Childless women play important role

Throughout history, a certain percentage of women have remained childless. Although people have often viewed them with suspicion or pity, they play an important role in society, says Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestseller Eat, Pray, Love and the new book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage. Childless women are free to do the things mothers can’t. They teach, they nurse, they encourage young artists or become artists themselves. In myriad ways, what Gilbert calls the Auntie Brigade is there to help.

I don’t know about you, but this comforts me. We who have not given birth still have an important part to play in the world. Sometimes we’re lonely, but we matter. We are able to do things our mothering sisters cannot. On Wednesdays, I can lead the children in singing at my church because I am not fettered with a little one. Think about it. We can all mourn the losses that come with never being a mother, but what about all the things we CAN do because we don’t have children.

I have not yet read the book, but gathered these excerpts in a review by Margot Magowan. Thank you, Elizabeth.