Jun 162009
 

Yes, you can you be happy without having a baby. These four tips for accepting a childfree life will show you that acceptance can be healthier than relentless fertility treatments and trying to get pregnant against all odds.

Easier said than done, right?  But listen…

“The willingness to win OR lose moves us out of an adversarial relationship to life and into a powerful kind of openness,” writes Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen in Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal. “From such a position, we can make a greater commitment to life.”

Kitchen Table Wisdom is one of my favorite books because it’s all about accepting both the bitter and the sweet parts of life. Dr Remen is an oncologist who never had children. She struggled with Crohn’s Disease for most her life, and when she was in her 20s had surgery to remove most of her intestines. Remen knows failure and heartache…and she teaches people how to bounce back to live full, passionate lives.



If you feel like you’ll never be happy without a baby, read When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden: Encouragement for Couples Facing Infertility. It’s a powerful book about accepting your life, even if you’re living with the pain of infertility.

Here are my tips for being happy even if you don’t get pregnant…

Accepting a Childfree Life – How to be Happy Without a Baby

A few readers have commented that they don’t like articles about accepting life without kids alongside advertisements for ovulation predictor kits and fertility supplements.

So, I’m moving all my “coping with infertility” articles to one of my other blogs – Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals.

To read the rest of this article, go to Accepting a Childfree Life – How to be Happy Without Having Children.

And, please read the comments below – they’ll help you see that you’re not alone!

Do you have any thoughts on being happy without a baby or accepting a childfree life? I’d love to hear from you below…

  46 Responses to “Accepting a Childfree Life – How to be Happy Without a Baby”

  1. Where do I begin? I was super fertile, but my husband wasn’t and nothing worked. It is too late now for me. All my adult life I have worked with children, mostly as a teacher and people assume that because I am so good with them, I must also have children. Sometimes it is just too difficult to say that I don’t have any so I make them up. Pitiful, eh? The hardest time is on Mother’s Day when everyone (including complete strangers) wishes you “happy mother’s day”. Why does everyone assume that if you wear a wedding ring, you must have children? The ache never goes away and there is no escape.

  2. Hi, firstly wanted to applaud all the very strong ladies, that have shared their very personal life stories.

    Many of you are totally right ‘that things happen for a reason’, but at the same time, you’ve got to have faith and trust in the all the great things you have in your life.

    Also comparing your life, with other people (that they have all the things you want) is dangerous – we’re all totally different and unique and make our own choices.

    In my faith, it’s said that god knows from when a baby is concieved ~ how this life will pan-out and how/when things will happen.

    Find something very close to you, to focus on during all the highs & lows and try to live each day ‘living for the moment’ and it will help to think lesser about – what you do not have (which is heart-breaking, I know).

    I’ve been married, 15 yrs, 1 miscarriage, 2 IVF cycles and 1 FET – with accupunture.
    But more recently I am thinking – I WILL NEVER give hope, God’s given me strength and protects me every day of life, so onwards & upwards.

    God bless everyone & my heart goes out to everyone every man and women that has faced fertility issues.

    BKDx

  3. Hi Laurie — thank you so much for your post. I completely agree that I need to embrace life and find hobbies that I enjoy. I recently read a book that said finding a hobby you love is the best way to foster a relationship with yourself. And as ridiculous as it sounds, I don’t even know how to find something I love to do. I work, and enjoy my job, and spend time with friends that have time with me. Otherwise, I can’t help feeling my life is somewhat empty, as everyone else has their own priorities (family) which I completely understand. I’m still coping with this void, but I’m not claiming having a child is the way to fill it. In a way that seems selfish. I want to be happy alone, but frankly, at 44, I’m growing weary of it. Again, thank you for your suggestions. I will try and find satisfaction and I believe this — I had a friend coping with a difficult time in AA recovery — when you feel sorry for yourself, do something nice for someone else, and that’s the best way to get out of your head and be compassionate for others. Thanks for your help. It’s truly appreciated.

