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?


Whiny Wednesday: Living After Infertility March 28, 2012

I subscribe to Resolve’s “Living After Infertility Resolution” Support Community. Or at least I used to until yesterday, when I removed myself from the mailing list.

Apparently, the only viable “resolution” for infertility is pregnancy and the “support” forums are filled with questions about the best strollers for twins and complaints about weight gain at 24 weeks. When I dug back into the archives I found exactly THREE posts from people trying to move on with a childfree life.

I avoid using profanity in a public forum, but not in the comfort of my own home, so when I tell you I said, “Forget it!” you can fill in your own blank for what I really said.

I think that Resolve does wonderful work in helping people deal with infertility, but for those of us who have run out of options or made the decision to get off the crazy train and get about the business of building a life without children, that support is non-existent. Unless a miracle baby happens, there is apparently no living after infertility.

Well, that’s not the case here, sisters. I am alive and well and swearing like a sailor to prove it. And when National Infertility Awareness Week comes around next month, you’d better believe I’m going to be out there saying, “Hey!!! What about us?”

It’s Whiny Wednesday, my wondering living friends. If you’ve got something to say, now’s the time. Just watch your language, if you don’t mind.