I honestly have NO idea when Hadrian and Angeline’s book will be out. It’s not even started yet. I’m struggling with a book under my other name that is taking longer than expected. Watch this space for updates. I haven’t abandoned Zoe, I just hit a snag with another book that is delaying me considerably. (Updated on November 15th 2013.)
Get a jump on Black Friday. The Catalyst is on sale for 99 cents on Amazon and B&N two days only (Ends Saturday morning at midnight.)
The Catalyst 99 cents for Kindle on Amazon.com (Sale price equivalent available at all Amazon international stores. Please search those for the book separately. You might have to search both the book title and my name for it to come up in search.)
In other news, I am finishing up my latest book on my other name. It should be out in January. And immediately after that I will dig into Hadrian and Angeline’s book (which I’m very excited about! What has held me back is frustration and troubles with my other book on my other name. I try not to work on both names simultaneously because I end up infecting books with the “voice/style” of the other pen name too much.) But believe me when I say I am SOOOO ready to get back to the Pretverse. SO ready. OMFG. I have not abandoned this series. I have not given up on it. I realize it’s been about a year and a half since you’ve had a new Preternaturals book so you think I’ve just fallen into a black hole. This is not the case. It’s coming. Believe me. I am SO excited about being able to dig back into this one soon. Angeline and Hadrian are one of my favorite couples and I can’t wait to show you why. In the mean time, if you haven’t read Dark Mercy (novella), it’ll give you a taste test teaser for this couple. That’s the BEGINNING of their story, not the end. These two are about to come back into each other’s lives in a big way and I can’t wait to share that with you!
Here’s Dark Mercy if you’re interested in that:
Also available at Kobo and Smashwords.
Thanks for reading! And thanks for your patience with regards to the next book in this series. AND… of course… don’t forget to grab The Catalyst at 99 cents! Sales are generally several months apart, so it will be awhile before this opportunity is available again.
So, I know it’s been a LONG time since I released a new Zoe title. I know those of you who read both of my pen names probably think I’ve abandoned the Zoe name and this series. I haven’t. I’ve just had some sort of epic struggles with my latest book under my other name. And now it is looking like it won’t be out until January (the other name book). And so basically what that means is… I really can’t give you a date for when the next Zoe book will be out. I am not someone who can work on more than one book at once. Definitely not on two different pen names because what happens is the other work starts sounding too much like Zoe and vice versa. I have to be in a ZONE for one or the other names.
This is just a quick update of “Hey, I haven’t abandoned Zoe.” I am still excited about Angeline and Hadrian’s book. I just haven’t been able to start it yet. I know that people who read Zoe have probably given up on me. I’m not sure how badly this delay will hurt sales when I finally DO get the book out. All I can say is… it is what it is and I’m doing my best. It’s probably best for me not to give any tentative release dates for everything because I’m always wrong.
This is one of those things I think about a lot. And looking around me I’m VERY glad we haven’t had kids and don’t plan on them. This is NOT a slam on parents nor on kids. I like kids a lot, but they are fucking expensive. And I honestly don’t understand how anybody is able to get ahead in life financially if they have them unless they are wealthy.
Here are the expenses the average person/couple in the US has to deal with:
1. Health insurance (which is astronomical now. And has actually gone UP with impending Obamacare because the math really doesn’t work, but we’ll see if I’m right about that next year when it fully goes into effect. Also, most people with kids don’t feel they can afford NOT to have health insurance because those are your babies and… yeah… duh. Of course you aren’t going to take risks with them if you can help it. Also, even if your employer pays on your insurance, it’s still astronomical. I have an aunt who has a great insurance plan with her company and they pay $800 a month and she STILL pays $400 a month. That is INSANE to me. WTF???)
2. Daycare. If you have kids. If both parents work (and most people think both parents have to work now because they can’t afford not to.) But the cost of daycare is astronomical. It’s literally insane. I’ve heard people say things like they pay $1200 a month for ONE KID in daycare. How can anybody afford that???
3. Other childcare costs: Diapers, formula, clothing for the kid, school costs, medical costs (because some of them aren’t covered by insurance argle bargle!!!!), feeding them regular food when they’re off formula assuming you didn’t breastfeed, but you can’t save food costs by breastfeeding forever.
