Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Gratitude for What You Do Have November 19, 2012

During a recent workshop support call, we were discussing loss and how to begin coming to terms with the idea of not having children. One member raised a question:

“How do you keep moving forward day-to-day?”

It’s a good question. When you’ve suffered a loss, or a series of losses, and you realize children aren’t going to be in your future, how do you keep getting out of bed and getting on with life, when what you feel like doing is curling up and wishing for the world to just leave you alone?

Another member of the group had a great suggestion:

“What helped me was staying focused on what I do have, instead of obsessing about what I don’t have,” she said.

When the goal of motherhood has been your main focus for so long, it’s natural to focus on what’s lost, what’s being given up by walking away from that goal. (And let’s face it, it can be a very long list.) But a little dose of Pollyanna can go a long way in making it through the day.

Look around you. There’s evidence everywhere to support what we do have. If you don’t live on the East Coast of the U.S, you probably have power in your home. In fact, you most likely have a home to have power in. Maybe you have good health, a strong relationship, a close family, or good friends.  When you look up and look around, it’s amazing to see how much you do have.

Shifting perspective can be a good coping tool. It doesn’t diminish what’s been lost, not one bit, and it doesn’t mean there’s no excuse for grief, or sadness. That loss is real and it takes time to heal. But shifting focus can help you keep moving forward.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., traditionally a time of gratitude. So, employing this perspective shift, what are you grateful for in your life? How are you lucky? What are some of the things that you do have going for you?


It Got Me Thinking…About Gratitude November 26, 2010

Filed under: Family and Friends,Guest Bloggers,It Got Me Thinking... — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
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My friend’s sister is going through a horrible divorce and is fighting a fierce battle for custody of her children. She’s in a deep, dark, seemingly unending chaos. And yet…in the past month, she has won three major awards for her poetry.

Isn’t this just like life? You work your butt off in one area only to be faced with failure, pain, frustration, betrayal, or humiliation, then you get some random gift from the gods in another.

In this season of giving thanks, this got me thinking…. I’ve held epic self-pity parties. I can bitch and moan about how unfair life has been to me, and I have loads of evidence to back up my complaints. And yet…I bet there’s something in my life that’s going right.

Sometimes, it’s a little surprise: My roses are blooming! Sometimes, it comes out of my darkest moments of jealousy and desire: At least I’ll never have to struggle to lose pregnancy weight. Ha! When I’m feeling beyond down and my future is looking bleak, I can be thankful for something as basic as I can breathe on my own.

Today, here’s the top three on my gratitude list. What are yours?

  1. I am sharing my life with a wonderful man.
  2. There’s chocolate in the pantry.
  3. I’m part of an extraordinary circle of friends.

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in AAA’s Westways, GRIT, Real Simple, and 805 Living magazines. Read “How to Be the World’s Best Aunt Ever” on