Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why I created this blog

So, to kick off this blog I will begin with posting (next) an article I wrote for a writing group I recently joined. That post provides the backdrop on how I came to this position - that of how I didn't have kids but wanted some, and learning to deal with the outcome. In fact, that post just talks about what was going on in my life through about 2000.

Since then, I may have successfully swung my leg over the wall of resignation and acceptance. But I'm not certain of this, and only hindsight will confirm that suspicion. I feel like I'm in a firestorm of hope, dismay, and yet more hope as I come learn more about how my life is unfolding. I hope this blog will inspire other women who didn't have kids (yet?) to share their stories. Ultimately, I'd like to publish a book called "No, I Did Not Forget To Have Children" as a way to provide healing, hope and a sense of connectedness for those women who are wrestling with this same issue. I'm beginning the outline, and will solicit permission from those who contribute to this blog to be included in the book (when I get to that point).

We who feel this way are not alone, but feel very lonely as this is a topic that we cannot discuss freely with those around us. Here are a few reasons why I feel I cannot easily discuss this topic with others:
  • Parents do not understand - in fact my own mom, a dog breeder, said "Carol, I don't know why you want to have children so badly. Why, if we didn't have kids, it would have just been that much sooner that we would have gotten our dogs!" I just laughed, you have to know my mom. It is more fun to repeat this statement and see the look of shock on people's faces than to get upset about it.
  • Friends do not understand - they each have made their own kids-no-kids decision and have pre-set notions on the right answer. While some good friends may listen attentively(and I hope you have many of these friends), I have been afraid to broach the subject with any of my friends after getting accosted by a few people who have very staunch opinions on the subject. Most of my friends are quite opinionated! Perhaps I am too sensitive about this topic to really speak about it with those who know me the best - I'm much more comfortable talking with strangers about this. Why is this? Perhaps I am afraid of swaying my friend's opinions of my husband, or myself. Perhaps I'll know more about this when I blog about it.
  • Husbands do not understand - they may all too well understand if you both are pining for a family, in which case they could be your number one confidant (yay for you!). Or they may be on the opposite side of the fence from you, standing over the septic tank while they think their grass is greener (thanks, Erma).
  • The media does not understand - everywhere we see products marketed to us as a family unit; it seems all we see on TV and in the movies are families (or perhaps, I am focused on seeing just that?). When a childless woman is shown, she is shown as a professional ball-breaker, lonely and single. Who said childless women are all single? Of course, the purpose of every species on this planet is to procreate, and we are all a product of a family - thankfully so! What will become of us if the population growth rate slows to less than one child per couple? I'll probably expound on this in a future blog.

This blog is not intended to promote those women who have decided to not have children as they feel it is the better choice, and they are proud of their decision. "Child Free" they like to call themselves, as opposed to being "Breeders". Yay for them, but I have seen that turn into a debate on the merits of choosing life with children versus choosing not to have children, and I don't necessarily want to open up that can of worms. There are plenty of other blogs with that information. I have learned there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to this topic, and being divisive and judgemental of other's decisions is not productive and is a sure-fire way to hurt someone's deepest feelings.

This blog is for those women whose choices - whether through indecision or focus on career or unawareness of their biological clock or marriage or divorce or choices made in life in general - impacted their ability to have children, and thus, they didn't have kids but still wanted some. If you are struggling with this situation now, please know you are not alone. In addition, I'd love to hear from women who did go through a similar life-crisis and are happy now with their outcome - with or without children.

I hope I'm getting there - to acceptance that I didn't have kids and happiness with the outcome. I have days now where I struggle with fading hope, blame and self-recrimination (did I bring this on myself?). I also have days filled with a shred of hope that maybe I'll get to have children through other methods at some future life stage. If I ultimately do not have children, I envision myself using this life to instead impact others in a unique way that would not have been possible if I had children. But it wouldn't be that I chose that direction, rather that it chose me through my own subconscious - while my conscious gets to deal with the ramifications. (Hmm, Freud? Jung? The Law of Attraction?)

At least, that's what I hope for, but I just don't know yet how to get there. This blog is my first step to figuring that out. Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you end up posting, thank you for contributing to the dialogue and to helping others through this process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How refreshing to read your very honest blog. I have one child and in waiting and putting off a second one, nearly 7 years have passed and I'm now in my mid-forties without much biological possibilities of another. I thought at the time that my decision was for all the right reasons, but forgot how it would feel later. I do think that there is great value in being able to focus on the people who are already here in the world. I want to somehow feel I've added to the lives of many (which for me means a career change to healthcare) rather than just focusing on my own family or being a drain to others with all the help I would need. I did not "forget" to have another child, but just took the matter very seriously and did not want to enter into it just because it's what people do.