Java Talk: The Childless Woman



Today's Java Talk topic was suggested to me by several readers. I have given birth to two daughters. So I wouldn't know what it's like to be a woman who doesn't have children. 

But I know there is often a lot of emotional turmoil involved with childlessness.

I know there is often the usual question of: "Didn't you want children?" by none other than women who should know better.

I know that there is angst for many women at Mother's Day and other holidays. 

I know there are many issues that the rest of us don't give thought to. 

So today the platform is for a discussion on what it's like in this society for women who don't have children. 

Women who couldn't have children. Women who did not want to have children. Women who suffered one miscarriage after another. Women who have lost their children.

Today is for you.

Take it away...

82 comments

  1. I too have 3 beautiful children, but I miscarried before our 1st child was born. Then went on to bleed (ie in my head I was mis carrying again) through all 3 successfull pregnancies. The drive for me & many other women to carry our own child was incredibly strong, a deep need within myself to be a mother that came from nowhere. My heart goes out to those women who desperately want to have their own children and are struggling to do so at this time - I have a friend in that position. I have no sage advice to give, other than if you know someone who is struggling, be there, listen, listen, hug, cry and listen. Don't try to come up with positive solutions. I know that sometimes all you need is a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen without fear of being judged. Sammie x http://www.feastingisfun.com

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    1. I had a friend some years ago who had problems with her uterus. But her children were born near to term and she actually had to live with the babies dead inside her and go into labor. Which must be hell on earth. She finally had one boy.

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  2. I have on son - I call him my son even though I did not give birth to him. He is my husbands biological son and we raised him together from the age of 3. He is now almost 25.

    I knew from a very early age that I didn't want children. I always loved babies and kids but just did not have the desire to have any of my own and that did not change as I grew into adulthood.

    I do feel that my "stepson" is my child even though I did not give birth to him. He had a lot of trouble in is growing years and caused much trauma and chaos in our lives. I won't bore anyone with the details. I'll just say that he was emotionally unstable, he was violent towards myself and my husband as well as others, he was physically and verbally abusive. We even had to press charges against him for stealing a gun and threats to kill the both of us. We spent well over 13 years with him in and out of treatment and residential care.

    He eventually ended up spending four years in prison in Pennsylvania. He has since been out for four years now and although we've tried to maintain a relationship with him it's been very difficult. It often feels that he wants us in his life for nothing more than financial assistance which we've given in the past. And he's still verbally abusive to both of us. And I feel only verbally simply because he lives a great distance from us. Otherwise the physical abuse would still be there.

    My husband and I have had to make a difficult to remove him from our lives at this time. We hope and pray that one day he will make some changes to his own life and will want to have a relationship with his parents where he is able to give the proper respect and just treat us as human beings.
    I hate to say it but I am relieved that he lives in another state. If he lived near us I don't feel that either of us could handle it.

    I've said all of this because I have dealt with the questions of didn't you ever want children? Don't you regret not having children of your own? I even get the comments well he's really not your child. It's sad how society will treat women who do not have children of their own and/or women who choose to claim their step-children as their own. Where's the compassion?

    I also feel as a Mom that I've lost my child. I had such high hopes of a relationship with him and of him being able to turn his life around. That hasn't happened. Having to make the difficult decision to remove your child from your own life is so painful. And of course while dealing with your own grief and heartache you are also faced with the judgment from others for your decision.

    My heart goes out to all of the women who have lost children, women who have made their own decision to not have children and must deal with the judgment of others. And also to those women who have been unable to conceive their own children. It's a heavy burden to carry in any situation.

    Hugs and Blessings to All,
    Belinda

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    1. Belinda, I find it odd that people will judge women about this and not men. But of course women and mothers as well are always judged harshly. I'm sorry you've been through so much, and those high hopes were shattered. Just know that you did what you could, loved him as he'd allow it, and care for him from afar.

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  3. My eldest daughter does not have children. She and her husband were married for the first time ever, in their forties. Together they have several nephews and nieces. We always joke, in our family, it has taken a whole family to raise the children. This is true for us! T and S are an important part of their nieces and nephews lives.
    My other daughters each have two children. Xanti and Noah's mother had a miscarriage early on, then Xanti was born. When Xanti was 16 her baby brother was expected. Early in that pregnancy it was learned he would not have a great chance for survival. He lived 2 hours. We all still feel the loss of Elijah. A year later,Xanti and Elijah's brother Noah was born.
    My youngest daughter went through several years of trial and error with fertility issues. What a wonderful surprise when Gabi was born...and then 15 months later, with not help from fertility clinics Drew was born.
    Each of my girls are strong nurturing women. T has given our sweet kiddos love and nurturing but never had a child she carried. The other girls went through so much to have their sweet babies.
    As for me, having my three girls was not without issues. But nothing compared to what my daughters have endured.

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    1. Pat, I've known you for a long time. You are a strong and caring woman. I'm sure your daughters derived strength from your nurturing.