  4. Hi Dears,
    I am a 30 yers old woman. I have been married now for two years. Doctors say me and my husband don’t have any problem, but for some reason I don’t get pregnant. I have this feeling that I might never become a mom. I have many things in life that maybe many people who have children dream of and some of my relatives who have kids always complain about their lives. It has hit me that life can never be perfect, we always think that if we had this or that we would be happy in life, but it is not true. Before getting married I always thought that if I marry a nice man I would be very happy, but after marrying it seems like I need to have kids to be happy and I am pretty sure if I become a mom then I would always think I had a happier life when I didn’t have any kids. I think we shouldn’t make conditions for being happy. No one or nothing can make us happy. It is us responsible for our happiness. A child is a bliss but it is also a big responsibility. Both having and not having children have plus and minus points, so women should be happy in both cases. If we have other good things in life then we should be thankful for them and don’t waste all our life grieving about not having any kids and if we don’t have any good in life then we should be sure that a child can even worsen the situation and they won’t be a bliss anymore.

  5. Dear Susan,

    I’m sorry to hear how alone you feel. It’s hard enough to accept a childfree life…but feeling alone does seem to make life harder.

    I think it’s important for you to build a strong network of friends, hobbies, and interesting things in life. For instance, I’m a Big Sister — and I love it! I take my Little Sister out every week. We saw Snow White: Mirror, Mirror yesterday (the one with Julia Roberts as the evil witch – it’s fantastic and so funny!). Next week, we’re going to a baseball game with a bunch of other Big and Little Sisters.

    And, I really enjoy my monthly book club. I play the flute, and am going to grad school in September, to get my Master’s of Social Work. I love taking my dog to the dog park, and I love my blogs!

    So, I guess my best advice is to get active and interested in your own life. You CAN be happy without a baby. I’m very happy and active, yet I experience down times and sad times. Every day, I wish we had kids.

    But, I’m happier when I focus on what I love about life. I think you should do the same: focus on the things that make you feel alive, happy, vibrant, and passionate. If you haven’t found those things yet, then you have some adventures to go on!!

    What do you think? What would make you happy – other than a baby?

  6. Thank you for your comment, Caroline! I often wonder what we were “saved” from, because of our infertility. I tend to think that we’re being protected from things we can’t handle, that would either tear us apart or somehow negatively affect our lives. A really sick baby, perhaps, or a child’s death. Or maybe I would absolutely hate being a mother – or I’d be a really bad one, or I’d have a child who turned out to be a murderer or rapist.

    The way I accept a childfree life is to trust God, that He knows what He’s doing. I can be happy without a baby because I choose to believe this is what’s best for me.

    And I think you’re right – we always think the grass is greener on the other side. I think our longing for children overshadows the reality of how difficult it is to raise them.

    Thanks again for your comments!

    Laurie

  7. we all have different troubles…singles have the troubles of singles, married people the troubles of married people, parents the troubles of parents….and we all think the grass is greener on the other side.
    If you cannot have a child maybe it would do you some good to look on the other side. Google “I hate being a mom” “i don’t like being a mother” “I wish i did not have children ” or anything like that.
    You will read tons of post by women totally shattered by their motherhood. Some of them who were very well prepared, working with kids in their professional life for example, other who tried for years to have children unsuccessfully until the ‘miracle” happened or they finally adopted… and discovered the bitter reality, that they hated their new life as a mummy.
    It could be you.
    You never know until you have kids, and what looks like happiness from the outside can be lived as hell from inside.
    I like children a lot, i have donated eggs to help people with infertility problems, but being a parent myself is not in my plans.
    Still I understand your suffering.
    I wish you all the strenghth to turn the page and I urge you to embrace life as it is, your life.
    Your life is very short and very precious. Be thankful for what you have, so busy adoring it that you don’t have a minute to complain about what you don’t have.
    There are wonderful people on this planet, just go out and meet them, Please, don’t spend your life regreting what you THINK you would have enjoyed so much!

  8. All the posts I’ve read are from people that can’t conceive. My heart breaks because I did get pregnant with my husband, miscarried, and we divorced a year later. I’m 44 and still haven’t remarried. I know I can have a baby, but can’t seem to find that right person to be with long term. This is so hard to deal with. I’m bitter when I hear of people getting pregnant, and at the same time I’m ashamed of myself that I would begrudge someone else’s happiness. How do I come to terms with knowing I can get pregnant, but just can’t seem to find the right one? My parents are dead. I have no extended family and am just so lonely sometimes it’s almost unbearable. Please help with any advice you can offer. I don’t want to feel sorry for myself, but this is truly a tough situation to be in. Thank you.

