Jeremy Clarkson prompts fierce debate on child-free flights – Telegraph

Another great link, kudos to Jeremy for voicing what we’ve thought (or near enough) for so long. Screaming kids on a flight that’s cost many thousands of $$$ or £££, is just not on.
It looks like childfree flights are going to be the way sooner or later, or at least quiet spots. I still don’t understand why it’s ok for us to endure screams for hours on a flight.

Childfree Flights – Can’t Come Soon Enough, What Say You?

I gather the April Fool’s joke of childfree flights is gathering legs. Or rather wings.Was it a joke? Or is it a precursor of things to come?

Every day there is some mention on childfree flights coming… sometime, or not coming at all. I skip over them now. Personally I would love the option of choosing a childfree flight. I mean, why should I pay $1,000’s  for my flight to be treated to the mind-numbing sound of screaming babies or have to endure small kids kicking my seat?

I’ve just booked my flight back home to the UK in August for a visit and I all I can do is hope against hope that any screaming kids and small kids are far away from me. And then I will also get ear-plugs, just to be on the safe side. I usually read or sleep on the flight, however when babies are crying it’s almost impossible to do either.

It’s a no-brainer (at least to me), if there’s a market for childfree (and peaceful) flights I think there should be options to choose them. Instead, the  childfree minority are forced to suffer in silence. Actually, I am pretty sure there are plenty of parents who may travel with older children or no children who would take advantage of childfree flights. Yet, some are saying they can’t have childfree flights because it might be seen as discrimination against people with kids. What?!? What about those who would prefer to travel in peace and quiet? And so what if it does seem like that anyway? For years we’ve had to put up ear-splitting crying as part and parcel of a flight because that’s the way it’s always been.

When booking my expensive flight back home I said I hope there are no small kids or babies sitting near us.  I was told they couldn’t guarantee it. So I have to hope we will be as fortunate as we’ve been the past few years – where the baby (babies) crying was audible but not next to us. And no young kids kicking us in the back. I get that babies cry… they are babies.  I feel sorry for babies on take-off and landing because I know it hurts their ears… no wonder they cry.

I just don’t see why I need to have my travel ruined by it. So parents have the responsibility for their children… maybe don’t travel with them until they are older? Just a thought.

As for kids kicking the back of seats…completely down to the parents.

But this is why childfree flights would be so great.

Childfree flights… what say you? Are they coming? Can we do more to usher them in? Or is this yet another put up and shut up, cause, as we are told, they are just kids (much like the noisy neighbours who refuse to control their kids in apartments).



Childfree: Here’s One of the Best Ways to Support Your Childfree Life

So I’ve not had even a moment to write a blog post for some time, but rest assured I do read all the very interesting responses and comments when people happen by the our childfree blog. And I’m very happy that it is still a place where we can have level-headed childfree discussion (any personal attacks and/or rude comments die in the spam folder). Thanks everyone for keeping it real!

Anyway, the other day my husband and I were coming home after stooping for a pizza and a pint at one of our favourite places. It was a very nice evening and as we both live and work downtown we decided to walk and enjoy the lighter (and warmer) evening. People were out and about… there were couples, single people, a few people with children, but mostly single.

And not for the first time it struck me… that our childfree life had been very much supported by where we had chosen to live. We had taken a conscious decision to live downtown. Years later I see what a great choice that was. Not only because we can walk almost everywhere, meet up after work and have good transport links to everywhere, it’s because we rarely see constant reminders of kids – which would be the case if we had to live in the suburbs. While we do see kids downtown, there aren’t as many because everyone wants to move out to the ‘burbs as soon as they have kids. That’s just the way it is.

Downtown we don’t need a car to go everywhere, and, more importantly we don’t have all the usual kid reminders in our face. Most down town inhabitants are singles or couples without kids. It may be a small thing, however if you are childfree you will know it can be a huge thing. Reminders everywhere are no help and even less support. I rarely watch T.V. so don’t get the “must have kids” influence from there.

Now, if you’re dreaming of the house with a big garden, two car garage, swimming pool (though we have one in our condo) and lots of room… you may need to tweak those dreams. These were things we knew we wouldn’t have. We didn’t mind because we got much more.

There are many people who wouldn’t dream of living downtown. They turn up their noses (seriously) and tell me how much they love the burbs (though not the commute) and how “it means more space for when they have kids.”  I just smile.

If you live out in the suburbs your chances of being reminded of having kids are very high. It may not bother you and if you’re already living there and can’t move there’s probably not a lot you can do about it. If you live downtown (depending on where you live of course – I am talking about Toronto) you won’t have as many constant reminders, because unlike the suburbs and outside the downtown area, kids are not everywhere.

I’m from England and we lived in flats throughout my growing up years.  I never saw anything amiss with that and there were plenty of spaces to play outside. Moving out to the suburbs wasn’t automatic just because people had kids.

For the childfree, where you live is important, more important than you may think. So it is worth thinking about early on.  And while being surrounded by kid reminders wasn’t the reason we decided to live downtown it has turned out, almost without us realising it, to be a major support of our childfree life and childfree relationship. If you don’t have the constant visual reminders from people who have kids it is amazing how quickly you forget about them.

What do you think? Share your thoughts.


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year Childfree readers!

Just popping in to wish everyone Season’s Greetings. And as it’s Hanukkah as well – Happy Hanukkah.

Thank you for all your comments and insights on the childfree blog this year. We  still get hundreds of visitors to it… there are many people who still need to know that there are more childfree people out there – and that it’s quite all right if you don’t have a hankering for children.

I just love Christmas…always have.  In years past I used to find that people I met would always tell me Christmas was all about children Which seems to imply if you didn’t have them, if you happened to be childfree you were missing out on all the fun.  Not so. I think I have the same excitement as when I was little. Now of course if one does have children they are clearly going to play a big part of Christmas. Since most people have kids they (still) automatically believe everyone has them too and hence the  statements.

It can also be rather uncomfortable if you are childfree and have family who covertly or overtly suggest you should have kids – and if you happen to be getting together at this time, which many families do. The good news is you can adeptly side-step any conversations, just change the subject. It works.

Anyway…I love the festive feeling in the air and the way people wish you Merry Christmas,  and a Happy New Year just because. This year for some reason there have been far fewer people insisting that Christmas is about the kids… (that happened more this year with Halloween I found) personally I have always had a childlike pleasure in waking up on Christmas morning even when I spent the time on my own. I’ve had fun picking out and wrapping gifts for friends and family. With most of my family in England I will miss them, it would have been nice to arrive with gifts for my nieces and nephews, but I plan to make it a good one anyway and enjoy the time relaxing with my husband and friends. I’ve also managed to avoid the mad shopping rush… it’s fun watching then last minute shoppers when you’ve done all yours. I don’t watch T.V these days so I don’t see  too many of the ads either.

And of course it’s a great time to look back on the year and forward with hope to the New Year.

How are you spending the  Christmas/Holiday season? If you have any tips for other childfree readers get through or enjoy the season, feel free to share them here.

However you happen to spending the Holiday season, Best Wishes and a very safe and Happy New Year.



Why Are Childfree Articles Magnets for the “Childfree Life Bashers?”

So I’ve been very busy for the past few months – but having a lot of fun.  The dance classes are taking off and we’re heading to a great new location in the new year.  Very excited. It’s left me not so much time for even thinking about childfree stuff, let alone blogging about the life childfree.  I simply live my life. As I’ve mentioned before dancing classes are excellent ways for singletons and childfree people to get together and make new friends as well as keep fit. It makes me feel even better that I’ve started something to help people meet and make new friends. It’s great for couples too, you just don’t need to be a couple. So for those simply enjoying being single or who want to avoid the traditional child laden conversations it is ideal.  Anyway, that’s not the main part of this post, which is actually about the link sent to me by a reader.

These days I rarely read the mainstream media and even less do I read it when it comes to articles mentioning the childfree. I find even if the article is positive (rare) it inevitably attracts negative anti-childfree posters who like nothing better than to find a way to say children and motherhood is “the way” and that childfree life – isn’t.

Still, I read this  article which to me started off wanting to  stir it anyway. At first the comments were ok. Then, predictably, the ugly posters entered the fray.

Oh, and let’s not forget the flawed “research”  that passes as the basis for implying that parents are healthier than the childfree (because the childfree are of course lonely and isolated).

I always thought that the choice you make yourself is the one you are happy with. And as far as reproducing is concerned both men and women need to be able to have support in resisting the pressure to reproduce if they do not wish to.

Anyway. As a childfree person I have much more time to take care of myself and my health. I know many parents are tapped out looking after children and who barely have any time to themselves. They also tend to get any germs their offspring regularly bring home. I don’t see many women in their 40’s suddenly going into isolation… (as one poster said) on the contrary if you go out you’ll see they are out enjoying themselves.

Articles like this do very little to help inform, and seem to do more to encourage criticism of a choice because it’s not “the so-called norm.”

