Thoughts and ideas to inspire, uplift and affirm the childless and childfree, by circumstance and by choice
There is a lot of discussion in childfree blogs and groups about the decision to be childfree – as though its always something that is carefully reasoned through, perhaps with the aid of a list of pros and cons and strategic consideration of the relevant literature. For lots of childfree people I’m sure that’s how it is but for me, it’s not quite the way it worked.
In my early thirties I was very happily childless but also wondering if the biological clock I’d heard so much about had somehow been set to snooze. I thought it might still awaken me from my contented state with some kind of buzzer, like those clock radios from the eighties. (Does anyone else remember those and the way it took half the morning for your heartbeat to go back to normal after you’d finally found the off button?) So I hovered around career-wise, money-wise, home-wise, relationship-wise, badly wanting to explore my life but not wanting to rule out any possibilities in case some baby-wanting version of the eighties clock radio buzzer went off.
By my mid-thirties there was still no buzzer and I felt it was time to stop hovering and start actively building my life one way or the other. But what followed was much more like a realisation than a decision. Once I started thinking instead of waiting, I just couldn’t help noticing that the things I enjoyed the most – my creative work, long walks with H, books, travel, going out for breakfast, chatting at length with friends about interesting things, spending time alone – all of these were perfectly aligned with non-parenthood. Or, to put it another way that is stronger and probably more truthful, most of them would have been pretty much obliterated by the appearance of a child. And happily for me, H felt the same way.
So that’s me – about 60% realisation, 20% decision and 20% factors beyond my control that I haven’t blogged about yet but may do some day.
If you’d like to read more about the making of women’s reproductive choices you might be interested in this post about the fear of being childless in old age or this post about wondering what it would be like to be a mother.
But in the meantime, how about you? Has your experience of non-motherhood been characterised by decisions or realisations? Or by something else entirely?
[The gorgeous image heading this post is shared with permission from Sweet William.]