Who knew it was so great to be childless?
Every now & then (like today, lol), in search of undiscovered new blog treasures, I will Google Blog terms such as "childfree infertility" and "childless." The latter term invariably turns up posts by parents who, giddily, gleefully, announce themselves as "childless." As in "MIL took the kids, so we're childless for the weekend, woohoo!" (I made that line up, but it's pretty close to some of the ones I've seen.)
Good grief -- we're already sharing the "childfree" label with the childfree (by choice) crowd (and being lumped together with them by fertiles who don't know there's a difference) -- now we have to share "childless" with people who actually do have kids, but think that not having them (once in awhile, anyway) is a peachy-keen thing.
OK, I can understand the desire to escape from the responsibilities of parenthood for a little while now & then. And yes, parents deserve a break now & then.
But think, people, THINK, before tossing out a term like "childless" as you're celebrating. Your so-called "childlessness" can only be considered a good thing because it is temporary. Your brief escape is my permanent reality. Would any/many of these parents willingly give up their children & trade places with my dh & me? (I don't think so.)
This reminds me of an incident that took place five or six years ago, after dh & I had made the decision not to continue treatment & pursue a childless/free future. I had joined several Internet boards, including one for women like me who found themselves childless, although not by original choice. Another, for scrapbookers, reflected my interest in scrapbooking (despite the hobby's close association with all things mommy-related).
One day, I stumbled on a post by a scrapbooker who, much like the example above, was celebrating the fact that she was "childless" for the weekend. This was the first time I had ever heard the term being used in this way, & to say it stung was an understatement. I fretted & fumed about it for a day or two, and then did something that I didn't realize at the time was a no-no. I vented about it -- not on the scrapbooking board, but on my childless living board. I figured I was safe among friends who would understand how I was feeling.
Maybe a little too well, as it turned out. One of the other women on the childless board was also a scrapbooker who frequented the same scrapbooking board. She took it upon herself to head over to the scrapbooking board & tell them I had read this post & was very hurt by it, and to please use some consideration in the future.
To say all hell broke loose would be an understatement. Both the other woman & myself were pilloried. Oh, they felt soooo sorry for us and our childlessness -- they took great pains to point that out -- but how dare we suggest they didn't have the right to talk about their children, etc. etc. etc. Some of their members even came over to our childless living board to leave nasty comments. I remember feeling almost literally sick to my stomach as I watched the "conversation" unfold, hour by hour. Basically, the two of us were treated like trolls and made to feel totally unwelcome (although there were one or two brave souls who had also experienced loss & infertility and spoke up in our defense, about how difficult it was to deal with infertility in an unthinking, child-obsessed world). I don't think either of us posted there again.
Then, of course, there are those women who have been ttc for, oh, maybe three months without success and declare themselves "infertile"... but perhaps that's fodder for another post!