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  4. I do not have any children. It was not in the cards so to speak. I adore children and did want to have children. I was a pre-school teacher while I went to Jr. College. I wanted four children. I had their names chosen. My first marriage ended when I was 30 and my second started when I was 38 and he was 48 and had two pre-teens and he did not want any more. After helping raise his two girls, I never regretted not having any of my own. One child was hell on wheels and I was always referred to as HER. I look back and think, how the hell did I ever survive such turmoil? I hated being a step mother, I was a good one; I tried so hard, but it was thankless on many occasions. Especially Mother's Day. I loathed Mother's Day and often I would go away on a vacation with my cousins during the time. It is tough when your own husband rarely has your back and always chooses the daughter's words over your own. God, I do not miss any of that at all. Do I regret not having children? No, I don't. But I know that I have missed out on something. I find myself smiling when children are present. They are gifts from God.

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    1. Laura, your pet is your child. I have the same kind of loving feelings toward the pupsters as I did my children. Hope no one judges me for that. They are children that will never grow up, just old. Being a step mother is a thankless job. I kept my step daughter from my last marriage for several years, and he never had my back, as you say. So it was impossible to parent her.

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  5. I have one son. My daughter died shortly after birth (she was a preemie). I went on to have an ectopic pregnancy (which resulted in a ruptured fallopian tube) and two miscarriages. While my son was growing up, people were relentless with their comments. "When are you having another one?" "You don't want an only child, they're spoiled!" "He NEEDS a brother or sister!"
    I can tell you this, he is NOT spoiled and is the most wonderful person I've ever met. Women tell me all the time that they would love a son exactly like him, so I know it's not just me being a mom blinded by love. He bought a home right around the block from us and it's like a dream come true. I'm sad for my lost babies but I wouldn't trade my 'only' baby boy for anything!

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    1. Why are people so thoughtless? And judgmental? He needs his parents. And that is it. He sounds like a lovely young man.

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  6. I think being a mother has been waaaaaaaay overrated. I have wonderful children, wonderful grandchildren and I love them desperately. You have to enjoy the trip of raising them because the destination is not always what you imagined. They move away or/and they become involved in being good parents, they have their own friends, and you are eventually taking a backseat to them. Then you have to have your own life and enjoy it and not live for them. I have listened to so many parents complain about being ignored by their children. They feel that they have earned attention after being good parents themselves and giving up so much for them. However, it doesn't work that way. It's a cycle and has to be respected. They "pay if forward." So....if someone is having children for their old age, they better think again. The point is to enjoy raising them and watch them do the same with their children.

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    2. Thank you for your post. It touched me.

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    3. Great point, Ginny. I have often heard people say they finally decided to have a child so they'd have someone to care for them in their old age. Little do they know...

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    4. Wonderful comment Ginny. You are 100% right.

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  7. I got married when I was 46 so I didn't even think of having kids. Even before that I didn't want them. I grew up the oldest girl of 8 kids. Second oldest. I also babysat the neighborhood kids starting at 10 years of age. By the time I was 20 I felt that I had raised a lot of kids already. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my neices and nephews, but didn't feel the need to have my own. Didn't feel like I wouldn't be fulfilled if I didn't have any. Of course I was asked about not having kids. But after I explained about getting married so late the questions pretty much stopped.

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    1. When I was a teen having a child, I was too young and naive to think of the child. I just wanted a family. And that seemed the way to get one. And that is not a good enough reason.

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  8. I have no children and never wanted any, I had my life planned out at 20, and I felt that it would not be fair to children to have them, and want to do my own thing. How silly, really, to think at 20 that I knew it all...ha...life fixed that! I am glad I didn't have kids, also, because my husband would not have been a good father, in my opinion. He couldn't even take care of himself....depressed, etc....
    I never felt judged by anyone, and really don't care. I am sad now that I am older, and all alone...but, having children, is not a sure bet they will be there for you. I am sure I missed out, but also missed out on heartache too.
    My dogs have always been my family, and Miss Bella is my daughter now! They just don't live long enough!

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    1. I know. If only l they lived as long as people... I admire that you knew at that age what you wanted. Rare, but very wise.

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  9. I was never around children when I was growing up. So I was totally clueless at 26 when my first child was born. My mom, coworkers, and friends were a God-send. I did much better when my second child was born two years later. They are now 26 and 28. I love them with all my heart, and would lay down my life for them. But, if I had to do it over, I'm not sure I would.

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    1. If I had it to do over, I would either not have had a child in my teens, or I wouldn't have had children. I have enough problems that I have to worry that I handed down in my gene pool.

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  10. I have two children and I always wanted to be a Mother. One of my daughters has children and the other does not and does not want kids. I respect both of their choices. Women need to support one another always and not judge. There are many ways to be a parent also.

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    1. My youngest daughter didn't think she wanted children. But at 35, after being married for 12 years, they changed their mind. And that's why we have Andrew.