4. Transportation… usually in the form of a car. Which has gas costs (astronomical but no surprise there), maintenance, insurance (usually required by law). And a lot of people have car payments so they are paying interest and have a monthly payment.
5. Student loans. Everybody had hammered into them how important education was to get a good job to afford all this crap, so most people in their 20′s have student loans. Some of those loans very very high… to the point they can’t buy a house and maybe can’t afford kid costs. (Meanwhile they have people on their asses about how they need to have kids and buy a house because the older generation simply doesn’t fully comprehend the cost of living for THIS generation. So many are putting off or avoiding buying a house or having kids while other people call them “selfish and irresponsible” Nice.)
6. Mortgage/rent. Again, astronomical. Housing costs are kind of insane in a lot of places, and though renting is a fiscally better plan “right now” while you’re young, if you don’t have a home you own that is paid off by retirement you might be screwed on where you’re going to live. Who knows… this is a whole new trend where almost everybody is renting because nobody can afford to buy, but this is part of why so many elderly are in subsidized housing because they can’t afford rent into retirement age. But mortgage costs are crazy and then there are other costs associated with buying like insurance (again required), and maintenance costs.
7. And then you’re supposed to save for retirement. But WITH WHAT???? DUDE. It seems like retirement saving is one of those “rich people problems”. If you’re in the 1% awesome, save for retirement. But if you are barely getting by paycheck to paycheck you will never be able to “afford to retire” because saving 50 cents every month in an account that doesn’t even pay interest hardly (yeah, banks used to pay you decent interest to hold onto your money for you), good luck retiring.
8. Oh, and I forgot you have to eat. And food is… say it with me… astronomical. Inflation on food and gas over the last 10 years has been pretty much insane, but meanwhile wages haven’t risen to match this. (or anything else really.)
9. Most people have credit card debt or other things they’ve bought on credit, and so they have THOSE bills, too.
Really? How is anybody but the wealthy doing it? This is all crunching the middle class. I can see definitely two classes emerging. Poor and rich. If things continue down this path I just don’t see how it can be any other way but that for most people.
I mean there are some solutions here, but those solutions are not going to be tenable to everyone or even doable for everyone. You can choose not to have kids (which will save you a TON of money. And for some people that’s no big deal because you don’t really want to be a parent anyway, but for other people, their lives would have no meaning if they couldn’t have kids because that’s what they really really want to do, so telling someone “yeah, just don’t have kids” is a bit cruel), buy old beaters, not use credit cards, not go to college or go to really inexpensive community college and then state college on an academic scholarship if you’re smart enough or a sports scholarship if you’re talented enough. Or you can go to a trade school. Or start a business if you have a lot of good business sense. You can live in a cheaper area of the country for lower rent/mortgage and you can grow some of your own food. And if you live in an area where you can walk or ride a bike you save all the car expenses, but most people don’t live in well-planned cities… and if you do, cost of everything else is high. So it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t for most.
If everybody could do all those things it would make sense. But I hear about people all the time who have the worst situation on ALL of those things and I have no idea how they stay above water. The whole thing freaks me out.
It’s been a million years since I posted on this blog. A lot has been going on this year both in life and with my other pen name which has slowed down production on work for this name. I first want to take a moment to reassure those who are fans of this series that I haven’t just “stopped”. I have full plans to see this series out to its conclusion, which should be about 7 or 8 full-length books. (Book 1: Blood Lust, Book 2: Save My Soul, Book 3: The Catalyst, Book 4: Life Cycle, Book 5: Not Yet Titled).
I’ve gotten behind schedule and things have gotten delayed, due in large part to delays with a book on my other pen name. However, I am hoping to have book 5 available for sale by Christmas. Book 5 ties directly into the novella Dark Mercy, so if you haven’t read Dark Mercy yet because it’s “just a novella” or it’s not a numbered part of the series, you’re not fully caught up yet.
Happily, Dark Mercy is on a temporary sale on Amazon for 99 cents.
