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All I’m Saying Is That Babies Should Be Vetted, Too.

Hey, there. I don’t know about you, but Justin and I just had a superfun week with my wonderful friend Stacy who came to visit from Texas. We did some exploring of coastal Virginia, ate fancy cheese in Colonial Williamsburg, walked the boardwalk in Virginia Beach, drank cocktails in Ghent, sipped coffee and ate at some of my favorite restaurants in Newport News, watched fireworks and explored the bars at Harbor Fest in Norfolk, and drank German beer before attending an Avett Brothers concert in Portsmouth.


All-in-all, I’d say it was a successful visit.

And by “successful,” I mean totally wicked fun and I never wanted it to end. It makes me appreciate how lucky we were to get stationed somewhere with so much to see and do nearby. It’s actually kind of distracting, because “little things” like… I don’t know… finishing a kitchen renovation or jump starting my career seem kind of unimportant next to discovering a Bier Garden that serves authentic spätzle and carries over 100 imported brews.

It’s called living in the moment, guys.

Which is something I’ve been trying to do more of lately.

And okay. Forgive the lack of segue, but is it just me, or is everyone in the entire world having babies?

I’m sure if you’re struggling with fertility issues or, like me, aren’t really thinking about fertility much at all, it sure seems like it. Justin and I get to go to a wedding next weekend, which will be crazy refreshing compared to all of the baby visits that seem to exponentially multiply the further I get into my 30’s. (And I’m only 31. I think.) What can I say? Wedding celebrations are just more fun than baby celebrations:

Location Reception hall, nice house, big barn, pretty park, Fiji, etc. Hospital.
Atmosphere Loud, happy, musical, celebratory. Don’t break the baby!
Attire Pretty dresses, suits, the fancy underwear. Anything you don’t mind exposing to urine, poop, or spit-up.
Food Catered buffet or tableside service and, if you’re really lucky, a candy buffet and canapés on trays. Oh, and cake. Stale pickin’s from a used hospital tray.
Contributions Dishware, booze, donation to honeymoon fund. Require you to either cook or step into hell on earth a children’s store.

You can’t get offended because it’s true.

And here’s the thing —

I like toddler types and older children because they sometimes say interesting things and their overly dramatic tantrums can be quite amusing when you’re not the person who’s ultimately responsible for ensuring they don’t continue said behavior into their 20’s, but aside from that enticingly soft smell of their fuzzy little heads, babies don’t really do much for me.

They’re like tiny potatoes that poop and cry.


And so when friends have babies, I’m incredibly happy for them because I know it’s what they wanted, but at the same time I might not always immediately remember the fact that they’re having or have had a baby because while it’s the biggest — by far — thing in their lives, I have other pursuits that, to me and my selfish child-free ways, are much more interesting than sleep schedules and fecal consistency.

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just that the new attachment to a baby isn’t the first thing with which I associate long-time friends. Or even short-time friends, for that matter. Or even people who already had babies when I met them.

To me, you are more than what you spawn.

Call me crazy, but I tend to mentally associate people with more specific traits, like what they do for a living or their interesting hobbies or the memories we share. I mean, lots of people are parents. But not everyone will take you to the buy-two-get-one piercing special in college or bond with you over your husbands’ unflattering obsessions with the SciFi channel or let you marry their brother.

And I’m not going to lie.

The child in me finds it difficult to acknowledge the new babies in a group of friends because it’s like at first they’re the honorary guests, but then you realize they’re automatically vetted into the club without so much as a vote and you kind of have to like them because — hello — they came out of some of your very favorite people who also happen to be quite proud of the fact that they created new life. (Which, I’ll admit, is slightly more impressive than my new sexy kitchen faucet.)

But sometimes it’s like, come on. Can’t we at least wait to see what kind of personalities they develop before automatically cc-ing them on every social invite?

Haven’t you read The Bad Seed?


Kind of.

But all this is to say that if you have a baby and I happen to forget, don’t take it personally. To me they’re like new hair cuts or hand bags — I don’t pay attention until they’re in front of my face. And I will probably eventually like your baby. I might even grow to love it.

But, in my mind, it will never be all that defines you.

And also, I’m super excited to go to a wedding. If it’s anything like the one with the best father-of-the-bride speech or the one themed after Alice in Wonderland, it’ll totally be worth the trip.


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It’s like you’re inside my head!! haha But seriously, I’m feeling your stance on this one. I’m 27 and have no desire in the forseeable future to have children, reason being that I’m selfish and I’m ok with being selfish. I still have things I want to go see, do, experience, and I want to be able to go out on a moments notice without having to do more than put a bowl of kibble down for the fur babies. I’m happy for the people who choose to grow their families, but maybe I’m not one of them!

And this: “But sometimes it’s like, come on. Can’t we at least wait to see what kind of personalities they develop before automatically cc-ing them on every social invite?”



Haha, it’s so true. I’m definitely happy being selfish. :) And my friends wouldn’t take this the wrong way because I *know* kids are a package deal — but it’s funny how we assume we’ll like them before we even know who they are. ;)


Oof. We have social media to thank for all this in your face, baby-hoopla. I’m sure there was a time, long long ago, when the only times you had to acknowledge all of these tiny people coming into the world was when you received a paper announcement in the mail and then again when you were finally invited over to awkwardly hold the little guy/girl. But nooo, now we have to be reminded of pregnancy and babies every single day from their conception to that moment when you finally hide them from your newsfeed.

