My friends don’t usually make me sad….

Today started the way most of my Saturdays do.  I slept until I was ready to get up.   I got up, let the dogs out, made some coffee and spent a little time on the computer.    I took a long shower, something I don’t always do because I’m a bit of a tree-hugger and I feel guilty taking long showers when Florida is in a perpetual state of drought.   I actually used two or three of the 497 hair care products in my bathroom and tried to do something with my mess of hair.

Eventually I had to leave the peaceful solitude of my house and go to Jacob’s first birthday party.

It was great to see so many friends and their kids.   I have a group of friends with some pretty awesome kids and it is almost always a joy to spend time with them.

Maybe it was the gloomy weather or maybe it’s the fact that some days I can barely hear anything over the sound of my biological clock ticking, but I came home and fell head first into a sea of melancholy.

I don’t have kids.  At this point, it doesn’t look like I’m ever going to have kids.  Most days this is ok with me.

I’ve never had any overwhelming urge to be a mother.  When I was in high school I almost fainted while watching the childbirth film.  I can remember it to this day- who has a baby on a butcher block table in a basement?!  I remember putting my head down on my desk and the teacher having to walk me outside.

It was my very own version of Scared Straight.

I spent all of my 20s having a good time.   Babies weren’t on my agenda.

I got married but that didn’t last long.  The time never seemed right to start having babies and besides, I didn’t feel any pressing need.

I never came down firmly on one side of the fence or the other.  Time and circumstance just got away from me.

I don’t think I yearn for a baby so much as I regret the absence of my child.

I’ve had the opportunity to be a parent.   I’ve made choices.  I’m not a mother.

And most days that is ok with me.

I wake up when I want to wake up.  I fly off to England for two weeks to road trip and spend time with close friends.  I go island hopping on my jet ski without having to tow a raft full of toys behind me.  I clean my  house and it stays that way for days.   I read books and watch tv and snuggle with my dogs.  Some days I don’t even turn on the tv or the stereo.  Sometimes it’s just me and the animals and none of us are talking.

I live in peaceful solitude unless I choose to make noise.   My life is mine, my time is mostly mine.  I do things I want to do and I do them on my terms, not the terms of a four-year-old terrorist.

And most days that’s how I like my life to be.  Neat, quiet, spontaneously fun.

But every now and then, on a day like today, my friends make me sad and I feel a twinge and my womb aches and I think about my future.  I worry that I will grow old and end up alone, with no children to watch over me and make me feel like what I did mattered.

And all the peace and quiet in the world can’t quite make that feeling go away.

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7 thoughts on “My friends don’t usually make me sad….

  1. Finding myself unexpectedly pregnant at 38 I am thinking a lot about these things. I have always been a little baby crazy so I’m excited but I know this means that my life is going to dramatically change and I can see the benefits of childlessness very clearly right now.

  2. Here are my thoughts. Yes all your friends have kids. But how many of them really are parents? In today’s world most often both parents work and the children are raised by daycare or nannies. As an educator too often I am faced with these kids that were raised in this environment. They have been given everything their hearts desire as a way for the parents to make up for their lack of being a family. Unfortunately many kids grow up feeling entitled and do not have the skills to make their way in the world. I am married and chlldless. Growing up in an negligent home I decided early on not to have children in order to break the cycle. But then I found out I could not have children! Having the choice taken away from me did not make it easier. I too thought about my old age. And grandkids. But then I realized that I wanted a career and freedom to travel and do the things we love. Selfish? No ! I think it is selfish to try to do both. Some parents admittedly have managed to do both. And have been able to instill in their children the values and morals that will help them become enabled adults. So you have to ask yourself the big questions. Do I want kids for love or because all my friends have them ? Am I willing to sacrifice my own goals in order to raise them properly? I have found much joy in my nieces and nephews. And in the children of my friends. I know these kids will be a part of my my life to the end because I have been involved in their lives. So if you can answer yes to the big questions then go for it! If not that is okay too! You are not selfish, just realistic. I hope that you can look deep within yourself to answer your own question. Do I sometimes wish I could have had children. Yes I do . But at the end of the day I realize that maybe a higher power made the correct decision for me.

  3. I can relate. It’s a feeling we all have when we get to a certain age and start thinking about our “legacy.” I, too, thought about having kids at one point, but my partner at the time convinced me otherwise, by reminding me how ill-suited I would be as a parent. He was right, but I still think about “what if.” Ultimately, though, all that matters is that we lead a good life, do good work, and behave like role models with our friends, and their children, because you CAN make an impact, and leave a legacy, whether it is with a biological family or a “chosen family.”

  4. I found your page bc your letter to Jean was shared on facebook. I felt compelled to comment because I can completely relate. It was hard enough going through all of my friends getting married while I stayed miserably single, but now they are all on the baby/toddler train and I remain single and childless. I try to deal, but sometimes it just becomes too much to bear and I break down. I feel sad for the life I always thought I would have, that I am depriving my parents of the blessing of becoming grandparents, that I may never know what it feels like to hold that warm baby in my arms and feel like my life is complete… It hurts your heart. And you’re allowed to hurt about it, whether it was your choice or not. Know that you are a better parent to your fur-babies than many are to their human children. And I know that just by reading two of your entries.

  5. Thanks, everyone. Such an important subject to so many people. Kim, I have no doubt you will be an amazing mama to your new little one 🙂 As I said before, most days I’m ok. I just came back from dogsledding in Minnesota. I lead a pretty great life! I think I’m at a time in my life when I know the choice will soon be taken away from me by Mother Nature. I always get a little iffy when my options are taken away from me. My heart goes out to each and every one of you who wanted to be a parent but it didn’t work out that way. I’ve never had the overwhelming desire to be a mom, so for me it’s not as much of a constant ache. Love to all.

  6. I don’t worry about not having kids any more. I’m 53. I had a hysterectomy at 40 because my lady bits didn’t function anyway, and I never could’ve had anything more than one miscarriage after another. Do I get sad sometimes – sure? But, I’ve managed to carve out a pretty good existence. Now..if I could only find a man…LOL!

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