The world of No Kidding bloggers and readers is varied, as it should be. We are united by the fact that, however it happened, we had once wanted to be parents, but now we are not and never will be. We all have different journeys, and we are all at different stages of these journeys. All of these phases are valid and necessary to give a full picture of the reality of living life without children. Some of us are childless, some are childfree, some don't care for either label! Just look at my blogroll (which needs updating).
There are those of us who are many years into our No Kidding lives. We’ve been through that raw pain, the denial that we will ever feel better, that this will ever be okay. Some of us have blogged this stage of our lives, and some of us have come to blogging later, after we’ve dealt with the majority of emotions either privately, or through other avenues.
We have come to an acceptance of our lives that enables us to be happy. This is what we focus on, because we want others who are coming behind us to have hope that their lives will be happy. We don’t ignore the pain and hardship of those first years, and of the residual pain, the ouch moments or unexpected sadness that might still linger. That would be dishonest. We recognise what we’ve been through, acknowledge how hard it is, and talk about what helped us. I particularly like to talk about what helped me heal. I think I would have found it useful.
But we don’t focus on the pain and grief, because to do so would be to deny the healing that occurs, the way life and pain and grief changes, as we change in ourselves. To only talk about the negative aspects of having no children would also be dishonest, and goes against everything this blog stands for. Because the reality for most of us is that life is happy, content, satisfying.
At the other end of the spectrum are the bloggers and readers who are still fighting the idea of acceptance, still going through the pain of adjustment. That’s only right, too. Their journey is just beginning, and it is painful and hard and lonely, even when there are others going through it too. I know that. I remember not wanting to hear that I would heal, that one day I would be okay, because I didn’t feel that my situation was okay. Accepting that felt to me as if it was a dismissal, a denial even, of my struggles and pain at the time. But it isn't. It felt like a heresy. But it isn't. This is a difficult stage to be blogging, one filled with ups and downs, with doubts and fears, and with the occasional recognition of progress. But I hope that those who blog this feel comfort in the connections, and that they feel heard.
Then there are the bloggers who make me smile. They‘re the ones who are adapting and changing, who are observing their progress, and note that they are healing, whilst still recognising the difficulties and hurt. They are learning to let go of the pain when they can, and embrace the future. We celebrate their advances, and provide hugs when it still hurts. These bloggers are the real-time evidence of what we old-timers declare is true. That life can and will be good. That happiness is possible, and eventually, becomes natural and – mostly - effortless. Easier.*
The key is that we are all trying to tell our truths. We are all trying to either find others who feel the same way, to find connections and understandings, to see what might be ahead of us, and – when we are ready and able - to give hope to those who are facing their own No Kidding lives. In my case, the message is here, when you are ready to hear it.
*I’m going to blog further on this next week..