Recently, a friend confided that shame plays a big part in her life because of her childlessness. She told me:
“I think my Mom is embarrassed that I never had children, especially since there is “no good reason” why I didn’t. It somehow reflects on her–her nurturing, her mothering skills, etc. Instead of seeing it purely as my choice, there is a negative connotation for choosing not to have kids. I think it is the same negative aspersion put on women who never marry. What is wrong with her?”
If you’re childless-by-choice, have you experienced this kind of shame? Are your family and friends supportive of your decision? What about if you’re childless-not-by choice? Does shame play a role in your life too?