“Baby? Maybe?” Part 2

Caitlin Burchill

Updated 8 months ago

Monday, TV5’s Caitlin Burchill introduced us to Amy Blackstone, a sociology professor at UMaine who is a leading childfree scholar. (To watch: “Baby? Maybe?” Part 1)

She explained whether you have no kids or have lots of kids, there is still a stigma attached.

For part 2, Amy Blackstone and another Amy, Amy Howard, let Burchill into their very different households.

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“So I think one surprise for people is to realize that the childfree don’t hate kids. I had a great time babysitting. I was a nanny in college,” said Amy Blackstone.

Amy and Lance Blackstone live a childfree lifestyle.

When they tell people…

“It’s kind of a conversation killer and from my perspective it’s kind of weird because I don’t want kids, I’m happy not having kids, I’m happy if you have kids, if you want kids,” said her husband, Lance Blackstone.

“I just enjoy my life without them and I’m fine with the decision not to have them,” said Amy Blackstone.

Without lots of mouths to feed, Lance quit his job last year.

“I’d assume there’s less stress because I don’t have kids, so I don’t really know. But I would imagine there’s a lot less stress,” he said.

Now, one of his focuses is on the couple’s blog, We’re {Not} Having A Baby.

“We’re fortunate that we have families that are supportive of our choice, but we wanted to be a part of the positive part of that community and help spark discussion within the community and with parents as well about the reality that having a child is a choice and it’s an important choice,”  said Amy Blackstone.

One of the most popular sections, “Lance’s Rants.”

“Nobody apparently chooses to have children. They just have children. It’s an active choice to choose not to have children which seems really, really weird to me,” he said.

They have interviewed famous comedians and others who have made the same decision.

“Having discussions about choosing whether or not to have kids, I think it’s very important and making that a conscious choice either to have them or to not have them is important. Every kid deserves to be wanted,” said Amy Blackstone.

Life is quite different at another Amy’s home in Old Town.

“(We got married) and then our first one came and then 16 months later the second one came, and 11 months later the third one came,” said Justin Howard.

Justin and Amy Howard have 5 kids.

While Amy says it was hard enough for her to go from a professional world to being a mom, she now faces another stigma: she’s a mother of a lot of kids.

“I spend a lot of time thinking about what do you respond to people who ask if you want to be like the Duggers because that’s easier than kind of punching somebody,” said Amy Howard laughing.

The couple is constantly questioned about contraception, their IQ, their environmental responsibility, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Living for someone outside of themselves serves as a foundation for why they have so many kids.

Justin is an Anglican priest in Orono. Amy is also a pastor at the church.

“A God who creates has fashioned us to create as well, so we bring forth life as well and we’ve really embraced that,’ said Justin Howard.

“It doesn’t mean you have as many kids as you can possibly have or that everybody has to, but that we’re open to life,” said Amy Howard.

And while things are generally a bit quieter at the Blackstone’s….

“I mean the assumption was the family is the couple that has kids,” said Amy Blackstone.

“You’re at a family,” said Caitlin Burchill.

“We are a family,” said Amy Blackstone.

Proving families come in all shapes and sizes.

 

To check out Amy and Lance Blackstone’s blog, visit their website.

They also have a group for child free families in the Bangor area. It’s a place to talk about their experiences. The group is a closed Facebook page, we’re {not} having  a baby-Central Maine.

As for Amy and Justin Howard, they hope to welcome more kids into their family in the near future.


  • Telecat

    Amy Blackstone should speak for herself. Some of us have no use for kids whatsoever.

    • amb

      Good point, Telecat! You’re absolutely right. Sometimes the nuances don’t make the cut. I respect your position and recognize that I certainly don’t represent all childfree. We are an extremely diverse bunch. Thanks for weighing in.
      Amy Blackstone

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