Being Baby Free While Black
For a long time when people would ask me about having kids, I’d say something along the lines of “Eh, I’ll probably have one one day” knowing that the thought of having a baby horrified me but not as much as the thought of being dragged into yet another lecture about how selfish I was for not choosing parenthood if I actually told this person (who is inept at minding their own business by the way) how I really felt. I don’t wan’t kids. Ever. I’m going to allow you a few minutes to gather your emotions from the shock and awe you undoubtedly feel, *insert clock ticking noise.* Ok, now that you’ve pulled yourselves together, lets talk about it. When I finally learned that I was allowed to decide that I don’t want to have kids, I wanted to find other people who felt the same way. Typical desire for human companionship and familiarity and whatnot. I searched the interwebs and low and behold, I found a community of other child-free by choice (as they prefer to be called) adults. Success!
I was ecstatic. I learned all the terminology, I read posts from other users complaining about the babied members society bringing kids into R-rated movies, bars and other places that are generally regarded as adults only. I laughed at the snark, I rejoiced when other members were able to get the permanent birth control methods they so desired. I had a home. And then, Trayvon Martin died. Naively, I thought that these good, liberal white people (stop laughing) would agree that Trayvon Martin was murdered in cold blood and that Zimmerman should rot in jail for his crime. Long story short, I was wrong. Very wrong. Of course the word “thug” was thrown around several times along with other choice words and the vitriol for this child that was just trying to go home became more than I could bear and I ended up leaving the site. Now I was facing a new problem. What did it mean to be black and also child-free?
I’d of course noticed that most of the people on the child-free by choice site that I’d frequented were white from avi’s and posts with pictures but I pushed it to the back of my mind because I finally felt welcome. For the first time in my life, I was able to freely express that I hate baby showers and that I think most (who am I kidding? All) maternity photo shoots are lame without being looked at like my head just spun around three times and I’d vomited green applesauce or something so, I let my guard down. That was a mistake. I honestly don’t have an answer yet for what it means to be black and child-free. I obviously know that I’m not the only black woman who has chosen not to have children but I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t feel that way some days. If anyone knows of a group of black millennials who enjoy brunch and also are unimpressed by the hundreds of baby photos their friends post online please slide me their contact info. Thanks.