Inspiration for childless and childfree women

Thoughts and ideas to inspire, uplift and affirm the childless and childfree, by circumstance and by choice


A Buddhist teacher whose work I love, Pema Chodron, talks about the importance of finding the ‘workability’ of your situation. This isn’t a matter of plastering Think positive! Be happy! Smile! over a wall of suffering. It’s also not a matter of staying stuck in unhappiness and giving up hope that things will ever change. Rather, it’s about taking a good look at things as they really, truly are and then figuring out the best way to create a workable life around and among them.

My own inner circle of female friends are: a new mother-of-one in a couple, a mother-of-three in a couple, a mother-of-one in a pretty shaky relationship, a single mother-of-one and two single women who wish they were having children. (I am the only cheerful-non-mother I know.) Maybe because we’re all in our thirties, we seem to end up talking a lot about the various satisfactions and dissatisfactions associated with our reproductive choices and circumstances.  And I think that despite the radical differences between us, our levels of contentment (and even excitement) regarding our day-to-day lives depend pretty much entirely on whether or not we’re getting and staying in tune with the workability of our situations.

I don’t think that getting started needs to be a particularly esoteric process. Maybe it’s more a matter of making a note of the skills you bring to the table, the different tools and resources you have at your disposal, the places you will and won’t find support, the obstacles and weaknesses that need to be factored in, the amount of time and energy you have to work with, and then considering all of those ideas in relation to what actually matters to you, what interests you, what gets you excited, and what you would most love to offer and achieve.

My hunch is that many childless and childfree women will come up with some pretty interesting possibilities. I feel as though I might be getting there.

If you’re interested in reading more about a mindful approach to being childless or childfree, you might enjoy this post about contentment or this post about the value of being self-centred.

But in the meantime, what about you? Do you feel as though you’re finding the workability of your situation?

[The beautiful image above is a Kokeshi doll hand painted by Abby Jacobs
of Happy Abby. You can find her gorgeous work here.]


8 comments on “workability

  1. Lydia
    March 24, 2012

    This might be off-topic but I adore the picture you included in this post. You couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate image! ❤

  2. Kaitlyn
    March 24, 2012

    I’m actually trying to be a lot more positive and happy. Thank you for the post. It really helped 🙂

    • olivia
      March 24, 2012

      That is really lovely to hear Kaitlyn. Cheering you on in your goal 🙂

  3. Lynn T
    March 24, 2012

    Finding this balance makes so much sense. Thinking positive is a good theory but in practice, it can lead to disappointment as life is not all sunshine and roses. I think that being more realistic can be the best route so taking a good look at things as they really, truly are and then figuring out the best way to create a workable life around and among them sounds like great advice. Facing up to any obstacles and weaknesses that prevent you from doing things that you would otherwise like to do, can be a harder process than it sounds. Thanks for another great, thought provoking post Olivia, L x

    • olivia
      March 24, 2012

      Lynn, I really agree with you about problems with positive thinking. And I think you’re right too to point out that facing up to limitations can be far from easy. Thanks for such interesting thoughts and for your encouragement as always.

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This entry was posted on March 24, 2012 by in peace and quiet and tagged , , , .

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