What a year. Fires, floods, tornadoes, Trump fans storming the capital, racial unrest, pulling out of Afghani, new anti-abortion laws, and COVID. Didn’t we all think the pandemic would be over a year ago? At least we have vaccines now, but it’s far from gone. Crazy times. My yard is full of snow–and I live at the beach. Crazy!
Meanwhile, we are still here talking about being childless by marriage. Can you believe this is post number 779? What could possibly be left to talk about? But there’s always more because the fact that we don’t have children colors every aspect of our lives.
My older friends all seem to be moving away to be near their kids. I can’t do that. If I am suddenly incapacitated, who will be here to talk to the doctors, pay the bills and bring all those little necessities you might need in the hospital or, God forbid, a nursing home? Who will take care of my dog? One of my friends who has a grown son she really can’t count on just keeps saying she needs to keep exercising and eating healthy foods so she can continue to take care of herself. But we both know we need to get some safeguards in place. Make that my resolution for 2022. Make a plan.
You are probably much younger and in a completely different situation. Are you still trying to figure out whether or not you will have children, whether you dare ask your reluctant partner one more time or seek one more medical intervention? Are you watching your friends become parents and feeling jealous, angry, sad, or left out? What are you going to do? Maybe you need a plan, too. Look at your day-to-day life, just one regular day. Is it good? Would it be okay without children for all the rest of your days or is the thought unbearable? No one should have to make this choice, but that’s how it is.
If your partner is unwilling, the trick is to find out whether this is a firm and forever no or just temporary anxiety about having a baby. Talk about it. Don’t let it fester. And, dear ones, some people will never change their minds. You can accept their decision or move on.
Speaking of accepting childlessness or moving on, the book Love or Children: When You Can’t Have Both has been out for a year now. It’s a collection of posts from this blog up to 2020. All the subjects are covered, from how one becomes childless by marriage to dealing with snarky comments to facing old age without kids. If you haven’t got your copy, order one, Kindle or paperback, from Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. It’s not very expensive. If you send proof of purchase to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will send you a free paperback copy of Childless by Marriage, the book that came first. Free!
New U.S. census results have been published. A couple statistics for you:
- In 2021, 34 percent of adults age 15 and over had never been married, up from 23 percent in 1950. Estimated median age for first marriages was 30.4 for men and 28.6 for women, up from ages 23.7 and 20.5 respectively, in 1947.
- Of women ages 15 to 50 years old, among married women, 17.5 were childless. Among never married women, 75.8 never had children. That’s a lot of non-moms.
Finally, there’s a great article on the development of fertility treatments, written by the first IVF baby in the United States, in the current issue of the AARP magazine. Borrow a copy from your parents or grandparents or read it online here. First Infant Born Via IVF Turns 40 (aarp.org)
Your comments are not just welcome, but cherished.
May your 2022 be filled with blessings. Happy New Year!