Childless by Marriage Blog Marks a Milestone and Looks Ahead

Dear friends,
Last week, we passed 100,000 page views. As of this moment, we’re up to 100,521. That seems like a milestone to celebrate. Yes, other blogs get millions of visitors, but ours is a special group, and I am grateful for every one of you. On an average day, we get about 250 visitors. Readers come from all over the English-speaking world, as well as from countries where most people don’t speak English. They find us via Google and other search engines, as well as Facebook, other sites about childlessness, and direct referral from friends.
The comments tell stories of women and men who are hurting and searching for answers. They wanted to have children, but they are in situations where it may not happen. In many cases, their spouses have decided they don’t want to have children, and they don’t know what to do. Sometimes the spouse is reluctant and then a physical problem ends the discussion in sorrow.
I have gotten the most comments in response to posts about grief. Just this morning, I approved two that both tell the same heartbreaking story from different perspectives. You can see them here. (Scroll to the end of the comments.) These anonymous women are 42 and 64 years old, but both are in so much pain they don’t know how they can stand it. I wish I had the magic words to make the pain go away. Perhaps some of you can offer some hope to these women.
I’ve been doing this blog for six years. It’s hard to believe. And no, I’m not quitting. Part of its purpose has always been to promote my Childless by Marriage book. I would like everyone to buy it. But the blog has grown into a special place of its own that goes far beyond the 300 pages of my book.
To post at least once a week for so long requires a little research, considerable stretching of the creative muscles, and occasional inspiration from above. Sometimes when I think I have nothing to say, God drops a story into my hands. Sometimes you, my readers, give me ideas with your comments and e-mails. It seems there is always more to say on this subject.
I’m working on a project to reconnect with the women I interviewed for my book. In some cases, more than a decade has passed, and I think it would be helpful to all of us to find out how their stories turned out. Did they ever have children? Are they still with the man they were with at the time? Have they found peace with their childless situation? Do they have regrets? The first responses have started coming in, and I look forward to sharing them with you here. (If anyone reading this was interviewed for the book and has not received an email from me, I may not have your current address. Please contact me at
Right now census figures show that one-fifth of American women have reached menopause without having children. That number is increasing. By the time today’s women of childbearing age are 45, I suspect it will be more like a fourth or even a third who never become mothers. But right now, I know lots of us feel left out, misunderstood and alone. We are not alone. Thank you all for being here, and please keep coming back.

We are entitled to grieve for the children we never had

In nearly 300 posts at this blog, the one that has engendered the most comments is is a two-paragraph entry I posted in 2007. Titled “Are You Grieving Over Your Lack of Children?” it quotes a newspaper article about a woman dealing with childless grief, then asks the readers, “Have you come to terms with not having children?” We’re up to 98 comments so far, with new ones coming almost every day.

Clearly grief is a big issue for us. People who are not in our situation don’t seem to get it. They’ll tell us “oh well, you can adopt” or “the world has too many people in it anyway” or “get over it” or even “sometimes I wish I didn’t have any kids.”

It’s not that easy, is it? When we want children and we don’t get to have them, we have lost something huge. In some ways, it’s like a death. We have lost the children we would have had, along with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. If we hang up stockings at Christmas, there will be only two–or one if we’re single. When we see someone cuddling their new baby, we feel pain. At all the times when our parenting friends celebrate the milestones in their children’s lives, we feel left out.

Yes, there are advantages as well as losses to life without children. We are free to do things we couldn’t do if we were raising children. We miss a lot of heartache and frustration along with the good times. And yes, we can be beloved aunts or uncles, teachers or friends to other people’s kids.

However, we have a right to grieve. And the grief will come back again and again, like any big loss. Does it get easier with time? Yes. Being past menopause has helped a lot. But the grief never completely goes away. Just last night, I found myself crying over a TV show where a baby was born. Again!

All I’m saying is we’re entitled to feel the loss of the children we might have had.

I welcome your comments.