The Everyday Life of a Midwest Mom

It’s always fascinating to listen to atheists and theists debate. For me, it doesn’t take much arguing to disprove the bible, but for many people, you can talk until you’re blue in the face and nothing will change. While these exchanges are always interesting, they’re certainly not what I’m focused on.

I am more interested in discussing everyday life as an atheist. It’s not as easy as a Midwest mom. Being an atheist is an important part of me, but I still have to go about my day here in Toledo with my family.

Retreating to My Closet

Even though I’ve wanted to write about atheism for a long time, in my everyday life I’m basically in the closet –mainly because I fear discrimination and ridicule at work. My daughter is only three so thankfully I haven’t had to deal with a lot of other parents yet. My family and close friends know I’m an atheist but that’s as far as it goes.

This blog might blow my cover, but I’m thinking it’s about time. I’m now willing to take that risk.

Atheists around the world aren’t always treated well, and I want to work to change that. I can’t help if I stay silent.

What Being An Atheist Mom Means to Me

As a mom and atheist, I want to foster curiosity in my daughter. She has so many questions right now and she’s so fun to watch. She has absolutely no sense of “gross” yet and she’s fearless.

I also think it’s important to teach the importance of empathy. I want to refer to the humanist “good without god” saying. I will tell my daughter that we help other humans when we can because we are also human and it’s the right thing to do. This doesn’t involve a god or scoring points for entry to heaven.

I hope, as my daughter gets older I will have instilled decent levels of skepticism and common sense.

An even bigger hope of mine is that my daughter never feels like she has to hide her (dis)beliefs.


I would love to hear from others – especially parents – on how atheism plays into your everyday life. That’s something I really want to focus on. I spend too much time silent and angry and I’m curious how others feel. Leave a comment and let me know.


  1. hamkap says

    Hi and welcome. This is actually the first comment I’ve ever left on Freethought Blogs. I’m an atheist Dad with a Christian-leaning wife and a non-believing daughter who is 24. We live on Long Island. When my daughter was first born, I felt it important to expose her to religion because I had always understood that without religion, one would be more vulnerable to cults when they get older. I was so wrong!

    I was raised Roman Catholic with a Mother of Irish decent and a Father, who had converted from Judaism to Christianity to marry his first wife. After college, I got “involved” with the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist sect that was popular with actors in NYC, but quickly saw through the BS. I asked pointed questions to the group leaders that they were unable to answer and started to research the sect from the outside instead of through their restricted flow of information. Embarrassed by my gullibility, I walked away one day and never returned.

    I still felt there “had” to be some reason for our existence. Once my daughter was born, I started going to the local Unitarian Fellowship in my town with her every Sunday morning to expose her to people from different religions but who share the love of humanity. There I was surrounded by UU-Christians, UU-Jews, UU-Pagans, UU-Episcopalians, etc. The bottom line with this group was of mutual respect and the inherent worth, dignity, and value of every human being. No one judged.

    It was a specific Sunday service that was run by high schoolers on Atheism that opened my eyes. I had never heard Atheism explained in such a logical, reasonable manner. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to hear it before. I was moved by their conviction, sincerity, and lack of an “in-your-face” attitude. Atheism freed me from the shackles of religious dogma and it felt wonderful. Alive. Living for the here and now! Reason and Science made sense.

    In the beginning, I was quiet about my Atheism, not wanting to upset anyone, as well as not wanting someone to preach to me. I use the term “non-believing” for my daughter because she doesn’t even think about religion and is so matter-of-fact about the lack of a supernatural being or an after-life. She is unconcerned of being judged by others (“That’s THEIR problem,” she says). All throughout her school years, she didn’t feel she needed to hide her non-belief, but also felt there was no need to preach her non-belief. “Believe whatever the f*ck you want, just don’t tell me to believe!”

    There’s still a part of me that wants to be a little militant about defending Atheism, but I chalk that up to testosterone! Now, when my doorbell rings and three Jehovah’s are standing at my door, I’m very polite and welcoming and tell them right away that they are welcome to sit with me and talk, but they should be aware that while they may come to my door as a Jehovah’s Witness, they just might leave as an Atheist and that’s something I would not be comfortable with! Their eyes widen with fear, bid me to have a nice day, and quickly leave. I don’t say that to get them off my property. I truly hope one day they will stay. Because I have now read the Bible TWICE through cover-to-cover and have certain passages memorized to challenge them with.

    Yes, I was silent and angry ( at myself at first for “believing”) and then wanted to spread the gospel of Atheism, but I have since calmed down and find myself fascinated when colleagues or my students (college-age) talk about their religion. “Tell me more!” I say and then ask them something that inevitably gives them pause.

    I will tell you that Toledo is probably less-forgiving than Long Island, New York. If you are looking for support and like-minded people, the first place to go would be the local Unitarian Universalist congregation, assuming there is one in Toledo or in a town not too far away.

    I wish you good luck with your new Blog and look forward to reading more from you.

    “Reasons” Greetings!

    Kerry (hamkap)

    • ashes says

      Hi Kerry,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m honored that your first comment was on my blog. It’s so nice to hear from other parents. My daughter is only three so I especially like hearing from parents with kids that are older or grown. It kind of gives me an idea of what I’m getting into.

      There’s a UU congregation in a town about half an hour from where I live. I drive past it when I go to my dad’s house and I’ve always been curious about it. The town has a large state university so it’s a lot more liberal than the surrounding area.

      I know I’m just getting started but I really love writing for Freethought Blogs. It’s so nice to connect with other atheists like you since sometimes I feel isolated in Toledo.

      Thank you,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *