Monday, June 27, 2011

No-Baby Backlash

The lovely Jennifer, who writes Sunshine and Chaucer knows herself pretty well.  She's a young newlywed, and at this stage of her life... she and her husband have basically decided that they don't want to be parents.   No biggie, right?  She likes children... works with children... loves her nieces...  just has decided that she isn't cut out to be a mom.  

She's able to be honest with herself, which is pretty smart, and she was honest on a blog, which was pretty brave.

Jennifer read this post on Stitched In Color.  Readers were asked to leave a comment telling  what bothers them.  Jennifer was comment 170 of more than 400. In a nutshell, she said it bothered her when people try to talk her into having children and that they think she is somehow defective for not wanting kids.

Several days later, Jennifer wrote this post featuring great projects she had seen around the blogosphere.  It included a beautiful, functional play-room.  Clearly, she had offended someone with her comment on another blog, so they came to her blog to spread the hate.

The Hater Said:
As if someone so against having children would have one iota of a clue where children want to play.  Selfish twit.

The Slammed Blogger Says:

1. I'm not against everyone having children, just don't want any right now.  I'm 22.  I just got married.  I'm super poor.  Also, kids are great and all but I can't be around the for more than a day at a time or I start going crazy.
2. That has nothing to do with knowing what fun stuff for kids is and isn't.  I was a kid.  I have nieces.  I am two classes away from a degree in early childhood development.  I nanny.  I know what cool crap is.
3. Iota?  Using a word typically used by people trying to sound smart doesn't make your comment more classy.
4.  I've never got the whole "not wanting kids = selfish" thing.  Why is it better to have kids when you don't want them?  Why is it better to bring kids into a world where you can't provide for them?  Why is it better to make yourself unhappy so you can create a life that won't be sad if it never exists because it won't know the difference?  I don't get it.

I could say meaner things, about how pathetic I think you are because you went through all that trouble to leave a rude comment, because clearly my not wanting to have children deeply affects you personally.  But I prefer to keep the four letters words off the blog, because I don't think it's classy to cuss in a public forum in front of people you don't know, and also because 

I'm just so thrilled that my blog is worth a rude anonymous comment (and that I have something to submit to My Favorite Hate Mail) that I can't get myself to be hurt or offended.  I could not, however, resist commemorating it with it's own response.  I'd have emailed it privately, but losers don't leave emails when they have something rude to say.

The extremely happily childfree Jennifer. 

Viv Says:

Jennifer, you are my hero.  It takes great strength of character to do what is right for you, even if it flies in the face of society's conventions.  (You know, that ALL women want to be mothers... etc.)  
There are definitely people out there who should not be allowed to have a pet rock, let alone have children.  It's sad that the commenter has more respect for crappy parents who should NEVER have had children, than she does for a woman who recognizes her strengths and her limitations bases her important decisions accordingly.
(I'm still shaking my head at this.  Seriously!  Unbelievable!)

Mandi Says:

Can someone say STALKER? The amount of time that peope have on their hands and the way they waste it never ceases to amaze me.  Miss Jennifer has all the right in the world to decide if she does or does not want children.  Cause once you got 'em there is no getting rid of 'em.  Its like people choosing to not have a dog.  Or a husband.  Speaking of which, does anyone want mine?  Dog that is, I like my husband.

What Do You Say?


Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

Some people...seriously! Jenn live your own life and ignore the hater comments. Love on that delete button some! :)

MariaS @ HandmadeLove said...

Jennifer: AMEN! I am a mom and when I say that motherhood is over-rated I get evil looks from the moms around. I love my son, I live for my son, I am a stay-at-home-mom and LOVE it. But I also say that motherhood is not all that is cracked up to be.
So whether you have a child later or you never have a child: that is your DECISION and nobody else's. And THANK YOU for posting that reply to the very rude comment! I will follow your blog from now on because I think YOU ROCK!

Shawna said...

