Mombies and 'Daddiots': The rise of 'child free' anger
MY WIFE is a breeder and probably a "Mombie".
It's possible that I'm a Daddiot or a Daddict.
Welcome to the world of the so-called Child Free, the brave souls proudly (and loudly) choosing not to have kids.
These groups that populate Reddit and Facebook have grown as families in Australia and elsewhere have shrunk.
Couples with children are still the majority but the numbers are falling (down from 54% in 1991 to 45% last year).
Couples without children now sit at 38%, up from 32% in 1991. The rest are single-parent families.
The Child Free's words are a window into the world of those who feel as though society still stares down on them.
The Mombie is a mom (US spelling) and a zombie. They have "an extreme case of breeder brain, due to a combination of exhaustion and too many days spent baby talking in isolation from other adults".
Okay, that one is hard to argue with.
A breeder is aimed at bad mothers, ones who do not discipline children or shirk responsibility. Of course it is wheeled out whenever a mum or her kid interrupts others' child-free life.
There are other charming yet rarer terms like "kinderwhore" for children dressed up as though they are in (or are actually in) a beauty pageant and "tit-nazi" for women who breastfeed without shame in public.
The tales of the child-free are great fun for anyone with kids wanting a laugh.
There is the guy in his 20s who decided to tell his office about a looming vasectomy, then complained when some questioned whether it was a good idea.
Or the one when a visiting dad brought children into the office. To the child-free work colleagues' horror, they heard "random bursts of shrieking and thundering" in the halls.
Their child-free pals agree: children are "gross", puppies are better and that dad and kids should have been sent home.
The child-free humans are the delicate flowers persecuted by us, the parents. I'm sympathetic to those who don't want kids, only to have bothersome parents, friends and colleagues talk up the joys of parenthood.
Raising a kid is simple but hard. For me, it's also good fun. But I can't imagine any parent - particularly those with young children - encouraging the unwilling to give it a shot. Unless maybe they're miserable and could use the company.
Yet the child-free crowd imagine parents care about who do and don't want kids. They think we care about their critiques, their rants or their snark.
But in the words of Mad Men's Don Draper: We don't think about you - at all.
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The Daddy-O column appears fortnightly in Weekend magazine