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  • lindseytheresa

Follow the Goose! - Geese and the Childfree Community

I just finished draft eleventy-seven of my childfree memoir, Free or Less. I feel this good about it! Writing—and re-writing is a lot of work, but for me, it’s ‘following the goose’.

For the uninitiated, in the childfree community, following the goose means pursuing that which brings you joy, even if it’s not what’s expected of you. It’s about taking the road less travelled and going against societal expectations to live your best life. I love having less obligation in the domestic sphere so I can pour all my free time into my passions—namely writing.  

The phrase ‘following the goose’ originates from a New Yorker cartoon about the Adventures of Lady No Kids by Will McPhail. The panel depicts a pantless woman sporting a top hat who follows a goose for no reason, much to the astonishment of a (tired-looking) young family.

It has evolved and grown from that, into a kind of movement. There is a  Lady No Kids Facebook group where childfree women (and some men) share how they are following the goose, whether that be taking a trip, working on a hobby, or taking naps and indulging in edibles. Random? Kinda. Awesome? Absolutely.

That group was a huge source of support and kinship for me during my childfree journey—especially when a lot of my friends and family members were having children, and during the pandemic when I was struggling like so many others. Finding and participating in this community was a turning point and a lifeline for me. Together, we commiserated and celebrated, and shared laughter and tears as we found our way in this pronatalist society.

So, it was no surprise to me that ‘the goose’ weaseled its way into my unmotherhood manuscript, or that I got not one, but two goose tattoos. I have a Canadian Goose on my left forearm and a domestic goose on my right. These geese also have tie-ins to my community of Dartmouth and my favorite poem (below), in addition to branding me as a Lady No Kids for life!

In conclusion, HONK!



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