Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday: I don’t want to talk about this anymore August 15, 2012

This post was originally published on May 11, 2011.

Let me just say, right up front, that I love the community of women I’ve found through this blog. I’ve really been amazed at how people are willing to rally around and help others they’ve never even met. I attribute the speed of my healing progress to this community and to having somewhere to go to talk about infertility and childlessness.

But sometimes I feel as if I just don’t want to talk about it anymore.

For the past two weeks I’ve stood up in front of a theater full of strangers and told my story. It was a fantastic experience and everyone I met was wonderful and supportive. (More about this very soon.) I know that talking about this issue is bringing it to the forefront and building understanding. People have come up to me and told me as much.

But sometimes I just want to be little old me. I don’t want to keep talking about “it.”

Recently, this article reminded me of why I don’t want to talk about “it.” Here, this writer pours out her heart and her “regrets” at never having children.

“I know, for example, that not being a mother means there is a part of me which remains unused, a love that will be forever unexpressed. I know that what any mother describes as the most profound love she has ever known is, to me, a locked door — there is so much love I will never be able to give, wisdom and understanding I cannot share, shelter and solace I cannot provide.”

I admire for having the guts to say that, and I know she’s right, no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise. There are a million ways to substitute for not having children, but none of them are really going to fill that gap. I know that; I feel that.

But, then she goes on to say:

“My regrets will always linger. My life is a poorer place for not having children, and I am less of a woman for not being a mother.”

And that’s when I want to yell, “No!! Pull yourself together, woman! You have a successful career, friends, a great life. How can you say your life is a poorer place and that you are less of a woman because you don’t have children?” Forgive me, friends, but it just comes across as feeling sorry for herself, and that doesn’t sit well with me.

And this is why I don’t want to talk about this sometimes. I don’t want to be defined by my childlessness; I don’t want to be a one-ring circus with the same act playing night after night; I don’t want to be “that poor pathetic childless woman, who never quite got over it.”

All that being said, I’m going to keep talking about it, because it’s an important topic to me, but I’m keeping an eye on myself to make sure it doesn’t become the only thing I can talk about, to make sure I don’t start feeling sorry for myself.


9 Responses to “Whiny Wednesday: I don’t want to talk about this anymore”

  1. j thorne Says:

    Well said! It’s exactly how I feel…sad about what might have been and angry sometimes too, but I do not want my life defined by my child free status. I’m afraid society as a whole makes us feel that way sometimes. There will always be judgments and pity but I am slowly learning to just happily live my life – as it is . I refuse to think of myself as less of a woman because I don’t have a child. As I’ve said before, having a child doesn’t necessarily make someone more of a woman so the idea that we are less is just ludicrous.

  2. Kathleen Guthrie Woods Says:

    Just when I think it can’t get any worse, Facebook announces it is adding a new way to make it easier to announce pregnancies. Read the full article at your own risk:

    I don’t even know what to say, but the thought of having to endure more updates, more details, more inappropriate sharing of way-to-personal information makes me want to get off of there forever (which would further isolate me from a number of friends, so that’s not what I want to do). I’d get nowhere complaining to the powers that be, so it sure helps to be able to vent here. Sigh…….

    • Maria Says:

      I totally understand. I only have approx. 30 friends on Facebook and I have blocked several people so I don’t have to view their stupid posts.

  3. Kathleen Guthrie Woods Says:

    BTW, today marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Julia Child, one of the greatest cheroes (a hero who happens to be childfree) ever! I plan to make her beef bourguignon and raise a glass of red wine to her this evening. Bon appetit!

    • Maria Says:

      Have you seen Julie and Julia? Great movie and I gained tremendous respect and appreciation for her after having seen it. it also touches upon the pain she felt about her inability to have children, and her mother’s complete lack of understanding. Great rental ladies.

  4. Maria Says:

    I totally understand this article. I’m at a point where I can openly talking about my infertility and not get emotional. Strangers can attempt small talk with me at social gatherings and ask “do you have any children” and I don’t feel the need to run away and cry or get enraged. In fact, the other day I was with my sister and her friend and she asked that question, and I said, “no I don’t have children” and I was amazed that I felt nothing about the question or the response. But, like this author, I don’t want it to define me either for the rest of my life. In fact, during this outing with my sister and her friend, my sister’s son kept calling for money because he is a drug addict. My sister’s friend asked why he was calling so much and she told me she didn’t tell her why because she doesn’t want to be defined by her son’s actions. I thought, I totally understand because I don’t want to be defined by my infertility. It’s something that happenned that i have moved beyond and there will be a lot more that will happen to me that may define me in a different way. I don’t want to be stuck in that role and I agree that no one should be. To think I don’t know unconditional love because I don’t have a child is ridiculous. I know unconditional love from my husband, from my dog, from many other people in my life. Children don’t unconditionally love you — they unconditionally need you until they get to be teenagers and then they unconditionally poop all over you.

  5. HR Hughes Says:

    Great quote, it is exactly how I feel too. I often describe my heartbreak over infertility being similar to being broken up with when you still love the other person. I have all this love inside for someone and they don’t want me. I also describe my body as devouring life. I’ve had two miscarriages. During the second miscarriage my body began reabsorbing the embryo. I am a monster, I eat the living. There are times of the year when my status as infertile doesn’t bother me and others when it does. Thanksfully this is a good week. Hope your life is full of good weeks too.

    • Maria Says:

      You are not a monster – please don’t think of yourself this way. We all have no control over our bodies and this situation. Be kind to yourself because you deserve it.

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