All posts filed under: Unfolding Inheritance

Childless

This is Unfolding Inheritance, a column by Kristen Gentry exploring mother-daughter relationships, the impact of parental addiction, and the journey of finding and loving yourself through it all. * While thrift shopping with my mother, I found a sweatshirt. Faded red with white block text blaring, “Childless.” What? I was startled to confusion though the message was clear. The wearer of said sweatshirt had no children. I’m so used to finding t-shirts boasting “Mama Bear” and “Tough as a Mother” that it shocked me to discover this deviation from mommy merch.  I showed the shirt to Mama. “What do you think?”  Her face shifted through the initial confusion I’d experienced.   “It’s a nice sweatshirt,” she finally said, running her hand down a sleeve. “Heavy. Will you wear it?” she asked.  “I think so.” I knew her question was more than an inquiry about cost per wear.   I prefer the term “childfree” with its highlight of freedom, lightness, the giving of bougie auntie, I-might-watch-your-kids-while-you-have-a-night-out-or-I-might-not-cuz-you-made-the-choice- to-have-kids-sis-not-me vibes. But “childfree” and “childless” aren’t synonyms. Childlessness is about wanting …