Childless? You are not alone

NM wrote last week:

I just found your blog tonight for the first time because my grief blindsided me this evening. I was having a pretty good day then saw something on TV and out of nowhere BAM! I was looking online for anything that would let me know this will someday pass, that I will eventually ‘get over it’. I spent a long time reading your posts and the many precious yet painful responses. I had no idea this was such a widespread issue for so many, women and men alike.

Lara wrote earlier this month:

I love the honesty of this post; I love to read somebody else say what I am feeling; I am grateful to not feel like I am a bitter self centered b!+@# for what I am feeling/thinking simply by seeing someone understands it.

Candy wrote:

I have good days and not so good days… Today is a not so good day…. 😦

Thanks for letting me share here…. there is no one on the planet that I share this crap with.

And Dawnsey wrote:

From the depths of my heart, “THANK YOU” for starting this blog. Just being able to tell my story, without those who actually know me knowing my story, has helped relieve some pressure I’ve been holding inside.

This was all in October. I’m not sharing these quotes to give myself a pat on the back. It’s to show that we all think we’re alone in our childless dramas. These quotes are from women, but I get them from men, too. We feel like we can’t talk openly about it with our partners, parents or friends because they all jump on us with their own agendas. “I love you, but . . . ” “When are you going to give me grandchildren?” “Oh, just adopt.” “You’re lucky you aren’t tied down by kids.” Right? Or we’re afraid to mess up our relationships by being honest about how we feel. I know. I used to do my crying in the garage or the car, anyplace my husband wouldn’t hear me. I have never told my dad about my book or this blog.

I’m always coming across something that smacks me in the head with the realization that I’m different, that I didn’t have kids, don’t have grandkids, don’t have anybody to take care of me if I get Alzheimer’s like my husband did, will never have someone call to say, “Hi Mom, how are you?” And this week is Halloween, which has become such a child-oriented holiday. We get to endure the commercials, TV shows, parties and endless chatter about kids’ costumes. Yes, we can dress up, we can give out–or eat–lots of candy, but it’s not the same. And the rest of the world doesn’t get it.

But we do. And that’s why I keep this blog going. You can talk about your stuff here, and we get it. You can be anonymous. Nobody has to know who you are. Just say it. I love it when you respond to each other. We begin to feel like a community.

You are definitely not alone. The U.S. Census reported earlier this year that 47.6 percent of women aged 15 to 44 were without children in 2014. Around 18.5 percent of women 35 to 39 didn’t have children. They explained this by a trend toward delaying childbirth until fertility becomes iffy, conflicts between work and family, and more Americans choosing not to have children. The official report says nothing about the main reason we’re seeing here at Childless by Marriage, which is partners who are unable or unwilling to have children with you, often because they already had them with somebody else. I suppose that’s not on the census questionnaire, but it’s a big issue here.

I started today’s blog with nothing to say, and now I feel like there’s so much more, but this is enough to chew on for now. Keep those comments coming, read what other folks are writing in their comments, and know that you are not alone. You might be the only one in your family or among the people you hang out with, but there are lots of others going through the same thing. Including me. Thank you for being here.

Advertisements