Culture & Entertainment

Childfree vs. breeders: Peace out?

By: Jennifer Gruden
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Childfree vs. breeders: Peace out?

By: Jennifer Gruden
Ah, the alleged war between parents and everyone else. Two reports from the front lately:  The first letter in this Dear Prudence column where a junior lawyer stated that parents leave on time from the workplace, leaving their work to be done by the childfree.  The second, Elizabeth Renzetti's piece in the Globe and Mail about persecution of the childless. First, on the persecution-of-the-childfree angle. Dear childless person: Do people say obnoxious things to you about your reproductive choices? Yes. Guess what? They do to moms as well. (Moms: Share your experiences in the comments.) This is part of the problem of being a woman in the 21st century. The fact that we have more reproductive choice than ever means that all of our choices are questioned a lot. (One of the standout moments I've enjoyed: I shared my age in the waiting room at my obstetrician's office and one of the other expectant moms said "aren't you scared to be a granny mommy?") (Yes.) There's a word for people who question other people's reproductive choices and that is not breeder or childfree: It's rude. But I'm not sure that qualifies as persecution. As for the junior lawyer in the Dear Prudence column: That may be your workplace, but I am guessing that for every workplace where parents jet off merrily for soccer practice, there are an equal number where if they do, they are stalled on the mommy (or daddy) track. It is absolutely true that my choice to have kids has resulted in more last-minute days off in the past 7 years than I racked up in my entire life previously. And it is true that occasionally I have left early so as not to be That Mom That Didn't Come To The Mother's Day Tea And Made Her Child Cry. (If you would drop word at the world's daycares that we mothers do not need a 4 pm tea on a Thursday, we would appreciate it.) That said, I have the same days off as everyone else; I just end up using them in a slightly different way than I did before I had kids. And to my childfree colleagues: When you break your arm playing Ultimate Frisbee, don't worry. I've got your back. We're all on the same team. Peace out.  
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Childfree vs. breeders: Peace out?

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