Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About God October 4, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

The God I know is a tough broad. She can handle anything I dish out, and over the past two decades, She’s gotten an earful: I’m ready, where is my Mr. Right?! Is your divine plan really to keep me this lonely, miserable, and broke forever? Could you be a little more specific with your instructions about what I’m supposed to be doing with my life?

I’ve made peace with most of my youthful longings. I now know the last loser I almost settled for was not worthy, and that my Mr. Right was worth the wait. I’ve accepted and embraced that this is a co-partnership, and if I’m feeling lonely, miserable, and broke, it’s my responsibility to make changes. Furthermore, I’ve discovered that the plans God had for me are beyond anything I had imagined for myself.

But there’s one bitch-session I can’t yet get past: How come that drug-abusing, child-neglecting “mother” got to have all those sweet babies and I got jack?!? How come You, the all-loving, omnipotent God of everything, has denied the prayers of so many wonderful women, has robbed them of the beauty and privileges of becoming amazing mothers?

Because, like many of you, I prayed my heart out for miracles. I begged. I negotiated. And I cursed. Maybe She has something bigger in mind for each of us, and children would have gotten in the way. I cling to that promise, trusting, hoping, believing. But there are still dark days when I just don’t get it.

Why, God? Why?

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She’s mostly at peace with her decision to be childfree.


Not Exactly Lonely April 21, 2011

This post was first published on May 24, 2010.

My young nephew has no qualms about asking the most personal questions, and he’s so earnest and compassionate that usually I can’t help but give him an honest response. He’s asked why I don’t have any children, and also what happened to my first husband. I’ve told him the truth in both cases and he’s appreciated that, as far as I can tell.

Recently he asked, “Don’t you and Jose get lonely without any children.”

“No,” I told him. “We have lots of friends, and we have Felicity, our cat, plus we have lots of nieces and nephews.”

Somehow though, this response didn’t seem to satisfy him. Perhaps because it doesn’t satisfy me either. Do I get lonely because I don’t have children? Not really. Most of the time I wish I had more time alone with my own thoughts, rather than less, but do I feel a sense of loneliness sometimes, even when I’m around other people? I do. Sometimes.

Sometimes I feel that the connections I have with others are more tenuous than they would be with a child. My brothers have their own children and, while we’re still close, our connections have weakened as the bond with their children has grown. Somewhere inside me is a tiny empty hole that nothing can fill. Most of the time I’m not even aware of it, it’s so small. But every now and then I’ll experience a melancholy sensation that feels like loneliness and feels as if it could only be filled with children.