Social group for childfree people

qwerky 21 May 2008 51

I am 47 years old, married, and I have no children (that I know of!). I’m not against children at all (I married ‘late’, and it just hasn’t happened for us), but I feel that society is certainly more accepting of couples if they DO have children. Most of my friends are either single, or married with children and not generally available to do things socially without a huge kerfuffle about child caring arrangements.

As I’m currently not working (between contracts, not unemployable!), I seem to be caught in this no-person’s land between the retirees, and the ‘young mum’s with bubs’, which is quite alienating during the day when the rest of the world seems to be working as all of my friends are.

For some time now I’ve thought about starting a social group, which could include walks, dinners out, coffee or concerts, for people who do not have children. And as I don’t have current access to a work bulletin board, I thought I’d start here to see what interest there is in such a venture.

If you’re interested, please get in touch. Also please let me know if you have any ideas about how to promote such a venture.

Thanks, I hope to hear from you soon, Virginia.

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51 Responses to Social group for childfree people
paynikins paynikins 3:14 pm 15 May 15

I am trying to start up a childfree women’s support group in Canberra.
I’ve set it up on meetup and it’s got the title “Childless by circumstance in Canberra’
Please join it if you are still interested in meeting with other childfree women.

someoneincanb someoneincanb 8:53 pm 23 May 08

Just a bit curious – what happens to members of the “club” if they happen to conceive (either deliberately or accidentally)? Do they get the boot?

Thumper Thumper 6:03 pm 23 May 08

Just a thought.

Ever thought of joining SES or Firies?

Fun, hard work, annoying, exhillerating, boring, satisfying, etc.

Lots of differnet people.

Check it ou kid….

Thumper Thumper 6:00 pm 23 May 08


all the best in your quest. SOunds like a great idea to me.

And now I shall disappear to the pub 😉

qwerky qwerky 5:42 pm 23 May 08

fabforty said :

Personally, Virginia, I say WOO-HOO. Here was I thinking I am the only one struggling with a dwindling social life because I have friends who are all married with kids.

I also think that trying to do this on-line via Yahoo or whatever is probably not the way. On another thread on this site, a few of us have been trying to form a group for a trivia night. Are you interested ?

If so, perhaps we can just propose a time and place and throw the invitation open to all Riot ACTers and friends.

fabforty, yes I’m interested in a trivia night. My social life is not so much dwindling as stagnant. Although I have some very good friends who I’ve known for a long time (also childfree!), I think it’d be fun to meet some new people in a new environment, and I’m sure they’d think so too!

Could you please email me at ACTgadabouts at gmail dot com so we can make contact away from this thread, thanks, Virginia

el el 11:03 pm 22 May 08

It’s interesting how, in discussions like these, some people become very aggressive at the idea that some people just don’t want kids, and some don’t enjoy having them around.

Agreed, Ant. Kids can be ferking annoying – I might feel differently at some stage in the future, but I can’t see myself having any (and hey, I mightn’t ever get the chance to make that choice).

qwerky qwerky 10:03 pm 22 May 08

I-filed said :

Oh dear, NSOH.

you’re picking a fight on the basis of a harmless joke? Sounds as though your social club isn’t going to be much fun!

GBFT (try and work THAT one out!) *hmmmm…wonders who is trying to pick the fight* Do I have to put a great big fat LOL or wink or whatever the latest silly expression is to indicate that I’m also having a joke? And why would a female with ‘NSOH’ say ‘none that I know of’ when asked if I have children? (as I said straight off in my original post). So PTIYPASI.

qwerky qwerky 9:56 pm 22 May 08

purrycat said :

Sounds like a wonderful idea to me. I’m a housewife with no children by choice, still fairly new to Canberra, and unfashionably introverted so that combination can be pretty alienating.

I’ve noticed how being childless is often seen as being a bit selfish, especially by friends and family with children. My own brother didn’t seem to care one way or the other years ago, but now that he has children I’ve been on the receiving end of the odd lecture on “doing your bit” etc. What’s weirder is that being not only childless, but also a housewife seems to make people feel they deserve an explanation for our choices. I don’t recall anybody being especially nosy about my life when I was able to reply that I worked at xyz company and did xyz job. Suddenly it’s as if I’m a danger to feminists everywhere and better come up with a good explanation quick! lol

Anyway, I agree that a yahoo or google group or something like that would be handy. Those things usually have a calendar to make it easy to organise dates. Or as far as websites go has easy free web-based blogs. Twitter’s an option as well for quickly organising something.