Life Cycle (Book 4) is also on a special promotion (tied in with BookBub) for 99 cents for TWO DAYS ONLY! So grab that or gift it to a friend while it’s on sale! I run 99 cent sales on full-length works VERY infrequently, so this is a great opportunity to catch up on a book you’ve missed or get into the series. Although this is a series, you CAN read the books out of order. So no worries there.
Please note, that Amazon UK and the other Amazon stores should also be reflecting the price change, so if you shop at one of those, please search them individually for the book.
Thanks for reading!
And thank you for your patience on book 5! (Which I hope to have a tentative title for in a few weeks!)
All my novellas are on sale for a limited time. (Regular price: $2.99.) The sale is at Amazon Kindle only. (It’s not that I never do sales that include multiple sites but this was a spur of the moment sort of sale and orchestrating price changes through multiple sites tends to be something I do when I do a more planned sale.)
The links below are for the Amazon US store. Other Amazon Kindle stores should have the sale. Please search those sites separately.
1. Dark Mercy: This one can be read as a side story out of order from the rest. It’s a teaser/pre-quel (that I actually wrote first. I know, it’s weird), for Hadrian and Angeline’s story which is coming up next… though unfortunately not in September. I got very stuck on a book for my other pen name so I’ll have to adjust that tentative release date.) Dark Mercy involves the turning of a priest-vampire who shows up first in The Catalyst.
2. Kept: Kept is the first novella in Book 1 (Blood Lust). It involves a werecat in heat. And the sorcerer faced with the task of satisfying her.
3. Claimed: The second novella in Book 1. This one is vampire focused and involves some amnesia. Who doesn’t love a good amnesia yarn? It’s like a Soap Opera guilty pleasure.
4. Mated: The third and final novella in Book 1. This one is werewolf focused and features minor characters from previous installments.
If you’re new to me… these 99 cent deals are a great way to try me out and see what you think. If you’re already a fan, these little novellas make great gifts (Amazon has a gifting option for Kindle books). Tell your friends!
1. The stone age was pink and glittery.
2. It’s totally normal to give a 2 year old a spray tan.
3. There is nothing creepy about male judges and announcers at beauty pageants for toddlers.
4. An appropriate occupation is “pageant mom”, and living with your boyfriend’s parents so you can pay for pageants instead of rent is totally what adults do.
5. You have to pay $3,000 for a dress or you’re just going to be ugly.
6. Being ‘facially gifted’ is a thing.
7. You make money at pageants when you win. Even though you’re still in the hole.
8. The smaller crowns are “loser crowns” and you should be ashamed if you win them.
9. Pixie stix and mountain dew is a normal lunch to give a toddler.
10. Alternatively, toddlers just eat paper and boogers. And also fart a lot.
11. You can forget your routine and turn around and shake your booty at the judges and still win a supreme title for completely inexplicable reasons.
12. It’s okay to pit your children against one another if one of them “wears you out”, particularly if you are 8 months pregnant with child number 3.
13. If you win a supreme title and money, it’s appropriate to cry and flip out like a diva because you didn’t win the BIGGEST title that came with a princess bed.
14. Young children name their pacifiers and talk to them like they are people.
15. It’s totally normal for grown adult women to cry at toddler beauty pageants.
16. Pageant dads can be just as deluded about this shit as pageant moms.
17. Pageant day is when shit gets real.
18. Parents are the servants of their children. “Daddy, get me a soda, PRONTO!”
19. The camera crew should NEVER imply that the little beauty queen they are interviewing isn’t beautiful. Or said beauty queen will have a total meltdown.
20. Related to number 19… pageants totally instill “confidence” in little girls and “poise”.
21. If someone is a brat and we don’t like it… we’re just jealous… because obviously we wish we had more snottiness in our lives.
22. Cleopatra and Aphrodite are the same.
23. Winning a supreme title makes you feel like you’re going to explode and be dead for a little while.
24. The best use of $1,000 of prize money is candy. And/or cheese dip.
25. Getting your picture made inside a cardboard hot air ballooon is the same as winning a “hot air balloon trip”.
26. A toddler that says she’s “sexy and she knows it” and doing a ‘sexy dance’, can still be described by her mother as “having a certain innocence about her.”
