Goodbye to you.

By “you,” I mean the birth control pill that I’ve been on since 2007. I thought it was a good thing to do since states keep passing laws like these (it’d never happen in NY, but who knows.) I’ve always remembered to take it within an hour time frame every day but I really just got tired of having to remember to take it. Also my monkeymind also liked to occasionally have my pondering whether or not I’d indeed remembered to take my pill that morning (I always had but that didn’t stop my mind from racing). I never lost them and never had any bad side effects (that I know of). But after that study came out about depression, and I’d had a couple of mood swings here or there (most of the time when I’ve had too much to drink so that might be the culprit), I decided to find out more bout IUD. 

I’m a creature of habit so it was a big decision for me, but I decided to do it and I did it on Monday. It took longer than usual and my cervix had to be clamped down three times, which is probably the most painful part. So: yay. They almost made me come back another day after having taken medication they sometimes prescribe to relax the cervix. (Note to anyone who’s getting this done: GET THE MEDS.) Whose cervix is actually relaxed when it’s being held down in place by a steel clamp?! Who are these people?? Next time, I’m just getting my tubes tied because for that procedure at least they put you under and you don’t feel anything. 

I decided to get Mirena because I felt like it was a good compromise between the hormone-heavy pill and the no-hormones-at-all Paragard IUD (which is said to have godawful side effects). I felt nauseous when I first sat up after it was in place. and crampy, so I laid down for 20 minutes and drank some water. I went home and took it easy for the rest of the day and didn’t feel any pain or cramping after the first few hours, and barely any bleeding at all.

I went back today for my sonogram to make sure it was staying in place and, luckily, it is. I couldn’t handle the idea of having another one inserted. I asked if I could have a print out of the sonogram, you know, similar to when they give pregnant women photos of their fetuses? But I think the technician thought I was joking because she didn’t print one out for me. 

I’m pretty sure most of the pain wasn’t actually as bad as I expected, but I’d been expecting pain akin to child birth, so maybe I’m just a big baby. If you get one, take your Advil and relax into it because tensing your body up just makes it take longer (believe me, I know). 

I can’t describe how happy I am not to be bothered with the pill anymore and still be baby-free, and for 5 years! Excuse me, but I’m going to go celebrate now. If you’re considering getting an IUD, let me know if you have questions!

And: Retreat

I’d never gone on a yoga retreat before last weekend. I remember a few years ago I was debating on coming up to the same farm for a similar yoga retreat with one of my favorite teachers at the time and I decided that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, spend the money. This time around I’m a little better off and it was pretty cheap as far as weekend yoga retreats go (they’re sometimes thousands of dollars???) so I signed up as I found out that one of my current favorite teachers, Chrissy Carter, was teaching up at a spot called Heathen Hill over the last weekend in the Catskills.

I’ve never been much of a nature person (the one time I tried camping I was bit by a deer tick and got limes disease) but I was willing to give this a shot because I wouldn’t necessarily have to be out in nature. I wouldn’t have to hike or go in a canoe. I could read and journal in between yoga classes and have that be that.

There’s also incredibly limited cell reception up there. You have to walk to the top of a hill about 8 minutes away to get, at best, spotty service. I was nervous about that but Justin was watching the catch for one night and then my mom wanted to hang out in the city, so she took over the second night. Still. No cell service?! AH.

I carpooled it up there with three lovely women – two of whom were yoga teachers themselves – and we had a fun time, despite getting lost in northern Jersey and the traffic heading up there that made us miss the Friday evening class. It was what it was. We were able to relax into our rooms and walk amongst the chickens instead.

The food was farm fresh, mostly vegan, but all at least was vegetarian. The only time we had meat was at brunch on Sunday. There was even cauliflower flatbread. We all freaked out over it. There were also the farm fresh snap peas and homemade dill dip which was to die for. And the homemade ice cream? And the homemade asian coleslaw? Dead. 

Chrissy kept talking reiterating during her dharma talks in class about creating space in our lives for stillness and that we all had space that weekend to do whatever we wanted. There was no internet or cell phone service, or work commitments that we had to take care of. We were here for self-care purposes. She talked about not having to rush from one thing to another because there was no place to be. We had permission to stop pretending to be busy. She said we could stop and truly find out what we needed at that moment, and maybe in our lives going forward.

She told us that one thing she wanted us to take away from this weekend was the ability to create that space for ourselves even when we were back in the city again with a million things to do when it seems like we have no time (from that bad habit we Americans have of having to make ourselves appear busy when we never really are). 

It was incredibly liberating to have nothing to do, as well as incredibly frustrating. I have all of this time and nothing to do.. oh my goodness. I could read, or write, or take a walk, or go hang out with my fellow yogis, or meditate, or try to pick up one of the chickens, or pet the owner’s cats. 

What did I end up doing? I read Elie Wiesle’s Night. I journaled a lot. I spent about 5 minutes down by the watering hole before deciding that the bugs were just not for me. I watched the sunrise on both days. I meditated. I met a lot of awesome people. I made s’mores by the campfire. I ate delicious food fresh from the farm, and I slept really well. I also drank some wine. 

