22 September, 2020

Moving Forwards

I wanted to write a lot more about World Childless Week than I have been able to, due to some other events around me (FIL faded rapidly and died last week).  

The final topic of the week was Moving Forwards. I feel as if that is the topic of this entire blog – showing that it is possible to move forward, to embrace our lives, find new things we love, or find that what we have is enough. There’s no need for a big change if that’s not your style. But if it is, then embracing your No Kidding life might give you the opportunity to do so. We all know that life and obligations (yes, the childless still have obligations!) can get in the way of our ambitions. But finding what is right for us, and learning to enjoy it, is the key to happiness. That’s true for everyone. To live your life, and know that it is enough. You are enough. We are enough.

When I lost my first two pregnancies I was in the process of moving from a career that had been first in government and then a large company. Being self-employed was a dream. I set up a business, which ran for a while then was sadly neglected. Ectopic pregnancies and infertility and other opportunities got in the way. My business was to develop travel itineraries for people who want to travel, but are too busy to plan their travel. I got some clients, and did some free jobs for others, but in the midst of infertility treatments and ectopic pregnancies, found it harder to have confidence in myself, and when other opportunities came along, they took precedence. I still have the business, but it hasn’t been active for years, although I have talked about reviving it – but COVID is really the last straw!

Contract work in my former field of international consulting with developing countries and developing agencies took more of my time. I also gained a couple of directorships in this field, and – right at the time I was feeling most vulnerable around pregnancy loss and infertility – I took on a leadership role on a Board of Directors. I didn’t feel confident at all, but was encouraged by friends into the role. I’m glad I took it. And as I had healed, I changed from being a user of an Ectopic Pregnancy charity website in the UK, to being a moderator/advisor/mentor. As the years went on, I came to love and appreciate this mix of activities and interests, and for one of the first times in my life became familiar with a feeling of contentment!

It wasn’t my ideal plan B. If you can find an ideal plan B and pursue it, then you’re lucky! My life-long dream to again live and work overseas, and the opportunities to do so, could not be pursued because we felt obligated to remain in this city caring for my aged in-laws. Then job redundancy, ageism in the workplace, health issues, parental health issues and deaths and further deterioration all kept us here too. But we adapted. We travelled when we could, and how we could – a highlight was a three-month period (as part of a longer trip) in Italy when my in-laws were still capable of looking after themselves day-to-day, and we took shorter trips when a brother or a cousin and others could step in and help out if necessary. The stereotype of the childless couple that lives a free and easy life travelling the world isn’t actually that common. Because … life steps in. It doesn’t mean that we are not moving forwards. We are. Because we are designing the life we want, as much as we can do so. And to me, that is what moving forwards means.

So we take pleasure in the little things in life. I took up photography, and we appreciated the little things in life – walks around the harbour or through our native bush, short holidays, drinks and dinner with friends, blogging and writing, gardens, golf, etc etc. It has been especially helpful in the times of COVID, when travel isn’t an option anyway. We’ve learnt to adapt, and continue on with our lives, embracing what we have. I see my fellow No Kidding friends doing the same, all over the world, and I am so incredibly proud of all of us. Living our lives, with awareness and gratitude. That’s the very definition of Moving Forwards.



  1. Mali, I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your FIL.

  2. Abiding with you, your husband, and all who love your FIL.

    I love hearing your story arc, how you were THERE and now you are HERE. How you have become a mentor to others who are now THERE but will aim for HERE. You help remind people that there are so many ways to move forward.

  3. I'm sorry to read of your loss. Thinking of you and your husband. <3

  4. I am so sorry for the loss of your FIL.
    Sending gentle hugs from afar to you both

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  6. Dear Mali, we are sending our sincere condolences to your husband and you.

    I just love your sentence: "We’ve learnt to adapt, and continue on with our lives, embracing what we have."

    PS: I am so glad that you spent so much time in Italy, so you had opportunity to drive to Slovenia so we could meet. I am so proud - not many of readers of this blog know you in person. So I feel privileged!

    sending lots of love,


  7. I'm so sorry for the loss of your FIL, Mali. I love this post, and the the phrase "Moving Forwards." So much more accurate (and helpful) than "moving on" or "getting over it." I loved this: "we are designing the life we want, as much as we can do so. And to me, that is what moving forwards means." It may look different due to many circumstances, but being the architect of our new lives is such an empowering, freeing thing.