Infertile Phoenix wrote a great post
the other day, about doing an activity purely for the joy of doing the
activity. She wasn’t affected by the perhaps bittersweet thought that she was
only doing it because she didn’t have children. She was just taking pleasure in
what she was doing.
I really loved that sense of peace,
and mindfulness, that she found. I love that she found that she didn’t need to
relate it to whether she had children or not. Sure, I’ve written my share of
posts about what I can do because we don’t have children. As time passes, that
it becomes easier to do this. And it got me thinking about the stages of this process.
At first, it was bittersweet, bringing sadness. I’d find I might
think along these lines – “Yes, I can do this, but I’d rather have the children
and be doing things with them.”
Then it became "I wouldn't get to do this if I had children" that was tinged with guilt. "How can I enjoy my new life without children?" I'd ask myself guiltily, not realising that it was a healing process, and that joy in the future didn't mean I deserved the loss that had brought me here.
Finally, it became “yippee, look at all the
fabulous things I’m doing because I don’t have children.”
So for some years, I realise that I have related a lot of my life to the fact I didn’t have children – disadvantages and
losses, as well as the freedoms and positives of not having them.
Now though, it’s not an either/or.
Whilst I can relate some issues of my life to my No Kidding childless state, both
positive and negative, I cannot and do not relate all of it to that. I think it
becomes easier to do as we age. Many of my friends are now almost as free as I
am – their children have left home, and are independent or becoming
independent. They can make the same choices I can. So the No Kidding filter has become less necessary, less relevant, to me.
Now, my life is my life. I don’t
have to see it all through that childless filter. I just see it as it is. And that is a
freedom in itself. From pain, from regret. The sting has gone. And it allows me to just be me. And “just
being me” is pretty darn good.