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  11. I am the mother to four children ages 16 to 25. Being a mom was the #1 job I wanted from the time I was a small child, so I know it was the right path for me. I grew up in a home of many, many brothers and sisters - my parents were serial parents. Marry, have kids, divorce, have more, and again and again...I was from group four of my mother and three from my father. It was great to be the baby around so many siblings, but as the years went on it was clear that our giant blended family did not function. Half siblings were always running away from home or being sent to grandma. And of course, my parents eventually divorced and re-married again. I think most of us grew up in spite of our parents! Having a stable home life with children who have the same two parents was so important to me. Hubby and I have been married 30 years and are almost empty nesters. My mother never thought we'd stay married this long. But then, I didn't really view her as an expert on staying married or raising kids. So I just went on and did what I knew I wanted and turns out, I was right.

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    1. I wonder if it should be so easy to get divorced. I know that is a bit conservative of me, and I'm not all that conservative. But thus results what you just wrote!

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  12. All my life I wanted to have a family. I was widowed at the age of twenty five, later I remarried and wanted to adopt. My husband agree for me to take fertility pills instead. Then when the timing was right, he left. After the divorce that I paid for, I remarried. Again my husband went with me to the interview to adopt and later agree to support my having surgery to remove a damaged tube and ovary. When the timing was right to ovulate, he would not cooperate. A wise gynecologist told me,as I cried again because I could not have children, that I could physically have children. I could not get pregnant. Since then it has been easier and I have delighted in the fact that every cell in my body is and will always be a woman. And I am happy.

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    1. Men sure get cold feet, don't they? If we women did that, we'd be considered selfish.

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    2. Beautiful words! "Since then it has been easier and I have delighted in the fact that every cell in my body is and will always be a woman. And I am happy." Why people think not having children affects our womanhood, I don't understand. Never married and childless at 52, I am comfortable with my choices though around 40 I decided that I would like to marry. I agree with those who say that sometimes it is a blessing not to passbon genetic predispositions to health issues. In my case, mild bipolar and ongoing treatment for depression. If I want to be a grandma, someone can adopt me. My volunteer work with the elderly has taught me that bio connections are not the only valuable ones in life.

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  13. I always wanted to be a mom and had my first daughter at 19. After her birth I was told I would probably never have more children. I was devastated at first, but after a few years I was grateful for one and realized we would be able to provide so much more for just one child. Then God played a joke on us and sent us 4 children in the next 5 years. I think I was just made to be a mom, all the neighborhood kids hung out here, I was the scout leader, the 4-H advisor and a Sunday School teacher for years after my own kids were too old to participate.

    Now my children are all married. My oldest suffered fertility issues for many years and it was so hurtful to her and her husband when people were always asking when she was starting a family. Why should she have to share her struggles with everyone? It is a horrible question to ask anyone. Luckily she and her husband have great careers and were able to spend over $25,000 for fertility help, eventually having to use IVF (you don't start with that). Long story, but eventually she was blessed with a son and boy/girl twins. There is no guarantee of a baby when you spend that money, she was just blessed.

    When we have our Mother's Day tea at church, I always advertise it as Daughters, Mothers and Others. Every woman is a mother or a daughter and all women should be honored. We have a table for "orphans", women without children, women without daughters and women who have lost their mothers. Just because you are a "single", you should always be included and I am sorry that doesn't happen for so many.

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    1. I love that! Daughters, Mothers and Others. I think that was a fantastic idea. You were not only meant to be a mother. You were meant to be a nurturer of people in general.

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    2. Yes, being an "orphan" should not mean being left out. Even if one is dissappointed about being childless, she can rejoice in the joy of those who ate not.

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  14. My husband and I both married for the first time at 36. We desperately wanted children and immediately started trying to conceive. After 2 years of trying we made the decision to go further with fertility testing and several surgical procedures. These were very trying times and, I hate to actually say this but, unless you've been there there really is no way of conveying the heartache, heartbreak and grief as you go through the stages of infertility. We looked into overseas adoption because several of our friends had adopted children from Russia and Yugoslavia, but when I mentioned it to my MIL she said to me that she would never be able to love a child that wasn't hers.That broke my heart. We decided that we couldn't afford to go any further with in vitro, etc. and stopped. By then we were 40. It was tough for a couple of years and I still cry every now and then when I'm by myself, but we have 12 nieces and nephews whose mothers pretty much birthed them and then handed them to me. What more can I ask for? They all love us unconditionally and we love them the same. God had something else in mind for us and we're okay with it.

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    1. It's probably just as it was meant to be. You can coddle the 12 nieces and nephews but the parents can take the blame (or the adulation) of how they turned out.

