Majority of us want to feel as though we are not alone. That we aren’t the only ones living the way we are living or thinking the thoughts we are thinking. For many of us community is essential in that it helps us from feeling odd and alone in the world, especially in a world filled with so many people.
No matter those that surround me, I am solid in my choice to be childfree. There are many naysayers that are not happy with me for not fulfilling the life-script of motherhood. (For more on dealing with naysayers see my post Past Self PSA: Judgment & Naysayers) I have never wanted to be a mother and I plan on remaining childfree my entire life. Despite many of my peers choosing the path of motherhood, I still know that it isn’t for me. I have been an odd-ball for one reason or another and this wasn’t different for me. However, with the invention of the internet and knowing that though I might be the only one in my group of peers that felt the way I did, that out in the world there must be other people like me who didn’t want to procreate. So I set out to find “my” community; and my goodness is there a lot of us childfree/ non-parents out there… much more than society will let on! (And lots of different people with different reasons why… in fact currently there is a new “childfree by choice” group out there, that actually want children but have decided to protest the climate-situation by not having children for concern of the health of the earth’s environment.)
All this searching… led to finding childfree by choice Facebook groups, blogs, Instagram feeds, books, podcasts, and more. There are a lot of resources for those who feel like they are sole childfree person in a sea of nuclear families/mommies.
However, so many of these resources/communities are VERY NEGATIVE!!
And at first I understood it. I mean I was fed up too! I have been so annoyed and so pushed to the edge by disrespectful people stomping all over my life choice that I would snap and say the reason I was childfree is that ‘I hated children’, I would say this purely to shock people into shutting up and leaving me alone. Because though I am very happy in my choice not to procreate, I definitely do NOT hate kids. I work with kids, I appreciate their imagination, I get angry when someone is mistreating children. I am there for my friend’s kids and my sibling’s kids. I am proud to be the fun book-loving aunt.
But many of these communities and resources I would find were of people so fed up with having their lifestyle questioned that they began to begrudge people with their choice to have children. (And probably some people who actually hate and are disgusted by children and those who procreate.) No matter their reasoning, some of these groups were so hateful as to laugh or mock things such as child/parent death in the news or be resentful of people having kids at all and calling people foul names. Another common occurrence would be that these communities would talk about children and parents incessantly often more than mommy bloggers. Granted they were talking about them to complain but not only would they say they wanted their personal Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feeds without all the babies, they were filling these community feeds with rants and pictures of more babies?!? They also would use terms that, many childfree use to denote very specific people we deal with but in a blanket way, such as calling all mothers, “mombies” (a term I would use to denote mean-spirited mothers who are so zombie like in their belief that women are only meant to be mothers, all they talk about is motherhood, and insist that you must be a mother too). They would use this and many other terms in demeaning ways that mark all people outside of the childfree lifestyle as “other” and speak in very hateful ways. (They were even anti-the childless not by choice.) I found groups like these to be troublesome.
Yes it’s not cool that people get in the face of the childfree by choice and tell us we are wrong! However, being hateful and mean in return doesn’t not create open conversations and acceptance, it just creates more hate and more division. To clarify I understand venting or making some jokes/memes about bad parenting/children or discussing the negative aspects of what the childfree deal with… But being a negative jerk by acting as though all people outside of their lifestyle are vile and wrong (especially since it’s the more accepted way of life), laughing at people’s pain just because you think they are a “stupid breeder”, or purposefully being mean and hurtful to parents/children, is not healthy and not getting us anywhere. I do understand why, [except for the people who truly despise all parents and children] but the focus on the negative makes us a hate-mongering cult, not a community. [This would be like a depression group not only yelling about everyone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have depression but blaming all their problems on people who don’t have depression instead of opening the conversation and talking about their life with depression. The focus is slightly off the mark.]
So TLDR, (short version) there are a lot of negativity in the childfree by choice communities for a lot of reasons some justified some not, and a lot due to overcompensation of the crazy amount of BS people sling at us. However, if you are frustrated with the focus on negativity, or find yourself falling into the hater-storm-spiral but want still want a childfree by choice community, then here are some positive ones that I highly recommend:
- @Drunkauntoverseas (really great community!! This is my favorite)
- @nokidsforme (sometimes very heavy on the negative memes, but overall positive)
Thoughtful, Supportive, Mature, Childfree by Choice (you have to request to join)
- You Got This! (this blog!)
- https://www.thechildfree.com/ Childfree is Not a Dirty Word
- https://respectfullychildfree.com/ Respectfully Childfree
- https://cfplaces.com/ Child Free Places
- childfreetravels.com Childfree Travels
Now these are only ones I am personally familiar with at this time. There is a great resource of https://www.childfreelove.com/childfree-blogs/ which is a list of childfree blogs however I have not explored all of to know what type of communities they have.
I plan to review some childfree books and other resources (such as podcasts) at a later date.
Also there are many instagrams, blogs, facebook groups that ARE within the childfree lifestyle but just don’t talk about being childfree such as travel blogs and couple blogs. So keep your eye out. A great example of this would be the youtubers/bloggers/podcasters of “Simon and Martina” of Eat Your Kimchi they discuss leaving Canada to live in South Korea and then in Japan, and their struggles with physical illness and depression… they are inspirational and though they don’t discuss it, are childfree.
Or other instagram feeds I follow are animal feeds that only post cute animals or just baking or just cooking or “@thefemalehustlers” who talk about women entrepreneurs and such. All of these don’t “say” childfree, but they are because they don’t talk about children or parenthood. (So much like I don’t talk about childfree in every post, I’m still childfree, and living that lifestyle… so don’t be afraid to widen your search.)
As for the angry rant-y stuff, if you want to find that, then just keep googling it’s out there.
Otherwise I hope that helps, and remember YOU GOT THIS!