When I was interviewed for the article that was published last week, the reporter and I had a conversation about labels, and I shared my view that I dislike both the childLESS and childFREE arguments, as I wrote here. Six years on, the No Kidding community adds the qualifiers “by choice” or “not by choice” much more frequently. So I got thinking about it again, concluding that - if I had to give myself a label - I am now childfree not by choice.
What I realised, though, and was even surprised by, was something much bigger, and that was how the use of this description now feels academic to me in 2017. I completely understand why others might want to use these terms, and I have done so when it felt right too, but now, when I have spent more time alive knowing without doubt that I would never have children than I did planning or hoping or grieving, the state of being without children is now my norm, regardless of how I got here.
Many years on now from my losses, the idea of choice (or not) no longer (or very rarely) enters in to how I feel about my life. I am a woman without children, and sometimes that's good and sometimes that's not so good, but most times it is irrelevant whether I chose to live this way or not; it is simply my reality, my life. I am pleased to say that the passing of time has therefore delivered a freedom from that pain that I could never have imagined back in those early days and years.