Thoughts and ideas to inspire, uplift and affirm the childless and childfree, by circumstance and by choice
All, or some, or none. ‘Childless’ and ‘childfree’ can both be problematic labels. The term childless may imply a person is lacking something, when that might not be how they feel. The term childfree may imply a person is glad to be rid of something, when that might not be how they feel either. Both terms define people by something that is absent, rather than everything that is present in their lives. But they seem to be terms that help people (including me) to find each other and locate the information and ideas they are looking for, so both are used here.
The terms circumstance and choice might seem to denote opposite concepts, but real life is complex and it may be that they operate on a kind of continuum. Some non-mothers identify as having zero choice, some as having total choice. Some seem to fall somewhere between the two poles, perhaps because a range of factors have contributed, perhaps just because life feels different on different days.
Although it is hoped that there might be something of value here for many women whose lives have taken a different path from motherhood, the views on this website undoubtedly reflect the situation of its main author, who finds her place around the middle of the continuum.
There definitely isn’t a wrong way to feel about not being a mother. There are sites, forums and groups that approach the issue from just about every angle, including grief, anger, humour and politics. However, there are very few that seek specifically to uplift and affirm readers. Readinginthebath.com has sought to contribute to this gap as just one voice among many, not as any kind of prescription for how anyone should feel.
Although I really only began the pinboard for my own inspiration, I did so with the following guidelines in mind:
However, if there’s an inspiring woman you feel has been left out, its most likely to be because I haven’t heard of them or haven’t thought of them. And if there’s someone you believe I’ve included in error (which is sure to happen sooner or later, if it hasn’t already!)…
Of course! You can email me at readinginthebath[at]gmail[dot]com with this or any other thought you have. I’d love to hear from you.