“The happy ending doesn’t have to be a child; the happy ending can be something else for you.”
These powerful words came from Lana Walker, one of the panelists at a World Childless Week webinar titled “Accepting the New Me; the Childless Me I never Imagined.” (watch it here). All five women dealt with infertility. As I discussed last week there’s a difference between being childless by marriage and childless by infertility. But the result is the same. We don’t have children.
Walker, who reinvented herself as a massage therapist, is still grieving her loss. In fact, she thought she could not offer massages to pregnant women because it would be too upsetting, but now she specializes in massages for pregnant women. It’s a way to offer care and love to them, she says. While childlessness is rough, she notes that her lack of children has given her the gift of space, time, and energy to do other things. “Grieve, then let it go to make space for the other things you can do,” she says.
The others agreed that not having children opens up other possibilities. Lucy North, married with two cats and a dog, followed her desire to live on the coast and become an artist. One of her specialties is greeting cards and affirmation cards for childless people.
Kat Brown is an author, journalist and book editor. She has a book about childless women coming out in 2024 titled “No One Talks about This Stuff.” It has been a great help to talk about her experiences with others, she says. She sometimes uses the clueless questions people ask her as teachable moments to explain what it’s like to be childless and hopefully help them to be more understanding. Childlessness is just one facet of us, she stresses.
Victoria Firth works in the arts and theater and created a show about her childless journey. Being single and childless gave her time to care for her mother at the end of her life and to follow her creativity where it led.
At the beginning of the session, Philips lit a candle. She asked each panelist to describe her life as the mother she might have been. Then she blew the candle out. “That dream is gone,” she said. At the end of the session, she re-lit the candle. “Our first dream went out, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have new dreams.”
Powerful words. My friends, if you had a dream of motherhood or fatherhood, what new dreams will you have? Your life is yours. What will you do with it?
Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com