It sounds to me like that anonymous commenter is just a wee bit jealous of Jennifer's child-free status. She probably wishes she could go back in time and make that kind of a choice. Since she can't, she's just going to be rude and obnoxious to someone with the guts to speak the truth.

Oh, and it IS annoying when people try to talk you into having children. Also, when they ask "When ARE you going to have kids?" I don't believe it's any of your business. Thank you. :-)

Dharma said...

Go on with your bad-little-self! Loved your response Jennifer!!!!

By the way - I have a rule about women, who happen to be mothers, I have never and will never trust a woman who cannot admit she has thought about putting a three year old out to the curb in a box with the words "Free to a Decent Home" on it. All others are liars....and I am a Mom :)

Sounds like your self-righteous commentor is just jealous and in self-denial. Haters suck. said...

Big fan of Jennifer!! Love how you set her back on her heels! What century does that woman live in? Good Lord!

Lisa said...

Way to go Jennifer!! Some people never really think before they speak (or type)! We've chosen to only have one child and someone asked me once "What if something happens to him? Wouldn't you want another?" as if he could be replaced somehow. Guess what? Something did happen, he had a cancerous brain tumor and because he was our only one - both me and my husband were able to 100% devote our time and energy to taking care of him. Never once did I think "Oh wow, if we'd just had another, this wouldn't be a big deal!"

Some people just aren't smart!! Good for you for knowing what you want at this moment and making GOOD decisions for your family!!

Gloria Fox @ Potentially Beautiful said...

Wow. Good for you Jennifer in publicly calling out this "person" and for knowing what you want for you and your family. I never understood those who think a woman is wrong for not choosing to have children. Lord knows there are plenty out there that should have made that decision. And, why wouldn't you know what is a cool playroom just because you don't want or have children yourself? I know what a cool beach house looks like but I don't have one and probably never will. And congrats that your blog is worthy of a rude comment! :-)

Judy C said...

When I was newly married I didn't want kids. Just getting to know and live with a husband is a lot of work. Then later I did want kids. So I had kids. As an only child with no experience at child care I'll say it was not the easiest thing I ever did but it worked out for me. Jen either will or won't have children. Either way it's her life, her choice. Only self-important oafs think they have the right to judge.

Kerry Rossow said...

Yep- What Viv said!
Kerry at

Brittany said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. though I do have one child and one on the way, my husband and I have decided that this will probably (though I won't say for 100% assurance) be it. And we're ok with it.
Everyone else, however, is not. And when I mention that this will most likely be my last pregnancy they have this look of shock on their faces. And then proceed to ask me why, etc. as if it's their business.

Jessie K said...

Okay, someone needs to get a life! And honestly? I think it's actually more selfish to have kids. Think about it. You bring them into this world which is full of greed and hate and ugly anonymous commenters. This is something I've thought about a lot as I'm a mom of soon-to-be three. There's a lot I don't want my kids seeing, knowing, hearing, etc. Sometimes it bogs me done and I have to try to remember there actually is good stuff out there, you just have to look. So, selfish to not have kids?? No way! Selfish to have kids? Yep! We have kids for our own legacies, our own entertainment, our own selfish desires to have someone there to care for us in our old age. And we fight them every step of the way! :D

clearness said...

So much for having the ability to make your own decisions ....I mean, anonymous commenter thinks he/she should make your decisions for you. I guess he/she is trying to show he/she has an iota of classy running through his/her blood.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the nice comments everyone, you all have really made my day!! :)

The Answer Is Chocolate said...

Good for Jennifer! I'm not sure I would have been so reasoned in my response at Jennifer's age. OK I'm not sure I would be at MY age! We knew from the time we got married that we wanted one. That seemed to invite everyone's opinions just like choosing not to have any. We were told we were selfish, we'd change our minds, we were (this was my fave) child abusers. That made me furious given what real child abuse is. Still makes my blood boil. We had one and that was right for us and he's pretty darned A-OK. No one should have kids or not have kids or have a set number of kids other than what's right for them. OK I need some chocolate now! Grrrrrrrrr.

