After experiencing a few harsh comments on social media I contemplated whether or not to post this. I was accused of being insensitive to women struggling with infertility and childlessness and also being insensitive to mothers. I try to be very clear within my writing and on all my social media accounts that I am not anti-parent or anti-kid. As a childfree woman I am just looking for some space in the world, off and online, to celebrate my life. There are perks to being childfree, just as there are perks to being a parent. When we make the choice to have (or not have) kids we are making sacrifices as well as gaining benefits. & these are the things I've gained by having a childfree marriage.
Family Vacations are Adventures - In 2018 we had the opportunity to take a spontaneous 4 day trip to Nashville. Our trip involved 14 straight hours of driving, true Southern BBQ, famous music stores, and evenings spent wandering Music Row. We heard incredible musicians, ate the most delicious food and were able to enjoy the town at a leisurely pace. As we planned our (now postponed) trip to Hawaii, the schedule filled with snorkelling boat trips, hiking Hawaiian mountains, gorgeous sandy beaches and ATV outings. Our schedules are always wide open and there's usually no issue with my husband booking in a golf game or two wherever we go. I love being able to change our plans last minute or do something crazy just because we can!
We Can Deal With Problems Immediately - I don't do well with being in a disagreement with my husband, I don't like the feeling of being distant or having unresolved issues. I'm thankful that when problems arise we don't have to wait for a 'more opportune time' to hash something out. If something is wrong, we talk about it there and then and get it resolved. Conversations can last as long as they need to and the issue can be let go or solved that same day.
We Have Time for Self Care - Self care is vital to being the best version of ourselves. By spending time doing things I love, filling my soul, I am then able to be the best wife I can possibly be to my husband and he can do the same. He loves to book golf sometimes after work and usually at least once on the weekends. I enjoy booking creative classes and getting outside. As someone dealing with increased anxiety, my self care is vital to my survival right now and I am so thankful that I have the time and space to do it.
Sexytime, Anytime - What else needs to be said really. Freedom When House Shopping - As we looked towards the future and buying a house I decided to make us a few lists. We have our absolutely Must-have items, our would-be-nice-to-have items and wishlist items. Our 'must haves' are location, 2+ bedrooms, 2+ bath, a garage and good natural lighting. That's it, it's a pretty short list honestly. We don't need to worry about a yard, a school zone, growing into or out of a space, any sort of 'dangers' i.e. ponds/pools or lack of fence. We can buy a giant house or small one, stairs or no stairs, old, new, the possibilities are endless.
Date Night Any Night - We have a surprisingly busy schedule.. by 'we' I mean my husband. From working hard to take care of our family to weekly band practice to serving at our church to polishing his golf game and improving his musical abilities, we like to take advantage of the spare time we have during a week. Although our date night is scheduled for Friday evenings, that plan doesn't always work out. We are able to do date night any night we want and at the drop of a hat if need be and that insures that we are staying connected and filling our quality time love language tank.
Time To Serve - Not only do we have time to serve our church, but also time to serve our friends and family. Acts of Service is my husbands top love language and it really opened my eyes to the deep meaning behind small, kind gestures. We recently helped a friend put up a Christmas tree for his wife when he was physically unable to do so, my husband installed a door for a friend and I baked and delivered cookies to a few loved ones. These tasks were not difficult for us to do, but were so meaningful to the recipients. We were able to not only have the time but also the energy to serve those around us. It feels good to do good.
More Patience With Each Other - There’s a lot of things in life that test our patience. Slow drivers when we’re in a hurry, loud chewers, someone not using the proper variation of ‘your’, people who don’t return shopping carts. All these little stressors build up and we eventually take out our frustrations on the ones we love most, not because they deserve it but because we know they'll love us through it. I am thankful that we are able to reduce the stressors in our lives which in turn reduces frustrations.
We're Still Kids at Heart - Many people say kids keep you young, and that might be true, being childfree does a pretty good job as well. My husband and I laugh and act silly, enjoy the little things in life and have tons of fun together. I find the true test of a relationship is if you can go to a super lame place for a date and have a total blast together.
Can parents do many of these things? Of course they can. I'm not saying that parents can't have adventures together or don't have time to serve their community, I'm just looking for a space to celebrate the things I love about my own life. Being for something doesn't mean you're automatically against something else and me celebrating my childfree life doesn't mean these are exclusively childfree things. I love my childfree marriage and the things it gives me. I love the person it's turning me into and love the life we're building together and I'm going to continue to celebrate all of those things.
“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow - this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert