Holiday Suggestions for the Childfree
Author: Marcia Drut-Davis, “Confessions of a Childfree Woman”
(A life spent swimming against the mainstream. Amazon.com
http://childfreereflections.com (Free resource guide)
It’s that time of the year again. Some of the childfree-by-choice will look forward to being with family or friends who accept them and their choices. Sadly, too many others face the stress of those who ignorantly label them as selfish and irresponsible. What’s a person to do?
After 71 years on this planet, facing both situations, I may have some insights. For those looking forward to the holidays, enjoy, celebrate and feel proud of those people who accept you as you are. I might suggest even thanking them for that at the diner table!
For the others, here are some thoughts:
1. You decide what to do about the holidays! You do NOT have to be in any situation you feel will give you unpleasant, accusatory challenges. Some may choose to take a cruise if you have the money! Others may choose to work in a soup kitchen. Others may have their own parties inviting those who you know accept you and your choices. If you must go to a family event, state at the beginning you have to leave earlier to help a friend/neighbor who is ill. I know! It’s a lie but who cares?
2. If you get into any push/pull confrontations, don’t engage in them. Doing that makes you a victim. You need to feel pride in your choice and have control. Some may honestly think you will have a lonely old age without those children. They fear for you. Consider smiling and saying, “I know you think it’s a wrong choice not to want kids. I’m happy for you if you’re happy being a parent. I’m happy too”. Then change the conversation! If it doesn’t end and another jab is made, repeat the exact same statement. It’s called the “broken disc routine”. It’s an effective sales tool. Sometimes, it’s not easy because they go in for the kill telling you all those ridiculous things you’ve heard before. “How can you ever know real love? How can you miss that first step, first kiss, first excitement as you watch your child grow?” Do the broken disc. Don’t even engage in that answer even if you’re bursting to say how you feel. Then sit back, smile and go home to your sweet childfree lifestyle.
3. For next year: Keep a journal! Every now and then, write your reflections of how your lifestyle supports, enlightens and gives you joy. Next year, hand it out to those at that dinner table who dare to start with their pronatal songs of ignorance.
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