27. Good sportsmanship is as rare and unlikely as unicorns flying out of Michael Jackson’s butt.
28. If someone doesn’t approve of you putting your kids in pageants, they are just “jealous bitches”.
29. Every third child in the universe is named Mckenzie right now. Alternatively a little girl may be named Bailey or Riley.
30. It’s totally normal for a toddler to demand a horse in order to practice her “pretty feet”.
31. It’s equally normal for a parent to think they HAVE to give in to such demented demands.
32. It’s important to pray about every aspect of a pageant. Out loud. So people think you are crazy.
33. If you pray enough, you will win, because to God, the important children to help are the pretty ones, not the starving ones.
34. Dying a three year old’s hair is totally acceptable.
35. The 1980′s is now officially “back in the day”.
36. It’s not creepy at all when you allow your four year old to dance sexy and half dressed for your grown male friends.
37. Dressing your 3 year old up as Marilyn Monroe totally screams “innocent”.
38. We should definitely be encouraging 3 year olds to wear heels. It won’t ruin their feet or the muscle development in their legs at all.
39. 7 year olds usually “cage dance” on the luggage roller at the hotel. It’s just what seven year olds do.
40. The definition of “personality” is creepy perfect robotic movements and a fake smile.
41. All the cool kids speak of themselves in the third person by their name. Also… Bob Dole likes pineapples.
42. Protip: When you’re on stage, think about butterflies flying in a field of flowers.
43. “Sparkle baby!” “Get it girl” are what every parent says to their toddler on a routine basis.
44. Short of stripping and prostitution, parents seem to have zero problem with sexualizing their little girls. They also seem to have no clue they are sexualizing them or how it looks to the rest of us at home.
45. Your child going blank on stage is the WORST thing that can happen.
46. Pageant moms have zero perspective on how bad life can get for a kid if going blank on stage is the worst thing EVAR.
47. For some reason pageant moms can’t be bothered to say the phrase: ‘facial expressions” and instead insist on: “Facials” with all of its unfortunate connotations.
48. Being proud makes you thirsty.
49. Even if your pageant is just like every OTHER pageant, you can say your pageant is known for being really different because it has really pretty girls… at your BEAUTY pageant.
50. When you say your daughter’s personality screams, you mean that literally.
51. Britney Spears and Shirley Temple are the same person. Really.
52. 10 year old brat decides that she shouldn’t rant about people taking her spotlight on national tv because people might think she’s a brat. This is personal growth. Just don’t SAY the bratty things you think. At 10 you will have that self-control. Winning!
53. Giant ugly crowns are better than smaller pretty crowns that can actually fit on a human head.
54. “Beauty is going to be really important in this pageant.” Because… beauty pageant. Hello?
55. “You see a girl in a big ole fluffy pageant dress? Her mama knows she’s ugly.”
56. Pageant moms often don’t have a very objective view of their daughter’s looks.
57. “Life is a pageant. We’re on stage every moment of our life.”
58. The word “Galore” is an overused adjective in the pageant world.
59. Also, everything is Amazing and Exciting.
60. It’s like… a cardinal sin to allow a safety pin to be seen on stage. Also, your life makes me extremely sad if you didn’t already know that. I mean… like everybody knows that.
61. Your fake hair needs to be perfect in a glitz pageant.
62. If you don’t have a flipper (fake teeth), you can’t win a glitz pageant.
63. There is nothing wrong with any of this. No, shut up! It’s very normal. All little girls do this!!!
64. Pageant directors are on some sort of drug or have had some sort of plastic surgery that keep their eyes open very wide at all times. They don’t even blink. They could be aliens. Maybe they don’t have eyelids. These are only theories.
65. Judges make bizarre non-sequitor facial expressions during the deliberation process and seem resentful of the judge who leads the discussion.
66. Pageant dads have a whole slew of lawyers and can “stop this pageant.” Translation: “Oh Emmm Gee, some woman didn’t obey me.”
67. When it comes to glitz, South Georgia is where it’s happening. Not North Georgia. (Is this like North and South Korea? The good Georgia and the bad Georgia?)
68. An “out of this world” pageant is all about showing the glitz world just what space is all about. In other news, doctors will be serving their residency now on the set of Grey’s Anatomy.
