Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Not Exactly Lonely April 21, 2011

This post was first published on May 24, 2010.

My young nephew has no qualms about asking the most personal questions, and he’s so earnest and compassionate that usually I can’t help but give him an honest response. He’s asked why I don’t have any children, and also what happened to my first husband. I’ve told him the truth in both cases and he’s appreciated that, as far as I can tell.

Recently he asked, “Don’t you and Jose get lonely without any children.”

“No,” I told him. “We have lots of friends, and we have Felicity, our cat, plus we have lots of nieces and nephews.”

Somehow though, this response didn’t seem to satisfy him. Perhaps because it doesn’t satisfy me either. Do I get lonely because I don’t have children? Not really. Most of the time I wish I had more time alone with my own thoughts, rather than less, but do I feel a sense of loneliness sometimes, even when I’m around other people? I do. Sometimes.

Sometimes I feel that the connections I have with others are more tenuous than they would be with a child. My brothers have their own children and, while we’re still close, our connections have weakened as the bond with their children has grown. Somewhere inside me is a tiny empty hole that nothing can fill. Most of the time I’m not even aware of it, it’s so small. But every now and then I’ll experience a melancholy sensation that feels like loneliness and feels as if it could only be filled with children.

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4 Responses to “Not Exactly Lonely”

  1. Steph Says:

    Spot on Lisa. I have that little empty hole that grows and shrinks at different times of the week….yes, weekly!

  2. Kira Says:

    I know that feeling of “disconnect”. Our society is SO child-focused, kids are the answer to the universe. I’m not sure I buy it. I also see stressed out parents, marriages sustained only by children, my once so fun/stimulating friends, they lost their hobbies, the things that were Theirs – to child rearing.

    That sense of melancholy, I think it does stem from being ostracized from “the norm” but I’m not sure its due to the lack of children in our lives. I suspect if we had a community of cohorts to interact with, that sense of melancholy would barely be noticed.

    I just spent time with good friends that run their own very successful business – they were suppose to be reducing their work week, etc “partial retirement” LOL.

    We met to celebrate that but they told us the plans will not happen. They just bought land for their kids, hoping to entice them to settle down in the same city. They also hope their kids will continue to live at home during grad school, offering the “kids” a financial incentive to do so. This is my husband’s best friend and he has been looking forward to finally getting to this freer – post child rearing stage so him and his bf could get back their adventures/hobbies.

    My hubby didn’t say much to me but he is so bummed! I wish the world for these friends of ours but I can’t help but wonder at their choice.

    As I am aging, I am seeing that many are having a tough time letting go of the family, retiring etc. I think many invested so much into the kids they lost a bit of them selves along the way.

    I think their are some real plus’s to my path in life. I feel younger than I ever would have imagined, and my life with hubby really is one silly adventure after another. We’re mostly on our own but having a ball.

    Honestly, I think my life would be near perfect if I just had a fellow tribe 🙂


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