I had felt all day turned to a feeling of being brushed off as non-urgent.

That night, I curled up on the sofa and watched The Last Unicorn, my favorite movie. Its familiarity was my security blanket. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. I was sick because of a baby I didn’t want, and worried about what would happen next.

salad

Wellness for One (or Two): How to Do a February Cleanse

By Samantha Pollack

In my previous post, we talked about the WHY of cleanses. Giving the body a break from its 2015-standard-American-diet overload of toxicity, and reaping all these benefits:

  •  Increased energy
  • Deep, restorative sleep
  • Better mental clarity & focus
  • Clearer, glowing skin
  • Bright white eyes
  • Shiny hair & stronger fingernails
  • Calmer emotions
  • Smoother digestion
  • Reduced or eliminated cravings
  • Detachment from the constant need to EAT! (and eat, and eat.)

Right now, cleanses seem to dwell in the realm of Super Duper Health Freaks. Green juice and fasting and strange concoctions, yay! (Yuck)

I think this is because most cleanses & detox diets (remember, they’re the same thing) are marketed as such – you just don’t see many cleanses touting three square meals a day, plus snacks. This leads a lot of well-intentioned, otherwise highly motivated people to believe that they don’t have what it takes to do a cleanse, or that it would be such a major drag…and they don’t even try.

Well, I think that’s sad. And wrong. And misleading.

pos pregnancy test

Open Diary: Childfree & Pregnant, Part I

By Laura LaVoie

The absolute repulsion when the beer hit my tongue startled me. I willingly sacrificed years of my life learning to enjoy all types of beer, including the bitter taste of hops. I didn’t realize that this one, single sip of beer was the first sign that something was very wrong.

Years ago, I heard that women don’t enjoy the taste of hops because of our biology. In the earliest days of human history, women developed the ability to detect poison in a food source before feeding it to children. Bitter meant toxic food. Although I’ve never found a citable source, it always made sense to me.

But, I am stubborn and it took a few more weeks of choking down IPAs and feeling like I was going to puke before I figured out what was wrong. I felt paralyzed as I started at the definitively positive pregnancy test in my shaking hands. It had to be wrong. It just had to be.

“I’m pregnant,” I said to Matt without any ceremony.

We were so careful. I was on the pill for 20 years. 99% effective – I guess we finally won that lottery.

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:

valentine

Wellness for One (or Two): How to Enjoy Valentine’s Day Even If You ‘Hate’ It

By Samantha Pollack

Sometimes I feel like all this anti-Valentine’s stuff is just as overplayed as…well, Valentine’s Day.

I even asked my man if we should mix it up and actually do something this year, at which point I was immediately flooded with cheeseball images: a sea of Tables for Two, a dozen red roses (barf), and hangdog husbands buying last-minute chocolates to avoid coming home to an angry wife.

He came to my rescue with a cheerful “Nope!”

It’s the negativity that bothers me. Everyone seems so anti- all the time. And I’m not immune! I just wasted 10 minutes reading an abysmal review of the 50 Shades of Grey movie, which I don’t care about and have every intention of missing – just to laugh about how bad it was. Schadenfreudefor a movie.

Sure, I enjoyed a derisive chuckle, but how did that make my life better? Maybe I’m getting old, but more and more, I prefer to give my attention and energy to things that do me, and/or others, good. On my deathbed, I won’t think, “Gee, I wish I had read more snarky articles from my Facebook feed.”

And that’s what’s bugging me about Valentine’s Day – the snark. It’s just as contrived and unoriginal as the holiday itself.