69. There is a Dallas, Georgia and an Atlanta, Texas.
70. Some of these pageant kids are biters.
71. Pageant moms have bizarre cures for hiccups and don’t understand actual methods for stopping them.
72. There is a serious intersection of religion and pageants. Don’t ask how. I don’t have that information.
73. Also… pageants are much bigger in red states.
74. Pageants cure shyness.
75. Shyness is apparently a terrible thing.
76. Toddler says: “I have no idea what Miss America does.” Neither do the rest of us.
77. Kids fall down a LOT.
78. Pageant moms want their daughter to be the first female president and are “kind of glad Hilary clinton didn’t get that position”. Teaching your daughter to shake her booty on stage and smile and be pretty is sure to win her the presidency. I mean, all you have to do is be pretty. You don’t have to know anything about politics or economics or how a country works.
79. If your shoe comes off on stage you have to show personality. This wisdom is what we pay our pageant coaches for.
80. “It’ll be interesting to see…” is pageant mom code for “Stab, murder, stupid bitch. My child is the best!!! Infinity.”
81. Girls come from Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Universes beyond, to compete. Or so the pageant director lady said. Of course she ALSO said that her pageant was teaching people what space was all about so… yeah.
82. Anything goes. Whatever it takes to win.
83. I know when a little girl is doing the “pee pee dance” better than her mother who lives with her. (Not sure how the mother couldn’t have figured that out. How long has she had this kid? Did she rent her from a rent-a-kid kiosk for this show?)
84. If you want to guarantee a high score, freak out in the middle of your routine and run off the stage to pee. Then come back afterward and nail it like a champ. Everybody will be so impressed about how you didn’t let the pee pee dance embarrass you and they’ll give you higher marks than you would have gotten if you’d just done it right the first time. Don’t question this… this is psychology!
85. When the emcee says you can come back at midnight to get your score sheets what they really mean is “fuck you” and something stinks about the pageant.
86. We are so undereducating our children that a toddler can’t tell the difference in an “alien” and a cartoon picture of our own planet.
87. It’s important to bring mad flavor to a pageant.
88. Being a pageant mom is stress, chaos, amd torture but “it’s worth it.”
89. If you adjust your flipper (fake teeth) on stage, the audience will audibly gasp as if you just picked your nose at a White House dinner.
90. You can be too confident and have too much personality in the beauty part of the pageant… so sayeth one of the judges. Way to teach our young girls the right things about life. Be insecure and quiet and sweet and pretty. Gag.
91. No matter how many pageants they do, you can’t convince a toddler that their name not being called for a lower title means they’ve pulled out of their age division for a higher title.
92. Wearing a ton of make-up, fake teeth, and fake hair means you are “facially gifted” and not that you just have on a lot of make-up, fake teeth, and fake hair.
93. It’s illegal to hold a pageant unless you have at least 5 purse dogs in the audience wearing costumes.
94. A dolla makes me holla honey boo boo child.
95. When a deer gets hit by a car, it’s good to take that deer and cut it up and put it in a freezer. Because that money you save on going to the grocery store from all that meat is money you get to put in a pageant.
96. If your eye is glued shut for the pageant, it will look really bad.
97. On pageant day, if you are a pageant mom, you should go to the store and get a box of tranquilizers.
98. If a kid is comfortable, then the parent isn’t doing their job right.
99. your socks better be folded.
100. Toddler beauty pageants iz seriously bizness. One example is: “Any mom who can give birth and twelve hours later be back for crowning is pretty darn hardcore.”
I haven’t posted in a really long time, but yeah… here we go… and boy is it going to be a doozy.
I think one of the great ironies of life is that most people spend the bulk majority of their lives trying to get other people to agree with them and make the same life choices they make in order to validate their own decisions… but they never stop to consider what a world of everybody wanting the same things would be like. (Here’s a clue: not good.)
Certainly it’s nice to find like minds who “get you” and like some of the same things you like and make some of the same decisions that you make. It would be endlessly frustrating to be completely different from EVERYONE. But that’s different than seeking constant conformity from everyone you encounter or else.
Sometimes when I look at people who are trying to legislate their own rather narrow morality onto all people everywhere, nevermind the circumstances, I think they really don’t have the foresight to grasp the hellish world that would result… even for them… if their visions were to be realized.