Thanks Purrycat. I’m in the process of setting something up on, but not necessarily to do with this fledgling group. I’ll also have a look at Twitter.

I can understand how you’d feel alienated. At the risk of ‘exposing’ myself here to a few people who seem to delight in making snide comments (why isn’t there the facility to send private messages?)[Ed. (Jazz), mostly cause its a pain in the arse to do, and also because we cant trust people to be civil to each other in public. Imagine what it would be like with private messaging enabled. Maybe sometime down the track we might do it], I find it alienating not currently working. The world seems to be full of people having business meetings, or young mothers and their ‘bubs’, or retirees. I don’t seem to quite fit!

My email is ACTgadabouts at gmail dot com if you’d like to get in touch.


I-filed I-filed 9:44 pm 22 May 08

Oh dear, NSOH.

you’re picking a fight on the basis of a harmless joke? Sounds as though your social club isn’t going to be much fun!

qwerky qwerky 9:40 pm 22 May 08

I-filed said :

“Virginia (giggle).”

Qwerky, you could call it the Virginia Club after Virginia Hausseger! :]

Why? If I was as arrogant as to want to call it after someone, why wouldn’t I call it the Virginia Club after myself? *although methinks I shouldn’t be foolish enough to be lured into these sorts of verbal scraps*

I-filed I-filed 9:34 pm 22 May 08

“Virginia (giggle).”

Qwerky, you could call it the Virginia Club after Virginia Hausseger! :]

clueless70 clueless70 9:30 pm 22 May 08

NoAddedMSG, I am surprised that you read into my suggestions that I am biased towards having children personally. I was actually trying to convince people that we ought to study the consequences of having children for all of us, not just bicker over the degree to which a desire had by a self is selfish.

I don’t like the relativist position either, which has been restated by peterh, who is content to say, in effect, ‘What does it matter? Everyone’s choices on reproduction are all right and of no consequence to anyone but themselves.’ In fact these choices are of immense consequence to all of us, and the heat in the ‘reproduce or not’ discussions is evidence of that. I hope it isn’t too obvious to point out the possible consequences of the ending or continuation of the species, the disruption or furthering of local, national and global economies, and a spectrum of individual suffering or pleasure for reasons of private losses or benefits; or to suggest the incalculable numbers and qualities of possible events that will flow from the myriad harmful or beneficial actions of individuals who are yet to be born! I just would like people to acknowledge that reproductive choices are important and interesting because of their consequences.

I don’t see much hope of arguing convincingly that human beings have no instinctual need to reproduce, because we share so much of our nature anatomically and genetically with the animal world, and because the fact that animals of all kinds take great pains to reproduce seems to support strongly the idea of there being an instinct, or automatic will, to reproduce.

Granting this, I agree that a lot hangs on whether you ascribe to instinctual needs a value comparable to a self-evident good. I can see some sense in arguing that we have an instinctive need to reproduce; that to satisfy instinctive needs is a self-evident good; therefore that denying the need to reproduce for any reason cannot be good.

My own view is that having a child isn’t rationally justifiable no matter how much one would like to have one, regardless of whether one’s desires to reproduce are a matter of instinct, romance or religion; because there is a deep asymmetry in the degree to which life is pleasurable on one hand, and painful on the other. It cannot be good to bring into existence a creature that is bound to suffer as much or more than it will enjoy in its life – and that will die in full consciousness of what is happening to it. To me that consideration is so fundamental that it overrides even the strong counterargument that we do ourselves unnecessary suffering to deny our own reproductive instincts. For there are inevitably other interests in avoiding suffering than one’s own – not least, should you reproduce, your child’s. And if you are not trying, as a general rule in life, to reduce unnecessary suffering, what is it you are doing?

qwerky qwerky 9:15 pm 22 May 08

someoneincanb said :

qwerty – interesting you start out with “society is more accepting of couples of they have children” but then explain why YOU are not accepting of friends who do have children…”not generally available to do things socially without a huge kerfuffle … “.

I have children but I have just as many friends who do not as do. If you actually enjoy someone’s company it shouldn’t matter if they do or do not have kids.

