13 May, 2019

Removing the No Kidding childless filter

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. 


  1. Beautiful! I love the framing of stages of living life childfree, and the freedom that unfurls with each one. It is interesting to think on stages of life, too, and how things even out a bit as people (sometimes) lose their kid-centric focus and children move out and become adults. Although social media makes it possible for some adults to always hang on to that child centric living even as their kids are out of college and living their lives, which makes it seem like the children were at the core of their identity and they didn't form their own interests. I guess that's a freedom too of being childfree, is that your identity isn't so tightly wound to someone else's, and when they move on into their own lives, you're left wondering what you enjoy doing.

  2. This is good! My husband and i are going to a concert 6 hours away next week and we are staying for the whole weekend. At times I get so happy that we're going and then i feels sad/guilty because the only reason we are able to go on a whim is because we don't have children. I am at the first two stages but i know we will have a blast!

    1. Have a fabulous time. There's no reason to feel guilty, though we all do at some stage. You deserve to enjoy it even more, because of your situation.

  3. This all sounds very familiar! I still find myself revisiting the earlier stages once in a while, but I've mostly managed to move on to the later stages. I agree, it gets easier as you age. So many of our friends & family members are still working & raising children, so it's sometimes still a bit lonely, but we're slowly starting to get more company! ;)