Inspiration for childless and childfree women

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


Perhaps because I’m still getting over my flu, I’ve been at a bit of a standstill in my creative work. So I’ve been consulting some of my own childless and childfree heroines to see if they have any words of wisdom to help me or anyone else who is in a slump of some kind.

Georgia O’Keeffe reminds us to pull back the layers of convention and peek at what lies underneath…

“I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.” ― Georgia O’Keeffe

Simone de Beauvoir reminds us to be entirely authentic in our work…

“I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth – and truth rewarded me.” – Simone de Beauvoir

And George Eliot helps us to get our tasks into perspective…

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” – George Eliot

If you’re interested in connections between non-motherhood and creative work, you might be interested to read a post about the childless/childfree artist or a discussion of patterns of creative excellence among non-mothers.

But in the meantime, how about you? Is there a wise woman whose thoughts you consult when you’re not sure what to do next?


2 comments on “wisdom

  1. Kaitlyn
    March 28, 2012

    Honestly, I decide for myself what I’m going to do next. There is inspiration from women in history, but I ultimatly decide what to do next because of me. I’m one of few women in family that doesn’t have kids, and the rest WANT kids later on. I don’t have very many childless people to look up to 😦

    • olivia
      March 28, 2012

      Hi Kaitlyn. I don’t have any in my everyday world either. Not a single one! (Seriously, where are they all??) Every woman I know is either a mother or longing to be one. I think that’s why I draw so consciously on historical childless/childfree women and the ideas they’ve shared that have (thank goodness) been preserved.

      But one of those women whose work I was reading last night, Anna Freud, would have agreed with your approach much more than mine.

      She said, “I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.”

      Thanks for your comment, Kaitlyn 🙂

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