Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Happy Holidays December 23, 2011

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My Mum arrived last week to spend the holidays with us here, so I’m going to take the coming week off to enjoy some time with her.

If you need a little support over the coming week, please hop on the forums. There’s always someone there to talk to and you don’t have to deal with things alone.

I will be back on January 2nd, ready to start the third year (can you believe it?) of Life Without Baby. I look forward to catching up with all of you then.

Thanks for hanging out here with me this past year. I appreciate your willingness to talk openly on this blog. Special thanks to Kathleen for all her support and for her wonderful weekly “It Got Me Thinking…” column. Thanks also to Dorothy, who joined the conversation this year with her “Eyes of Faith” column, and to the other readers who contributed guest posts.

In the meantime, I wish you all the very best for the season. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year. See you in 2012!

~ Lisa

 

A Very Special Chero December 22, 2011

Filed under: Cheroes,Childless Not By Choice,Children,Fun Stuff — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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I’d like to give credit to a very special Chero.

This woman works tirelessly behind the scenes, offering her support to her husband, his work, and his faithful employees. She lives in a harsh climate, cut off from the rest of civilization, but she doesn’t complain. She never seeks credit for her contributions and dedication, but instead allows her husband to bask in the spotlight.

This couple never had any children of their own, and yet, they’ve chosen to bring joy to millions of other people’s children throughout the world.

So today, I’d like to raise a glass of whiskey and a mince pie (or a glass of milk and a cookie, for my U.S. friends), to that wonderful Chero: Mrs. Claus.

 

Whiny Wednesday December 21, 2011

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Ho, ho ho!

Are you having festive fun or are you in holiday H-E-double-hockey-sticks? Hopefully you’re tossing another log on the fire, spiking your eggnog, and settling in for a cozy holiday. If not, now’s your last chance of the year to get it all off your chest.

Happy Whiny Wednesday, one and all!

 

It Got Me Thinking…About Thoughtful Holiday Greetings December 20, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie Woods

Last week, LWBer Dorothy Williams wrote about holiday cards in her guest spot, With Eyes of Faith…Birthday Jesus. She writes about why she chooses to send a card that celebrates the birth of Jesus versus “one of those cards” that trumpets family and children and seems to stab us right in the heart with our childfreeness.

It got me thinking about the worst holiday greeting I ever received. I was recently single again and in the throes of an if-I’m-going-to-be-a-mother-I-need-to-have-a-child-on-my-own-NOW panic attack. Friends’ cheery letters celebrated new homes, new babies, and full lives, and while I so wanted to be happy for them, each new photo was a painful reminder of all that I lacked and so desperately wanted.

In the pile of unopened mail one afternoon was a delivery from a long-time friend. In an effort to save time, she had mass produced address labels and affixed them to the envelopes. Smart. Mine was addressed to “The Guthrie Family,” although my friend had crossed out “The” and “Family” and written “Kathy” above. Not so smart. The insensitivity took my breath away.

I’ve talked to friends who have lost spouses to death or divorce, and they share a similar hurt when cards are inappropriately addressed. I want to shout “THINK, PEOPLE!” I know we’re all busy, I know this season is crazy, I know we are each shouldering our burdens, but please, take an extra minute, waste that extra stamp, and practice sending goodwill to all.

Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. When she can plan ahead, she prefers to send Thanksgiving cards.

 

Staying Strong December 19, 2011

Recently, my resolve has been tested. A new baby in the family, the use of my baby’s name, and a firm reminder that my family is, and will remain, very different from the fantasy family I’d created in my head. But, here’s what I’ve learned about myself in the past couple of weeks:

I am one tough, resilient lady. Life can throw all kinds of crap at me and I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. Yes, the suit of armor that I’ve built for myself has its weak spots. Yes, there are holes in my life that I feel keenly from time to time, and my infertility is always going to be a tender scar. But, I am strong and I will survive. I may not have the life I’d planned, but my life is good and rich in ways I’d never imagined.

It’s these thoughts that I will stay focused on as we head into the holidays and onwards into a brand new year.

 

Cheroes: Children’s Authors Who Didn’t Have Kids December 16, 2011

Filed under: Cheroes — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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It takes a mother to truly understand children, right?

WRONG!!

Next time someone tells you that, whip out this handy dandy list of cheroes. All of these wonderful women wrote books that have resonated (in some cases for over a century) with little tykes all over the world.

Louisa May Alcott – Little Women (1868)

Beatrix Potter – The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1900)

Kate Douglas Wiggin – Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903)

Eleanor Hodgman Porter – Pollyanna (1913)

Margaret Wise Brown – The Runaway Bunny (1942), Goodnight, Moon (1947)

Tove Jansson – The Moomin Series (1948)

Dodie Smith – 101 Dalmatians (1956), I Capture the Castle (1949)

Anna Sewell – Black Beauty (1957)

Louise Fitzhugh – Harriet the Spy (1964)

Penelope Lively – The Ghost of Thomas Kempe (1973), A Stitch in Time (1976)

Ann M. Martin – The Baby-Sitters Club Series (1986)

Gail Carson Levine – Ella Enchanted (1997)

Kat DiCamillo – The Tale of Desperaux (2003), Because of Winn-Dixie (2000)

Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (2000)

Holly Black – The Spiderwick Chronicles (2003)

 

With Eyes of Faith…Birthday Jesus December 15, 2011

By Dorothy Williams

You won’t be receiving one of those cute, holiday photo greeting cards from me this Christmas.  You know, the kind you get from relatives and friends, showing the perfect, smiling family with the caption, “Greetings from the Williams bunch!” 

 

There’s nothing wrong with those holiday photos, of course, and now that I am in the acceptance stage of my grieving process, I enjoy seeing nieces, nephews and children of friends grow into the healthy, beautiful adults that God designed.  But when you’re struggling with infertility, or finally coming to terms with the stark reality that God may have a different plan for your life, the influx of December mail can be awful.

 

I once dreaded opening my mailbox during the holidays as if tiny pipe bombs lay in there, waiting to explode with emotional shrapnel.  My hands shook as I opened each holiday photo card because I knew there would be another reminder that I was childless-not-by-choice, and it would take hours to process the raw feelings of rage and sorrow that welled up. I’m glad I didn’t say anything to my family during those years because it might have stopped the cards, preventing the joy I receive now. Instead, I shared my secret pain with a couple of trusted advisers, and of course, my best friend and Savior, Jesus. It was good to have a powerful friend who experienced deep suffering, too, and didn’t mind talking about it.    

 

So instead of sending one of those cards, I am sending a link to Birthday Jesus at the Skit Guys website as my holiday greeting.  Have you heard of the Skit Guys? They are the comedy duo of Tommy Woodard and Eddie James, best friends since high school, who now serve the Lord, making up wonderful stories about life in Christ.

 

I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas

   

Dorothy Williams lives near Chicago.  She sends out holiday greeting cards that celebrate the birth of Christ.