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  15. I never wanted children. I grew up the middle child in poverty so I know the reality of having kids from a early age. It never appealed to me on any level. I prefer my freedom and how joyous it is to be the pilot of your own life. I was lucky to marry a man who also had no need to have children. After we divorced at 25 years I continued to have had a beautiful life of happiness, fulfillment in so many ways, travel and experiences that I choose. I have always enjoyed being my own person and am never lonely. My Mom supported my decision as she wanted a better life for me then being stuck with kids. She never wanted grandchildren and thanked me often for giving her a daughter that was free to enjoy experiences with her instead of sticking her with taking care of kids. She was also a independent women and spoke often of how proud she was I made my own life my way. We had great fun traveling together and enjoying life. I love my life and would not change a thing at almost 60.. Now my friends and I are free of parental financial cost or responsibilities and free to do as we please. On holidays we have a fun group that does many fun activities. I feel that I never missed out on anything and lived as I choose which was paramount to my happiness in life. Its a great amazing choice for a women and I wish more women would embrace it and stop feeling pressured by society and family . It truly is a beautiful way to live and gives you such amazing opportunities. Never once have I regretted my decision.

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    1. Good for you! I so admire a woman who makes a decision and then moves forward without regret.

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    2. Thank you, Lexie for sharing your story. It made me realize how incredibly lucky I am! My only child is gay and doesn't want children. For 10 years I was terribly depressed that my husband and I would never be grandparents. Just thinking about it would bring me to tears. All my friends and family have their grandbabies and it was the saddest thing for me. But you know what? You're right! We have so much fun with our son traveling, hosting parties, bike riding and just hanging out. I'm embracing this carefree life with no regrets or sadness! Your mother is fantastic!!

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    3. Kellianne your sweet response brought me to tears. She was an amazing women and thank you for that. I am so glad to hear that you are embracing life now and feeling better. Wonderful ! The time you spend with him is precious and a great gift. He will remember it all his life. Lovely share thank you.

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  16. I have NEVER liked or wanted children. DH had a vasectomy 3 months after we got married; I ended up with a hysterectomy 4 years later. Absolutely NO regrets!

    My heart goes out to women/couples who desperately want kids but are having troubles ~ how heart-wrenching that must be!!

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    1. I probably shouldn't have had children. Not having parents myself, I had no idea how to parent. I felt like a fish out of water from the get-go.

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  17. I have already told my personal heartache about not having children. I have finally come to terms with it but it took me many years of tears and painful experiences to get to where I am today. The hardest thing for me was when an in-law told me that I deserved to lose my babies and was being punished for what I must have done in another life. The memory of those vicious words still stings.

    Susan and Bentley

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    1. Well, what a bitch! Bad karma had to have rained down on that individual.

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    2. I assumed the person was a woman. If not, then, what a bastard!

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    3. This might be mean of me to say -- but was it a person from the C of C? Some of the members of these fundamentalist churches have some really weird ideas. I know because I grew up with this s**t.

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    4. what a horrible person to say that to you. That must have been so hard. So sorry.

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    5. No ~ this person was not affiliated with any Christian church. She was in fact a New Ager and a psychotherapist. She was pompous and arrogant and liked to spread her vicious statements on as many as she could. She became the focus of a very contentious law suit that lasted for years and bled her estate dry after contracting Alzheimer's. She died penniless and alone. She believed that she was perfect and did not need to come back to live another lifetime, but she sure got a payback for how she treated others in her lifetime.

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  18. My sister never wanted children. She had her tubes "tied" and made her hubby get a vasectomy for double insurance. While she loves her nephews, she never wanted to be tied down. She and her husband travel a good bit and are both in the medical industry, working long hours. My brother and sister-in-law desperately wanted children and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars for in vitro. They now have 3 boys. My heart breaks for those women who desperately want them and are unable to have children. Just as it breaks for the children who are born to mothers who abuse them.

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    1. My mother "birthed" six children that I know of. Sold me. Ended up losing the rest. I have set eyes on her three times in my life. She would be 80 and I have no idea if she's dead or alive. Just because you give birth does not a mother make you.

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  19. Like one of the ladies above, I adore children, especially babies and wee toddlers, but never had the slightest interest in having my own. And like another lady above, I also come from a huge family, and baby-sat a lot; I don't think it turned me away form wanting kids, but I didn't have any illusions about it. I think the main reason is I just don't like a lot of responsibility, period.

    I cannot imagine raising children these days, when you can have them taken away for you for letting them walk to school alone, where you can't give them have an Advil to take later, but they can take your daughter to have an abortion and not tell you, and it's difficult to find clothes for young girls that don't look like they were taken off the back of a pole dancer.

    My husband was fine with not have children, but if he had wanted some, I'd have certainly had them, and I know my life would have been rich in love, but I just never had that urge.

    I'm in my 50s now, and I have been told by dozens of nephews and nieces that I am the Best. Aunt. Evah. I think being an aunt is the bomb...all the fun, none of the responsibility. (I almost said none of the worry, but I do worry about them)

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    1. I am SO glad I'm not raising children in this day and age. I'd have been arrested many times over for spanking their butts when they needed it!