Ali said...

Yipes. Well I for one think it is very creepy that they found her comment in the 400 some comments that were left, and then bookmarked her page, went back a few days later with the intention of putting her down.

Lashing out at people you don't know... I mean I think it says something about all crappy anonymous commenter that they feel the need to reach out and hurt someone they don't know. Life must really suck for them.

Be happy and child free! woo!

Good Time Charlie said...

i am with Mandi, STALKER! Also, this woman is probably up to her eyeballs in toddlers and dirty diapers and feeling stretched thin. Maybe SHE regrets having children at her stage of life and wants to slam someone who chooses to think long and hard before bringing on the responsibility of another human being. Personally, I have been married for almost half my life now and happily with kids....but that doesn't mean I can't blog about a fabulous loft meant for a successful single woman! Oh well, thank goodness for disgruntled people, keeps the world interesting.

Laurie said...

what a weirdo, stalking you back to your blog to comment!!

It never ends. You hear "WHEN are you going to have kids?" then if you have one you ear "WHEN are you going to have another?" and if you dare to have more kids than society thinks is prudent, you hear "WHEN are you going to STOP having kids?" *sighhh*

Rose by Any Other Name said...

Jennifer, I think your response to the hater is both thoughtful and classy. I'm a 32 year old woman who also does not currently want kids. And I think that's ok - even if it never changes.

Creating a playspace idea for other people's children is the definition of generous and lovely - and don't let silly mean people tell you otherwise.

melissa said...

I absolutely adore you guys already. I'm all about building people up..not bashing them.

I say live and let live. Maybe you struck a nerve..but the hater couldve handled it better!

Saucy said...

No kidding, I think Jennifer has a stalker... or the person has way too much time on their hands, possibly watching the Casey Anthony trial and saying it was a good idea for her to have a child. Seriously. How do people ever think it is justifiable to make comments about the life choices of others?

Melissa I. said...

W.O.W! I can't have kids and I can't tell you how many times I have been GRILLED about it! My husband and I have been married 18 years. I don't know why some people think it is okay for them to interject their opinion on something so personal! I really love when they throw in, "you can always adopt." I am 43 years old and have no desire at this stage in my life to take on a child to raise. Besides that, who has $40K or more lying around to GIVE, not lend, to us to adopt this child?

Kitty said...

I get the same flack Jennifer does all the time. I am 32 and my hubby and I are childless by choice and plan to stay that way. BUT I love to knit, crochet and craft things for children. Every friend who has a baby gets a handmade blanket and booties set from "Aunty Chan". I had a complete stranger tell me that is is wickedly selfish that I choose not to have children when there are people (like her) who cannot and that I am wasting a great gift God gave me. Wow.

I say: Jennifer good for you! It takes strength and a good bit of self reflection to be able to honestly say "I don't want kids" in face of all the social pressure. And guess are free to change your mind when YOU want to. You go girl!

Jodi @ Make Three blog said...

As a Mother, I think it's extremely UNselfish to not have a kid if you don't want them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to not have kids. The person who left that anonymous comment on Jennifer's blog is a cowardly twit. Only have kids because you want them, not because society thinks you should.

Sherri Spichiger said...

You know, I used to get a lot of that too. I waited until I was 34 to have my first child and you would not believe the amount of pressure my "happily-married-with-kids" friends put on me. Jen, only YOU know when you are ready for kids, no one else. And btw, even if you NEVER have children, that does NOT make you selfish in any way, so don't even listen to that crap. Good on you for being honest! Keep your chin up!

Charlene Austin said...

Jennifer, I have always known from my early 20's I did not want kids. I'm 40 now and I still don't. There was never a question that it was the right decision for my husband and I. Our life is full and happy and I wouldn't change a thing. Don't worry about people always asking when you will have kids.....after around age 36 they stop asking you. Lol.