  9. After reading some of the comments I would say that one needs to make
    their own decision about having children and not look at others.
    I myself am happy with a cat as my best friend.
    I must admit I have no real friends.
    If my cat dies before me I would be all alone.
    I would have lost the being that I love the most.
    Not something would like thinking about.
    I do understand that if you want children but cannot have them
    it must be terrible.
    I also think that if the love between two people is not enough
    and you really need a child to “confirm” your love you might
    find out that you can not get a child.
    If you have connected with your soulmate, than that should be
    enough.
    It’s useless to look at others, and want what they have,
    they probably don’t have what you and your soulmate have.
    If you can’t be happy together you’l probably think that children
    will make you more complete, you might be wrong, or you might be
    right.
    What if your soul lasts forever?
    Are children in this life really necessary to make you feel
    Complete?

  10. Reading some of the comments here are deeply saddening. I’m married 21 yrs and WE are child free by choice. We originally considered having a child but as we watched our (now former) friends have babies and saw the terrible collateral damage having children created in their lives we opted out. Our former friends are all divorced some remarried but all became bitter debt ridden and resentful of their offspring. Of course at the beginning they all loved the attention they received while pregnant and they adored the infant/baby experience. Then reality hit: we have to buy a minivan…bigger house…more debt…have to keep up with the other families… It all became a misery loaded life and what suffered the most are the children. My husband and I are very caring nurturing people who have never held children as the center of our identities. We don’t hate children we simply don’t have any hardcore affection for them. We have a large authentic supportive network of friends that are our family. Understand that some people really really need to reproduce/parent/control and others do not. Live and let live. If you have children and are happy thats lovely but stop throwing your value system onto those of us who are also really really happy who do not have children. We aren’t catatonic with sorrow or loaded up on antidepressants pining for your life. To the contrary we are high functioning and able to contribute to society in more ways than over populating the world. Blessings.

  11. Read Mask of Motherhood and other good books that demystify the pink cloud as it is tough, hard, and often miserable and yes also great and without is just as great just different. I decided to go without and these kind of books helped me to realize it does not make you more happy or more complete. It is just a different life once you move beyond the stereotype of thinking how life should be. Me andy partner are incredibly happy with our ability to prioritize and make life choices that fit us the best. You may be surprised to find out that a childless/free lifes may suite you well, very well :-) I also went to lots of parties where parents were present, listening carefully to them. Try to look more objective and realistic. The thought that parenthood makes people more happy is one of the best kept illusions. Though of course for some who really have only one goal in life it may really be what they need to do. For many out there I don’t think it is. Have the guts and live your life as it comes and dare to choose :-) or accept. I never expected to feel si hood about it. It’s great to move beyond societal pressure and expectations and to take care of yourself and from there for others. Let’s do it, let’s be free :-)

  12. Thank you Jennifer.

    I really needed to hear that someone survived. When I signed up to this network, I was hoping to hear stories from people who had accepted that there would not be children. All the stories are from younger people who are still trying. Don’t get me wrong, I hope everything works out for them, however, I would appreciate hearing from people who are past the child bearing years and are child free, accepting it and are happy.

    Thank you again.

  13. After 7 years of trying to get pregnant- and at least 2 miscarriages that I am aware of- requiring hospitalization- fertility treatments, praying, etc.etc. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am not going to be a mother. It took a while to get to the point of acceptance that I am at now (or at least most days :) Giving up the dream of parenthood was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. However, now that I am on the other side I see that life can be beautiful, fulfilling and rewarding. It can be full of love and joy too!! It’s just different than what I thought it would be. Like Laurie- I too have finally accepted this is the thing in life- my thing- that’s difficult. We all have a cross to bear and this is mine- and that’s ok. Hang in there ladies- as one whose been through it- you can come out the other side stronger and happy.

