Saying No: Speaking Up About A Culture of Consent, Gender & Power

I was standing in line at a local sub shop waiting to place my order. Just ahead of me stood a man and his young daughter. I’m guessing she was around 7. They placed their order and as they waited he amused himself by starting a tickle fight. He played roughly. He picked the girl up, swung her over his shoulder. In fact, at some point in his motions, he caused her to kick over one of the shelves of chips. He only made a half-assed attempt to fix the mess while looking around to see if anyone noticed. I noticed. On top of the incredibly inappropriate place for this kind of rough housing, I was most disturbed by one other aspect. As he lifted and tickled his young daughter, she laughed and sho

When Your Happy Holidays Aren't That Happy, Try This Quick Fix

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at The NotMom. This is my own story for Thanksgiving 2017 First, I confess to being in a bit of a funk the week before Thanksgiving. Andy and I will share a lazy day with our own traditions: watch the parade and cook a traditional holiday meal for two, including pumpkin pie. What I can't control are unsolicited memories of our house filled to the edges with family and friends celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. It's messing with my holiday joy. Those mental movies, and the fact that those folks are long gone or far away hurts all the time in the background of my life. But, grief shines best during end-of-year holidays.. It's not that I don't have a

Celebrate Thanksgiving With Your Chosen Family: Friendsgiving

For a variety of reasons, Matt and I are not traveling for Thanksgiving in 2017. Having recently spent several days in Virginia, we really wanted to be home for the holiday. We were already planning to spend Thanksgiving at home this year when we received the news about the passing of Matt’s mom in late October. That news solidified our plans. All of the remaining holidays this year are going to be a bit strange, so we just need to go with that grief in our own way. But, we love a good holiday celebration, and rather than invite ourselves over to someone else’s house, we decided to host an All-Day Friendsgiving Extravaganza. Our schedule is as follows: 10am: Watch the Parades Noon: Cheer for

Childless or Childfree, Make Your Own Happy Holidays

It's the week before Thanksgiving 2017, and there's a childless woman in Arizona who isn't looking forward to the holiday. Perhaps her story sounds something like yours. Abby's brief response, in my option, was textbook. "Choose a different destination each year to visit and learn about", she wrote. Invite some friends or acquaintances to join you at home." Deep sigh. At our house, Andy and I have luxurious memories of hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners with as many as 16 family members and friends. I can get lost in those memories, and that's not really a good thing, now that all of those people are gone. Both family and friends have died, relocated to assisted facilities or mo

What's Going on With the Proposed Tax Plan and Families Without Kids?

There is so much going on with the proposed Republican tax plan that we can be pretty certain that between the time this post was written and the time Congress votes on the bill , things will have changed again. But, looking over the basics, it becomes clear that the announced promise of reducing taxes for everyone is not entirely genuine. And, in the case of households without children, tax reforms as currently written may hit us harder than most. On the surface, doubling the standard deduction for both single and married taxpayers sounds like it might reduce America's overall tax bill. Problem A : The removal of a variety of tax credits doesn't measure up to make the right difference. In f

Uncovering [Childless] Women’s History: Pamela Colman Smith

When I was in college, I started to read Tarot cards. I found them fascinating and rich with history, archetypes, and symbolism. I eventually collected Tarot decks, at one time owning about 15. However, every Tarot reader, regardless of their love for other artwork, understands the importance of a single deck known popularly as the Rider-Waite tarot. Except, the name for the Rider-Waite tarot doesn’t tell the whole story. The artist who created the iconic images on the world’s first mass-market tarot deck was actually Pamela Colman Smith, a woman and an artist whose name was practically erased from history. Pamela was a biracial woman born in London in 1878 and raised by artists. She was the

Remembering Loved Ones: Legacy Without Children or Grandchildren

The woman who was effectively my mother-in-law passed away on the 16th of October. This is a hard post to write because it brings up many feelings I wasn’t prepared to have. For the first time in my adult life I wondered if I had made the right decision by not having children. Don’t get me wrong, I would have made a terrible mother. And having children because your mother-in-law wants you to is exactly the wrong reason to do so. I believe she always wanted to be a grandmother. She stopped pressuring us pretty early on because she was an awesome woman. But, did I deny her an experience she should have had by not having children? Of course, I know the answer intellectually. No, I didn’t deny h

There's Little Accuracy In Childless Musings About Legacy

Definitions of legacy pop up frequently here at The NotMom, and it was a generally unscheduled but recurring discussion topic at the 2017 NotMom Summit. That's where woman after woman hugged me and said some version of this: "Thank you for what you're doing. One thing for sure, you know what your legacy will be: you created a place for us to find each other on the Net and in real life, too. The NotMom will be your legacy." My reaction, every time, was to feel humbled, grateful, and shaking my head at the community growing from my five-year-old idea has that became my obsessive passion, rewarded by the thousands of women around the world who are just like me. (Pictured above L to R: 2017 Summ

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