Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Out With the Old January 16, 2012

I write a regular blog called The Plan B Life for PsychologyToday.com. Although the theme of the blog dealing with life when Plan A doesn’t work out, I’ve always got my own Plan A Life – the one that included children – in my mind when I write.

This week’s post was Out With the Old, about the importance of rituals in marking the end of Plan A and preparing to embark on Plan B. I know I’ve talked about this topic before on this blog, but for me, it was the key to starting along the path to coming to terms with a life without children.

If you’re struggling to get forward motion right now, a little symbolic ritual can go a long way. First, you need to acknowledge what it is you need to let go. It could be as big as the dream of motherhood, or it could be bitterness towards a family member or coworker who you feel flaunts her fertility, or it could be facing a fear and taking the next step forward.

Whatever your sticking point, acknowledge it first, then decide to let it go. Find a ritual or something symbolic that means something to you, and try it. It might be a prayer, or lighting a candle, or some kind of cleansing ceremony. Whatever you choose, you’ll be amazed at how freeing and how positive a simple ritual can be.

If you try this, (or if you’ve done something like this in the past) please report in on how it went.

 

The Plan B Life July 22, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what to do when your plans don’t work out. I’ve had some experience with this, having made a couple of major career changes (engineering to marketing to writing), made commitments to the wrong relationships, and more recently and more significantly, had my plans for motherhood thwarted.

Recently I’ve written some articles on the subject and now I’m very excited to present my new weekly blog on Psychology Today. It’s called The Plan B Life: Redesigning your world when “Plan A” fails.

Although these articles are aimed at a wider audience, moving on to Plan B when Plan A was motherhood is always at the forefront of my mind.

Last week I wrote about Letting Go of the Dream, and tapped into my personal experience when I talked about losing sight of why I wanted that dream (children) in the first place and realizing that other areas of my life were starting to suffer because of my determination to become a mother.

This week the topic was tapping into childhood memories to find your life’s passion again. I don’t know if you had this experience, but I know that I had planned my little world around someday becoming a mother, so when I finally realized it wasn’t going to happen, I saw that my life was full of holes and I had no idea what I was going to fill them with. As I wrote in the article, I did the childhood memory exercise ten years ago and recently revisited my journal to remember some of the things that had once given me joy. It’s a really great exercise (and I can recommend Barbara Sher’s book if you’re feeling lost) and I’ll be including a variation of it in the “Finding Your Identity” workshop I’ll be leading in November. More about that soon.

I’d be thrilled if you’d take a look at the Psychology Today blog, over the moon if you’d click a couple of the share buttons at the bottom, and beside myself with excitement if you decided to subscribe.

I don’t know where all of this is going yet, but I do feel as if I am stepping out into the start of my own Plan B life. And I can promise you I’ll be sending postcards from my travels.