  14. Dears,

    A quote I like to share with you all, from a friend who tried to boost me up of the fact that I can not have kids om my own.
    “God loves all the women, the one who have a child and the one who can not”.
    It is very hard to deal for yourself to be infertility and als the explaining to others. Other remarks like if you not have a child of your own your not a woman, grrrr… I hate it, but try always to be polite. It take years for me to cope with it, a lot of silent tears. Meditation exerices have helped me a lot. And take a son of my sister, as a 6 month baby, in house is a blessing to us. He is now 15 years old and in his teens, but I still enjoy having him around.
    So, mums-can-not-be I hope I cheer up you a little with sharing above quote with you.
    greetz
    Soem

  15. Carol,
    I know my parents were upset when I told them that my husband and I wouldn’t be having children. However, when I explained to them the cost of trying to do fertility and the cost of adoption, they understood a little more. We may still try to adopt down the road, however for now we would like to save up money and be sure we are in a good financial position before doing so.
    Some people are willing to pay the price at any cost to have a family of their own–it seems like your son and his wife have decided not to. Please be a parent and stand by them and help them through this. It was difficult for me at first and I just asked my Mother to stand by me as it was difficult enough to take it all in and she’s been there for me to lean on when I’m having a down time. As hard as it may be for you to not having grandchildren, know that it have to of been just as hard for your son and his wife to make their decision. It’s difficult at first, but I hope in time you will all be able to realize why they have made the decision they have.

  16. My son and his wife have decided not to have a family.(Or should I say, she has decided and he now thinks that is what he wants also). I am devastated, heart-broken and consumed with grief. Help please !!

    Carol

  17. Thank you. Finally someone who is actually happy without having to have a baby. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with wanting children, as I certainly did, however, I’m now 51 and my husband and I were not blessed with children and am growing tired and depressed of reading all the posts about how unhappy and depressed people are because they don’t have children.

    When I logged on to this site, it was for support, and not to be made more
    depressed.

  18. Cathy,
    Did your best friends daughter have her twins already? My husband and I are willing to adopt and I would never want to split twins up!
    Please let me know and we can get in touch! We would be willing to travel to Florida, we live in Wisconsin and around 30 yrs of age, and if she would like recommendations, we can get those as well!
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you in hopes you can find some comfort as well as your best friend and her daughter! My husband and I can’t naturally have children and the cost of IVF is outrageous.

  19. Dear Rony,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I agree that there is a reason for everything, even if we don’t know what that reason is. And life is so much easier and better if we can flow with what we’re given, instead of fighting it.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  20. Dear Cathy,

    I’m 41, too! Some days I am perfectly fine with the idea that I’ll never have a child, and other days I feel very sad about it.

    I always hoped I’d find a situation similar to yours: a friend’s daughter gets pregnant and gives us her child! But I never thought how painful it could be — what bad luck that it turned out to be twins. I don’t think I could raise twins either, and I’m married! My mom is a twin, and it’s a handful in a lot of ways. One of my friends has twin two year old girls, and I can’t believe how much work it is.

    I think some of us simply weren’t meant to have children. Some of us get cancer, some of us are born with disabilities or chronic illnesses, some of us have congenital diseases…we all have something.

    Five months ago, we got a dog. While I don’t believe our dog could ever be a “child” to us – and I refuse to refer to myself as “mommy” to my dog!! – I do find that it helps fill the hole left by a childless life. We took our dog on a road trip, we talk about our dogs potty habits and poop, we love watching her romp with other dogs at the dog park, we give her baths….it helps fulfill the need to take care of another living creature.

    Getting a dog isn’t the answer to a childless life and won’t erase your pain, but it can be a fun and joyful way to live. It’s also a great way to meet people!

    I haven’t completely given up hope of having a child yet. I’m 41, but I know women who had kids in their mid-40s. I think if I had to completely, totally accept that I’ll never have kids, I’d be sadder than I am…I like living with hope!

    And I trust God. I believe in a God who loves me and wants the best for me, and who is in control of my life. I don’t know why He hasn’t blessed me with children, but I don’t feel bitter or angry at Him. It is what is is, and I will make the best of my life no matter what it brings.

    I’m glad you have your nephews and nieces – and I’m especially glad you can see the good parts of your life!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  21. I’m having a really tough time accepting I will never have a child. I’m 41 and never married. Due to my age, I decided to try and have a baby with a friend and we would co-parent. I ended up having an ectopic pregnancy in April 2010. I had an ovary and tube removed at that time and the few times we tried after that never took.