I really felt like not talking during the weekend. I started wishing it was a silent retreat on the first day. I balanced out my alone time with the time that I spent with my fellow yogis. Also: no one talked about politics. Score.

There were several women – in their late 30′s and 40′s – who also wanted nothing to do with having kids. Oh, what’s that? You have a completely fulfilling life without having to devote it to raising human larve? You’re my heros. #vindication

I never did catch a chicken, but my new friends did place a chickens in my arms not just once, but twice. Those guys are so cute!

By the time Sunday brunch was finished, I was ready to head back to the city. Fresh and clear-minded this time. I’d had my fill of nature for now.

i’ll definitely do this again. I’m not sure when but sometime soon. 

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At What Age

Speaking of not wanting kids, I went to the OBGYN for a colposcopy recently and I looked up during the extremely quick procedure and said to the doctor, “You can remove my entire cervix. I won’t need it for anything.” She replied, “Oh, I’m sure one day you might!”

I wanted to tell her that I’m 30, far from a child, and that I can make my own decisions, blah blah blah. But I did not. I just said, “Nope, no kids here” and laid back down.

Now that I’m 30, I’m wondering how many more years I have to endure people, my age and elders, as well as doctors, telling me I’ll change my mind someday. I’ve come to the place where I either smile and nod at people or tell them they’re out of their fucking minds, which usually shuts them right up.  

But I’m wondering at what age do you stop getting told that you’re silly and your uterus will turn on and you’ll want kids eventually? I mean, when does the biological clock supposedly stop ticking? 30? 35? 

As a woman, at what age is it acceptable to be like, “No, I actually don’t want kids and yes, I’m sure.” When do you finally earn the right to say you’re sure about your own feelings about something as possibly-life-ruining as bearing a child? Yes, you can change your feelings, but you can also change your feelings about who you marry and what house you buy and what color your dye your hair. But no one questions those decisions. 

I’m guessing it’s something that will eventually change from “Oh, you’ll change your mind someday” to “Oh, do you regret not having kids?” To which I will respond in the same blunt manner, “No, but do you regret having yours?”

Chelsea – Kids PSA: Sleeping In – Netflix

I posted a link to this on Facebook after I reblogged it on Tumblr. I thought it was hysterically irreverent. I should’ve known better and blocked my parents, at least my mother, from seeing it, as I knew she’d use any opportunity she could to call people who choose not to have kids selfish). I responded a couple of times about the charity work Handler does because she has all this extra time and that is helping the masses, not just her blood, but after a while I decided it was futile to continue and turned off the notifications and went to sleep.

I don’t think this video is necessarily putting down people who WANT to have kids. I think it’s highlighting the plus sides to NOT wanting kids.

Are kids really all that great? Since they ruin marriages and relationships, I’d say no. If you really want them though (and most people are biologically programmed to want them, so I understand, really), you should go into it with an open mind. Meaning the mindset that they’re going to turn out however the fuck they want to and you have zero control over this. You are literally just bringing a person into this world and they are their own person, not your person. And you are responsible for giving it food, clothing, and shelter, and they’re going to do with life what they want. 

I don’t think most parents recognize this. I think it’s why parents and children often fight, right up into adulthood.

I saw my dad comment that you can quit charity work at any time but you can’t quit parenting. Oh, RLY? Why are there so many single-parent homes? Why are there so many kids who need to be adopted? Kids are abandoned by their parents all the time, so this is not a valid argument. Please try again. 

I stand by this video and the sentiment. If you want to have kids, great. I’m a huge fan of adopting if you really need to raise children, but to each their own because I know that’s not what humankind is programmed to want.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go to back to relaxing now because I don’t have to go anywhere I don’t want to go today because I don’t have any fucking children. 😉

Chelsea – Kids PSA: Sleeping In – Netflix

Why having children is bad for your marriage

Life affirming indeed. I think women probably still say it (the pain and suffering) was “worth it” because it’s what they’ve been conditioned (brainwashed?) to think. I think women are only recently coming to terms with the fact that they don’t, in fact, need to breed and that’s OK (it’s also okay if you want to have kids, but for the right reasons, please).

I’d love for mothers to ask themselves what they would’ve done with those nine months of torture being pregnant and the following 18 years if they’d chose not to procreate?

Couples realizing they have nothing in common after their kids leave the nest is a huge problem, methinks. I’ve watched couples have kids and never again have hobbies of their own. Sad.com.

Will the media please stop reinforcing this untrue fantasy that people, and women in particular, are incomplete if they don’t have children? Please, please, please.

Travel, have dinner parties, spend time with your friends, go take a cooking class, get a PhD… there are a plethora of other options besides having kids.