I am accepting of people who have children, and have many friends who do. If I excluded people who had children from being my friends, I’d be very lonely indeed! However, my comment about the ‘kerfuffle’ of childcare arrangements was a flippant, throwaway remark and is certainly not representative of how I feel about people who have children. I was speaking only of my own experience in organising outings and the challenges I’ve encountered at times.

If I knew how to write another post without responding to one person’s in particular, I would do so. I can’t find any facility to contact anyone privately? I don’t find this message board system to be very user friendly and I am a novice here, so bear with me as I try to respond generally to everyone. [Ed. (Jazz) try the big blue “post an item” button on the top of the page. or the big orange “posting instructions” if you get lost. If in doubt you can always contact us as well by clicking on the contact link at the top]

Thank you to everyone who contributed their views to my discussion, particularly those who provided helpful advice about how to go about setting up a social group of this nature. But I want to be clear that I did not make my previous post with the view of insulting people who have children, or questioning their right to do so. I’m bemused at the strong opinions my post has spawned! (excuse the pun).

All I want to do is to moot the idea of starting a SOCIAL group for people, singles or couples, who don’t have children, for whatever reason. I’m not interested in having heated debates on the subject, I can’t think of anything more boring. I am aware that, perhaps I didn’t choose the most appropriate bulletin board to post this message on, but I’m not aware of any other general Canberra bulletin boards? If someone can tell me of one or two, I’d be interested to know about them.

If you would like to contact me and find out more about my ideas for such a group and provide more of your own, my email address is ACTgadabouts at gmail dot com. I’ve set up this address specifically for this purpose, and it could also be the working name of such a group. I hope to hear from you soon! regards Virginia

peterh peterh 1:15 pm 22 May 08

I have many friends that don’t have kids, and others that do. I really don’t care what they do, I chose to have kids and I love all 3 of them. That is my choice. If you don’t have kids, no worries. it is your choice.

Occasionally I don’t attend events that have been organised, but that can be down to whether I am sick, my wife is sick, the kids are sick, I have double booked an event, etc. I don’t use the kids as an excuse, some times either my wife or I will go on our own – it doesn’t feel weird, we just don’t want to let the other people down. I won’t be drawn into complaining about the members of society that don’t want to have kids – more oxygen for mine.

toriness toriness 10:22 am 22 May 08

needlenose’s I just think it is unadulterated bullshit for anyone to suggest that having children is an unselfish act. Regardless of the fact that it does have social utility, deciding to have kids is one of the most purely selfish things anyone can decide to do.

amen to that.

ant ant 10:17 am 22 May 08

It’s interesting how, in discussions like these, some people become very aggressive at the idea that some people just don’t want kids, and some don’t enjoy having them around.

and as always, as soon as someone becomes aggressive and starts hurling insults, they’ve lost the argument.

NoAddedMSG NoAddedMSG 8:24 am 22 May 08

Clueless70 (post #28), your bias is showing…. were you trying to hide it? Only it reads like you were trying to put up the appearance of a balanced consideration of the issue, but it was a token effort because you really don’t believe in one of the choices you are evaluating. You start from the presumption that on some instinctive, deep-down level, absolutely everyone wants to have children (“personal suffering due to the quashing of instinctual needs” as you put it). I don’t think this is correct, I think there are a number of people who just don’t want kids, and the consequences of guilt tripping them into having children are pretty big, they end up with a life situation they simply don’t want. What impact would that have on a child growing up?

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 1:03 am 22 May 08


Perhaps set up a group in facebook? Very much along the lines of what Fiona suggested in comment #2 except more focused and more likely to get noticed.

The added benefit is that (for the most part) facebook has “real” people that you can judge by their friend networks as against “lurkers” which seem to frequent the Yahoo, MSN groups.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 12:58 am 22 May 08

Deadmandrinking said :

Virginia – the pub.

What pub?

If only Canberra had more local pubs (like Sydney and Melbourne)… having a local is great, but there aren’t many in Canberra.

vg vg 10:23 pm 21 May 08

You are a very sad person Ant, very sad indeed. Perhaps if you got out and mingled in the read world more often (i.e. outside the internet) you would see how everyone else exists.

The way kids behave? What, like kids do?

Jesus there are some pathetic people in this world. Next you’ll be saying kids scare you. Remember that post where you said a doctor fixed up your thumb but you couldn’t remember which one. I reckon its the one stuck up your date

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