International Childfree Day – What is it, and why is it important?
First of all, Happy International Childfree Day! Since it’s not a paid holiday (yet, lol), I got up early to celebrate and reflect on what this day is, and why it’s so personally important to me.
If you haven’t heard of International Childfree Day (August 1st), according to daysoftheyear.com, it originated in the early 70’s as Non-Parents Day, to celebrate people that specifically choose not to have children with a goal of fostering acceptance of the childfree choice. The original event included a crowning of a male and female non-parent of the year, who then paraded down New York City’s 5th Avenue (ummmmm road trip anyone?)!
It took me a long time to figure out how I fit into society, friend groups, and my family as a non-mom/unmother. It seemed like everything centred on children, and that they were the most important thing in the world. So where did that leave me? I’m so happy I never wavered in my decision and that I’ve done the work to come out of my struggle happy and healthy!
Here are some of the reasons I believe it’s important to acknowledge Childfree Day:
Everyone deserves a day that celebrates their choices and their paths - There are days for mothers, fathers, administrative professionals, nurses, love, St. Patrick… Even pizza gets a day! Why shouldn’t I?
The Right to Choose – Many people around the world don’t have a say in whether they become a parent or not (especially women). Other people’s rights and abilities are eroding all the time in the wake of decisions such as Roe v. Wade.
Visibility and Recognition - Going against the grain of society was emotionally and mentally taxing for me, so I welcome a day of positive celebration and awareness-building. Hopefully it helps change stereotypes and conversations.
Community and solidarity – Sometimes as a nonparent in a sea of parents, it’s easy to feel alone, othered, and judged. International childfree day can be a time to find your childfree tribe, and build important, fulfilling relationships with others in the same boat.
We are a huge, growing, and important part of society – We aren’t just crazy cat lady spinsters or some splinter group. More and more folks are deciding not to have children for many reasons, from the environment to trauma to a lack of desire.
So whether you have kids or not, how can you celebrate?
Acknowledge a childfree person in your life – Thank them for their contributions outside of the parenthood paradigm—flowers and sweets are welcome.
Learn about a childfree trailblazer - like the formidable actor, comedy icon, and animal
activist, Betty White or Oprah Winfrey or Seth Rogen!
Consume some childfree media – There are more and more movies, tv shows, books, and social media content focused on being childfree. Ruby Warrington’s book, Women without Kids, and Emma Gannon’s Olive are but two examples.
Anyway, I’m off to celebrate some more, but let me know in the comments how you are going to mark today!
Lindsey, the Unmother
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