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 the first of a series, childfree blogger Laura LaVoie interviews women bloggers without children who answer the question, “If you’re not a mom, then what are you?”
Cari Bacon of Busy Bee Blogger appeared on a BlogHer panel last August with Karen Malone Wright of The Not Mom.com. Here, Cari shares her opinions of what it means to be a childfree blogger on a Mom-heavy Internet as she deals with aging parents, a job, and a social life.
Tell us about yourself and your blog.
I am a former counselor and athletic trainer. Not personal trainer. More like physical therapy for athletes. My blog started out as a celebrity gossip site but has turned more into a lifestyle site.
Why did you start blogging?
My background is heavy in research. When I started working for my dad’s company, I missed doing research, but I also just loved reading entertainment news all day. So, I started my own site as a way to keep my research habit going, but in a fun way.
Tell me a bit about your life situation?
Life situation? I guess I would say I’m single, childfree, but I live with my dad. We moved in together two years ago after having taken care of my grandpa during his chemo. It’s a good thing we’ve always been there for each other and gotten along well. There have been many times that I thanked God that I didn’t have to worry and care for children of my own as I cared for my grandparents as they died. And as my dad suffered his stroke, I just didn’t have the energy.
How do you feel you are treated as a childfree woman?
I get a lot of “oh you don’t have children”? Or “how many kids do you have” and when I tell them I don’t have any… it tends to be an awkward silence. I am 34, so I know my own biological limitations at this time in my life, but I also understand how hard it is for people to try not to judge me while involuntarily judging me. It’s hard to relate to someone whose life is not anywhere near what you thought it would be.
What bothers me the most is when working at my other jobs in the past, it was expected that I fill the gaps, take less vacation, stay late, because “You don’t have a family”. The idea that my time and life is less valued because I am neither married nor have children is beyond disheartening.
Then there are my friends that tell me they wished they were me. They are married with kids, and they tell me they would love my freedom to do whatever they think I want to do. I like that idea, but I still have bills to pay, and obligations to meet, of my own.
What defines you and your life?
I used to think it was my career and my goals that defined me, there were times where it was the men in my life that made me who I was, but now things are a little less clear.
My life is my dad since he’s had his stroke, but I am trying to expand it. He’s doing fine by the way.
What message do you want to send to advertisers and readers about being a childfree woman today?
Many of us are the breadwinners. We care for ourselves, and many of us are also caring for other families, our parents, siblings, and grandparents. We are the middle of the sandwich generation, without the bottom slice of bread.
The main thing that they need to know, is that many of us don’t see this as being a bad thing or that we’re missing out on anything. We DO have incredible freedom while still having responsibilities that even our fathers never dreamed of. It’s only a burden if we were ever expecting something different.
We appreciate Cari’s honesty and wish her all the best in her future endeavors, online and off. Stay tuned for more voices from the Not Mom Blogosphere.
Photo of Cari Bee by MissyMissyPhotography.net