Parental-units love to go on and on about how amazing it is to hold a new baby in their arms, watch their wee ones’ eyes light up on Christmas morning, or see their precious darlings grow up to (hopefully) become productive members of society. But contrary to popular opinion, a life without said miracles is far from bereft. Few-and-far-between wonders such as these pale in comparison to what sunup-through-sundown looks like when you’re child-free! I’m not surprised that mom-dad-types always focus on extraordinary events (like holidays or graduations) — then somehow forget about the diurnal temper tantrums and snotty noses, the continual exhaustion, the routine frustration when your bratleigh won’t listen, the complete ongoing lack of gratitude from that creature you spat out of your womb. Hell — I’d block those less-than-joyous experiences out of my mind and selectively choose to remember only the special occasions, too!
Procreators claim to experience moments of great ecstasy, but they usually occur alongside (often simultaneous to) prolonged periods of complete anguish — you know, those times when you could literally kill that crotch-dropling you claim to love so much. The no-kidding way focuses less on “wow” and more on simple, reliable contentment. Our pleasures are often quite mundane (we’re not out skydiving all the time) — but those smaller slices of gratification are the building blocks of a highly fulling overall existence. (In the grand scheme of things, I’d rather pair fewer murderous impulses with a more consistent level of peace and quiet!) I’ve been perusing what’s so seductive (at least to me) about voluntary childlessness — the perks and advantages of skipping the whole “let’s have a baby” stage of life. Here are some of the joys my cohorts and I embrace, revel in, and gloat over on a daily basis:
completing a coherent thought and carrying on an adult conversation — without some loud-mouthed midget interrupting me every 5 minutes, yanking on my leg and hollering “Mommymommymommymommymommymommymommymommymommy!”
living small with a teeny carbon footprint — knowing that I’m not adding to the consumption or pollution problems caused by disposable diapers, single-serving packaging, discarded happy meal containers, and broken toys that end up in a landfill
enjoying regularly-scheduled sanity-saving periods of complete silence — finding an extended stretch of time each day to read a book (all the way to the end), nurture my creativity, take a nap, soak in the tub, or just savor the moment
having the freedom to travel whenever (and wherever) I choose — without arranging my calendar around school vacations, searching for “family-friendly” (I hate that euphemism) destinations, or paying for munchkin-sized admission/food/souvenirs
spending my time and energy on “want to” projects rather than “have to” responsibilities — knowing that PTA meetings and scouts and soccer practice won’t get in the way of me volunteering at a shelter, creating a piece of art, or learning a language
arranging my environment in an organized fashion without a ton of mini-clutter taking up all my space — no piles of kinderspüllen, no mystery stains on the couch, no inexplicably broken dishes or scorched towels (both of which I was guilty of as a child)
serving exotic ethnic foods and NOT having to accommodate a picky preschool stomach with endless rounds of mac and cheese — eating misir wat for breakfast, gulab jamun for lunch, and chocolate-cherry sushi for dinner without being accused of neglect
continuing to grow throughout the whole of my life — instead of seeing my intellectual development come to a halt once I’m submerged in baby talk and moronic cartoons, remaining in a constant state of learning and evolving and broadening of my horizons
not answering to (or being restricted by) external temporal constraints — no rushing-for-Junior’s-soccer-practice carpools, no early-evening-put-Junior-to-bed-by-sunset suppers, or o’-dark-thirty-ass-crack-of-dawn-getting-Junior-ready-for-school alarm clocks
never fearing verbal censorship because something inappropriate flew uncontrollably out of my mouth — using any fucking language I fucking like in my own fucking home without having to watch my fucking mouth for fear of being a bad fucking influence!
living without debt (or any reason to accumulate debt) — beyond the labor-and-delivery bill, that “I want!” thing just kills me — so much easier to avoid “affluenza” when you’re not attempting to accommodate the consumer needs of a pint-sized money-sucker
enjoying a sense of privacy in any room of my house — not having to lock the door to keep some house-ape from walking in on me while I’m peeing, undressing, doing the wild thing, or engaged in some other activity that I don’t care to share with the world
watching raw-to-the-point-of-painful dramas, sappy-to-the-point-of-painful chick flicks, and edgy-intellectual-to-the-point-of-painful documentaries — instead of Barney or Dora or Spongebob (or whatever the hell’s currently popular with the rugrat set)
acting like a kid instead of behaving like a grown-up — sledding down a hill or playing in a fountain, getting hurt doing something stupid on a swingset or feeding a giraffe at the zoo — instead of explaining to a child why s/he should never do what I’m doing
leaving the house without taking half the morning to pack snacks and toys and wipes and extra changes of clothes — not having to wrestle with strollers, diaper bags, portable playpens, or a squirming sproglodyte that refuses to stay still in a car seat
going out any night of the week (without worrying about finding a babysitter) — patronizing any eating establishment I want (without my shriekling disrupting anyone else’s meal) — and staying out as late as I like (giving not one crap about bedtimes)
doing the kind of work I love, instead of slogging my way through a job I hate just to support my family and pay the bills — that includes indulging in self-employment, plenty of artsy endeavors, a shorter work-week, and even a little bit of early semi-retirement
finding that my life becomes richer, fuller, and more interesting each year — continuing to have adventures, learn about the world, and share my experiences with others (rather than having to live vicariously because I’m trapped at home with a cranky toddler)
never hearing someone 4′ tall scream “I hate you” for failing to indulge every passing commercial whim — not having a dysfunctional adult blame me for his/her residual psychological problems — living a (mostly) rational, logical, meltdown-free existence
maintaining an open mind about the world and an empathetic view of other folks’ situations, instead of giving in to “baby-brain” — avoiding that age-old parent-trap of seeing the world through a lens of fear and worry and helicopter-style-over-protectionClick here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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