    Then in April of 2011, my best friend’s 16 year old told me she was pregnant and asked me if I would adopt her baby. She moved in with me (she is from FL, I live in NC) and a month later, we found out she was pregnant with twins. I can’t afford twins on my own and refused to split them up, so she went home to her family in Florida.

    Now I’m dealing with my sister, who just turned 40 and has been married a year. She’s being induced with her first child tomorrow. I’m an emotional wreck! Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for my sister, just sad that it’s not me. I’m currently in therapy, but don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere with it.

    I must say though, I am thankful for my 6 nephews and 2 nieces (and the one that will arrive tomorrow) as they are the lights of my life. I couldn’t be closer or love any one of them more than I do.

  22. I decided about 3 years ago that motherhood was not something I truly wanted. The idea always gave me a sick feeling, all the responsibility and the thought of being pregnant… yikes! For some reason people like to make me feel as if I am less of a woman because I don’t want to be a mother. My freedom is priceless and nothing in this world makes me happier. I think sometimes women have children to keep men in their lives, in fact my cousin is having her first baby by a man with 2 children by two other women. She can’t afford this obligation yet she wants to have this baby bacause she loves the man. I feel so sad for those who can’t bear children, because there are so many people who should have never had children. I will say that it was not a role that I was meant to lead in life, however people who can’t have children should think of it as a sign that perhaps they were not meant to be parents. It’s only a blessing for those who can provide for the child, I feel like there is a reason for everything. Even if that reason is unknown in the present, the future will prove the reason for such events.

  23. I am a 22 year old. I am dealing with the fact that I will not have kids, Not for the fact I physically cant. I mentally cant I have severe bipolar and loose my cool very quickly and can become violent. I do not want to have a child and have that happen. So i have chosen not to have kids. I am having a very hard time accepting that Its only the fair thing to do for myself and any child I gave birth to.

  24. Dear Stacy,

    I’m so sorry to hear you can’t have kids…and that you’re having trouble accepting a childfree (childless!) life.

    I don’t think it’s something you accept and are done with it. Instead, I think accepting a childfree life is something you have to do every day – sometimes several times a day! I’ve accepted that we won’t have kids…and yet I still feel sad when I see babies, or when my friends with kids visit.

    It’s not just a one time thing, this living without children. It’s a daily act of acceptance.

    About fostering kids, I think you should listen to your husband and counselor! They know your personality, health, and lifestyle, and they have your best interests at heart. I don’t think they’d be against fostering for any reason, other than it’s not a good fit for you right now.

    We can’t afford to adopt, either. So, I write and blog and travel and do things I enjoy. I try not to focus on not having kids…I try to focus on the things I love about life! Spirituality is huge for me. I believe in Christ, and find a lot of peace, happiness, and joy in prayer and nature and church.

    I hope this helps…and welcome your thoughts.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  25. It will be two years in December since I had an emergency hysterectomy. I am 35 and was married three years ago. My husband and I talked about having lots of kids before the surgery. I have seen different counselors and yet still cannot accept the fact I will never be able to have children. As I am writing this I am crying and inside and out. I do not know what to do. My husband and I can’t afford adopting a child, we heard it’s thousands of dollars. I wanted to foster kids, but my husband and counselor said I shouldn’t. I need advice please.

    Thank you,

    Stacy Botar

  26. Thanks for your comment, M! I think many people have children for the wrong reasons. And, a nurse once told me that more than 50% of pregnancies are by accident. I couldn’t believe it.

    Though it’s hard to accept a childfree life, it’s definitely possible to be happy without a baby.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  27. Hi:

    Having a child just so that you will have a part of you is not a good reason to have one. I’ve always wanted children to love. Too many people want children just to make them feel that a piece of them will live on. If you have nephews/neices or siblings, a piece of you will live on. I’m crushed because I couldn’t have children, not because a piece of me will not live on. If someone wants a piece of them to live on, be kind so that people will remember you.

  28. Dear Pamela,

    My husband can’t have biological children – he has azoospermia (no sperm). He feels the same way your boyfriend does; disappointment and sadness that nobody will be part of him or carry his name after he’s gone.

    It is a very difficult thing to come to terms with. I suspect your boyfriend is mourning his loss – the loss of something that most of us grow up thinking we’d have. I know my husband grew up thinking he’d have SIX kids!