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  20. As a young married woman, I wanted children, but it just didn't seem to happen. We were told by doctors that we probably wouldn't have children, then one day, I went to the doctor because I hadn't been feeling well. He pronounced that I was pregnant. I was astounded. I told the doctor, but I was told I probably wouldn't have any. He said, "well it only takes one sperm". Five children later, I was sooooo done. I am blessed beyond words, but I've never forgotten how it felt to be told you will not have children. My heart always aches for those that don't have them, and hope that maybe someday it will happen for them. If only those who have abortions, would only have them and give them up for adoption, more women could have children. I was adopted, my mother and father tried for 20 years before they got me. I was blessed to have them as parents. AND as the years have gone on, I've decided that the best time to put a child up for adoption is when they are teenagers...ah, not really, but boy do teenagers test your mettle. It is a touchy subject, and a very personal one. I never ask someone why they don't have children, I've noticed that most will tell you about it when they are ready.

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    1. I sure wish my maternal family would have given me up and let me be adopted. I might (or might not) have been spared a lot of sorrow. And the put downs because I was my mother's child.

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  21. My experience was different, but perhaps not untypical, it is just that women don't often talk about the choices they make and why they made them. I was born in 1951, a baby-boomer, in a large Catholic family. It was expected that at a certain age all of us girls (4 of us, and 2 sons born at the end of the line) would get married and have children. I remember in sixth grade talking fervently about either being a nun - or having a dozen children - LOL! Neither happened. I graduated at 17 from high school in 1969 and the LAST thing I wanted to do was get married right away to my high school sweet heart (who really was a wonderful guy). I wanted a career. I wanted to be like Della Street on the old Perry Mason shows that I grew up watching. Well, I became Della, and went one better. After working full time and working my way through college in night school and summer classes, I went to law school and graduated in 1984. I practiced law for 5 years and HATED it. I quit being a lawyer (except for family, on certain occasions) and went back to being a damn good Della Street once again. The money was not anywhere near what I made as a lawyer, but I was so happy not to feel like the blood was being constantly sucked out of me by needy clients. I was "Della" (and a damn good one) until I retired at the end of January this year. I did not marry. I had chances, did not want to take them. I don't think I was looking for Prince Charming but I also wanted more than just the feeling that I was doing it to conform to accepted conventions and unspoken expectations. My three younger sisters all married young. Two got divorced and later remarried; the third sister's marriage "stuck." At 48, when I was starting menopause and well past the age when a sensible woman should think about having her first child because of the increased risk of conceiving a child with Down's Syndrome, I met my soul mate. We talked about trying to have a child and getting married. But it didn't happen. I think love, and that last ditch chance for a child, drove us a little nuts; ordinarily this would not have been rational behavior for either of us. I am a little wistful, sometimes, that we weren't able to have a child together. And we didn't feel the need to get married without having a child. Sadly, he died at the age of 61 in October, 2012, just when we were teetering on the brink of retiring and moving someplace warm and dry (away from our respective cold and damp home states). I link my occasional feelings of nostalgia for the child who never was to the loss of Mr. D before we could spend the rest of our lives together; that had been the plan :) I don't otherwise regret not having a child or children. In my big nutso family, there are plenty of children of children of children always around to spoil if I wish! Soon, my youngest brother's oldest son is getting married and I expect there will be babies to care for on occasion should I so choose. The paths I chose, the decisions I made, aren't for everyone. I can tell you that I only thought one time, and one time only, when I was 33 and just out of law school, about possibly having a child with no thought of getting married. After thinking about it for a few days, and going over the pros and cons, I decided against that route. I don't regret it. But you know what, it is not an easy thing to go against the conventions and expectations of the time you are born into. I was and am the exception who went against the flow.

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    1. You are a true feminist! Wow, I admire you!

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    2. I admire you, too. To thine own self be true should be much more respected than following society's conventions!

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  22. I have two children, both from my first marriage -- a son who is now 30, and a daughter who is 28. In regards to women without children, I would like to share a story: My children's dad and I divorced when they were 4 and 2. When they were in elementary school, he began a relationship with a woman who had never been married and had no children. They began living together, so she was involved in the care of my kids when they went to their dad's house. They all seemed to have a good relationship until around the time my kids were junior high age and things started getting rocky between all four of them. I ran into her at a sports event one of the kids was in, and she told me her frustrations. From the beginning of their relationship, my ex-husband had said he did not want anymore children. She had been OK with this at first, but over the years, she began to want her own child. He would not agree to it. Over time, she told me, she began to resent taking care of his kids when she couldn't have one of her own.

    I felt badly for her not getting her desire of having a child. But on the other hand, I knew my ex-husband had not deceived her -- he is a person who makes his opinions clear and he's not likely to be budged. They broke up not too long after she confided in me.

    It was a bit hard on my kids for awhile, since she had been in their life for a long time. Eventually, I think when my kids were in high school, they began to occasionally go out to lunch with her and work on having a friendship. Now, they see each other about once a year or so, and chat occasionally on facebook. She never did have any children of her own, which is sad. But, I'm glad she was there for my kids for a time, because however great the amount of resentment she felt, I know that the good feelings she felt for them was even greater.