Why having children is bad for your marriage

Take it to the Village

I’ve talked about choosing to be happily childfree on here a few times (that’s still true – #sorrynotsorry). I think people want kids purely for narcissistic reasons (I can raise a great child! They’ll so pretty like me! Or my husband! They’ll have great values that I will instill in them! etc.), which is fine because we’re all biologically programmed to want kids to some extent, although some people are probably just pressured into it, too.  I think babies can be really cute sometimes, for sure. They’re cute if they’re not ugly (yes, they exist), or happen not to be vomiting or crying, or spitting up, or pooping. Basically when they’re just little giggly blobs is when they’re the best. (And I use the word “best” lightly.) 

But here’s the thing: since this is something that a majority of people are going to decide they want, I do believe that we should make it easy to have them and also continue to be a working human being. One of my oldest friends, who is more like an older sister, really, is a stay-at-home mom of three and I have no idea how she doesn’t come close to blowing her brains out on a daily basis. (Her choice, and I hope she’s happy, but OMGKILLMENOW.)

My managing director just had a baby four weeks ago. She is adorable and has a great name. Instead of sitting home, doing nothing, or sitting home and trying to work from home (while possible, it’s still probably annoying), she’s in the office one or two days (usually half-days) a week with her baby. The first time I heard her cry, I was like, “OMG MAKE IT STOP.” But that’s only happened once and then I chilled out.

The baby likes to be held a lot, so while my managing director is sending emails or whatnot, she’s holding the baby or someone else in the office is holding her (quite happily, I might add, because like I said, most people want kids). I’m pretty sure this is the modern-day equivalent of your fellow tribe numbers helping to take care of your babies.

And I think it’s pretty cool.

The Family You Choose

The great thing about choosing not to procreate (besides having the most thankless job out there, not having to pay for someone to go to college, etc.) is that you get to choose your family – essentially who your friends are. As I entered my mid and late-twenties, I began to make solidifying my friendships with my kick-ass and reliable friends, since they were going to be my chosen family. 

You’ll always have your parents, and siblings, and extended family, but when those holidays come around that are in the middle of the week and you aren’t granted a day off (ahem, Chanukah), you get to make your own traditions as an adult.

Ben and I have a tradition for Chanukah that includes going to an old time-y diner and eating ourselves stupid on traditional plates for the holiday. Last year it was, of course, the Edison Cafe, but since the Edison is no longer with us (RIP), we went down to the East Village last week to B&H Dairy.

The service was fast, the place was tiny and crowded, and the food was just what we were looking for. We had matzo ball soup, latkes, and blueberry blintzes. It was delicious and I think it cost us about $24. 

This is one tradition that I’m thankful for and I hope we continue it for a long, long time.

Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family

I think the New York Times published this in an attempt to decrease the population because who honestly would be like “yay kids!” after reading it? This survey should be called, “No Shit, Sherlock” because here are their astonishing findings:

  • Women do most of the housework, but men feel like it’s equal. (Of course they do!)
  • Parents who work and have kids are stressed.
  • Being a parent in America blows because you have no help unless you’re willing to pay top dollar for it. 

And yet thousands of people sign up for this never-ending-load-of-stress every year. I’m not saying it doesn’t have it’s benefits for the right person (I mean, who better to pick out your retirement home than the person who you tried to control for the first 18 years of their life?!), but come on. People who have kids in their twenties, unless they’re rich, are just begging to die an early death. 

Life is stressful enough as is. At least establish yourself in your career and try to have some sort of a stable life and income before you go dragging down another life or two into it.

Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family

5 Things Our Kids Don’t Know About Their Pre-Mama Mamas

Brain-dump time: A friend from college posted this on Facebook today. She’s a new mom and a fantastic person and I’m forever grateful that I got to spend time with her. 

I know I can’t completely relate because I’m not, and if I have anything to say about it never will be, a mother, but I have to disagree with this article that she posted.

My parents smoked pot before I was born. Apparently they smoked a LOT of pot. I’ve heard this from various family members and guess what! It didn’t make me think less of my parents or make me want to become a stoner. They were just mid-twenties kids and why not? They will never admit that they were heavy into reefer though and that’s what’s bothersome. It’s inauthentic. It’s fake. It’s bullshit.

I don’t think parents should ever try to gloss over their past lives to their children. First of all: it glamorizes whatever “devious” activity they want to try whether it be smoking pot, or drinking a beer, or whatever. I mean, kids usually only want to do what their parents don’t want them to do. If you’re a parent and you were like, “Yeah, sure, kid, have a beer. I have a beer from time to time too.” My guess is they’d probably be like, “Oh cool, this is chill,” or “Ew, parents are okay with it – it must not be cool.”

There will always be people who become addicted, but regardless of whether they try beer for the first time in high school or in college, they will find out, and the sooner the better in my opinion. 

I could go on and on, but I think it’s a much better option to be real with your kids than to try to play it off like you were some Straight Edge Mary Fucking Sunshine when you were a child/teenager/whatever. Because if they have two brain cells to rub together, they’ll know you’re full of shit anyways.

5 Things Our Kids Don’t Know About Their Pre-Mama Mamas