I’m in my mid thirties right now and so a lot of women I know in my age range either have had kids for awhile, have just had a kid, or are planning to have them or are panicking because their “clock is ticking down”.
Both online and off the question of “how many kids I have” comes up. When I say “none”, there is a brief look of panic while the person tries to calculate if I’m infertile and they should pity me, so I tell them: “No, my husband and I are childfree by choice”.
The original intention is to reassure them that they didn’t just step in a landmine. But the problem THIS creates is… not always (and thank God, never with my actual friends who all seem to have a clue!) but the problem this creates with people I know much more casually or have just met is they immediately think I hate kids. Not true. I really like kids a lot. I just don’t want to be a parent. I decided, looking around me that as adults there seems to be three major things going on: personal relationships (spouse, family, friends), career, and children. I separate children from “personal relationships” because personal relationships are about give and take. (I’m actually not sure where to file housework in all this… maybe that’s a fourth area because it exists sort of separately from the others. Most people don’t want to live in a “Hoarders” house.)
Children only take for quite awhile really. And that’s not a judgment. That is the nature of children. They are dependents and that word has a real dictionary definition that is not meant to be snide.
The people I’ve known who try to do ALL three (or four) of these things and do them all WELL… i.e. they try to maintain relationships with other adult humans, they try to care for and be there for their kids fully, and they try to move up in their career (and try to have a house that’s relatively clean)… almost always end up looking like refugees from a war torn country. Something has to give. There are only 24 hours in a day, and ideally we will be sleeping for 8 of those hours. (And sacrificing sleep to create more hours in a day should not be a reasonable option. I understand babies wake up in the middle of the night crying, but LONG TERM it’s not healthy to not get enough sleep so it shouldn’t be normal for us all to be sleeping 4 hours a night. Really.)
Parenting is a full time job. So if you already have another full time job… you can see where I’m going with this. When I was a little kid and complained about how I couldn’t do this or that, my mother would say: “Well, when you grow up and have your own place, you can do whatever you want.”
Then, soon after I grew up and got married and got my own place I heard: “So when are you having kids?” as if the previous conversation had never taken place. I looked around me and realized that NO, you DON’T get to “do what you want” when you have kids… even though from the moment you are a small child and start complaining about your lack of freedom you are PROMISED freedom as an adult. Freedom which never fully materializes if you have kids.
What is that? A 2-6 year window of “freedom” where you’re scrambling to get settled before you lose it again?
The idea of freedom was very appealing to me. The promise of what I could do as an adult was a promise that stayed with me. So when I “became” an adult, I was not willing to let anything take that from me.
Sure, we all make various compromises and sacrifices in our lives and that can be both good and healthy, but when looking at the various sectors of activity that “grown ups” tend to participate in, I just realized that I couldn’t do everything and have it all. So, like all other human beings, I had to either pick the things that took priority “for me”, or I had to do everything poorly and be frazzled and unhappy the rest of my life.
Gee, I can’t imagine why I didn’t want to do that last thing.
Because I was never really enamoured with the idea of having kids and being a parent never appealed to me in any way, I decided to focus on: Personal relationships, and career (and house?). The level of stuff I have going on in my life as far as regular ongoing commitments and responsibilities is ideal for my easily overwhelmed temperament. Add another spinning plate, especially a 100% dependent living human spinning plate… ick no.
People kept telling me I would “change my mind”, and I figured I was in my early twenties when I came to this adamant no kid conclusion so… I thought… maybe they know more about it than I do. But that hasn’t happened. And yet… I feel sometimes that people feel I hate kids or am “judging them” or “pitying them” for being parents. It’s true that I do NOT want their life for myself, but clearly many of my childed friends LOVE their kids and at least most of the time seem to enjoy being parents.
My mom was definitely one of those people who made the right decision. She and my dad always wanted 4. After she had me she said that she was less manic about it because while she wanted more, if it didn’t happen she had me and she was okay with that. Then my brother came along. After that, my parents decided to stop because they realized that the cost of giving us a good life was such that adding a third kid would be bad for me and my brother. (Thank you, Mom for having more sense than many many many people I run into!)