    How do you work this out? He needs to decide if a childfree life is something he can live with. He needs to settle it in his head and his heart once and for all: can he live without having kids?

    The thing is, the pain of not having kids never really goes away. It is ALWAYS there, even if you’re like me and you’re happy without a baby! I still feel sad sometimes that I never had kids.

    I think he needs to know that a part of him will always mourn his loss. He can be happy with you and love you with all his heart, but still have an underlying sadness that he never had kids. That’s normal. If he knows this now, he won’t be bitter towards you or second guess his decision to stay with you in a few years from now.

    How will he learn this? I don’t know.

    Would you like me to write an article about how the sadness is something people without kids learn to live with? Maybe you can send it to him, so he sees what it’s like. Maybe it’ll scare him off, maybe it’ll help him see that his feelings of loss and mourning are normal…and won’t completely disappear.

    Let me know. I can post the article link here when it’s written, and you can decide if he should read it.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  29. Dear Laurie, thank you so much for your reply. To be honest, we had discussed this and he had always said he didn’t want any children. Its only in the last few months that he has been like this. He says altho he knows we will have each other when we are older, he doesn’t have anything that is part of him, and I do, as I have a son. I am giving him space, tho it is so difficult not to talk to him every day, we haven’t spoken in over a week, and im missing him so much. What we had planned to do after the wedding was travel, and have some fun in our lives as we have worked so hard over the years. Im so confused and really not sure how we can work this out. It’s breaking my heart…

  30. Dear Pamela,

    I think the bottom line is: do you want to have a baby? You have to look deep into your heart, and find the answer that represents your honest feelings.

    There’s a big difference between having a baby to make your fiance happy, and having a baby because you really want to. If you have a baby to make him happy, you’ll be the one primarily responsible for the baby’s care (you know what it’s like!).

    The chances of a 43 year old woman getting pregnant are much lower than even a 40 year old woman – but it’s still possible. You could have in vitro fertilization; I think the odds are less than 20%, depending on which fertility clinic you talk to. But if you want it to happen and your body is willing, then it could happen.

    I think you should give him time to figure out what he wants. I suggest giving him space – give him a chance to miss you. Decide what you want to do about getting pregnant. Communicate that to him honestly, and tell him that it’ll break your heart if he decides that he really wants children — but that you have to remain true to you.

    I hope this helps a little…I’m sorry you and he aren’t on the same page. But, a child is definitely a make or break part of the deal. There’s no compromising with children….well, I guess you could compromise and have a baby, but as I said and as you know, it’s a huge sacrifice.

    Let me know what you think…I wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  31. Hi there, I could really do with some advice on my issues at the moment. I was married for ten year and am divorced for 11, I have one son who is 19. I met my current partner 3 years ago and he doesn’t have kids. Now its becoming an issue for him and he says he doent know how to get over it and has asked me for time to sort his head out. he works abroad, and we are due to get married the end of next year. I am at my wits end, as he says he doesn’t know what he wants, and I feel that at 43 i am too old…please any advice would be so much appreciated.

  32. Dear Haydee,

    I am so sorry for what you’ve been going through. Not being able to have children is hard enough, without people having negative thoughts about it.

    Do you wish your partner would end your relationship? What do you want – besides a baby? Maybe having low self-esteem makes things much more complicated.

    If you have a specific question, I’d be happy to try to answer it. All I can do right now is say my heart goes out to you, and I hope you’re able to resolve your feelings and reconnect with your partner.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  33. I’m am feeling a huge sense of loss and guilt. I had an abortion an 21. I came from a broken home and was determined not to have a gaggle of children just because … Like my paternal mother did. She is a very horrible lady who irrespective of what you achieve on life she thinks I am sh*t. I have had 6 rounds of clomid , 3 rounds of IUI and 1 ivf. All failed and deep down I know it will never work. I don’t know why I just do and I look at my partner while he sleeps and think I’m being unfair. I should leave it MY problem not his. I’m 35 and he is 34. He could father and I deny him. He’s been really cold since the ivf failed and I can’t he but think he’s thin,ing deep down oh sh*t ! But I think his morals keep him from doing what I think he’d like to and that pass me over. It doesn’t help that he was a family friend before we got together. There’s a sense of responsibility on his part but I wish he’d end it. It’s my grief not his just let me slope off lick my wounds and get on with a lid without anyone. But I do love him, actually I adore him and I admire his arogance. I suffer with low self esteem although I know I am good person and I’m clever. I’ve a successful job I work in media and I’m top of my game. So why I feel hollow is beyond me. Ive spent 35 yeRs wanting to be looked after and loved and been a child who would do this is denied. I hate my mom because of this. She was sh*t at it and id do a much better job but she could have kid and I can’t because she was so shit. It’s made my life seem so hopeless. What’s it a
    L for now?