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  23. I'm so glad you two had a line of communication open so that she could confide in you. It's always a good thing when the ex and the wife can get along. For the sake of the children.

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  24. I always wanted to be a mother and I was blessed to have my two children, a son and a daughter. We all get along great. I do know a few women, one a close friend, who chose not to have children and they don't regret their decision one bit. My daughter was married for 13 years and didn't want children at that time. Later on, she was told she shouldn't have children because of some gyn issues. But she has worked around children all her life and gets her "fix" in that way. She often says she is glad she doesn't have children when she is home from work. She is also very close to her nieces from her ex's side. My son hasn't married yet, but I think he has finally found the one. Perhaps they'll have children, but she already has 2 from a previous marriage and whether they have one of their own, time will tell.
    I will add that it is also very annoying to hear well meaning (?) people say that I just haven't lived until I have grandchildren. Really? I'm sorry, but I have a good life (with ups and downs like everyone else) and having or not having grandchildren doesn't define who I am nor do I lose any sleep over whether I'll ever be a grandmother so I can begin to live.

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    1. I never cared if I became a grandmother or not. I mean, I love the ones I have. But children in general make me a nervous wreck because they're loud!

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  25. How long are you leaving your GoFundMe open?

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  26. I didn't chime in because I HAVE kids, but seeing a variety here I'll chime in about my niece...mid 30's / long relationships with one guy after another that were never the right ones in the end. With the last one, I was about 3/4 serious saying to just get pregnant with him...they'd been together for years and if they didn't marry in the end who cares / just have a baby like half of the girls do nowadays....AND her 90 year old old-fashioned strict Catholic Italian grandmother agreed with me ! :) By that point she wanted a great-grand baby more than she cared about old-time-religion :) Just another view in the discussion :)

    Meanwhile one of my co-workers did not have children. She was an artist, happily married, then divorced, then happily with another guy. She had her art ( graphic design) for her profession, quilting and sewing for her off-time, four dogs, memberships in several social clubs...she never missed children...we'd discussed it. She was GOOD with them / with other people's kids but by 40 when she didn't have any, she was fine with it

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    1. Children are more than a full time job. If you know you want to pursue interests of your own, then I think it's great that a woman doesn't try to do it all. My daughter doesn't read this, so I can say that I don't really like the fact that Andrew is in daycare. I asked her why she was having a baby if she wanted a career. I mean, I know you can have both. But seems to me if you want your career, then you can work from home. (Don't tell her I said this!)

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    2. I, also, do not understand longing for a child and then putting them in daycare during their most important formative years if you have ability to be home and nuture their developmental mlestones.

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  27. I have two kids, 25 and almost 20. I always wanted them, but I have friends that never wanted to have any of their own. I have never understood the pressure to have them if you don't want them. I think that's just about the dumbest thing ever.

    I always feel really bad for those that can't have kids though. I've read Susan's story on her blog about wanting them and it broke my heart. That in-law of hers should be shot.

    Just my 2 cents ;)

    xo,
    rue

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  28. It's not any surprise to you how much I love children. I started babysitting when I was 10. I wanted five children but I had 3. We adopted a little guy that needed a home. This has been and still is an ongoing struggle . I am glad that we took him in, but not sure our other children would say that. My daughter married a man that didn't want children. I wouldn't ask her about it but she would always comment to me like I had. I knew she wanted children and I felt bad for her. She finally convinced her husband. He says all the time, in front of me, how he was so glad that she changed his mind. He is a great dad. He spends so much time with the kids.
    I have several friends that wanted children and couldn't have them. I must tell you I am so sorry what what you must go through wanting and not having them.

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  29. I have three sisters and only one nephew, no nieces. I myself have three kids ages 33, 29, 23. Two of them have had divorces with no kids, one of them lives at home. I loved my time as a mom and would love grandkids but it seems like that is not in the cards right now. I dearly miss reading stories to kids and making crafts and snacks. I don't judge other women for their choice not to have kids. I have found that, in the end, most of them lead happy lives with or without them by filling their lives with other people and activities.

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  30. Funny...I was never one to play with baby dolls or imagine or want for children...then again I never planned for anything either. I was the 'favorite aunt" to my sibling's kids and I loved that. However, I never got pregnant after neglecting to use birth control in many relationships. Very unwise but still. I went to my gynie who knew the history of a devastating car accident I had been in seven years prior-- many internal injuries including a blocked renal artery to my left kidney which led us to believe that maybe something in or around my "female" organs was also damaged but left undetected. Nope...all was in order. I cried because I wanted a valid reason for not being able to get pregnant---even without a designated father. Maybe I was ahead of my time---I made good money and I simply wanted a child of my own.

    I think it was a blessing that my husband was the love of my life...I knew that very early on. In less than a year I was pregnant with the first of our two daughters. As I drove home from the doctor's office after getting the news, the thought that kept playing over and over in my head was, "You will never be alone again." And she (and her sister are my best friends). If there was something deficient in my life---those children filled up the empty space. I think having children is the greatest gift we can receive. For those who want-wanted to have them, I say a prayer. For those who didn't want them, I know their lives are happy.

