I was in a group get together experience recently, and all the family members were asked to find each other and hold hands. At that moment, I remember thinking ‘I don’t have any family members here.’ I felt out of place as I watched family members running around looking for each other, as I just stood there.
There were people in the service that I got along with. There were friends and others there who had no family to run to. I was not the only one. But the thought crossed my mind that although I have loving parents, siblings, nephews, even brothers- and a sister-in-law; the fact was and is, I have no family of my own.
As childless not by choice women, and even more so, in my opinion, childless and husbandless women; we can often fall through society’s cracks. Society forgets us, and in some cases, mocks us. In some cases, society even physically hurts us. Human nature tends to either ignore or question what is not ‘normal’.
I am not saying I was being mocked in this service. I am sure the leader of the service did not recognize what was happening. Why would they? In fact, this person was recognizing what is normal to most human beings. Most humans have or had a marriage. Most humans have children. The ‘odd’ person is forgotten not out of spite, but because it is not most people’s normal. In fact, most people are not walking around wondering, worrying, or thinking about the person who has a different lifestyle. They are not aware.
So, what to do? Well, I suggest that we do not cower in the background of life. I suggest we stand tall in our childlessness and our husbandless status. Why hide what life handed us? We should instead find out what we are supposed to do with the life we have been given, and then get to work. We do not need pity. And we should not seek it out.
It’s true, life did not give us what we planned and hoped for. We assumed we would have the same life as our friends and family. Realizing we would not have the life we dreamed of was a shocker. It was for me, and many of the childless not by choice women I know say the same. Many of you deal daily with the shock and surprise of finding out the issue is infertility. Some are saddened by the life circumstances that kept them from having a baby.
No matter the reason for your childlessness, do not allow those reasons to stop you from living life open with head held high! Face the monster of childlessness by admitting your feelings to yourself. Admit your sadness, your pain, your anger, your jealousy. Whatever the emotion may be. Trust yourself to grow through the pain. Accept the process. Accept the stages of grief. One day you will be able to acknowledge to yourself that there is a missing puzzle piece, but you are OK. All will be well!