A friend of mine that’s pregnant did the most genius thing when she found out though, and made a specific Facebook group for it, telling friends on her newsfeed that she understood that not everyone would be interested in baby bump pictures but if you WERE, you could opt into the group for updates.

Which, strangely enough… I did.


Oddly enough, I’ve never minded the social media updates! (Except for maybe the ones about potty training.) I like to bask in the happiness of my friends. But you’re totally right — it does make the world seem more baby-centric than it probably did in the days before social media. :)


This made me laugh SO HARD!!! We might be eating our potato-flavored words if our bio clocks somehow magically start ticking, but for now…I’m cool with afternoon wine-binging movies, purposeful late nights, and spontaneity. LOVE this! Thanks for facilitating our childless fun!!!


Child-FREE fun. ;) And I’m totally okay with eating my words if I have to — people change! I own it. Smart people own it. And all U.S. presidents should start doing the same. ;)


This post made me laugh. I also consider baby stores “hell on earth.” There is way too much stuff and it’s very overwhelming. And if I don’t know what it is or what it’s used for, I’m not buying it. Now, if I can get something similar at Target, then I might get it for you. In reality, I’d rather take you out to dinner, ice cream or a pedicure.


Ha! YES! And honestly, most of the parents I know would rather get dinner, ice cream, or a pedicure in lieu of another noisy toy for their kids. ;)

Andi Fisher

Love! I am kind of “lucky” in that I don’t have a lot of friends that had babies, but my very best friend did, two in fact and never once did she make that more than just this thing that happened to her. Don’t get me wrong, she is one of the best, most devoted moms I ever met, and her kids turned out rock star – good students, good manners, no problems, but she never forgot that she was a hilarious, sexy woman and I think that is the reason she has continued to be my BFF for over 25 years. I have had a few friends that had kids and that was the end of their life (at least with me) and the drifted away from me to find other mommies that got them. It’s the life of a child-free woman I guess. I am so happy for my friends with kids and I am not sure if it is a San Francisco thing but seriously most of them just quietly added the baby and nothing else dramatic changed. I don’t know how to explain and really now I am rambling….


I know exactly what you mean. The problem is what if their kids turn annoying once they’re toddlers? What if quietly adding them is impossible? WHAT THEN??!?! ;)

Colleen Brynn

Soooo if I ever have a baby (as we’ve discussed, and you were a great support in that)… I will LOVE to have a friend like you who won’t treat me as just a mum but still as a friend. A baby will never define me. I don’t want to have a kid because I don’t want it to take over my life. I get that it does in some ways but not in ALL!
Also, I still haven’t had a wedding, so maybe there is one other wedding in your future before more babies. ;)




I’m 40, I’m a traveler, I’m a mom of 4, and while I’ve kept close friendships, I’ve adjusted my career & my life for my kids. A personal choice. But I’ve had the benefit of knowing quite a few women in my mother’s generation who opted not to have kids, for a variety of reasons, and 9 of 12 of them regret it. One didn’t live long enough to voice any regrets, one doesn’t regret it at all (she’s the classic cat lady, literally she has 30!), and one is perfectly fine with it. One out of 12. Not scientific, but it’s easy to be selfish & flippant about life & kids when you think time is boundless.

Childless is a valid life choice, but choose to be childless – don’t choose to be selfish. And don’t take advice from others your own age, they haven’t done enough, or lived long enough to know if the choices they’ve made will keep them happy. Be absolutely certain that the “selfish” path will keep you satisfied beyond age 50. There’s a lot of living left in the world between 50 and whatever. You can immerse yourself in a career, but will that comfort you when you retire? Kids, grandkids are part of the joy of ageing, the wisdom of living. Even when they scream & cry. And you won’t see that until your special one(s) come along.

It’s not that kids are there “for you” – rather it’s the you that you become when you choose to be there for someone you love more than yourself.

It’s not for everyone, just as international travel isn’t for everyone. But having done a wide variety of things, I can tell you truly, life’s true adventures start with kids.

Just a wandering bit of advice.


First, go read this to give you a better understanding about my childless state. I haven’t decided for sure (though it’s leaning towards “no”), and am still pretty ambivalent about the whole thing.

Second, I’m very thrilled for you that you’re incredibly happy with your life choices! You have no idea how much I’d love to have that kind of security in my decisions. Sincerely. (Please don’t think I’m being sarcastic — I’m not! I’m envious.) But here’s the thing — I KNOW I don’t want a kid right now. I know it would make me incredibly unhappy. So. Based on the 12 childless adults you’ve questioned, I’m supposed to go against what I currently know because I *might* regret it later? I think that would be terribly unfair to my child. I don’t even know whether I’m physically able to have kids, and if it’s too late down the line if I decide I want them, there are always other options. My husband and I have spoken of fostering or adopting on several occasions. I think it would be incredibly irresponsible to bring life into the world when I have no desire — but just want to have an “adventure.”

I’m not sure what you mean by “choose to be childless — don’t choose to be selfish.” When I refer to myself as “selfish” in this post, it doesn’t apply to all aspects of my life — just my current decision to not have children. I know it’s the selfish move, and I’m okay with that. Having a kid right now just because people tell me of the joy it would bring (and I’ve known plenty of very unhappy parents as well), seems very much less mature than not having them because I know what I want (or don’t want). I have actually met and spoken with many women (age 50 and above, including this one, who never had kids and don’t regret it at all. So, it’s like you said — it’s definitely not for everyone. I do appreciate you sharing your insight, though — it never hurts to hear all sides. :)

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