    This was a great topic and I learned so much reading the comment.. We are such a paradox of loving women who have varied stories on motherhood.

    Jane x

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  31. I never really wanted children and, at the age of 28, had to have a hysterectomy. In the beginning of our marriage, I got so tired of hearing my ex-mother-in-law ask me about children, that I told her I would rather have 100 dogs than one child! That really floored her. Years later when my alcoholic husband and I divorced, I was grateful to the Lord that we did not have children. I cannot imagine raising a child in the hell in which I was living. I think the reason I never wanted children, and to this day feel a certain uneasiness about them, is that my mother never wanted me. She told me when I was 9 that she wished I had never been born. Now, keep in mind, I have a brother and sister that she absolutely adored - they are 6 and 8 years younger than I am. It is a time in her life when I guess she felt she was "ready" for children is all I can figure out. She had me when she was 19. To this day, I cannot stand children who are allowed to scream and run around in public. I know it is the parents' fault who raised them, but it still irritates me so much I want to SCREAM at the parents....and sometimes do. I feel there should be "no children allowed" restaurants. My husband and I pay good money to go out to eat, when we do go out, and I don't enjoy trying to have a nice evening out with screaming children and crying babies. Mother's Day is a horrible day for me. It reminds me not only of having no children and watching everyone else being "honored" for having children, but it also reminds me of my mother's actions toward me growing up. It is the one day I will not go to church deliberately. I got so tired of hearing pastors go on and on about how wonderful mothers are and giving all mothers a rose or some other flower at the entrance to church to honor mothers. Aren't we all honorable? Why just honor women who have had children? By the way, as best as my doctors can tell, I have been pregnant at least once or twice.

    Some women just aren't made to be mothers. I believe I would have been a terrible mother and probably have beaten my children as my mother beat me. OR.....I may have been just the opposite and loved my children and let them be free in their thoughts and actions as long as they were kind and honorable to others. I will never know. But...in the meantime, don't judge me or dishonor me because I have no children. I am just as much a woman as those of you who have given birth to one or ten.

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  32. It is amazing how much impact now having a child has on one's life....In my family we have seen boht sides of the coin. I read on someone's blog on Mother's day that she would be gone all week because she was in menopause and had always wanted children and never been able to have them...several losses and miscarriages. It broke my heart to read of her angst.

    Great post, Brenda...it lets people talk about something that is often not talked about. xo Diana

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  33. I have one son who was born 2 months before I turned 36..I had bad problems ever since I had started to menstruate (very heavy bleeding that wouldn't stop..lots of D&C's..horrible pain and cramps) and I was never able to conceive..So even though I have a child I also know what those ignorant stupid questions are like..they make a woman feel like she is inadequate..not as good as women with children..Like there must be something wrong with them..I am so glad that I finally did have my boy and I wouldn't trade all the fun we had together for anything..I also know not to ever ask women those questions because I know how hurtful they can be..

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  34. My one an only child, Audra, died at the age of three. After that loss I closed down and could never go through that again and didn't try for another. I never yearned to be a mother, I was the middle child of 10 children and was all the younger childrens second Mom. I feel too many women have children to fulfill their insecurities, i.e.. I would never be alone again? This to me means you had children to "fulfill" your life instead of fulfilling theirs. I find many woman emotionally damaged and thats why they have children for unhealthy reasons? I never thought of motherhood being about what they could do for me but about what I could give them, love, understanding and confidence to be strong independent adults. Too many times women wear the role of motherhood as a "crown". So many woman have their "identify" out of having children. I went on a weekend getaway with 8 other women, so they could get away from their children, and all they did was talk about their children, constantly. Also they never left their mothering role, I felt mothered by 8 woman all weekend, when to shower, etc. I would never go away with these women again. I was looking for a mother?

    I always amazed when someone asks me if I have children I always say yes, she passed. The FIRST question out of all their mouths are, Oh how did she die? You really think I want to talk about that? It's a question of curiostity and finding out why it tells me a lot about them, because I feel someone would share that with someone close, not as a story that needs to be told to every stranger who asks me.

    So I silently hold the pain of being someone who lost a child, and endure their questions of how it happened, and why I didn't have more, and I pity them in a way. Because being a mother is a role, not a job. I also have no sympathy for woman who "fall apart" when they children leave and go off to college and start wondering who they are? Should't they already know who they are, and a child doesn't define us but is a gift we give to someone else, not ourselves.

    Sorry for my soapbox

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    1. Very well stated. I completely agree. There's nothing worse than a mother that doesn't encourage her children to fly. Now a days that means to far off places. I believe a lot of he crime and psychological problems we have is females and males don't have regard to the person their bringing into this world. Now I'll get on my soapbox. I'm very sorry to hear about your daughter.

