19 July, 2021

Appreciating our childless community

I’ve been thinking about community a lot recently, and I have either one huge post or a series brewing. But not today – I had intended writing the first in a series, but woke with a headache and ended up sleeping much of the afternoon. So this will be brief, and I apologise.

Groups in the infertility or No Kidding communities are popping up all over the place. When I first went through pregnancy losses and began navigating my life without children in the early 2000s, there were no bloggers in this area that I was aware. Pamela, often credited as the first such blogger, came later. For support, I relied on messageboards at the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust website. Loribeth, I know, also got support from messageboards. It was wonderful for me, but in the end didn’t meet my needs, as it was focused on the losses, their recovery, and those who were getting pregnant again, not those of us who had had to walk away. So whilst I recovered from loss in the embrace of an online community, I learnt to be childless largely on my own.

These days, support is found more easily. For those of us who have no children, there is a wide community of bloggers covering different niches (choice, circumstance, in different languages, etc), new books coming out all the time, podcasts proliferating, support groups on Fbk and Instagram, and probably many more sites. Support is available at our finger tips, and we are all more accustomed to establishing relationships through our phones or laptops. If we look, we can find it, and hopefully find a spot where we felt heard, understood, and can move together into the future. And that is wonderful.

Which brings me to World Childless Week. It’s coming up again. I’m hoping to participate more actively this year. Check out the topics and activities here, and plan your own reading or writing as part of the week. Check out too the World Childless Week Ambassadors. We have so many wonderful people in our community, and Steph at WCW does a great job of recognising them, and thanking them for what they do. She’s also calling for nominations for a People’s Champion, and you can do this here. I particularly like that it is not a popularity contest, but one which focuses on how they have helped, as noted here: 

The People’s Champion will NOT gain the title because they receive the most nominations, they will receive it because of what you make us feel when you nominate them. It could be a blogger, a group admin, a public figure, a life coach or an individual who wrote 5 lines that changed your day or your entire thought process. All we ask is that they too are childless not by choice.”

Loribeth has already done a great job publicising World Childless Week here on her blog. Rather than repeat it, I’m going to refer you to her post too. We have a great community available to us, where we can think, share our ideas, get inspiration, or simply know that we are understood. Along with our blogs and chat groups and podcasts and social media posts, World Childless Week is one place where we can all come together and do this. And that’s why it gets easy. Because we are not alone.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, I love this. It made me a little sad to read "I learnt to be childless largely on my own," but what you did learn, you turned around and passed to the rest of us who came after. I feel like there's still work to be done (it amazes me when people who aren't a part of the community assure me "It's not too late" and also question why I didn't choose some other option, like there's infinite resources not only financially but mentally and physically as well, ugh), but there's such good work happening! Love that you can nominate a People's Champion. I don't think I've really participated before in World Childless Week, I think it usually coincides with the first week of school which makes it tough, but I think this year I will prioritize it!

    Great post. Thanks for being one of the people who made it possible for me to envision my life post-parenting-quest as something decidedly not sad and tragic. :)