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Childlessness is not what defines me

Childlessness is not what defines me
‘It takes a village to a raise a child.’ – African Proverb

I think a lot of kids grow up playing house and dreaming that someday they will have children of their own.  As a child, I believed the same.  The oldest of eight children, I grew up in a religion that is very family oriented. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I, of course, said a mom.

In 1999, I married a wonderful man. We decided to wait a bit before children. But a few years later I found out my lower back was broken, and I would never be able to carry a child. I was heartbroken, and became angry and bitter, crying when people told me they were pregnant. Mother’s Day was very hard, and I dreaded the question ‘when are you having children?’ I was frustrated with God for giving me a broken body.

One day I prayed and asked God to provide me the opportunity to influence a child. I knew I would have been a good mother and had so much to offer children. Be careful what you pray for. At the time, I was so focused on me and my sadness I did not stop to think how many children I was already helping.

Looking back on who influenced who I am today, yes, my parents did. But it was also church leaders, teachers, aunts, and uncles. I decided I wanted to be that person in someone else’s life. That decision lead me to start a small business teaching children to sew. I am a 5th-grade teachers aide and I also help in the after school 4-H program teaching sewing. 

I help in my local church groups. And I know I make a difference in the children’s lives. They have taught me that helping any child is a huge blessing, and doing so has filled that void for me.

It does take a village to raise a child. There was a choice to be made. I could either spend my life angry or be part of that village. I believe it is a blessing to help any child we encounter.
And I also realized being angry at others who have children, or angry at children isn’t how I wanted to live.  Just because I can’t have children does not mean others should not.  A child that I bare does not define me. How I treat other people and children does define me.

Today, I have a good life with my husband and two fur babies. Is every day easy? No, but I am learning to love me and the life that I have.

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10 Comments

  1. It’s not the way I want to live either. Don’t be angry. I have many friends who have also ended up childless and they live very fulfilling lives. We are all here to help all our children. Especially nowadays, things are sad. We can do our part. I like to read to children.

    Reply
    • Connie, that is great you read to children. Like you, I still have sad times. I do not feel the intense anger anymore. I realized that I was missing my life and good opportunities to help children. I agree a life can be very fulfilling without children of my own. This group has been so helpful. My dreams are changing to align with the life I do have. I hope some day to grow my business into an art school for children and adults to come and share their talents. I am also ok if it stays small. My biggest dream is to be a good influence in a child’s life and that dream is now a reality. Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Reply
      • You’re welcome. This group
        Has been helpful to me also. That is so great that you started an art school. Children learn so much through art, they learn about themselves.

        Reply
    • Your realization about all the others who influenced you resonates with me. I had great parents, but my grandmother and aunts added a different dimension to my life. I see the same type of influence my sisters have on my children, as well as my impact on my niece’s and nephews. Lesson: Every adult can make a difference in children’s lives. That’s very rewarding.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for your comment. Yes it can be very rewarding to help children. 🙂

        Reply
  2. “It takes a village.” I love this proverb as well and truly believe it. Like you, I have surrounded myself with children even though I can’t have biological kiddos of my own. My husband and I even decided to host a foreign exchange student, and she has become family to us. Life is a matter of perspective. Once I redefined what momhood meant to me, I was able to move forward on my childless walk.

    Reply
    • That is wonderful that you are helping a foreign exchange student. What a great idea. I really like the way you look at redefining motherhood. Thank you for reading my post and for your comment.

      Reply
    • That is very good on hosting a foreign exchange student. I think about that every now and then.

      Reply
  3. Very inspiring and a great idea to perhaps be an influence in a kid’s life.

    Reply

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