Being Childless by Unfortunate Timing


When I try to puzzle out why I never had children, I think the real answer is timing. The kids I might have had got lost in the crunch between my divorce and my second marriage. The first marriage fell apart—and probably should never have happened. The second husband was older and already had all the kids he wanted. End of story. Nobody in this story is evil. It just happened that way.

I honestly believe that if husband number one and I had had a better marriage, we would still be together and would have spent Christmas with our grandchildren. Sure, he was reluctant to have children, but I think he would have bowed to pressure from me and his parents eventually. Maybe not. Maybe I’m dreaming. He has had two other wives and didn’t have children with either one of them. But yes, I think it would have happened if not for the cheating, the booze, and the fact that he decided he didn’t love me. He would have been no help with the kids, but they would exist.

Also, my career would be toast. But that’s a whole other story.

One of the guys I dated between marriages was hot to have more babies to add to the two sons he had with his first wife. We were the same age. Our babies would have been beautiful. But that was not a good match either.

No, I immediately knew Fred was “the one.” I thought he was younger. I thought he was still fertile. I thought we’d figure it out . . .

Timing. In this age of multiple marriages, some of us just get caught in-between and lose our chance to be moms. It’s lousy, but it happens.

Have some of you fallen into this situation? Let’s talk about it in the comments.


My Christmas was good. I was busy with church music and friends. I missed my husband, but I honestly didn’t miss the children I didn’t have as I watched my church choir friends running around like crazy people trying to spend time with everyone and dealing with all kinds of family drama. My friends showered me with love, food and presents.

After Christmas Mass, Annie the dog and I read and napped, watched videos, and took a long walk, wishing Merry Christmas to the neighbor dogs. After four Masses playing church music, I played the piano some more just for fun. With no one else to please, I ate raviolis and Portuguese sausage for dinner, all in the glow of my tiny Christmas tree and the lights I hung around the house.

It was my first Christmas alone without a meltdown. It can be done, dear friends. We can be happy without children. The most important thing for me was to stop comparing my life with everyone else’s. That just leads to pain. So, don’t do it.

I wish you all the best of new years. See you in 2018.


7 thoughts on “Being Childless by Unfortunate Timing

  1. This Christmas was not so hard on me emotionally (regarding no kids in the house). I have been caught up with moving and work, parents’ failing health. As time goes by, it is good how some of my wounds are healing, although, sometimes I feel like I am constantly wearing a “scab” regarding being childless. It seems okay, feels okay, but then something happens to prick it and it bleeds again.
    The older I am getting, I guess I realize how selfish I have become with my time. Part of me says, “See, if you had kids you wouldn’t have all this freedom”, but then there are times I feel like I have lost out on a huge part of life.
    Me and my husband are content with our three dogs. We have a decent life, but even though I have all this “freedom,” it still feels like there is something missing. I have a running joke in the family that, “Auntie best make good with all her nephews because I will need someone to take care of me when I’m old.” ::sigh::


  2. I was thinking about timing this week too. How we struggled with debt, my student loans and the credit cards we fed ourselves with when I was in grad school, that it took 13 years to even afford the wedding. How he then got laid off and slacked off for three more years right after we married. I know the economy was bad, but he didn’t make an effort. I found him the job he ultimately got. How I then got laid off and transitioned to being self-employed. So not the right time then either. Then I needed another surgery for uterine fibroids. Then he finally said he’d “try” and well he just didn’t for six very long months. Then my patience ran out, unfortunately probably too late. I threatened to leave then. He finally came around and made better efforts, but I was now 42 and had endometriosis at this point. Two years later, no baby. IVF was not an option either. I asked about adopting and got a quick no. Sometimes I feel his reasons for being hesitant to adopt feel sound and other times just feel he’s being selfish. I go back and forth between anger, guilt and sadness. He’s older than me and longevity is not likely for men in his family. That is a major concern that I sympathize with to a point, but the lack of empathy for my concerns feels unbalanced.
    Over the weekend, I felt a bit of a shift towards acceptance. I thought a lot about how relationships aren’t always balanced and how to make the most with what we do have with each other. Accepting my responsibility in waiting too long, being too patient. Forgiving myself for these things. Trying to understand why kids weren’t a priority to him, trying to forgive him. Trying to understand I have a choice to accept his shortcomings to enjoy what he does bring to the table. His companionship, his intellect, our common interests.
    So I pray for a miracle conception with a reluctant partner, knowing the odds are not good at all. And I try to let go of the choices I made, of his hesitation and the half-hearted attempts he’s made, surrendering to a God I fear I’ve let down by not doing what was natural when I was young because I wanted to provide a better life for my kid than my parents did, since they struggled so. Oh, to be able to go back with the knowledge I have now. But knowing that I have to let go of that desire too. Accepting the possibility I may forever be just an auntie. And acknowledging timing as something that may be just as important as his reluctance and my being too patient.

    These are my rambling thoughts and just hoping releasing them in this way helps me continue on a journey closer to peace. Thanks for your kind examples and providing a forum for this letting go part of my journey.


  3. I am both a fortunate and unfortunate victim of timing. I put off kids or even the thought of it because I didn’t feel the person I was with was “the one.” And now. Now I’ve found him. We’re married. I would love to have a baby with him. But he has a grown son and two grandsons. He doesn’t want another child and feels he’s too old. So while I found someone to share my life with, it seems I’ve missed the boat on having kids.


  4. Almost eleven years ago, my partner told me straight – if you want to get married and have children, it will have to be with someone else. Until then, I’d been hoping he would change his mind. So I decided that I would leave in the new year. However, I got sick just before Christmas. I never got better. I was 32 then and, as far as I know, I was fertile. I’m 42 now and too old and sick to have the life I wanted. Timing sucks.


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