Facing a brand new year without children

I’m going to the hospital for a “procedure” this morning. They’ll knock me out, send a camera down into my innards and hopefully find out what’s been bugging me for months. It’s probably nothing, but we have to make sure, right? Lacking family in the area, my friend Pat will be my driver and companion for the day. And that’s just fine with me.

Do I wish I had children today? Honestly, no. If they were young, I’d be worried about who would take care of them while I was incapacitated. If they were grown, I’d hate to have them hovering, worrying and telling me what to do. No, Pat is good. We understand each other, we have been through some hard stuff together, and she doesn’t drive me crazy. So when the time comes, I’ll hand her my purse, let the drugs send me away and know she’ll be in the recovery room when I wake up.

Too often, we drive ourselves crazy with the “what ifs.” What if I never have children? What if my partner leaves me or dies? What if I decide 10 years down the road that I regret the decisions I made? What if this pain in my gut is cancer? Oops, I said the C word. I’m getting carried away with my own what ifs. Most likely, the worst they will find is an ulcer that has already begun to heal or nothing but a reaction to stress. But meanwhile, there’s life to be lived, and we should be living it.

Let’s make 2016 the year we don’t waste a minute with what ifs, the year we live each precious moment consciously and with gratitude for the gifts we have right now, whether it be a person, a pet, a job, a home, or a donut. (I am so hungry! I can’t eat until my surgery is over.)

I’m excited about a new year. I hope you are, too. I ask two things of you all in 2016. First, if you have been dithering for years about the whole baby-partner thing, resolve it this coming year. Talk about it, pray about, think about it, make a decision and move on. Might you change your mind later? Of course. But for now, stop torturing yourself. Either accept your situation or make the leap to a new one.

Second, tell us what happened. We get so many comments here from people who are in crisis, who don’t know what to do, who are considering leaving their partners, who feel like they can’t bear their grief, but we rarely hear the rest of the story. Please, if you have commented before, send us a follow-up. We want to know how things turned out. If you would like, I can offer you the whole blog space to tell your story.

And yes, I will tell you what the doctor found.

I have another piece of news. An essay of mine appears in a new book that just came out. It’s titled Biting the Bullet: Essays on the Courage of Women. Click here for information.

I wish you all a wonderful new year. Thank you for coming here and being my friends.

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6 thoughts on “Facing a brand new year without children

  1. It been a few days since your post and you haven’t updated on how you are doing. Praying you are feeling fine after your test.

    It is calming when you get to the point of moving on with life without children. Not that I’m happy about it in anyway, or willing to go to a baby shower… But at least now it doesn’t consume me. The regret will always be there, but I am able find so much in life to be grateful for. I think the biggest thing is that if I did have a child from when my husband briefly changed his mind, he/she would be about 15 now, and with my husbands illness, I honestly don’t think I would be able to handle it all…. A ill husband AND a teenager with raging hormones…. Maybe God saw my husbands illness coming and saved me from possibly more stress than I could handle. Who knows why things work out the way they do… And until we know, I really think it’s important to appreciate all that life has to offer because it could be way worse than the life we are given.

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    • Hi Candy. I’m okay. The test is over and I have recovered from its ill-effects. They did not find any tumors or ulcers. They did take out some polyps to biopsy, but the doctor doesn’t think they’re anything to worry about. My problem is mostly stress, he says. So that’s a relief. Thanks for worrying.
      I often thought that God wanted me to use my mothering energy taking care of my husband instead of my own children. It would have been nice to have grown children to help. His didn’t, but maybe if I had my own . . . I don’t know. But yes, we need to appreciate what we are given in life and do our best to let the rest go.

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      • Oh good! I’m glad you are okay!! Stress sure can mess with the body…. Why is it so hard to justified stress off???

        I understand the frustration of not having help from his children. My husbands son walked out on us when I really needed help with his dad. Well… Technically I asked him to move out because he couldn’t follow the “no drug use while in our home” rule. But resentful just the same. I have known him since he was two. I have allowed him to move into my home 3 times (twice with his girl friends) and helped him in so many ways financially. And at a time when I needed him, he chose to leave instead of stepping up to the plate and giving back. I guess kids aren’t all they are cracked up to be after all…..

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  2. I’m glad to hear that you are ok Sue! Take some time out for yourself.

    I seem to be going back and forth. Some days I am fine without having children. Other days I worry about being a senior citizen and being alone without a child (or nieces and nephews…I’m an only child and my brother-in-law had a vasectomy). I’m still young, and I spend time worrying about the future and feeling empty and lonely.

    Other times I am glad to not have a child. I can have alone time, and can focus on hobbies. I know having a child would send my anxiety levels through the roof. I also love my peace and quiet. Like Candy, I can still find plenty of things in life to be grateful for.

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