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Aug 9 2013

The Childfree Life vs. The Childfull Life

By at 9:34 am

couple on beach without kidsIt must have been amusing for people to see me reading my copy of Time Magazine’s issue in praise of the childfree life: a pregnant woman having second thoughts, perhaps? But after having read it, I think this cover story was, to a certain extent, inaccurate–and unnecessary.

The birthrate in America, it’s true, is at a record low–but that may not all be a matter of choice, despite the fact that medical technology now allows women to have children without a male partner. As Melanie Notkin correctly notes in her Huffington Post essay, “The Truth About the Childless Life,” to posit that all women not having children are doing it out of deliberate choice not only perpetuates the image of women who are not mothers as “career oriented” and “selfish,” it also belies the actual facts on the ground: Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 16 2012

The Childless Uncle & The Baby Take Manhattan

By at 1:18 pm
cvs in manhattan

Where else to take a baby in Manhattan?

I recently spent an hour and a half alone with my niece Lila–no competent adult supervising–on the dangerous streets of Manhattan. She survived. Both of us survived, in fact. This I see as a tremendous accomplishment.

The secret I suspect I share with many other first-time aunts and uncles is that we are paralyzed with fear. We are supposed to be people you can trust with your baby, but we have no idea what we are doing. I had never even seen a real baby up close until I met Lila. The first thing I said to my wife when we left the hospital, after visiting our hours-old niece, was that I was surprised she wasn’t making more eye contact. And even having expressed this preposterously idiotic reaction to meeting a newborn baby for the first time, I was still trusted to wheel her around a crowded city for 90 minutes–alone. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 20 2012

Circumstantial Infertility–How To Treat Your Childless Friends

By at 2:17 pm

Photo by KOO baby bassinet.

As I sat up last night, rocking Baby G in a fruitless effort to get her to go back to sleep between 3 and 5 am, I’ll admit it – I felt cranky and exhausted.  (Hot tip: giving baby her first bananas ever – i.e. first taste of sugar – at dinner is a mistake: it made her go, for lack of a better word, bananas.)

And I only felt worse when Z, my 8-year-old, came into the room saying, “The baby woke me up and now I can’t sleep.” I felt terrible telling him that Baby G had laid claim to my tired body first for rocking-back-to-sleep purposes. I sat in the plush brown rocker, baby alternately squirming and whining in my arms, and thought, “You know something? I am so unbelievably lucky.” Read the rest of this entry →

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