  34. Dear Tina,

    Thanks for your comment, and for sharing this. My heart goes out to you — I, too, chose not to have fertility treatments. Being happy without a baby isn’t easy, but it is possible.

    I wrote this article for you:

    Childlessness and Happiness – Why I’m OK With Being Childless

    I hope it helps, and that you include me on your journey towards acceptance and finding God’s purpose for your life.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  35. Hi,
    I am needing to find my happiness. I love my husband with my whole heart. We recently found out that we can’t have kids and have decided against fertility treatments. It hurts, but I am trying to learn to accept this. I just cry and cry every time I think of it. I don’t want to see a counselor but it may come to that. I just don’t know where to begin to accept it. I wanted kids because growing up, I always dreamed of having them; being able to watch them grow and going to sport/school events. I need to remember that God does things for a reason. Maybe we aren’t meant to have kids; what if we did and they had medical problems, then it wouldn’t be like I dreamed it would either. I’m trying to see the positives in a childfree life, yet I break down when I do. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time around family/friends who do have kids and I wish I could experience what they talk about. I know we always find a way through life, I want to be that happy, loving, cheerful wife I was before we found out our problem. I’m thinking I need to go pick up a book—but where do I start.

  36. Dear Judy. I applaud your strength in choosing rather than letting life happen to you. Society often attempts to impose itself on what should be a personal decision. I am also childless, but by marriage not by choice. It is a greatly different experience. I feel strongly that having or not having children should be a conscious choice. Oddly, I know many people who just drifted into parenthood by happenstance. I am not sure why this gives them the moral high ground and yet… In any case, I wanted to share that my older sister also chose not to have children. At 53, she and her husband are still very happy with their decision.

  37. I strongly oppose the idea of thinking that childlessness and infertilty are anything tragic. As a matrophobe who do not want to become a mother myself, I believe that infertility is a blessing. It is the misconception of procreation as a “must” which causes us, people who don’t ever want to have children, to get shunned by the convention of society. I am 32 years old. I went to a obestrician requesting a tubal ligation. That doctor hestiated to give me one because I look younger than my age and have no children at all!!!! Being child-centric is just like being ethnocentric or homophobic. It is denying that people like me, who is fertile but never wants to children, ever exist!!!! Having children is not for everybody. And if anyone is not able to have children at all without needing a tubal ligation or a vasectomy, God bless!!!!

  38. Hi again Jen,

    Your comment gave me so much to think about, I had to write an article about it. Here’s the link; if you have any further comments or questions, I’d love to hear from you.

    Living Without Children in a World of Families

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  39. Thanks for your thoughts, Jen! I really appreciate the feedback.

    Maybe this blog needs to go in one direction or the other: how to get pregnant, or how to accept a childfree life. Maybe I’m trying to cover too many bases by including both types of lifestyles.

    Though, I’m trying to get pregnant AND I’m accepting childfree life at the same time. Does it have to be one or the other?

    Like I said, thanks for the food for thought!

    Laurie

  40. Perhaps your advice might be better received if it were not accompanied by…21 ads for fertility help.

  41. Dear Madonna,

    Thank you for sharing your story here. It’s great to hear from you. I’m on the other end of Canada — Bowen Island, BC — and I love hearing from fellow Canadians!

    Infertility is so sad, isn’t it? I’m almost 40, and we don’t know if we’ll have kids. My hubby has azoospermia, and I’m not big on trying in vitro fertilization. We’ve tried intrauterine insemination, but it didn’t take after 6 months. I think we’ll try for another 6 months…

    But to get to your question! I hope other women who can’t have kids are able to open up and connect with you here. I know hundreds of women are reading these articles every day, but not everyone comments.

