From an early age I had it all figured out. Have sex at the age of 18 and start a family- husband, two kids and a dog- at the age of 28.
Before I knew it I turned 38. Being allergic to dogs and my biological clock ticking overtime. Unfortunately, even though I had a relationship at the time, after a long journey I stayed childless-not-by-choice. I have grieved my childlessness. What first was an open wound in my heart is now an inflamed scar.
What helps me grieving is to see that the grass isn’t always greener at the other side off the fence. Right now I even think life without kids isn’t so bad after all. Kids have a way of zapping all the meaning out of life. You have to clean up after them all the time, you can’t be spontaneous anymore because you have to plan everything ahead, your body changes, they suck your energy, you go broke, your friendships may suffer, kids do stupid things, you worry all the time … Me writing this does not mean that I never really wanted to have children in the first place. Don’t even dare to think that. Believe me never being called ‘mommy’ or having to answer the question ‘do you have children?’ every-time you meet someone new is a heavy cross to bear.
Realizing that there is a downside to having children is part of my grieving process. Like for a while I focused on parents with disabled children, blessing myself not to have a disabled child.
Filling my time has never been a problem. Finding people to spend time with in the weekends, even tough I have a big network of friends, can be difficult. Let’s face it, parenting takes a lot of time; time experts say that it takes eight hours a day to raise two children to the age of 18.
Right now my biggest challenge is to acquire myself a new place in society and amongst my peers, who do have children, in order to fill the void in a life without children. -Bregje-