Share This Post

Reflections

Childless in the 21st Century

three women

Childlessness around the world

Creating awareness for the childless not by choice demographic on a global level includes bringing knowledge, understanding, and empathy. I naively thought if a woman is simply a woman, she would clearly understand the plight of the childless not by choice woman. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Yes, many women are empathetic to the pain, and that is wonderful. But many more are being brought to the realization that there is more to the story of a woman’s childlessness, than what is seen or assumed. To create an open and continual conversation and to educate, I have made the decision not to hear or respond from a place of offense or defense. Doing so might only end a conversation without real resolution.

women global thumbnailsAt the risk of offending, my personal jury is still out on many of the women who say they chose or opted not to have children. They are childless BY choice. I recognize there are millions of women around the globe who truly came to the realization that bearing, raising, and pouring into a child was just not for them. I get that, and I respect that decision. Alas, I cannot help but feel there are many childless by choice women who made that decision out of fear of past experiences. And some may argue that is a valid factor. At any rate, a decision is a decision regardless of how it is arrived. And I believe every child that makes it through the birth canal should have a chance at dignity, love, and respect.

I did not realize the journey to bringing awareness would be so difficult; at times filled with nuances of understanding, misunderstanding, and new-found empathy. We are all truly on a journey to understanding, and I cannot wait to see how society is changed for the better.

My mission will not be easy, and it will not be simple.  I must carefully wade through differing cultural norms. I must ask men to take part in the conversation.  I must ask women who are childless not by choice to come out and talk. All while providing solutions, de-stigmatizing the issues surrounding childlessness, and educating. Globally.

children around the worldI also feel that another part of my life’s mission is to bring two groups of people together: the childless not by choice, and the abandoned/disadvantaged child. I mean it only makes sense, right? Yes, I know, nuances. But that’s where my reliance on my naïveté comes in. I have built a healthy respect for naïveté over the past couple of years. And I now use two words in the same sentence I never thought any intelligent human would: naïveté and common sense. Why not? Stranger things have happened.

Join me, won’t you? Show up however you can. Join the conversation. Help me spread the word. Don’t be offended. Look at the big picture with me. One day, the topic of childless not by choice will be a part of regular every day conversation. There will be no more stigma and shame, just conversation and empathy.

 

Share This Post

8 Comments

  1. I live in California and am 23. I have been married for a year. My husband is in med school, and he wants to wait until he is finished before we have children…..BUT….my cousin, who lives nearby, just found out she will never be able to have a baby. She is so distraught, and sometimes hysterical. To her, infertility is worse than any disease or illness. Her devastation makes me wonder if I am fertile. Her husband has begun to suggest surrogacy or adoption, but Celeste just leaves the room sobbing. Any ideas about how to best help her would be appreciated. Thanks, Roxie

    Reply
    • Hi Roxanne, Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. I Understand how your cousin feels because I was there. I cried night and day as I tried to navigate my life after realizing I really would never have children of my own. Getting to a place where you can manage and live with the pain is a process, but it is possible. Your cousin and her spouse should seek professional counseling to help them through the process. Many companies offer mental health benefits as part of their insurance plans. It does not mean there is anything wrong with you if you choose to visit a mental health professional: a psychologist or psychiatrist. It just means that you need an objective view on how to get on with life and what future decisions if any, should be made about alternative options such as adoption or choosing to live childfree. Many times, our family members are just not objective enough to help us make those decisions. I wish your cousin well. And I pray that you and your husband will be able to have children when the time comes. I would imagine there are physical exams you both can take to find out if you are both fertile. Definitely, check with your healthcare professional. All the best!

      Reply
  2. I’m from kentucky raised in small country town and it is expected of me to at least 2 to 3 kids by now. That wasn’t the path for me though and having a hard time coming to grips with this. It won’t be a year till October when I had to make one of the most difficult decision of my life so far. Please forgive me if I leave words out of this. My husband and I had fight this morning and that’s a rare thing for us but it’s 1st year really understanding that I can’t become a mother the natural way. I was already feeling some type of way and he made a comment that went over my head. So I snapped and before you know we wasn’t speaking to each other. After few minutes of quite for myself I realized what my problem is and got I got upset over something stupid. I also realized that because of my poor behavior I lashed out and caused my husband to shutdown too. Now I can’t stop crying for hurting a person who has been in corner 100% and not realizing the emotional toll this decision has taken on me. One day I will have the courage to say what that decision was but for now. Believe I understand what childless not by choice means. This has opened up emotions that I wasn’t ready nor prepared for. I just needed to vent this out because I feel it’s important to express issues otherwise it’s going to kill me.I’m doing my best to move on with our life and my life. I am working in progress of finding peace. Thank you all for sharing your stories because it gave the courage to make this comment today. Blessings to all forms of life and may we all learn to understand each other.

    Reply
    • Hi Valerie, thank you for stopping by and reading the blog. I am honored that you felt comfortable enough to post here. I truly believe writing brings healing, and I wish you healing in your heart and mind, as well as in your marriage. All the best to you Valerie.

      Reply
  3. Hello. I am childless not by choice, due to having to have a radical hysterectomy in 2015 the same time as a bladder removal to fix severe kidney reflux. Despite knowing that I will never be able to have children, I can’t stop feeling depressed. Each time I pass the baby isle in a store, tears fill my eyes because I will never know what its like to buy those things for a child. Due to a neuromuscular defect, I fear that I would be turned down for foster parenting or even adoption. How can I get rid of this sadness and grief?

    Reply
    • Hi Jessie, thank you for your post. Two years from surgery, your pain is still fresh, and you cannot force yourself to heal. You have to allow yourself the time to heal. That may include going to see a professional. Do not be afraid to seek professional help. Also, it helps to be in contact with and around those who share and or understand your story. I don’t know if you know this or not, but I have a Facebook group called Childless not by Choice. Please come on over and join us, join the conversation. Hope to see you there!

      Reply
  4. Hi…I just had a hysterectomy a month ago from having fibroids and being a single woman in my late 30s…it has been very depressing for I know that having children won’t be happening for me and seeing how everything is surrounded for those who do have kids and it has been bothering a lot. I was trying to find out if there was anyone out there who would understand for people around me may not understand what I’m going through. I wonder how to cope especially when I eventually meet a man to date and have to explain that I won’t be able to hear his children as well as dealing with this while being surrounded by families and those who are able to have children?

    Reply
    • Hello Stacy, thank you so much for reaching out! I am sorry to hear about your recent surgery. I know all too well the feeling as I had a hysterectomy in 2011 after trying to hang on for a decade. You have doubts about the decision although you know deep down that it was probably the best thing to do. You will definitely have a better quality of life, but what about the emotional aspect, and how do you deal with being surrounded by children and families? How do you deal with mothers who don’t understand how you feel? If I may suggest that the first thing to do is to join the Childless not by choice group on Facebook. It is a closed group I started for women just like us: women who never had children, and most likely never will. Please also check out the podcast as there are now 70 episodes in there. The episode on the interview with a woman who had a hysterectomy in her 30’s and is now much older tells us how possible it is to make it through life in a positive way, even when we did not get what we wanted. It is episode 65, My interview with Mrs. Maureen Hornstein. Check it out, and check out the group! There is also a course here on the website on how to create kind but firm boundaries so that you are not at the whim of the people around you. I recently reduced the price. Please let me know if I can help any further, and thanks again for reaching out!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>