Time Magazine’s ‘Childfree’ Cover – I Am Out Of The Pot

 

I have jumped out of the pot.  It was making me dizzy.  Stir all you want.

People are asking me what I think about the latest TIME magazine cover.  The one with the gorgeous couple laying on the beach under the words, “The Childfree Life”.

 

 

I think I’m supposed to be upset by this link bait title and cover.  I’m sure TIME wants it to be controversial because that’s the BEST WAY TO SELL magazines.  Remember this one?

Yes, here is a picture of the bait that I'm sure you've already seen.

 

The recent child free article however, has left me with the feeling of “so what” and even a little “yay for them”.  The article struck me mostly as a piece about couples choosing to follow a path that makes them happy even if it goes against what people around them expect or see as normal.  I know mothers with upwards of five children in their home.  I know couples who desperately wanted children, couldn’t have them, and are doing their best to be happy and enjoy the things they may not be able to enjoy if they had kids.  Yes, I also know people who have deliberately chosen NOT to procreate because it’s not what they want.

The backlash on this (especially from mothers) is weird to me.  Haven’t we gotten over this whole “your choice is bad because it’s not my choice” thing?  Maybe we need to check our underwear before putting them on, because the trend lately seems to be to get our panties in a twist before we even start the day.

The media, of course, is not helping with headlines like, TIME Cover Draws Battle Line Between Childless Women and Mothers, and ‘TIME’ Magazine’s ‘Childfree’ Life Article Shows Moms What They Are Missing.

I went out last weekend with my husband for the first time alone in over a year.

Am I envious of “child free” people who lounge quietly on a beach without worrying if one of their kids is drowning?  Yes.

Do I regret my decision to have a family?  No way.

The article itself states that:

The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history. From 2007 to 2011, the most recent year for which there’s data, the fertility rate declined 9%. A 2010 Pew Research report showed that childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about 1 in 5 American women who end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with 1 in 10 in the 1970s.

While I do find that an interesting statistic, I do not in any way feel that choosing not to have kids is doing a disservice to humankind.  Trust me, there are people out there like the Duggars who are more than happy to make up for the loss in population.  Besides, with the way we are treating our planet, there may not be enough resources to go around in the near future anyway.

Let’s not pit woman against woman.  Instead, let’s allow (if not celebrate) women who make and stand by their own choices.

Also, I will die happy if I never hear the term “have it all” bandied about ever again.

There is no such thing.

Let’s just try to have what we ourselves want at the different times in life that we want them.

The real question is “can we be happy”?

Maybe if we get out of the pot…

Maybe if we stop judging others whose choices are not the same as ours…

Maybe if we give ourselves permission…

Maybe if we stop thinking other people should need ours…

Maybe.

Probably.

I’d like to find out.

 

jenni chiu sig

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion

  1. Huzzah!

    I chose for the first 18 years of my relationship with my man to NOT have children.
    We were very happy. Then we chose to have a child. We were very happy. Then we chose to have another child but that didn’t become reality and we are really happy.

    I too have friends who can but didn’t, can’t, have a few or only one., and all of these women are just like everyone else sometimes happy sometimes not.

    I 100% agree that ‘have it all’ must be struck from our lexicon like the black mambo snake it is. Poison penned words meant to wither brave hearts and suppress confidence.

    You that happy lady over there! Good on you for whatever magical combination of events brought you to contentment! I ain’t gonna try to cut you down so I feel taller. I am gonna high five you and reach further in that act of solidarity.

    Time you need to stop wasting precious wood pulp.

    • “magical combination of events that brought you contentment…”
      Well put. Happiness is sometimes hard to come by. We should celebrate it more often than try to deny others of it.

