No Kids Allowed: The Death of the Family

What would the world be like without children? Quieter, I imagine. Less messy. Less chaotic. No rules about censoring swearing on the radio, maybe. Toy departments geared toward 20-somethings. An absence of miniature items, everywhere. An absence of parks and children’s museums.

In a world such as that, how would the odd, pregnant woman be treated? Stared at, I imagine. Whispered about. Talked about. Shunned. Insulted, perhaps? Watched closely when she tries to purchase clothing to fit her expanding size. A general doctor explaining how he rarely sees this sort of thing anymore -wouldn’t she prefer to abort?

And then, how would others react to marriage and families? Strangely, I imagine. With wariness or confusion. With raised eyebrows and intrusive questions about life choices. Without tax benefits. Without special Family Days, Kids Meals, or Half-Price Admissions.

You might think such scenarios to be far-fetched. Surely we will never reach the point of a world without children! Of course pregnant women will be accepted and supported! When will couples and their families be ostracized?!

I tell you: sooner than you think.

Over a decade ago, a good friend told me she lived in Germany as part of being in the Air Force. She said she received openly hostile looks for bringing her baby son to a restaurant, yet a woman with a dog was accepted.

When I’ve walked around, heaving my heavy stomach in a waddling fashion, I’ve gotten a judgmental vibe in the downtown areas. Where youth, vigor, liberal views and pro-choice abound in a college crowd; there is no love for pregnancy in the air. There are almost tangible questions of, “Why would you choose that?” amongst the stares.

And, outside of our state, we’ve experienced impatience, judgmental looks, and ignorance regarding our children. At a children’s museum on free children’s admission day nearly 8 years ago, a woman in the gift shop told her coworker she’d “shut that baby up” -in reference to our 2-year-old making interesting sounds in the echoing entryway.

I understand. I do.

I understand that some women do not want to birth children.

I understand that quite a few couples don’t want to raise children.

I understand that many people do not want to deal with children at all.

But, I know that an anti-family social norm is killing us. I know a world without children is not sustainable. I know we need pregnancy. I know we need marriage and families.

And, I know that we can’t just assume someone else will take care of that responsibility. We need, instead, a return to the social assumption that families are the norm. We need love and support for those trying to raise their offspring to not be sociopaths. We need acceptance, appreciation, approval, and attention.

We need families.

tyler-nix-V3dHmb1MOXM-unsplash.jpg

—————

If you’ve the time, here’s my week in review:

Sunday, September 29: “9 Halloween Movies for Kids (Adults, Too!),” in which I listed my favorite Halloween movies for kids and families.

Monday, September 30: Wrote a poem titled, “The Morning Menagerie.”

Tuesday, October 1: Shared a quote about families from Fathers in the Home.

Wednesday, October 2: Recommended saving money by buying in bulk.

Thursday, October 3: “Naptime Isn’t Just for Kids,” a snippet about how great naps are -for parents.

Friday, October 4: Wondered about people’s evening mealtimes in “How Do You Dinner?

Saturday, October 5: Shared Scary Mommy‘s tweet about hypocritical in-laws.

Sunday, October 6: That’s today!

 

Photo Credit: Tyler Nix

©2019 Chelsea Owens

How Do You Dinner?

Every evening of my life, I’ve needed to eat dinner. Breakfast and lunch came before that, of course, but dinner is a more serious matter.

That is because I am the dinner-bringer.

I am she who must plan, purchase for, prepare, set for, get children to eat, and clean up after- dinner. Sure, they help. They’re being housebroken. But all those dinner activities are part of my mental load as stay-at-home mother and reluctant housekeeper.

As I prepared the meal this evening, I began wondering if meal prep as I do it has gone the way of the traditional family. Am I odd in making food each evening? Am I unique in purchasing, preparing, and cooking dinner?

Why do I wonder these things?

Because, fair reader, I know that most families have both parents working. I know that working is exhausting and time-consuming. I know that dinner-making is also exhausting and time-consuming. I therefore assume that most families either eat out or pick up something quick.

Are my assumptions correct? Tell me, what do you do for dinner?

the-joy-of-film-aCIkDGiUFes-unsplash.jpg

Photo Credit: The Joy of Film

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Money-Saving Tip 3

When school’s in session; we go through milk and bread like there’s no tomorrow. I’m grateful for the local Costco with its bulk groceries. I’m ungrateful for their $300 impulse buy items, but that can be a money-saving tip for another day.

Until then, today’s money-saving tip is brought to you by Costco:

Buy in bulk when it’s cheaper and when you’ll use it.

Besides the cost working out about the same for us, my husband also prefers the taste of the Kirkland milk. I wouldn’t know or care, since I rarely handle plain milk without feeling sick.

We also purchase bread, meats, fruits, frozen vegetables, whole and grated cheese, sliced meat, string cheese, snack foods, and dry goods like vitamins and soap.

Fortunately, we live 15 minutes from that Texas-sized warehouse. If I’m laundry pile-deep in kids and dinner’s on the stove, however, my freezer is much closer than a half hour round trip.

henry-co-MkGFWv44Ops-unsplash

Photo Credit: Henry & Co.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Picture Imperfect

Something about picture-perfect families bothers me -aside from envy, of course. It’s realism. It’s knowing that getting a child to stand in the sunlight with a dreamy smile and clean clothes takes psychologically-damaging methods. Like yelling. Like threats. Like bribery.

person-822789_1920

Unless you’ve birthed some of those perfect children I’ve heard about, of course.

If other parents are telling the truth when I fret over my brood, however, a gorgeous family photo takes at least a bit of less-than-gorgeous means. I know this, and I opt for less-than-gorgeous pictures.

You know, when I actually opt for pictures.

Which is why I think parents ought to lay off, just a tad. When a son or daughter wants to sit on a log instead of pose like an angel, allow it. If dirt’s involved, capture the dirt. Can’t get hugs? Get slugs.

At least stop making the rest of us look bad.

edward-cisneros-5EnPNw_9xSc-unsplash.jpg

 

Photo Credits:
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay
Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens