Thoughts on Action
"Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live." ~ Nicolas de Chamfort

Guest Rant of the Week: Nope, Not Broody

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by Lunacy of Ink at http://lunacyofink.com

While out with some friends recently, my husband sent me a picture of the new chicken coop, for we own two chickens and we love them very much. When they’re not roaming free around our garden, they deserve someone special to sleep with and make us eggs.

I was so happy with Gaz’s picture I made it my wallpaper and showed it to all my friends. I was aware that I was like one of those parent-types who at the mere mention of their child, whips out a smartphone and starts showing you dull and boring pictures of their baby doing dull and boring things. But this was different. My baby is a chicken, which is cooler, cheaper, and provides food.

later that day, I met for the first time my best friend’s new baby, Baby Wipes. Baby Wipes was fast asleep when I arrived, but that didn’t stop us bonding. She was so cute. I couldn’t help crying a bit when they put her on my chest and we had a sleepy cuddle. Call it a hangover, call it what you will, but I was an emotional mess.
Obvs I am madly in love with Baby Wipes. I put her picture on Facebook so I could show off that I met her when she was three days old and she loved me enough to sleep peacefully on my chest.

And then came the comments. The presumptions that I was broody.

Now look here. Just because I love my chicken and my best mate’s baby, and just because I am married and recently moved to the countryside, doesn’t mean a thing. The best thing about Baby Wipes is that I can love her and spoil her and have loads of fun with her, but then I can hand her back to her parents and they can do all the boring stuff and they can take responsibility for her future. This is the answer to remaining child-free – just enjoy your friend’s babies a bit, then go back to your life.
Having spent the day getting all emotional about chickens and babies, the most sensible thing to do with my evening seemed to be going to watch BlackFish, a documentary about SeaWorld and captive orcas. Yeah, that was a really good idea.
So I finished my emotional day crying at Tilikum the Orca’s rubbish life. But that doesn’t make me broody. I don’t want a baby. I just want to love my best mate’s one. It might seem like a contradiction that I can have all this love for Baby Wipes and not want a baby of my own. But I have all this love for Orcas too, it doesn’t mean I want to bring one up.
It’s hard work being an early pioneer of the child-free lifestyle choice. But then again I do have a lot of child-free time in which to rant and moan, which I am sure is just as rewarding as raising children. Right?

4 Responses to Guest Rant of the Week: Nope, Not Broody

  • Alex says:

    I’m totally with you on the moving to the countryside and (among other things) getting some chickens. I’m really done with city living at this point (though I worry that my childfreedom will be even more judged out there than here). Plus, my preference for animal over human company was established pretty much from birth. I’ve offended more than one person by paying more attention to their pets than to the other humans in the room.

    In general, I’m not interested in kids and don’t find them especially cute or endearing. But when I do come across a totally adorable one, I’ve had to censor my response a bit lest all the “but you’re so good with the baby!” clucking start–again. It’s easier to feign indifference than deal with that crap. They also seem to not consider that the reason I may be interested in holding their baby is precisely because it’s a novel experience for me, not because I want to do it 24/7. That would ruin it!

    And if you’re the sort who really likes kids, one of the benefits of not having Your Own(TM) is that you never have to slip into the Parent (i.e. grown-up) role. You can be the playmate, the friend, the confidante, the “cool aunt”. You never have to be the bad guy or the disciplinarian or the worrier or the tiger mom or whatever. Grandparents love to crow about how awesome it is to have all the fun without any of the responsibility–but they had to suffer through 20+ years of being The Parent to get there. The childfree can get it for, well, free.

  • Sarah says:

    Great article Lunacy.

    I know where you’re coming from and I have had similar experiences myself. I love spending time with some of the kids in my family/ friends circle and I adore my gorgeous nieces.

    Despite people telling me that I’m a “Natural Mum”, I believe that I am more of a “Natural Aunty” and would prefer to be involved in these children’s lives in that role rather than produce a child of my own. The idea of it taking a village to raise a child has some validity I think..

    However, the benefit of being Childfree is that you have the freedom to jump on a plane and get the hell outta that village for awhile and come back to them when you want to! ;)

    Thanks for your article.

  • Lara says:

    I cannot stand the term ‘broody’ – it really reduces women. I have a couple of friends who are mothers who, every time somebody who doesn’t have children even glances at their kids, start giggling and saying, ‘Oooooh she’s feeling broody!’ There’s a particular kind of glee reserved for mothers who do this – almost as though they can’t wait for everyone to join their special club. I think they say it to me because they think I’ll feel threatened. I usually reply, ‘What an insulting way to view someone!’ and that completely puzzles them but they do look worried that they may have said something remiss!

  • Scott says:

    My favorite part:

    ‘My baby is a chicken, which is cooler, cheaper, and provides food.’

    Right on.

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