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A Childfree Life

A Childfree Life, Musings of sorts

Answering The Call – Hay House Writer’s Workshop

August 1, 2017

This post might get a little whooo whooo so be warned. About six months ago I randomly bought a ticket to the Hay House Writer’s Workshop. For those of you who are thinking about publishing a book (not just with Hay House), I highly recommend it. I’ve been getting whispers for the last six months or so about a book. I found myself on the Hay House Website randomly and then they had a workshop in Sydney in August so I bought a ticket. Then I forgot about it. I’ve been so busy with Hotels With Cats that I Ignored the book thing. I didn’t know what it would be about, or why I was going to write it, and it was scary. So better not to think about it. But I sensed a book or more was coming. About two weeks before the workshop, I received my first ever email from a reader. And it went something like this.

“just wanted to let you know what a nice surprise it was to read you blog! 🙂

I was looking up articles about being childfree to read ….I came upon an article you wrote and I thought it was brilliant — and described me to a tee! It led me to your blog and it was so refreshing to read about someone else who was more “on the fence” than definitely yes to kids, or definitely no to kids”….

Continue Reading…

A Childfree Life

5 things not to say to women without children

July 19, 2016

Almost one-quarter of women in the western world will not have children. It is something I never considered a choice. I thought I would be a mother one day. I imagined I would have the urge and eventually do the ‘normal’ thing. Settle down, get a house with picket fence and children running around in the backyard. It didn’t happen for me that way, and when societal pressures made me feel for a short time that I should go down that path, my instinct responded with a very loud NO.  We live happily in our small apartment, pursuing our creative careers, and at 35 I’m still waiting for the motherhood urge. It may arrive one day, but at this stage I think that it is highly unlikely. My husband’s opinion is pretty much on the “no” side, and I’m not cajoling someone into parenting just because ‘I might regret it later on.”

Women without children may not have them for a number of reasons, which are often beyond their control. They might meet someone in later life who has already had children, might not be able to, or may  just not want to. Most of my girlfriends, welcome a frank conversation about the motherhood, and respect my decision. But some people have said some very strange things.

Here are some things not to say to women without children. Continue Reading…

A Childfree Life, Musings of sorts, Relationships

When You’re No Longer Needed

March 20, 2016

I put myself in the ‘single’ zone when it comes to friendships. I’m available. (Possibly too available.) In fact, I have a hard time saying no to most things, as I have previously explored. The Ginger Hunk and I are not a coupley couple. Indeed we are in love, but we take on separate interests, and encourage each other to do so. I have no desire to jump of cliffs, he has no desire to do yoga or endurance events. So when The Ginger Hunk’s hip is in fine form (which it ain’t at the moment), we do our separate activities most weekends.

This leaves me available to my girlfriends, to be around for stuff. Being childfree, and not scheduled up with catch-ups, dinners, (and all that shit we stopped doing a long time ago) I guess I am more available than most.  But something is shifting in the air, and I’m feeling a little lonely. I feel like I’m no longer needed. I listened to this Podcast by Amy E Smith the other day, and a few things rang a bell. Particularly the part about your emotions being like a bank. People make withdrawals then deposits, if you’re lucky.

I’ve realised that while people are not withdrawing, there are not many deposits being made in my emotional bank account. While I would be the one that people would call for advice, after dates or what not, once entering the couple/parenting zone I seem to be forgotten. I’m not single, so I don’t get asked out with the single girls, or on the mothers lunch dates. This leaves me in la-la-land in the thirty something world that is pronatalist Sydney.

But hey, I’m still here, as a human in this world. Don’t forget I’ve been a child one, and have parents.

I’ve travelled, studied, and seen a lot of shit that qualifies me to give some advice on some shit, right?

Apparently not. (As someone said to me this week.)

Most of all in the forgotten zone, I wish someone would stop and ask me how I am. When I’m listening to baby talk, relationship troubles, how about asking what is happening in my world? Or taking the time to call to ask, just out of the blue?  It hasn’t been easy to have a partner off work, battling Department Of Veteran’s Affairs, chewing through savings and putting his career on hold. Being on the other side of that is taking its toll. But like life, we all have our shit to navigate through.

So, I wanted you to know that I’m still here, as I always will be.

Don’t you want to know how I am?

Plodding along trying to make sense of this murky adult life.

Like we all are.

Ashleigh XXX

A Childfree Life

I’m in a podcast! Unclassified Woman with Michelle Marie McGrath

February 9, 2016

Just a little note this morning to let you know that I was on an amazing podcast discussing all things childfree, following your purpose, and living a fulfilled life.

(I was scared to share it with you all in case I sounded bogan, but it is acceptable.)

The series is by the wonderful self love coach, Michelle Marie McGrath and is called Unclassified Woman.

I was chuffed to be interviewed with a list of childfree women I admire.

Do check it out, even if you’re a mother. More than being a discussion on the childfree, I love how this podcast celebrates women in different roles. We are caring, nurturing, and creative, living a life full of purpose, whether we are mother’s or not.

