Coming to terms with childlessness can be a very lonely process, especially when most of our friends, those we’ve reached out to over the years for support over things little and big, become difficult to be around. Women who are consumed by motherhood and their children, and women who are preoccupied by the inability to have them, can sometimes make for a painful combination.
The bond of love between a mother and her child must and should be amazingly strong. I have been known to brag about my niece and nephew and to smother them each with hugs and kisses, probably more than their own mother does. So, I do not resent my mom friends for being less available to me than they were before having children, and I don’t mind listening to their concerns and stories about their kids, some of which I’m pretty fond of myself. It’s a different story, however, when a friend’s appreciation of her new role as a mother seems to translate into a devaluation of your own life’s worth because you have not given birth.
Much of what I read on childlessness and motherhood seems to enhance rather than reduce this divide between Moms and non-Moms, which made me really happy to come across Lisa Rankin’s tribute to her childless friends on that most difficult day for many of us, Mother’s Day.
And that got me feeling very grateful to those mom friends who help me hold on to perspective. The ones who remind me that there is more to life than motherhood, who know of my circumstances and encourage me to stay positive and enjoy my life, who remind me that happiness comes from within and that the grass is not always greener. I’m grateful for their words and the sentiments of love and friendship they express.
Iris lives in Florida with her husband and best friend of many years. Five years ago infertility and other life stressors really messed with her head, but she’s gradually regaining her Self and her passion for life.