I love this post, Forty, Single, and Childless from Jody Day at Gateway Women. I applaud her for having the guts to look inside herself and really think about why she wanted children. How many of us really do that?
So much of what she wrote in her post resonated with me. She writes:
“What would things have been like for me if instead of neglecting my dreams, my passions, my friends, my work, my finances (and, quite often, my common sense) during that time I’d focused on creating a life without children, whilst still remaining open and excited about the possibility that one day I might become a mother? Why did I get stuck on this one outcome, mostly out of my control, rather than take a saner, broader view of things?”
Why indeed? I often think how much I changed over the five or so years I spent trying to conceive and the past three years since. I’m more introverted, less likely to be spontaneous, more likely to just stay home. I’m not as daring as I was, perhaps not quite so “devil-may-care” about my choices. But the former me is still in there and I’m working on dragging her back out again.
But what if I’d had a different attitude to motherhood and accepted is as something that might happen for me instead of something that had to happen, or else? I wonder, with the benefit of hindsight, if I could. It certainly would have made for a different story now.
We lament the loss of our dreams, especially when our dreams include motherhood, but I wonder how many other dreams we let fall by the wayside while we’re questing for that ideal life?
Jody ends her post with a quote:
“There’s nothing as attractive as someone who respects their dreams enough to follow them. Children are indeed a blessing, but they are here to fulfill their dreams, not ours.”
How easy it is to forget that.
Whiny Wednesday: World’s most insensitive comment October 26, 2011
Tags: childfree, childless, children, comfort, family, hurtful comments, insensitive, widow
During my random Internet rambles I came across a community called Widows Too Young, an amazing group of women who have lost spouses. (Can I just say at this point that I love how we women come together to support one another. We rock.) However one of the forums deals with women who are childfree, and I think this one wins the prize for “most insensitive comment ever.”
SusieBear posted that for years she and her husband dealt with prying questions and insensitive remarks about their decision to be childfree. Now that her husband is gone, people are actually commenting to her about what a comfort children would have been to her, and suggesting that she must now be regretting her decision to not have kids.
Really, people? Is there any chance you could engage your brains before opening your mouths? Can you please explain what it is about these statements you think is actually going to be helpful?!!
I’ve complained plenty here about the things people sometimes say to “help,” but I think that this really takes the cake. My heart goes out to SusieBear, and I’m glad she’s found a supportive community that gets it.
It’s Whiny Wednesday, and while it’s hard to top Susie’s whine, feel free to have a grumble and get your gripes out.