I’ve been thinking so much about women who choose to not have children. I am one of them.Recently, I have become overwhelmingly aware of how virtually everything is marketed to “Busy Mama’s.” And it makes me feel. . . marginalized.
I am biologically childless by choice. While there are things that happened in my life that contributed to that for sure, it has by and large been a choice. There was a divorce. There were years of heavy drinking, of being lost, of really bad relationships. Even when I finally found my soulmate, my partner for life, he was, as he put it “Fixed, like Linus [ his cat].” We still could have explored options for having a child together, but neither of us really wanted to do that. We liked our lives together. We had a reached a point in our lives where we finally felt like we had our shit together and could focus on ourselves, on being happy and healthy, on living what we considered to be meaningful lives.
But recently, in various things that I have participated in, in business trainings that I have done, in personal development books that I have read, I have felt somehow “less than” or like maybe this wasn’t for me because “you moms” were so frequently addressed.
Constant use of phrases like:
I know most of you have children.
You know what it’s like to have your children be. . .”
All you moms/mommas out there. . .
If you have children you know. . .
Does that leave me out? Does that mean I have nothing to offer other women because I am not a mother?
My own mother once told me that is was “selfish” to not have children. Ummmm. . . I think it would be selfish to have children that I really didn’t want to have just because society told me that is what I am supposed to do.
I actually hit a tipping point of resentment and totally stopped reading a personal development book by an author that I love because she kept addressing the way moms feel. Not only could I not relate, but I wanted to yell back, “Just because I don’t have children does not mean that MY life isn’t busy, chaotic, confusing, challenging, etc!”
And left out. That is often a feeling because you don’t quite fit in with the “Mom Group.” Most of the women you work with or are surrounded by have these close knit groups of friends – but they are all moms and so you just don’t seem to fit in.
Or there is a conversation at lunch or at a party about “mom struggles,” and no one really values what you have to say because you have NO idea what it’s like. You do not speak from experience so what could you possibly know?
And then I stopped and thought: “Wait! I cannot be the only woman in the world who feels like this!” And a work friend even suggested that I could write a book, become the voice of trivialized childless-by-choice women. I don’t know about that, but it did inspire me to start my blog back up again.
I think I lead a pretty meaningful life. I have taught high school English for 30+ years. I now work on overall wellness with women, on helping them create the best possible versions of themselves through their health and fitness. I have learned the power of wellness, of self care, and I am on a mission to share that power with other women – ALL other women.
Yes. You can have a life that doesn’t pass on your DNA to have a meaningful life. My husband doesn’t have to think about this because he has children – 4 of them. And so by proxy, I guess they are mine also. I love them dearly. But they are not “mine.” We do not share DNA.
I am a Pet Mom – 2 dogs and 3 cats right now. That is more than enough for me.
I am a teacher and so I have, over the years, had thousands of “children,” some whom I remain very close to. These are my children.
I am a coach. I help other women work on their health and well-being, and they can pass that on to their children and their grandchildren.
Ladies we are ALL important. We all bring different gifts and perspectives to the table. This is just one of those different perspectives, and I am hoping only to raise a little awareness.
I hope that there is one woman out there who has read this and who now feels a little less insignificant. If so then I have done what I set out to do. If you read this and you couldn’t quite relate but know someone who could, please SHARE this with her.