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    2. Cathy. First of all, sorry about the death of your daughter. That is so sad. Secondly, I agree with the "identity" part of your post. I had friends in high school who could not wait to get married and have children. They could not tell you why...it was just what everyone was doing and expected of women then (I am 60). I was one of the last to get married (at 19) and felt out of place until I got married. They all went on to have children; I did not. My sister-in-law had two children and wanted more. My brother put an end to that via vasectomy. She just wanted to have more because all her friends were having more. She was not a good mother. She was not mean in any way, more like neglectful, especially when they were sick as they became a nuisance to her lifestyle. That's the way it seemed to my family and me. I think you should grow up and experience life before taking babies through your learning period. You may find out after living and learning, that you are not suited to bring children into your hectic, screwed up, emotionally unstable, angry life. Once you have straightened yourself out, then you could entertain the notion of adding children, not just having them right away because your "friends" have them. Just a thought.

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  35. This is such an interesting subject. It's not unusual for people my children's age to decide not to have children. They live in cities and it's not the same priority as those of us that dreamed of houses with a picket fence. They all want dogs though haha. That made me stop and think about my own friends. A surprisingly large number of my friends never had children for many different reasons. I'm happy to say they're all very happy and content with their lives. Several have mentioned seeing how so many have serious problems with their children they're happy they didn't have any. I loved having children!! Now it's adjustment time having my own identity and stepping back. Life has its challenges and continually changes.

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  36. I want to add, I've always had my own identity! I was fortunate to have a job I loved and now on to a new adventure. It's just I'm a creature of habit and that's what surprisingly was a challenge. I had to adjust to a new routine....even though the new routine is much easier hahaha. My two younger children do not have children and my husband and I are totally fine with that. I hate when I hear women badger their children because they want grandchildren. I have to admit often I think they just want to screw up the next generation. Talk about get a life.

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  37. Great topic.I, at the age of 50 , am the youngest of four sister's to HAVE children . The other three, one was a cop and firefighter and she and her husband travel's a lot , the other has been divorced for 35 yrs. and is a whitewater rafting guide on the Grand Canyon and travel's and my last sister and hubby have a cat rescue in Arizona and never wanted children.
    My children are 31 and 17. My daughter is the 31 year old and has been married for almost six year's and they are NOT having children. They have a wonderful life and travel a lot . My SIL came from a very lg Amish family and my daughter was an only child for 14 yrs. They have lot's of neice's and nephew's from my SIL side of the family to spoil, they all adore my daughter.I can't imagine her with a baby. When my son is old enough , he said he want's to marry someone who want's children.
    I do get the question's about , when's your daughter going to have a baby ??? I feel very sorry for the women who can't have or have to struggle with fertility to have a child. My first wasn't planned, but what a joy !! I had a lot of female probs and wasn't supposed to be able to get pregnant, one ovary was releasing very few egg's and to my surprise, pregnant 14 yrs later to my 2nd husband. I'm one of the lucky one's.
    I liked the Mother's, Other's , Daughter banquet. ( or however it went) I had someone who nurtured me growing up that was like a 2nd mother and she and her husband couldn't have children.
    Hope your feeling better today !! T

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  38. Brenda, I am just completely affected by these stories in the comments. It is so good that you gave readers the chance to tell their story here.

    We never know another person's life and we have not walked in their shoes but these comments remind me that women are strong and valiant and survivors. There aren't enough pop songs to adequately describe how very wonderful women are.

    The thing I like most about your post is that it proves that we do know how to support each other, even if it's only in blogs if not always in real life, not every time.

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    1. I, too, have really enjoyed all the comments and discussion. Diversity of choice is the spice of life! Young girls need to know every choice is a good one if it is the right one for them.

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  39. Wife, Mother is all I ever wanted to be. I am thankful that is the path I chose and I wouldn't change a thing. I am 67 years old, 4 children and 9 grandchildren. My life is blessed. We each have a story to tell, and each story is unique to the person whose story it is. Thanks for the discussion. Karie

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  40. As a good cancerian, I always wanted to be a mom. At 8 years old I suffered from a severe meningitis. I overheard my parents say there was a probability I couldn't have children. When I first met my husband at college we started to talk about how can we build a better world and he noticed I was being pessimistic about it. He then told me if I wanted to have children I must believe in building a better world for them. I told him about my possibility of not having kids. I wanted to be sincere from the beginning, it was obvious he wanted a family. He then told me, I could always adopt.I luckily married this kind man. Then God granted me with two children, now 23 and 22, they are my heart and soul. I think life is about choices and options and making the best of any situation that is given to us and although my life is far from perfect, I've learned we should make the best of it holding each others hand.

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  41. I don't have children and that's the way life is for me, wether I want it or not, so I better be happy the way I am. The only thing that bothers me is the way society automatically assume that given my age, I have children. I don't mind the question "Do you have children?", but I do mind the question "How old are your children?"

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you! However, if you are a no-reply commenter, I cannot reply via email to your questions or comments.

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