    My heart goes out to you. I think that the pain of a childless life never goes away. Just like the pain of losing a child, of losing a spouse — there are so many life tragedies that we never fully recover from.

    I just wrote How to Live With the Fact That You’ll Never Have Children with you in mind. I hope you read it, and I hope it helps a little!

    And, I wonder if you should take a break from your friends who are so into their children and grandchildren? The more time I spend with families and moms, the more I wish I had kids. But when I spend time with my friends who don’t have (or want) kids, or who have kids but don’t consider them the absolute be-all and end-all of life, I feel better about my own situation! I love those parents, who love their kids but who have very active lives, careers, hobbies, etc aside from their children.

    Everyone has different pain in their life. A friend of mine recently lost her 18 year old son in a drunk driving accident (he was the passenger; his friend the drunk driver survived). SO much pain there: my friend, the boy who was driving under the influence and who feels he killed his best friend, his mom, their friends….

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is that we’re coping with inferitility, and it’s awful. But, everyone is coping with something. You know what I mean? Everyone you meet is facing a hard battle — whether they have kids or not.

    To choose to be happy in the face of whatever pain we’re dealing with is the true meaning of life, of success, and of happiness. Choosing to be happy is painful and difficult, and it’s something we have to do throughout every day! It’s not one choice that lasts forever, it’s a choice that we have to make every hour.

    Anyway, I just want you to know you’re not alone.

    Have you considered mentoring other women who are coping with infertility? Is there a support group or something in your area? Connecting with others in our situation — like you’re trying to do here — can be very helpful.

    I wish you all the best, and welcome you back anytime! Please do keep in touch.

    If you have any comments or disagree with anything I’ve said, I welcome that too. I’ve got a tough skin! :-)

    Take care,
    Laurie

  42. I’m 49 years old, have been married for 18 years to a wonderful husband and do not have any children. We desperately wanted children but were unsuccessful. I experienced two miscarriages. My first miscarriage was at 6 weeks and I was 32 years old. My pregnancy was natural. We continuously tried to get pregnant without any success and at the age of 36 I decided to try IVF. This procedure was not available in the province of Newfoundland, Canada at that time and my husband and I travelled to Toronto, Ontario to TCART for the procedure. I was successful in getting pregnant, however, at 3.5 months, I miscarried. My miscarriage was caused by a uterine infection which entered into my bloodstream killing my baby wherein I ended up with septicemia and nearly died myself.

    I am very fortunate and blessed that I survived, however, 12 years have passed and I still feel the pain of not having any children. Throughout the years, I have been asked many, many times why I don’t have children and who will take care of me when I get old. I also get very tired of hearing the phrase, “I would die without my children” or “my children are my life”, etc etc. One thing that I have learned is that some Mothers can be very cruel, especially when they say, “I can’t wait to be a grandmother,” and those that are, all they say is that “my grandchildren are my life”. I could say so much in return, however, I refrain, only to break into tears when I get home.
    I would really like to connect with individuals who are in my situation or some advice on how to live my life without feeling sad most of the time.

    Thank you!

  43. Yes, you should definitely see the doctor! The sooner you get any disease dealt with, the better.

    As far as not having kids if you have Crohn’s disease — don’t resign yourself to infertility or accepting a childfree life yet! Crohn’s doesn’t usually affect your ability to get pregnant (though it can complicate things, depending on how bad it is).

    Go see your doctor, start a treatment program, and be positive about your future family!

    All best,
    Laurie

  44. I’m very afraid about how Crohn’s disease will affect my ability to get pregnant. I have some abdominal pain, often in the lower right area, and diarrhea. Should I go to see the doctor? Please help.

  45. Thanks for this tip, Kelly!

    Pamela – the author of Silent Sorority – actually wrote “5 Steps to Coping With Infertility” on Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility a couple months ago.

    Fabulous information — here’s the link:

    One thing I’ve learned: when you’re coping with infertility, some days are definitely better than others!

    Laurie

  46. An infertility blogger wrote a book called Silent Sorority that you might want to consider for a book review. She and her husband are childfree, not by choice. Visit her website to learn more .

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