No mother is ‘perfect’ and this ridiculous notion that any human being should ever be perfect is wholly unhealthy to women, mothers in particular. But she was and is a great mom. Though being raised “strictly religious” posed some issues for me in my early-twenties as I was trying to navigate AWAY from that… However, knowing much of what I know now, if I could PICK my parents and the situation I grew up in… I would pick what I had because some of the restrictions placed on me early in life helped protect me from making decisions I wasn’t mature enough yet to handle that could have ruined my life and kept me from living the life I wanted to live as an adult. A few years of somewhat restricted life as a child and teen in exchange for a grown up life that I want? Definitely definitely worth it. And something far too few children get the opportunity to have.
Which is why I strongly believe if you want children, if you’re a responsible parent… WONDERFUL, we need people like you because far too many people come out of fucked up homes and go on to create more fucked up homes that hurts everybody involved. But the thing is… me not wanting kids is no reflection on my mother… nor does it imply I have negative views of other mothers in general. She’s a great mother and I’ve been very blessed and lucky to have her in my life.
In many ways my mother taught me to be who I am. Though we have different views about a lot of things, she didn’t sacrifice every part of her personality and interests for us. I had a female role model growing up who had things she was into that wasn’t “just me and my brother.” She was very involved in our lives but she wasn’t a helicopter mom. It’s a lot of pressure to be your mom’s sole form of entertainment and enjoyment in life. And I’m endlessly grateful that I wasn’t. But she was involved. (One of my favorite memories is how she used to come help one day a week at my school growing up, and she was a portrait artist so she would come teach the kids in my class how to draw people.)
Basically what I’m trying to say is… parenthood is absolutely the BEST choice for some people. Because that is genuinely what will fulfill their deepest human desires. But that lifestyle and life choice isn’t for everybody. And those who choose something different are no more selfish for choosing to seek a life that makes them happy than those who choose parenthood because they WANT to be parents.
This is only the example most stark in my life at the moment because again… being in my mid thirties, this is the moment some are waiting with baited breath for my hormones to hijack my brain and give me “baby rabies!!!” (And that’s not a slur… it’s just a cute word for the overwhelming urge to HAVE A BABY NOW!!!) My personal opinion is that mainly this is women who are somewhat undecided but who see a door closing and an opportunity slipping away.
Yes, you can’t have everything. You will make some choices that close your other choices down. Having children takes away other choices and freedoms. NOT having them does the same thing. The key is to KNOW YOURSELF and what you want out of your life and don’t want out of it.
A lot of the aspects of me that a lot of people who like me seem to like and respect, are part the result of nature, but a big part the result of nurture… i.e. being born into a family who was NOT ambivalent or resentful about having me there. I want other kids to have that kind of loving commitment, and I know that that is not something I can give kids. People say “it’s different when they are yours”. That’s a really sweet sentiment, but actually that is NOT true.
There may be SOME women who don’t want kids, who then have them and fall in love with them and turn out to be excellent mothers, but it’s become rather an urban legend, because there are even more women who are miserable as mothers but are forced to hold their tongue because society would lynch them for the evil of not loving/wanting something they NEVER wanted but were told over and over “it’s different when it’s yours”. (Check out sites like Truu Mom Confessions for proof of this. There are all these sites now where mothers who were amibivalent or didn’t think the choice through go on about how much they love their kids but HATE being mothers. Yeah, no, I do NOT want that life.)
Women who are not strong enough in who they are to KNOW who they are and make their own choices rather than give in to peer pressure are the ones most likely to suffer here. Women like me, raised with a mother who knew what the fuck she wanted in life and then proceeded to go get that… well… that’s the kind of mother I want for every kid, particularly every little girl who has far more pressure on her than boys to follow a certain “lifescript”.
While, yes, SOMETIMES it IS “different when they’re yours”, why the hell is is okay to play dice with a kid’s life like that? If you don’t want to be a mother badly enough to KNOW that you do with all your heart, then the “regret” of not having children can’t be that great for something you were on the fence about to begin with. Level of passionate drive and desire to do something is directly correlated to the level of regret if you don’t do that thing. If you think in passing… “Gee, I might like to take up surfing someday” but you never do it… then when you’re 90, you might sit in a rocker and go: “Gee, I wonder how my life would have been different if I’d taken up surfing?” But it’s not going to just CONSUME you.
