We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and so many other “Days” from Secretary Day to even National Vanilla Ice Cream Day–I kid you not! But back in the 70s there was a “Day” that it’s time to bring back – Non-Parents Day – which at one time was celebrated on August 1st.
It was started by a non-profit organization I have talked about here before – the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood (NAOP). It existed from 1972-1982 and its purpose was to “educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option.” It is high time that this “Day” be recognized again. How? Here is how I’d like to this year and to invite you to do the same.
I’d like to give a Non-Parents Day nod to one of my favorite non-parents that I know personally. Her name is Aggie, she is a friend of mine, and does not have children by choice. She grew up in Rio de Janeiro and came from humble means. When she was at university in Brazil she fell in love with an American professor named James (who is also a friend of mine) and came to the States with him when she was in her 20s. She received her Master’s degree, and today is a loved and respected School Counselor at an elementary school. She works with students who are 5-11 years old and their families.
Aggie has a wonderful story – and she is a wonderful person. She does great work in the world, has a huge heart and joie de vivre like no other.
What about you? Who is one of your favorite “non-parents” that you know personally?
S/he can be childfree, on the fence, or just not a parent yet. This is in keeping with NAOP’s original selections. Interestingly, with the NAOP in 1973 anyway, neither “winner” would go on record saying they “never” wanted to have children; they knew that they did not want them “right now.” This seems to reflect that the organization was not so much about promoting not having children, but more the larger idea that parenthood is optional.
Let’s hear from you. I poked other childfree sites to do the same as a way to bring back Non-Parents Day this year, and I will make sure you know what they post.
Next year, I vow to organize this Day and start in advance – like get a “selection” committee, invite nominees and select Non-Parents of the year!
What do you think-would you be game to participate in something like this?
I would like to mention my friend G as one of my favorite nonparents. She teaches 6-7 year olds and actually loves children. She works really hard at her job and gets to know each child. She has several class pets the kids just love! (I feel it’s a benefit for kids to learn to interact with animals, for what it’s worth.). She cares for her aging mother in law and she and her hubby are great “pet parents” of 3 rescued cats. They have traveled all over and have interesting hobbies. G and her hubby are certain they don’t want kids, now or ever, but she has certainly enhanced the lives of children.
I love stories of people like your friend G! She is a great example of someone who contributes to the lives of others in big ways without raising children of her own. Why society treats this as somehow “selfish” or “second” to motherhood just does not make sense.~L