What do you think – both about the article and the fact that any mainstream article inevitably attracts people who  love to disparage the childfree choice?

Why is it that those with children (and wanna-be parents) still find it necessary to place one choice (having children) as more important than another choice?

Why is it (still)  anyone’s business if people prefer to be childfree rather than parent?

Share your thoughts – and by the way men  – please chime in with any thoughts of your own, your views are just as important.

Thanks for the link. And thanks for all the comments on past posts on the blog – keep them coming because they do help many other childfree people who may be looking for support or like-minded people.

Who’s Healthier Women with Children or Women Without Children?

$305,000 – The Average Cost of Raising a Child in Canada

From a childfree perspective, this rather interesting stat makes me once again glad  decided to be childfree. Even with a good job I am not sure I could have afforded even one. I kind of wonder if I'd think scoring a first hockey goal was worth $500,000. But then I suppose a parent would tell me that as I am childfree I would not understand. And they'd probably be right. I wouldn't.

The interesting stat according to Yahoo News  is the average cost of raising kids in Canada (til age of 18) – is

  • $305k if a single child,
  • $244k each if two kids and
  • $190k each if 3 or more.

That actually seems rather a conservative cost to me. And the cost must go down with 3 or more because the other kids get the hand-me-downs – right?

So you have to wonder, with things seemingly so tight, how come people have multiple  kids these days (as a brother for or a sister for…?) Is cost a consideration?

Children are expensive . When we were considering if being childfree was for us we did factor in costs (actual as well as opportunity costs, such as what we would have to give up in terms of lifestyle).

If you read some of the comments on the article some people think the cost is due to all the expensive stuff parents buy their kids… I mean I've overheard some parents talking about their kids wanting an iPad.. the latest iPad for that matter. Or an iPhone. But I think those costs are extra.  And I am not sure it counts the ballet classes, sports games, and other extra curricular activities it seems all kids have to go to (I know this because some of my colleagues kids have a calendar that dwarfs mine).

What do you think? Do you think people really consider how much it costs to raise a child? Or do they just do it – and find out afterwards? After all someone has to have the kids, don't they? (I believe the article isn't talking about adopted kids, but if it is please highlight).



How Easy are Dating and Relationships for the Childfree?

Once upon a time (or so the story goes) there was never any need to bring up the issue of kids or no kids. You met, dated and it was assumed that kids would come along (assuming of course that you both stayed together and got married).  For many people that's still the way the story goes. There were few, if any childfee questions or considerations coming into play.

These days not only does it seem harder than ever to meet the right person (by which I mean the right person for you) there is also the question of children. But, you may say, you don't bring up the kid question when you're just dating!. True. In fact one of the best ways to send a guy running in the opposite direction is to ask one of the following questions when you're 3  months into the relationship:

  • “How many children do you see yourself having…?” or
  • “Where do you see us in 6 months?” or
  • Both of the above

Note I said send the guy running in the opposite direction… because it's almost always the woman who starts this particular ball rolling.

On a more serious note though, should the childfree be raising the no-kid question sooner rather than later? After the initial dating but when you're going steady?  Unless you meet on an online site (where you've stated clearly that you are childfree and you're not changing your mind) at what point do you bring up the childfree topic? Or should you not bring it up at all and hope for the best until you get to know each other (it can be a relationship killer).

While some of these questions may seem obvious, from what I've read and heard, this is a tricky area for childfree men and women. Either the man has every intention of having kids and assumes (as many people still do) that the woman's going to want kids, or the guy doesn't want kids but the woman's most certainly does.

In my own case I was very fortunate to meet someone who didn't want kids. I'd just assumed I would always have them, then gave it some more thought and decided I didn't want them that much. It was simply a matter of being sure we didn't want them, than trying to convince the other they did want kids.

We've heard heartbreaking stories on this blog of relationships that disintegrated because one party agreed, then changed their mind about being childfree – with devastating consequences. So one might say bring it up sooner rather than later – launch the childfree f-bomb and see what happens… and at least you don't need to waste each other's time.

However – is it that simple? I don't think so. Although we know there are many men and women who are childfree and want to stay that way, somehow they seem to be elusive and hard to meet. (Case in point, my husband's from Toronto and I'm from England. I made the move to Toronto after he'd come over to England but it just worked out better that way).

No-one particularly wants to start off by saying “Oh by the way I am childfree what about you, 'cause if you're not let's not even waste each other's time.” That doesn't give any time for the chemistry to develop does it?

What do you think? Is dating more difficult because you're childfree? How easy is it to meet childfree people to date? And after dating and you're serious, where does being childfree come in? Share your thoughts. And if you've been through the dating/relationship minefield, what tips do you have to share?

