"I’m Never Going to Be a Mother"

Can you say “I’m never going to be a mother?” Calmly? Without tears? You’re a stronger woman than I am.

Back when Fred and I were engaged but not yet married, he told me on a camping trip that he really didn’t want to have any more children. I was upset, but I never really accepted the situation as permanent, and I married him anyway. As I say in my Childless by Marriage book,

“Despite Fred’s declaration in the woods, I honestly believed that somehow I would still have children. But how did I expect that to happen? Immaculate conception? One stubborn sperm that survived the vasectomy? I was 50 before I could say, ‘I am never going to be a mother’ and mean it. I have asked dozens of childless women if they could say it out loud. Most had no problem with it. But just as I delude myself that I can lose weight while eating muffins for breakfast every morning, I held on to the idea that I might still have a baby.”

Crazy? Perhaps. When it began to dawn on me that it really might never happen, I felt sorry for myself, as if this terrible fate had been placed upon me. It took a long time to understand that I consciously married a man who neither wanted nor was able to make me pregnant. That situation was not going to change. I chose Fred over children.

So, I am never going to be a mother.

How about you? Can you say this? Do you foresee being able to say it? If not and there’s still time, you may need to take drastic steps to make it happen.



26 thoughts on “"I’m Never Going to Be a Mother"

  1. I can't say it. I want to be able to say it with acceptance but for now I can't. I am childless due to health. At the end of May I had a hysterectomy and while it was a great move physically, the mental and emotional suffering is harder than I thought. I have many cousins having babies and I am happy for them I am also sad for what I will never have. I try to say it now and I cry. A lot. Someday I will say it with conviction.


  2. depends on the day. Last night I burst into tears when i came across an article for new parents, and there was a picture of the classic new parent (mom in hosp bed and dad holding swaddled baby)
    I am childless by marriage, i knew he wouldnt be able to provide children before we were married, but I was in love. and we said we could always adopt. after 7 years it didnt happen and then a diagnossis of Ankylosing Spondylitis made my life 100times harder and the thought of kids would be so much more difficult. But still I dream about brining a baby home and it hurts to wake up from those dreams


  3. It does hurt, doesn't it? Today I was too bummed to work, and then while I was watching “The View,” they had this long song in which they kept cutting to a mother with her baby, and they closed the show by noting that the baby is the biggest blessing of all. Well, yeah, but we don't get to have that.
    Hang on through the tough days. We're here for you.


  4. I'm able to say it, but it's just been a recent thing. I'm so happy to finally be at this place of peace. I'm sure it will still come and go and some days will be easier than others but for now, I'm enjoying this phase.


  5. I'm trying to come to terms with never being a mother o my own children. I say that because I have raised three step children but I'm not there birth mother and I'm reminded of it everyday of my life.

    I don't think I will ever come p terms with it It is a pain that I must endure o the day I die and Im slowing dying inside everyday.


  6. I don't know what to do, it hurts so much.
    I am 39 and my man who I love dearly is 61. He has told me he doesn't want to have children because he feels he could not cope at his age. He says he can only see the pitfalls of us having a child. I am heart broken. I know he is upset that he can't give me what I want most in the world.


  7. Oh Anonymous Aug. 24, I'm sorry. This is a hard situation. There's no way to make everyone happy. It sounds like he's willing to talk about it. He might change his mind, but you might have to accept that if you make a life with him, you will not be having children. Which is greater sacrifice, this man who loves you or the children you might have without him?


  8. I can't say it– yet. I am pretty sure I won't be able to until menopause. My sister is adopting, but we can't adopt due to my husband's medical condition. We would need fertility treatment to have kids and sadly, although it's not crazy expensive since there's nothing wrong with me, we still can't afford it. (My life is run by medical bills and student loans.) So I always think, if we suddenly get more money before I get much older, it could still happen. Deep down I know it won't, but I can't cope with the idea that I will end up not only childless but broke. (And childless because of being broke.) My mom and sister try to make it “better” by saying if I don't have kids, it's not so bad because we “babies are expensive anyway.” (Yes. That's how it works. A huge life tragedy is totally mitigated because of a small impact on another huge life tragedy. Good one, Mom. ) Saying I am never going to be a mother due to the lack of “something” that is all over the place… I just can't do that yet.


