Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Truth About Childless Women

In my daily perusal of the internet, I came across this gem from Huffington.

It's called "The Truth About Childless Women". It talks about how there are many reasons for women to be childless. Around 46% of women in the US under the age of 44 are childless. The author goes on to talk about the reasons - too young, wishing to remain childless, gay, biologically infertile, and what she calls circumstantial infertility.

Her article speaks mostly about circumstantial infertility. The idea that there are thousands of women out there who are childless, not by choice, but by circumstance. The circumstance in this case being that women are no longer settling for the first man who shows them interest, but are waiting for true love before starting to have children. The problem happens when in the past women were starting families in their early 20s but are now in their 40s and are childless. She goes on to talk about how the older you get the more those circumstances work against you to make it worse. How with each year that passes, it gets harder to find someone who is even willing to date you because you may not be able to have children - and the worst kick in the teeth at all, that you don't even know if you are able to have kids at all.

Given that I am married, it may seem odd that I would understand these feelings. I met my husband 5 years ago. I was 29 and given how my dating life had gone, I was sure that there was no way that I was going to find someone to spend my life with. People had asked me, possibly hundreds of times, why not do it alone? I didn't want to. I think that deep down I hoped that I would find someone and that I wouldn't have to do it alone. Well, I was lucky - I did find someone. When I say lucky, I mean it. I don't think that there is any reason why some people find someone and others don't. Seriously, I know a lot of people who are, let's say, less than stellar in personality and hygiene but still managed to find someone. Others I know are amazing individuals who are still single and I don't understand that. Anyway, I lucked out, I met my husband, but it wasn't the smoothest of relationships and we nearly split a couple of times.

We got married two years ago - I was 32 and I was desperate to start a family immediately. An infertility that was circumstantial prior to this point suddenly became biological. Two years of trying later and still I have no child. It's a slap in the face that I waited so long to find the right person and then have been unable to have a child anyway.

So, while I now face only biological infertility, I understand the pain of circumstantial infertility. I spent many nights alone and crying, wondering why I wasn't good enough... why I was destined to be alone and childless. I felt that I was a good person and it didn't make sense. Now, I spend nights hiding my tears from my husband, feeling like I will be childless and so will he and it's all my fault, although there seems to be nothing that I can do to change it according to the doctors. *sigh* While my current infertility is not circumstantial, I feel like my infertility started out that way and that it may have contributed to my current biological infertility.

The last few lines of the article really hit home for me...

I'm not childless, I'm childfull. I'm not a mother but I am maternal.

My infertility is circumstantial but my life is not barren. And to the women who are on the other side of hope, know that you are more powerful than your womb. You are maternal whether or not maternity ever comes. You are a woman and your love and how you choose to offer and receive it, is a gift.



That article almost made me cry. I relate to everything she says. I've been passed over for younger women and I have to wonder if it's because men think I'm too old to give them the children they want.

Thanks for sharing.

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