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 without children who answer the question, “If you’re not a mom, then what are you?”
Tammy Strobel is a writer, photographer, and teacher. Her blog, Rowdy Kittens, was born in 2007 to improve her writing skills and share her story. When not writing, you’ll find Tammy taking photos, walking, and hanging out with friends and family. She lives in her tiny house in northern California (about 128 square feet), with her husband, Logan, and their two cats. Her new book is My Morning View: An iPhone Photography Project about Gratitude, Grief & Good Coffee.
Tell us about yourself and your blog.
I’m a writer, photographer, and teacher. I started blogging in late 2007 to become a better writer and photographer. Blogging consistently improved my writing and it resulted in a book deal! My first print book, You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap)
was released in September 2012. Also, my first photography book, My Morning View, hit the shelves in March 2014.
My blog, RowdyKittens.com, is about going small, thinking big, and being happy. I post a few articles a week on topics like living simply, photography, and writing.
Why did you start your My Morning View project?
At the beginning of 2013, I missed my Dad terribly and felt depressed. He died in June 2012 and I wanted to begin coping with my grief in a positive way. After a little bit of brainstorming, I started an iPhone photography project called My Morning View. Every morning, I take photos of my view and my coffee mug makes an appearance in frame too.
Did you and your partner actively decide not to have children?
Yes, we did.
How do you think not having kids has affected your life’s path? Or is this a ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario?
This is a hard question to answer. I’m sure not having kids has affected my life path in ways I don’t recognize. I try not to dwell on “what if” scenarios. Instead, I focus on gratitude. For example, I’m grateful for my husband, family, and friends.
Living in a tiny house has its own unique set of challenges. Looking back on your experience so far, what would you say about it overall?
Overall, it’s been a positive experience. I notice so much more now, like the birds chirping in the morning, the sound of rain on our little metal roof, and where the sun rises and sets. I love having more time to focus on doing things I love, like writing, talking long walks, and hanging out with friends.
With that being said, I don’t think we will live in this space forever. I could see us upsizing to a 500 square-foot cottage. We will see where life takes us.
Do you feel that you’re treated differently as a woman without children?
No, I don’t think I’m treated differently. People are curious about why I decided not to have kids and ask about my choice. Kids are awesome and I love being an aunt. However, I’ve never felt a strong desire to have my own kids. I think it’s important to recognize that desire because being a parent is one of the most important jobs on the planet.
What do you want others to know about being a child-free woman?
Since child rearing is so important, I believe that having a child should be intentional and making the choice not to have kids is legitimate and responsible.
We would like to thank Tammy Strobel for speaking with us at The NotMom. We are also looking for more stories! If you or someone you know is a NotMom with a blog or public voice, please let us know.