Depression or a Child?

Sheri McCord explores how long-term mental illness has impacted her decision-making around motherhood.  It was the early 90s, Kurt Cobain was on MTV Unplugged, and I was a teenager. I was hospitalized for overdosing on medication for the first of two times in my life. I met someone while in the hospital who was living …

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Suddenly Uncertain: How My Post-divorce Love Makes Me Reconsider Motherhood

Adamantly childfree her whole life, this week’s writer finds herself considering motherhood at the age of 37.  I was a lifelong “I never want kids, ever” person until divorce at 35 nudged me into some unexpected indecision.  I didn’t think I’d ever be considering children, especially at this age.  I also didn’t know I’d find the …

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MotherShould? is One!

One cold afternoon in 2013, we sat in our university’s Writing Center together. Catherine said, almost in passing, how she wished there had been a place where she could have read stories about how other smart women made their decisions about whether or not they wanted to have kids. We commiserated about how little baby ambivalence (what …

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I Choose My Husband Again, and Again, Despite Our Childlessness

From the Editors: Writer Sylvie Beauvais explores the complexity of remaining with a beloved partner who does not share a desire to parent. In June, I went sea kayaking in a bio-luminescent bay in Puerto Rico with my husband. We shared a two-seater kayak: he sat in the front of the boat and I sat in …

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Love is a Choice: Adopting an Older Child

From the Editors: Writer Oceania Chase shares the real challenges of adopting an older child as a single woman.  It’s a beautiful sunny day and I’m desperately trying to hold on to my composure. My daughter is lying on the ground; repeatedly screaming at the top of her lungs “It’s not fair!” Her arms and legs are …

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Playing Mom

From the Editors: In this essay, recent college graduate SJ Enloe reflects on how a 19-year age difference between her and her little brother causes her to think carefully about motherhood. “Mom, can I have some chocolate milk?” I stare at Isaac, who looks puzzled for a moment then giggles. “Sarah, can I have some …

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Let’s Be Friends Part 2: Childfree Woman Loves Mom Friends and their Kids

A thing that made me sad: getting ditched by a friend I’d had for about five years because I’m childfree. It didn’t happen right away, and trust me, I understand that life post-kids is hectic. After the baby arrived, I’d visit with easily reheated meals, a little chocolate, and arms happy to hold the baby …

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In the Waiting Room

From the editors: In this beautiful essay, Tara Parmiter, writer and writing instructor, explores the emotional landscape of infertility. The official term she used was “missed abortion.” Five minutes earlier we had been sitting in the scanning room, the technician gliding her ultrasound wand through the sticky gel on my abdomen and broadcasting grainy black …

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Selfish, Careerist, Regretful? Not the Childfree Women I Know

In this season’s House of Cards there’s a memorable scene between first lady and VP candidate, Claire Underwood and the presidential opponent’s wife, Hannah. The two  women are sitting across from one another drinking coffee in the White House residence and although they are on opposing sides, they are finding common ground around gun control …

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My Mother’s Day Wish: Being Childfree Accepted as a Cultural Norm

It was Mother’s Day, 2003. On the Sundays when I was at home, I attended the Episcopalian church where I was trying to rebuild my faith and connect to a spiritual community as I had as a kid. I was newly separated, working as an adjunct professor at a prison college program in the evenings …

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