I was trying on some clothes in the four-stall fitting room at a department store when a woman walked in and tested all the doors to see if they were occupied. The woman in the stall across from me said, "We’re full in here but I’m almost finished. I’ve got a 9 month old I’ve left with my husband."
The woman waiting replied, "I’ve got a 4 year old and 6 year old and this is my first day of shopping without them in close to a year."
"I love shopping alone. Isn’t it awesome?" crowed the new mom.
"God, yes." Laughter from all the stalls. Except mine.
I was struck silent, thinking, "Hey, this is another childfree benefit I take for granted: shopping without kids in tow."
Later, in another store, this benefit was dramatised, as a mother walked in with two young kids. The eldest, a boy of seven or so, started to whine. "You said you were only going into one store. This is two stores. We need to get out of here."
He started to act up but the mother deftly negotiated five minutes more shopping time in exchange for a trip to McDonalds.
Which brings me to Benefit #2: I don’t have to eat at McDonalds.
I haven’t been to a McDonalds in…. Gee, I don’t know how long it’s been. Ages…since I burned the roof of my mouth eating a hot apple pie. Do they still sell those things or has someone finally sued them over the fact that those pies took two layers of skin off your palate?
Anyway, I’m a bit of a food snob so the reminder that I will never to have to eat at McDonalds again sent me into another spasm of gratitude.
What about your childfree life brings up feelings of gratitude?
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