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One couple's perfect response to people asking when they're going to have kids.

Choosing to have kids or not have kids is no one else's decision but yours.

One couple's perfect response to people asking when they're going to have kids.
Photo via Carrie Jensen/Imgur, used with permission.

This article originally appeared on 12.19.16


"When are you guys going to start having kids?"

Like many couples, Carrie Jansen and her husband Nic had heard this question a million different ways, a million different times.

The pressure really started to mount when the pair, who've been together for eight years, got married three years ago. While Carrie loves kids (she's an elementary school teacher, after all), she and Nic simply aren't interested in having kids of their own. Now or ever.


Photo via Carrie Jansen, used with permission.

"It's not what I was meant for," explains Carrie in a Facebook message. "It's like, I love flowers, and everyone loves flowers. But that doesn't mean I want to grow my own. I'm perfectly happy admiring other people's gardens."

Carrie wanted to tell her family that they don't plan on having kids but knew if she did, they'd say something like, "Oh you'll change your mind one day!" and that pesky question would keep rearing its ugly head.

Rather than continue to deflect the question over and over, Carrie decided to do something a little bit different.

Photo via Carrie Jensen/Imgur, used with permission.

Since the couple was adding another mouth to feed to the family, they decided to announce it with a series of maternity-style photos, revealing the twist: The new addition was a puppy named Leelu, not a baby.

"My husband and I have been married 3 years and everyone is bugging us about having a baby. Close enough right?" she captioned the photos.

Her pictures went insanely viral, with many of the commenters giving her props for hilariously addressing the dreaded "kids " question.

Photo via Carrie Jansen, used with permission.

"If you don't want kids, don't have kids. Seriously. Have fun with each other. I had three kids early and it's all about them now," wrote one user. "I wish people would just mind their business raising a kid ain't easy and cheap," wrote another.

"I got my husband a vasectomy for his birthday this year. Best gift ever," chimed in a third.

Carrie was overwhelmed and inspired by the viral response. "Having children is definitely a hot topic, and one that is evolving in this generation like so many other social issues," she says. "It's exciting to find others that feel the same way I do."

Carrie is hardly alone in not wanting to have kids — in fact, a record number of women are choosing not to have kids today.

In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey found 47.6% of women between age 15 and 44 had never had children, which is the highest percentage on record. Despite the numbers, however, because we still live in a patriarchally-driven society, women regularly face the expectation that they should be mothers, and they often are judged if they decide not to be.

Whether you want to have one kid, five kids, no kids, or a puppy, the choice should be yours and no one else's.

Photo via Carrie Jansen, used with permission.

No one else has the right to put pressure on you to change your body and life in a drastic way. Thankfully, because of women like Carrie — and partners like Nic — who aren't afraid to bring the subject out in the open, the expectations are slowly but surely changing.


Kristen Bell announces This Saves Lives new partnership with Upworthy.

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Every day, Upworthy shares stories that spotlight the very best of humanity. But if there’s one cause that unites us all, it’s solving child hunger.

In a recent poll of our followers, we found that child hunger is the issue they care about most. So today, we’re doing something about it. We’ve joined forces with humanitarian snack brand This Saves Lives to end child hunger.

This Saves Lives co-founder, actress Kristen Bell.

This Saves Lives was founded in 2013 with the goal of ending early childhood severe acute malnutrition. Its solution is simple, for every snack you purchase, they give life-saving food to a child in need. This Saves Lives has already donated over 30 million packets of lifesaving food in Haiti, Guatemala, Kenya and beyond. We hope our new partnership works to feed millions more.

“Will you join us? It’s easy and delicious.” — Kristen Bell.

Join us and explore delicious snacks that give back at thissaveslives.com/doinggoodtogether.

Identity

Gay choir teacher breaks down when his class gives a surprise performance at his wedding

Christopher Landis had kept his marriage secret because he wasn't sure how students or parents would react.

via Pexels

Two men exchanging rings in a wedding ceremony.

Christopher Landis, a choir director at Hingham Middle School in Massachusetts, didn’t tell his students he was engaged to Joe Michienzie three years ago. According to Inside Edition, whenever they asked who Michienzie was, Christopher would say, "That's Joe. He's my friend."

