Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

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.


Whiny Wednesday: On Being [Childless] February 2, 2011

I could whine about the hassle of moving, but that would be too easy. The memory of the blowout on Highway 5 is fading, the numerous cock-ups (such as packing my computer, but leaving the keyboard and mouse behind) are being resolved, and Felicity (my cat) survived the trauma and even came out from under the bedding today. But I do have something on my mind.

I’ve been thinking about being “bitter and childless.” It’s a horrible expression, but the two words so often get put together. I don’t think of myself as being bitter about my childlessness, but sometimes I hear a bitter edge in my posts here. Or more to the point, I can see how someone might interpret what I post as bitterness. That’s not what I’m about here.

By the same token, I don’t exactly celebrate my childlessness either. I’m not glad I don’t have kids; but I’m no longer sad either. Yes, sometimes when I see harassed mothers I think that I had a narrow escape, but I’m not really relieved by my escape. I’m not sad and not glad; I just am.

Maybe I should change today’s title from Whiny Wednesday to Waffle-y Wednesday, but there, that’s what’s on my mind today.