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?”
My name’s Jen, and I’m mostly known online for my first blog, Cake Wrecks. I also write Epbot, a blog where I get to talk about my passions for all things geeky, DIY, steampunk, Disney, and so on.
Why did you start blogging?
I started Epbot because I needed an outlet where I could just be me, and where I could share the things I’m passionate about without worrying so much about trying to make people laugh. I also wanted to meet and interact with fellow geeks, since we don’t have too many geeky friends IRL [in real life]. It’s wonderful having an online community that really understands and appreciates the same things you do, and it’s incredibly validating to have people you respect see and enjoy things you’ve written or created.
Tell us a bit about your life situation.
I’ve been married to my husband John for 14 years now, and we’ve worked together since our first wedding anniversary. We started out as specialty painters, where I worked for John, and when Cake Wrecks took off we became bloggers, where John works for ME. (Muah-ha-haa!) We have two cats: Lily (mine) and Tonks (his). I’ve never wanted children – even as a kid myself, I never so much as played house – but John did, initially. I talked him out of it before we were married, and these days he thanks me for that at least once a week. Ha!
How do you feel you are treated as a childfree woman?
That changes drastically according to the social setting. When John and I were regular church goers, it was definitely more of a noticeable and commented-on issue. The church we were in at one time had lots of huge families, and it seemed every mom in there was patting me on the shoulder and assuring me that someday I’d change my mind about not wanting kids – which was mildly infuriating.
Then again, I think all moms tended to treat me that way when I was younger. Now that I’m in my 30s, I find people are generally more respectful, perhaps because they don’t see me as the wide-eyed twenty-something who doesn’t know her own mind.
Because John and I don’t socialize with any large groups that have kids these days, we tend to avoid that kind of pressure now. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a little hard watching almost all of our couple friends have kids, though. We happily paint their nurseries, throw them baby showers, and even read their kids a story from time to time – but with most of them, we fall out of touch within a year. Kids are a huge, life-changing event, and that’s an event we just can’t relate to. Not to mention we like to make spontaneous dinner plans, which kids aren’t exactly conducive to. 😉
We’ve been fortunate enough to find a few friends around our age who are also child-free by choice – and geeks to boot! – plus a few parents who are able to socialize and relate on a non-kid level, which is awesome. Combined with all my friendships online through Epbot, I feel like I have the richest social life now that I’ve ever had.
What defines you and your life?
I believe my actions, my words, and my creations define me. The changes I make in the lives around me, and the people I affect – hopefully for the better. I want to be a positive example online for fellow girls and fellow geeks, and I want to make and write beautiful things that make people smile. If I can do all of those things, then THAT will be what defines me.
What message do you want to send to advertisers and readers about being a childfree woman today?
To advertisers, I would say to not make the mistake of ignoring or discounting childfree women and couples these days, because we’re on the rise.
And to readers, I think I’d say there’s no shame in not wanting kids, so don’t be afraid to question the roles society wants to put you in. Children should never be a foregone conclusion; they should be a deliberate choice. And to readers who are already parents, please remember that not everyone wants the same things you do, so don’t assume a child-free couple is any less fulfilled or happy or selfless than you are. We all have different goals and strengths in this life, and for some of us, parenting just isn’t it!
We appreciate Jen’s openness and sharing. Are you a a female blogger without children by choice or by chance? We know you’re out there and now we want to tell your story. Contact us to share your experience with readers of The NotMom.com -Laura