"I’m Never Going to Be a Mother"

Can you say “I’m never going to be a mother?” Calmly? Without tears? You’re a stronger woman than I am.

Back when Fred and I were engaged but not yet married, he told me on a camping trip that he really didn’t want to have any more children. I was upset, but I never really accepted the situation as permanent, and I married him anyway. As I say in my Childless by Marriage book,

“Despite Fred’s declaration in the woods, I honestly believed that somehow I would still have children. But how did I expect that to happen? Immaculate conception? One stubborn sperm that survived the vasectomy? I was 50 before I could say, ‘I am never going to be a mother’ and mean it. I have asked dozens of childless women if they could say it out loud. Most had no problem with it. But just as I delude myself that I can lose weight while eating muffins for breakfast every morning, I held on to the idea that I might still have a baby.”

Crazy? Perhaps. When it began to dawn on me that it really might never happen, I felt sorry for myself, as if this terrible fate had been placed upon me. It took a long time to understand that I consciously married a man who neither wanted nor was able to make me pregnant. That situation was not going to change. I chose Fred over children.

So, I am never going to be a mother.

How about you? Can you say this? Do you foresee being able to say it? If not and there’s still time, you may need to take drastic steps to make it happen.