I talk about never having the urge, birthing through writing, and other things. You can check out my episode here. 

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 8.24.04 am

Enjoy the episode and the series!

Ashleigh XXX

****Linking up with Essentially Jess for #TeamIBOT***

 

A Childfree Life, Daily Life, Social Justice

How to give ethically this Christmas

December 10, 2015

A couple of years ago we decided to ditch Christmas presents. This deal came about between the adults in my family. It wasn’t a huge announcement, but over the years we couldn’t think of anything we really needed. Our house is full of stuff, and we are in the process of simplifying our life to travel more. Also, now that I am old I can afford to buy myself the things I want throughout the year. So instead of presents, we decided to do some nice things for each other. Mum and I chose to subscribe to the theatre, I buy a World Vision Gift or make a donation for my Dad, and my sister and I will do something together in the new year, (our time together is rare!)

Being childfree makes Christmas a little easier for The Ginger Hunk and I. We do buy some things for the little people in our lives, but try to keep this simple. The amount children get these days for Christmas and birthdays absolutely astounds me. Criticise if you like, as I do not have children, (and I do admit that I spoil my cat.) But being an ‘outsider’ I think we can make sound observations from what we see around us. What I see is a lot of people struggling to afford to live in a city such as Sydney, yet we continue to buy up big, and I don’t know why.

Is it about keeping up?

Or do we think it makes us and our kids happy?

Christmas is no as a time for us all to over do it, and I think that we have all gone a little cray cray.

The statistics agree with me as well.

Last year Christmas retail in Australia hit 45 billion with those over the age of 14 spending around $2,500 in the 12 weeks up to Christmas.

This has other impacts, most notably on the environment. One of the biggest sources of Christmas waste is …. you guessed it…

PAPER.

Clean up Australia estimates that this equates to 8,000 tonnes a year, which is 50,000 trees. 

In America, it is estimated that 50 million Christmas trees are purchased each year, and 30 million of these end up in landfill.

(Very. Sad. Facts.)

I’m not saying we should all give up Christmas, it is the best time of year!

But we can go crazy, spend a fortune ans get caught up in the hype, without even thinking about it. For just one day.

Here are some simple ways to make your Christmas more ethical.

  1. Consider buying a World Vision Gift  and make an investment which will make a difference to someone else. Gifts start as little as $5 to help a child learn to write by purchasing a packet of pencils to investing in a bicycle to help a girl get to school safely for around $100. This is a great initiative and a way to show your children how much difference a small amount of money can make to someone else.
  2. Limit the paper use. Send an e-card instead of a paper one. Companies like hallmark are even in on the trend.
  3. Donate your unwanted presents instead of hitting the shops for a refund. Consider donating to people in need through an organisation such as The Smith Family or The Wayside Chapel.
  4. Consider an alternative tree. Or at least make sure your one is ethically farmed if you’re keeping it real. You can check this list here.  Better still, decorate a branch or buy a tree that you can plant in the garden forever.

Have you done anything to make your Christmas more ethical? 

Any more tips to share? 

Merry Christmas! 

Ashleigh XXX 

 

 

 

A Childfree Life, Daily Life, Musings of sorts

Quitting my job

November 6, 2015

On the 17th of November, I am leaving my job. My dream job.

It was a month of funk and  “I am over it” kind of feelings which led me to want to leave. So I put it out there into the universe, then the humans that I work with suggested that I take 12 months unpaid leave instead of resigning.

So I am offically free to roam around until December 2016. It really is the best outcome I could have wanted.

My funk started with an itch, a bad feeling going to work and I just could not put in the effort anymore that my job requires.

It is not so surprising as I look back at life, it has been five years for me of ‘doing the right thing’ as I felt that I should.

I did all the right things.

I got a job, paid off my debt, bought an apartment, got married, finished my masters, and eventually got promoted and scored a job at the top of my field.

I ticked all the ‘to do’ things off my list.

I still wasn’t happy.

The itchy feeling kept coming. Feeling that something was missing. Waiting for the next thing. I filled it up with holidays.

But then it would return, and quicker after every trip. That underlying feeling, I am not meant for this.

I really wanted to be able to travel more, and not be so tied to ‘permanency.’ I was getting over the nine to five.

Wanting to lose my days in words or other things, but not sure what they were.

Let me be clear here, we have some savings. We have not won lotto. Alert. We have not won lotto.

I still need to work, but we don’t have kids, and a very affordable mortgage.

So now is the time to take a chance.

To write my book, to try new things, to travel more, work intermittently, ramp up the freelance writing, take some contracts and try new things.

It is all a bit scary from the planned life I tried so hard to fit into but also so exciting.

Have you taken a risk or quit your job? 

Was it a disaster?

Or the best thing ever? 

Happy Friday,

Ashleigh XXX 

Image above from Pixabay. This is me in Bali in two weeks time. (Okay, maybe I will put on a top on I guess.)