  2. I couldn’t have said it any better. I’m so tired of other mothers and women in general judging each other. Your right way may be completely wrong for me and vice versa, we all need to learn to live our lives, and lift up and support each other rather than tear each other down.
    Becky recently posted..Working mama

  3. When I saw the cover all I thought was “lucky bastards” but then my 5 yro asked me to check his butt for poop and I was all “look what they are missing out on”

  4. Amen, and good night.
    Nancy Davis Kho recently posted..Gifts From Ceil

  5. Debbi says:

    The only thing that chaps my hide about this article is the single quotes around the word Childfree – I think it deserves double quotes at least!

  6. I agree. Not my business. I had kids because that’s what I wanted, what was right for me. I think both people who have kids and who don’t both have perks. Like hell, I would love to have the extra money, time and sleep that comes with not having children but then I wouldn’t have my crazy pillow stealing, middle of the night cuddles. No matter what decision we make, there are perks and there are things we give up. I don’t know what all the pot stirring is about. Apparently, editors like to stir the pot for ratings. I wrote a post about the cover and then an editor…changed the title and now I look like I am judgyMcJudgy bitch, but I really am not. See.
    http://articles.mamaslatinas.com/parenting/115964/truth_be_told_what_kind
    Debi recently posted..Stealing Pillows

  7. Every choice in life — whether to marry, not to marry, whether to pursue a certain career path — has advantages and disadvantages. When I look at all the women that I went to high school and I see the diversity of our life experiences as late thirtysomething women, I’m so thankful that many of us do have so many choices. As far as Time Magazine, the weekly magazines are in a death spiral. They’ll do anything to find a cultural “hot topic” to sell magazines.
    Jessica Smock recently posted..What To Do When You Travel With Kids (And One Thing Never To Do)

  8. I just want us, society, to get to a point of not really giving a shit about what other people do. You wanna have kids? Fine. Hump until it happens. You wanna have six? Your Thanksgivings are going to totally rock. You want one, two, none? Do you. Make your decision, live your life, don’t fall for the topic of the times, the next best thing to get people up in arms about something that has virtually no effect on anyone outside the people making the decision for themselves.
    Arnebya recently posted..Ignition

  9. I get so confused about this sort of stuff. I have friends who didn’t have kids. I don’t sit around contemplating whether or not they made the “right” decision for themselves or the rest of humankind. Life is so short. Find your happy where you can.
    Tammy recently posted..The Bachelorette — Helping Me Teach My Daughter the REAL Facts of Life

  10. I don’t understand why mothers would want to criticize couples who choose NOT to have children. So what? It’s their life. They are the ones who’ll have to wake up in the middle of the night, they are the ones who’ll have to catch vomit in their hands, they’re the ones who’ll have to pay for the kids’ college education, they’re the ones who’ll have their hearts walking outside of their body – not us.

    I’m with you on this. Let’s just all stop and mind our own business.

    (PS: My sister is married and have no plans to have children. She’s happy. I’m happy for her. She’s in Sydney right now for a week-long holiday, a decision she made on the spur of the moment. Not something I can ever do now. But *I* am happy for her.)
    Alison recently posted..Abundance

  11. I couldn’t agree more with you. Amen.
    Angela recently posted..My Boys & Baseball

  12. TOTALLY agree! Who cares what makes other people happy/fulfilled? I must admit that I did not know how much my kids would fill be up until I had them – so maybe the other side don’t know what they are missing… but again WHO CARES?

  13. I agree. If not having kids makes you happy, then don’t have kids. If having kids makes you happy, then have kids. Simple. The end. Don’t judge.
    Old School/New School Mom recently posted..What Do You Do When You Feel Sad?

  14. I don’t know why this gets people so up in arms – to each his/her own! It’s far better to acknowledge what you want than to go along with society’s expectations…
    …and be a really shitty parent.
    It’s not my place to judge.

    (although, I know a few people who never should have been parents.)

    Not that I’m judging, or anything.

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  1. […] Chui’s article, Time Magazine’s ‘Childfree’ Cover – I Am Out Of The Pot – Mommy Nani B…, aptly refers to the title as ‘link bait;’  she also asks the the valid question, […]

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