That’s quite different than having a burning overwhelming URGE to surf! And then just for whatever reason not doing it and missing out on that thing you desperately wanted. THAT 90 year old is going to be a different 90 year old.
Basically what this comes down to, and one extended long relevant (to my life) example comes down to is… everybody is different, but I think a lot of people are really unable to step outside their own perspective of life and their own wants and needs. They project “how they feel” onto every person around them. So yes… there are “some childfree” who “pity” every parent they encounter, no matter how happy that parent looks. And that’s obnoxious and condescending as hell. Yes, parenting is a hard job and it’s not all fun, but presumably… and HOPEFULLY, they get enough out of the whole thing personally that you don’t need to pity them.
But likewise… I don’t need to be pitied for my choice to focus on my books and my husband and the life we build together as a duo. While I know people with kids with great marriages, I know the level of intimacy one can have with another human being when they can focus much more ON that human being is generally much greater. And people can deny it, but statistically… I’m talking statistically. And I’ve seen too many marriages where the kid comes along and the woman becomes so obsessed with all the various childcare stuff that the husband fades into the background. I would never want Tom to become so downgraded in our relationship and my priorities. That doesn’t mean I think other people are “wrong”, but it’s definitely not how I want Tom to rank in our relationship.
And even if you DO put your husband first… everybody has limited time and energy and different temperaments. I want my limited energy that is not devoted to my books to be devoted to Tom first and other family and friends second. That’s my priority but that’s just about ‘me’. I don’t care how other people prioritize their lives so long as they leave me alone about it.
But the original point that I tangented away from was… the world would NOT be better if we all made the same decisions. What if EVERYBODY was the same religion with the same intensity and that religion didn’t believe in birth control? Holy crap could you imagine? And we think we have a population problem NOW.
Or what if NOBODY wanted kids. They’d either all be miserable or our species would die out in short order.
What if everybody wanted to be a brain surgeon or a writer? What if nobody wanted to be a teacher? What if everybody wore red all the time and nothing else. (Okay not a huge life changer but that would be pretty boring and likely stressful in some subconscious way we couldn’t put our finger on.)
If EVERYBODY does anything, it kind of throws everything into a special kind of hell and imbalance. It’s GOOD that we are all different with different choices and priorities. These are often complimentary. To go back to my kid example… I am not one of the childfree who hates or even dislikes kids. I don’t even get that worked up most of the time when a small child throws a tantrum. As adults we forget that very little kids often don’t know WHY they feel so distressed. They just do. Sometimes they don’t get what their bodies are doing yet and if they have to go to the bathroom or if they are just tired and cranky or hungry. The signals from our bodies that we can navigate so well as adults don’t necessarily translate for little kids.
So I get that while we might roll our eyes in annoyance when a kid is whining for a toy and throwing a tantrum, it might not be that the kid is evil or the parent is. It might be that the kid has a stomach ache and is tired and his blood sugar dropped because it’s been a little bit since he’s had a snack but he focuses in on this immediate want because he doesn’t know yet how to address the other stuff.
Or he could be just a brat and his mom could be lax. Sure those are possible too, but so is the other stuff. (Though having the empathy to understand this does not mean I want to deal with it 24/7/365.)
But as a childfree person who doesn’t dislike kids and enjoys spending time with them… I’m available to help my friends who DO have kids. I’m also available to just hang out and NOT be annoyed that your children are present. Think this through, people with kids. You don’t want to alienate all of us by disrespecting our choice. We could actually be somewhat valuable in your lives because different choices are GOOD.
Sure, SOME choices like robbing banks and murdering people do unravel the fabric of society… but having or not having a kid… choosing a different profession than you, taking up surfing or not doing it… are NOT those epic make or break decisions.
I think if we sat and thought through to the logical conclusion of if EVERYBODY made the same choices that we did, that the world would not be a better place, and in fact would likely be significantly worse over all. Given that, rather than seek validation for our own choices by trying to pressure others to be like us or shame them when they aren’t, let’s accept those differences while ALSO seeking out people with similar values and interests.
It’s just a suggestion. Not a mandate.