25 October, 2011

Would I still like myself?

If I had had children, I would have learned new things about myself.  But I’ve learned and changed so much as a result of my infertility, it makes me wonder how different I would have been as a mother?

For example, I find now that I’m much more accepting of failure, and my own flaws, but I better recognise my talents and skills too.  This has helped me understand others more deeply, and I find I’m kinder to myself too – beating myself up less for my failings.

A few years after learning I would be childless, I discovered an enormous feeling of contentment; a feeling I’d not experienced before, one that resulted in acceptance of my life.  I couldn’t change things, so I had no choice but to accept.  It was calming, and liberating at the same time.  I was happy. I was not searching for fulfilment through something else.  I found it within myself.

I’m not sure that I would have had the time and space to learn this if I had been running after a toddler.  I suspect I’d now be judging myself against different standards, and I suspect I’d be afraid of not measuring up.  I’m not afraid of not measuring up any more.  Is this a result of my infertility?  Or is it just a result of the years passing, of aging? 


  1. Finding fulfillment... that's what I strive for. I often wonder how I am going to feel if I never become a mother. I thank you for these posts, they show me that motherhood is not everything.

  2. I can relate to the feeling of beating myself less for my failings and accepting myself just the way I am, though for me it's also 'coz of survival mode after moving halfway across the world from Indo to Finland and having to start my life all over from zero in terms of learning the language, finding a job, etc.

    I guess in a way IF has also taught me that it's OK "not to follow the norm" and that society shouldn't define what we should have (or not have).

  3. Amel, nicely said.

    Pearl, thank you. This is one of the reasons why I started this blog.

  4. It's probably the result of both. And I love the third paragraph.

  5. It's funny, I often wonder sort of similar things. At the moment, I wonder if I was fertile and actually been able to conceive, would I be the kind of person who bleated on about it all over FB. Horribly, I suspect I would. That said, I didn't bang on about my wedding (as some do), so maybe not. I defintely wouldn't now.

    I think such experiences make us more sensitive to others.

    I am happy to read that you are contented. I enjoy reading your blog, if I ever feel in dispair your blog reminds me that there is more to life than children.

  6. I think huge life upheavals lead to the most amount of growth. These events typically in the moment are a bad event - like infertility. But, I swear during all the bad periods of my life, I have learned more about myself and grown more than during those happy "perfect" times.

    I think at each large juncture in life, when we choose or are driven in one direction, we change depending on the path we took. Different parts of us are emphasized. We learn different things about ourselves.

    I am happy to hear you have found contentment, as I think that is really the ultimate goal of life.