Looking back at Childless by Marriage after 12 years

If I were to rewrite my Childless by Marriage book, what would I change? That’s the question I asked myself recently. That book, which I published in 2012, started long before it was published. I have interview notes and pre-Google research from the 1990s. Are the stories I told there still valid? I think they are. Would I write them differently now? Definitely. And that’s the reason I don’t plan to rewrite this book. I might change the cover and work harder on marketing, but I will not be rewriting it.

When I started working on Childless by Marriage, I was much younger. I was still fertile, still married, and actively trying to parent my stepchildren while wondering if I could/should try to have a baby of my own. I was where most of you are.

Years have passed. Now I’m widowed, living alone in the woods with my dog, and old enough for every senior discount that exists. I can deal with other people’s babies. What makes me cry and kick things is not having adult children and grandchildren. Would I want to be pregnant now? No. Too late. The dog and my 97-year-old father are enough to deal with. So no, I couldn’t write that book now, although I can tell you all about this phase.

On the other hand, I believe I’m a better writer, and I know a lot more about childlessness from reading, networking and doing this blog since August 2007. WordPress tells me this is my 671st post. I find it hard to believe. How could I come up with 670 different posts? Is there that much to say? Some days I think it has all been said. Then something else comes to mind. I believe not having children affects every bit of our lives, so maybe we’ll never run out of topics.

With so many published posts, I have an urge to arrange them by topic and put the best ones together in a book. There’s good stuff here. I have dug deeper and deeper to tell my stories, and you have enriched the blog with your stories. Would it be okay to publish your comments? Most readers use made-up names, so you would be anonymous. Shall we call it Childless by Marriage II? If it was a $5 ebook, would you buy a copy?

I have no plans to quit the blog, although it is getting more difficult. I hope people keep buying Childless by Marriage. I’m glad it’s not the only book on the subject now. So many good books have come out in the last five years (see resource list), most self-published because publishers don’t see the audience for such a book. They’re wrong. The number of people without children is large and growing. One out of five ain’t nothing. Maybe it’s time to put our voices out there again.

What do you think? I welcome your comments. And thank you for being here.

13 thoughts on “Looking back at Childless by Marriage after 12 years

  1. Sue, your contributions have been quite comforting to me through the years. I’m so grateful you’re here. That you take time to manage this blog. You can publish anything I’ve shared. So kind of you to ask. In this day and age you really don’t have to ask, but as a woman of integrity, you do.


  2. Yes, I came here to say something similar. Thank you for being here, sharing your story and helping us all feel less alone all these years. I popped on here today because I just found out a friend of mine is pregnant with her first child at 40. It didn’t sting quite as much as it would have years ago, but it’s still a reminder of my bad decisions and the things I’ll never have. It’s comforting to have this blog to go to when things like this happen.


  3. Wow! Over 600 posts. You have been at this a long time. I deal with some of the same issues as you. Widowed with stepchildren and grandchildren but no biological children. I’m taking an inventory through the house now because I don’t know who will figure out what to do with my stuff when I’m gone…It can be a very lonely place. I just downloaded your book. 😊


  4. Sue, I admire what you have done here, and that you were writing and speaking about this, long before many of us were. I think the idea of a compilation would be wonderful and the timing is right!


  5. I would certainly be interested in a compilation book. In fact, you reminded me that I have been meaning to buy your earlier book for eons, so thanks for the reminder!


  6. Sue, I think that your blog is one of the most important topics ever. And yes when I bought and read your book I was younger and still fertile. My situation was different. I was childless since I wasn’t married – until I was 43. Then I had two kids at age 45 and 47. However, I still feel like I can relate more to you, Lisa Manterfield, and Jody Day, and I appreciate you all so much.

    I am sad that your stepchildren don’t keep in touch with you more. I wish they did.


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