Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Adapting to a Childless Life June 24, 2010

I recently read Cheaper By The Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth. If you’ve never read it, I recommend it. Don’t be put off by the awful Steve Martin movie version; the book is a classic. In one of the stories, the family with twelve children goes through a string of household help (not surprisingly) because, quote: “People can’t move from a quiet home to a large family.”

I can imagine the shock of moving from a small quiet family into a household of 14, but what about the other way around?

I’m from a family of three children, but my brothers are 11 and 13 years my senior, so in many ways I’m an only child. I have memories of quiet afternoons at home with my mum, or of just making my own entertainment if there were no neighborhood friends to play with. Even now, I enjoy my peaceful life and like nothing better than a quiet evening at home with a good book. If there’s no one to talk to, I talk to myself. I’m seldom bored or lonely.

But I wonder, if I’d grown up in house with a big family, would I feel the lack of children in my house more deeply? Would I crave the noise and chaos, or would the quiet life I have be a welcome rest?

Do you come from a big family? Do you crave that company or have you adapted quite easily to a quieter life?