  9. Anonymous Aug. 29, how sad that money determines whether or not you can have a child. At least your mom and sister are trying to help. I hope you can find peace with this and with your husband's medical situation, too. It's a lot to handle. We're here for you.


  10. I can say it without crying but I think its only because I've learned to be kind of detatched. I'm coping with my life by deciding to not really care about my life at all anymore…which I know isnt particularly good or healthy, but its the best I can do for now.


  11. Thank you for your posts. I just discovered your blog today. Its been a year since my last breakdown on this subject….I thought I had been managing much better but I have cycled back into extreme sadness.

    I have a wonderful, loving partner of 5 years. We tried for a year to get pregnant via artificial insemination. This felt like somewhat of a betrayal of my own values as I always felt called to adopt. Still, she told me that she would love to raise a child of mine. This was sweet and flattering, and I agreed to try for a biological child.

    After a year of failure, I needed a break and my partner did not object. After several months, I noticed that she never brought up the issue of trying again. I asked if she had started to reconsider adoption…she wasn't open to this. After several more conversations, I learned that she really never wanted a child to begin with. She had wanted to please me thus had been dishonest.

    Somewhere deep in my heart, I always knew the truth. I wanted her to share this dream with me, as we are perfectly compatible and share everything other than the desire for a child. I am completely in love with her but there is a void in my life that she cannot fill.

    I have not accepted my reality 100%. I would never leave her but still can't believe this has happened. I am so happy for the family and friends in my life with children…but it gets harder as we become one of fewer and fewer couples without a child.


  12. This is so hard for me I have wanted kids scince I was a kid myself I met my partner nearly 12years ago and we almost started trying straight away …now we are kind of still trying but deep inside I know its never going to happen it pains me deep inside everywhere youlook there are babys and everyone my age have babys and all the people I know have babys even my sister who is only 24 has 2 kids and that really hurt me knowing my little sister can have kids … Its my husband that has the problem extremely poor count I love him so much I will never leave him I would choose him any day over kids x


  13. Dear Anonymous, it is so hard not to be able to have babies when everyone else is having them. All you can do is love each other and do whatever you can to fill the longing for children. I wish you the best.


  14. Hi! Im 37 years old and I've been trying to have a baby with my boyfriend for the last three years. Prior to meeting my boyfriend I started seeing a reproductive endocrinologist at age 27, when pregnancy never occurred with my exhusband. I can honestly say now il never be a mother. Over the last year we found out my boyfriend has low testosterone so he started androgel. Androgel kills sperm. He doesn't want to come off androgel or get a second opinion. He said that he is too old to be a first time dad (41yrs old) and does not want a 14 year old when he's trying to retire. We tried doing artificial insemination with injectable medicine and both times it failed. Part of me wants to leave him but, I just can't bc I love him so much. Then I feel selfish because he did 'try' for a baby over last three years. But it didnt work so he wanted to start androgel because he was feeling so terrible. I'm still really sad. I do know that it is getting easier to accept the idea of never being a mom. I love my boyfriend so much that i dont like the idea of a baby interrupting our time as a couple. I guess I'm just justifying things or making the best of being childless. After years of testing they never found anything wrong with me. I can't afford ivf!


  15. Hi Tammy. Thanks for sharing this with us. I am sorry you've had to go through all this. I didn't know about Androgel and its effects. What a bummer. It sounds like you're pretty clear on what you're going to do. The hard part is living with it. I wish you peace.


  16. I'm never going to be a mother. It hurts. Most days I'm ok, but not today. Mothers day is approaching. It just reminds me what i don't have. I love my husband and knew we would never have kids. He has 2 but they have never been mine. I am so sad tonight.


  17. I have this gut feeling that I will never have children. My husband and I are sometimes happy but he wants me to change so many things about me and there is NO intimacy. He wants a baby but doesn't want to have sex with me. I'm miserable. I have a puppy and I know she will be the only little girl I have.


  18. Anonymous, your comment breaks my heart. This is so sad. You can't stay like this forever. You guys need to talk and figure out why he won't be intimate with you. Otherwise the marriage seems to be doomed. I pray you can find a peaceful resolution.


  19. I am afraid I will never have a baby and my bf wants kids and so do I. I have had several cysts and lost an overy at 25. Am now 27 and still no baby they say I have a cyst on the one I have left and on my cervix. I cry and when my friends are having baby's I am happy for them but it up sets me.


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