Landis kept his relationship a secret in front of his students because he wasn’t sure how their parents would react. Sadly, even today, LGBTQ people still have to be discreet about their personal lives in some professions.

This is sad for the teachers who have to stay closeted and also for the LGBTQ students who miss out on having a positive role model.

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This is the most important van in NYC… and it’s full of socks.

How can socks make such a huge difference? You'd be surprised.

all photos provided by Coalition for The Homeless

Every night, the van delivers nourishment in all kinds of ways to those who need it most

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Homelessness in New York City has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Over 50,000 people sleep each night in a shelter, while thousands of others rely on city streets, the subway system and other public locations as spaces to rest.

That’s why this meal (and sock) delivery van is an effective resource for providing aid to those experiencing homelessness in New York City.

Every night of the year, from 7pm to 9:30, the Coalition for the Homeless drives a small fleet of vans to over 25 stops throughout upper and lower Manhattan and in the Bronx. At each stop, adults and families in need can receive a warm meal, a welcoming smile from volunteers, and a fresh, comfy new pair of Bombas socks. Socks may be even more important than you think.

Bombas was founded in 2013 after the discovery that socks were the #1 most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.

Access to fresh, clean socks is often limited for individuals experiencing homelessness—whether someone is living on the street and walking for much of the day, or is unstably housed without reliable access to laundry or storage. And for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness —expenses might need to be prioritized for more critical needs like food, medication, school supplies, or gas. Used socks can’t be donated to shelters for hygienic reasons, making this important item even more difficult to supply to those who need it the most.

Bombas offers its consumers durable, long-lasting and comfortable socks, and for every pair of Bombas socks purchased, an additional pair of specially-designed socks is donated to organizations supporting those in need, like Coalition for the Homeless. What started out as a simple collaboration with a few organizations and nonprofits to help individuals without housing security has quickly become a bona fide giving movement. Bombas now has approximately 3,500 Giving Partners nationwide.

Though every individual’s experience is unique, there can frequently be an inherent lack of trust of institutions that want to help—making a solution even more challenging to achieve. “I’ve had people reach out when I’m handing them a pair of socks and their hands are shaking and they’re looking around, and they’re wondering ‘why is this person being nice to me?’” Robbi Montoya—director at Dorothy Day House, another Giving Partner—told Bombas.

Donations like socks are a small way to create connection. And they can quickly become something much bigger. Right now over 1,000 people receive clothing and warm food every night, rain or shine, from a Coalition for the Homeless van. That bit of consistent kindness during a time of struggle can help offer the feeling of true support. This type of encouragement is often crucial for organizations to help those take the next difficult steps towards stability.

This philosophy helped Bombas and its abundance of Giving Partners extend their reach beyond New York City. Over 75 million clothing items have been donated to those who need it the most across all 50 states. Over the years Bombas has accumulated all kinds of valuable statistics, information, and highlights from Giving Partners similar to the Coalition for the Homeless vans and Dorothy Day House, which can be found in the Bombas Impact Report.

In the Impact Report, you’ll also find out how to get involved—whether it’s purchasing a pair of Bombas socks to get another item donated, joining a volunteer group, or shifting the conversation around homelessness to prioritize compassion and humanity.

To find out more, visit BeeBetter.com.

Kristan Toczko is a renowned Canadian harpist who delights audiences with musical mashups.

The harp is the oldest known stringed instrument, dating back at least to the 1200s, and variations of the harp can be found all around the world.

It's simultaneously one of the easiest and hardest instruments to play. Like the piano, a harp's strings are each individual notes that are already in tune, so unlike a violin or cello, you can't hit any slightly off-key notes. To play the harp, you simply pluck the strings, so learning to perform a simple tune doesn't require a great amount of skill.

However, to play the harp at a high level is difficult. A full-sized harp's 47 strings are placed very close together, so the margins of error are tiny. The precision needed to play a complex piece without hitting any wrong strings is intense, and it takes a lot of time and practice to create the muscle memory necessary to play the harp well.

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A map of the United States post land-ice melt.

This article originally appeared on 12.08.15


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

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