31 January, 2014

"People without children don't miss anything."

So I emailed in to the radio station after my previous post.  The host, to be fair, responded quickly to my email, qualifying his comment.  What he meant to say was that "people without children don't miss anything."  He removed the comment that our lives don't change.  I actually think that's worse.  Does he really believe that because people without children have never had children we don't miss anything?
  1. Those who have suffered loss mark the birthdays or due dates or EDDs of the children they lost, marking their lives that never were.  My first child, lost to ectopic pregnancy, would have been 11 by now.  My second pregnancy would have seen a 10 year old.  They would have played with their cousins this Christmas, the ones of a similar age.  
  2. Every Christmas, I decorate my tree on my own.  I buy a Christmas cake rather than make mine to give to the kids to decorate.  I gave away the knitted Christmas stockings I had bought in anticipation at a market in Thailand many years ago. Every Christmas, even if for just a minute or two, often when I put the special "ectopic" decorations on the tree, I miss my never-born children.
  3. Whenever there is a fireworks display, I feel silly going on our own.  
  4. I know I'll never go back to Disneyland.  I would, if I had children.
  5. I'll never teach a child how to bake, to knit or crochet or make their own clothes, how to high jump or long jump or play netball or tennis, or how to play the piano or flute, or to tap dance, or introduce them to the joys of lbooks and language and languages - Thai, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese - or show them the world.
  6. I wrote here about some things I'd never do.  Still, every time I bake a cake, I think about how much I enjoy baking, and how I would be baking more if I had children.  
  7. My husband and I are about to celebrate a major wedding anniversary.  We will celebrate it alone, rather than with children and grandchildren around us.
  8. It's harder to make friends, new friends, without children, a connection to school or to sports teams or dance classes etc.  And often we lose our friends when they have children. 
  9. We see our partners interact with other children, and wonder what they would have been like as parents.
  10. The house can be deathly quiet.  And some times of the day, or week, or year, we can almost hear the sounds of the children we never had.
I'm going to stop there.  (Because this blog isn't about indulging the "what-might-have-beens" and this post will require a follow-up).  

But could he read this, could anyone, and still say that because we didn't have children, we don't miss anything?  Seriously?


  1. My dear Mali. You have written so beautifuly. Every single line is so very true. Nothing to add, except a big hug for you.

  2. Maybe people won't miss anything related to parenting/children if they're childfree, but for people like us...that just goes to show how invisible our losses are.

    Agree with Klara that you wrote so beautifully and I applaud you for having emailed the radio station. :-) And HUGS to you too!

  3. These kinds of comments are so frustrating. I certainly think we miss things, and not just in relation to our lost babies. I'm still in my 20s and have a good chance of still having a child somehow, but I haven't had any luck yet and I find some little things make me really miss not having a child. Like when I see a pregnant woman buying baby stuff. Or a van with the little stick family stuck to the back showing off their perfect children. Or toys scattered in the yard. When I realize I don't have that and I may never have that, I miss it.

    Maybe he should have meant "People who never wanted children, don't miss anything" but even then, that's not fair. I have a girlfriend who has never wanted kids and is very content with her childless status, and every now and again she'll see something and say "sometimes I wonder if I've made a mistake".

    So I think his statement was out there no matter what context he meant it in. He's trying to throw a blanket statement over a group of people and we all know that never works!

  4. What a naive comment! What is this guy thinking? That if one is unable to conceive that they before frozen in time, doomed to forever live our youth again and again?

    You states beautifully what would certainly be missed when one is unable to conceive. Frankly, I think much can be learned if people took a moment to actually consider what life actually would be like for those living as a family of two instead of idolizing the supposed "fountain of youth" lifestyle.

    And for what it's worth, I'd totally go to a firework display and/or Disneyland with you.

  5. I wish fertiles would stfu and leave it alone.