I think it's a huge area however I don't see much written about it from a childfree perspective. Maybe that's just me, so if you know of useful resources feel free to share as well.


Childfree – When Confirming a Pregnancy Makes Headlines What Does It Say About Society?

So, I’ve been home to England for a wonderful holiday. Wasn’t long enough but I’m already planning for next year. I’ve been reading all the great comments on the blog by the way – as usual very enlightening and great conversation going on. Rock on childfree people!

Thankfully we had no kids kicking the back of our seats and even the crying child was tolerable (she didn’t cry for long thank goodness and frankly I was surprised – flying is hard on babies. Not a childfree flight by any means, but not that bad (these days we actually pray not to have a seat kicking kid behind us – or for that matter a screaming baby).

I didn’t watch the MVA (Music Video Awards?) as I’ve long stopped watching most TV – especially most TV where the artists all lip synch half the time. But it turns out there was no escape from today’s headline news…. which was that Beyonce confirmed she was pregnant. And Showed off her baby bump.   The major news outlets could barely contain themselves and it was the leading news in most of them (or so it seemed). Of course there was the news of Hurricane Irene too, but, it seemed, only just.

I mean, seriously?  A singer get’s pregnant…. what’s new? OK, it IS Beyonce. I guess that means something. I was just rather amused that it was such news (nothing against Beyonce).

What does that say about our society? I think it says society is still obsessed with women having babies no matter how successful they are. Never mind the number of famous people who say they are childfree.


Childfree – No Kids Allowed, Long Overdue or Over The Top?

I saw the article about the restaurant that decided enough was enough and banned misbehaving children under a certain age. And I was cheered to read that several other kinds of companies (like airlines) are now actively moving towards child-free flights and services. I think it is long overdue.

Of course some irate parents have decided to view it as discrimination (rolls eyes) but they are probably the ones whose kids scream the loudest.  Personally I think it’s actually the parents who should be banned – that is, the parents who, when their child is acting up, either ignore or just seem oblivious. Unless they are taught otherwise they will act up and scream if they see it gets them what they want – every time they do it. Some children HAVE been taught otherwise are are well behaved in adult places. Unfortunately the other screaming kids (unconcerned kids-will-be-kids parents) spoil it for the others.

I’m taking a trip to England this week. I normally hope and pray there are no screaming kids on board. Or if they are they are not sitting right by me. I hope that some tot isn’t sitting in the seat behind me kicking my seat no matter how many times I tell him to stop it. It’s expensive to fly. I think I  (and everybody else for that matter) deserves to enjoy my flight in peace and if banning ill-behaved kids gets us there, so be it.

Perhaps now parents will sharpen up and teach their kids it’s not OK to yell and scream or kick in adult establishments. It also says that people are having less and less patience with ill behaved kids or their parents who are responsible for them. I think we will hear less of the “well, they are only children” refrain. Don’t bring them to good restaurants, or fly with them if you can’t stop them yelling.

Of course this doesn’t refer to the parents who DO ensure their kids are either well behaved or who exit with them when they start acting up.

What do you think? Over the top or about time? Check out the comments on the article too.

Thanks to the reader who sent me this link! I hadn’t seen this one but your sending it prompted me to write. :)

Childfree – How Do You Cope With the Pressure to Procreate?

These days very few people come out directly to pressure me into having kids. Wouldn’t make any difference if they did – it would be a waste of time. I’ve done quite a bit to remove myself from many images of kiddies and parenting, limiting any avenues for suggestions. I don’t watch t.v. and I don’t (as several disgruntled parents seem to like doing) go visiting parenting and mommy blogs.

One of the best childfree decisions I made was to live downtown. Not only is there so much else to do, most of the people downtown are single – or in relationships with no kids.  It doesn’t mean there are no kids at all, but certainly no daily reminders. A huge help.

However not everyone is quite as fortunate in being left alone to get on with their lives as childfree people.  A look at the number of bingoes they get is simply one aspect of this.  Sometimes the pressure to have kids comes from family members, sometimes it can be from friends, sometimes work colleagues, often it’s a more subtle pressure from society or other external sourced.  Since we see very few positive images of childfree people (although this is changing) everywhere to balance the overly pro-natalistic pressure from society, it’s easy to believe there aren’t many childfree people about – but there are plenty.

So what’s your view? Do you feel pressure to have children? If so, where does it come from and how do you deal with it? If not have you any tips and words for other readers?

Feel free to share your thoughts.