Invisible and childfree?

I’m supposed to write about being invisible and childfree, but I can’t.

I’m relatively new to the childfree scene. It wasn’t until last fall that my husband and I decided that we like things the way they are and don’t want to add any offspring to the mix.

As much as I love the Internet, I don’t belong to any messageboards or BlogHer or anything like that. I lurk on some childfree blogs, but for now, that’s it.

Therefore, I don’t really feel invisible to the Webfolk, because I haven’t tried being visible yet.

However, I feel a little too visible in “real life,” and not even as a childfree woman, just as a plain old married woman with no kids.

For instance, six years ago, right after we got married, some co-workers felt the need to start asking when we were going to start having kids. These weren’t even co-workers that I’m close to; in fact, I’m pretty sure one of them hates me but this person was able to get past that enough to bug me about my lack of children a LOT. Enough that I swore the next time the person asked I was going to shout that I’d just found out I was barren and run out of the room. I’m wondering if the editor across from me passed my plan on, because the person hasn’t asked since.

I’m going to preface this part by saying that I really do love my job. BUT. There have been times when I’ve felt that perhaps childed people have taken advantage of the family-friendly environment. It’s annoying, to say the least. I can’t dump my work off on someone else and call off because my dog’s puking or the cat has diarrhea. Ehhh, that’s all I really want to say on this topic.

In the last year or two, our childlessness has become (even more of) a point of interest at family functions. The longer we went without having a kid, the more I expected this to start coming up, and the last get-together on my dad’s side was kind of what I’d been dreading since we made The Decision. It seemed like we got The Question more than we had at past functions. In the past, since we hadn’t really talked about it, I’d say we didn’t know, hadn’t discussed it, blah blah blah.

I don’t know what Dave usually told them, but this time around, his idea of deflecting the question was to tell people that he was going to make me have 10 kids. I was NOT amused, as this continues giving them the idea that the children are coming. It seemed like I heard him say it a million times, but I’m sure it was only two or three times. Point being, they’re really starting to notice, and have no qualms about asking us.

To read about other invisible and childfree views, go check out Purple Women & Friends. Teri’s got a whole bunch of links for you!

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14 Responses to “Invisible and childfree?”

  1. Purple Woman Says:

    Hi Dani,
    Thanks for blogging about being childfree. Now you are not so invisible!

    Teri

  2. Angry Grrl Says:

    As you get older, your relatives will eventually get the hint and stop pestering you. My husband and I have been together for 12 years, we’ll both turn 40 next year, and the pressure to have kids has dropped greatly in the recent past.

    As for the annoying cow-orkers, as my friends call them, it’s amazing how many of them seem to feel no qualms about asking after things that aren’t their business.

  3. Dani Says:

    Thank you, Teri, for getting this Purple Day going!

    AG — I can’t wait for the days when people have figured this out. I’m still bracing myself for the day my sister & brother-in-law announce they’re expecting, though, because eventually they’ll turn to us again. 😡

    And I love “cow-orkers”! Too funny!

  4. Angry Grrl Says:

    Well, here’s something another childfree friend sent me, as a response to pesky mothers-in-law in particular. Warning, the language isn’t particularly work-safe:

    http://toydivision.transplantcomics.com/daily.php?date=050822

  5. Shannon Says:

    It is really frustrating that acquaintances or co-workers feel that your reproductive life is open for discussion. Somehow it is seen as acceptable, even I find it as inappropriate as asking ‘so are you gay?’, or ‘do you plan to take care of that weight issue you have?’
    As far as the family I have tried to be verbal about our choice not to have kids. It was tough at first, but there are so few cf role models for young people that I thought it was important to demonstrate that choice to my neices and nephews.

  6. Judes Says:

    Reading your blog was scary – you sound so much like me! This year (I just turned 28) I realized that I actually have a CHOICE whether or not I want to have kids. Before, I never really thought about it. It never occured to me that my husband and I could choose NOT to have children….We are still not decided on the issue, but I loved reading your posts. I particularly liked the one about you rescuing the kitty- my husband and I love our animals, and rescuing homeless ones is somewhat of a “calling” for us. Thanks for posting!

  7. Britgirl Says:

    Dani – take heart. Bottom line – it’s your choice. Not theirs. Loved your post and I’m linking it on my blog. Spend time on any of the childfree blogs (yes, including mine) and not only will you feel that you are NOT alone, but you’ll also get some ideas for rebuffing some of the ignorant comments and “bingoes” that – guaranteed – you will get. And as AG has said… as you get older and family see their arguments don’t work, they will give up pestering you about it.

  8. Like It Is : Childfree Women Count… Posts From The Blogging Day Says:

    […] By Dani: Invisible and Childfree […]

  9. supa Says:

    Dani, I love hearing your perspective on this. I like that you have the balls to say Nope! Not for me. Anyone who gives you shit about it should butt out.

    If you feel like sharing more stuff, I’ve tagged you: http://supamb.com/supafine/2007/11/24/ahem-a-meme/

    In Jebus name, amen.

  10. Dani Says:

    Shannon — Exactly! If it was even remotely their business, they’d know and wouldn’t have to ask. And I’d like to be a role model too, but we don’t have any neices or nephews yet, so we’ll have to wait for that.

    Judes — It’s funny how that happens, eh? Both figuring out there’s a choice and reading someone who sounds so similar to yourself. Cat-wise, we’ve taken two in off the streets and one from the humane society. And I know there are more rescues in our future, too.

    Britgirl — Thank you! It really is nice to read other CF blogs (yours and AG’s are two that I lurk on, actually) and I have gotten ideas for responses to bingoes. My husband never seems to think I should actually say some of them though …

    Supa — Thank you, my dear! Re: the meme, I’ll have to come up with something that I didn’t share in the other “weird shit about me” meme from a while back. And Jebus? She is SO pissed there’s yet another cat in the house!

  11. Idetrorce Says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

  12. Dani Says:

    With me, or someone else? I find it helps to be specific.

  13. David Says:

    They should do a blog about being childfree and invisible as a married man. I am f-ing tired of people who are not my friends or even my colleagues asking me why I don;t have children. Students are the worst, but I guess I understand it. They see you as a type of father figure and then they assume that you have kids. However, it’s annoying and not theirs or anyone else’s business. I mean I don’t ask them how many STD’s they’ve had or how their last pap smear was. To me it’s the same kind of question. Of course there is also the assumption that I am free to do many things because I have no children and can pick up the slack of those who do.

  14. Dani Says:

    Maybe you should start that blog …

    Everyone thinks everyone else’s business is their own. It’s not right, but for some reason it’s socially acceptable. There are ways to deal with those students though. We’ll discuss later.

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