I realise it’s been a while since I’ve talked about the whole childless thing, even though that’s what this blog was all about initially. Well, it wasn’t about childlessness, it was about going through IVF but ultimately that amounted to the same thing. Yesterday I ended up in a thread within a Facebook group I’m a member of, discussing the prospects of perimenopause. This then got me thinking about everything that has gone before and how I currently feel about things.
I know I’ve entitled this post ‘acceptance’ but that might imply that I’m in a happy place over my childless situation. I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in a bad place either, I have just come to accept my fate and now have to get on with the rest of my life. I see a therapist and that’s probably why I haven’t really blogged about it – blogging was my therapy for a while 😉
Sometimes I’m quite happy that I don’t have children but sometimes (it’s happening less often) I get completely floored by it. My emotions run riot, I’m all over the shop and I have the deepest and unfathomable sense of loss. Maybe it has been conditioned into me, the need for a child. Maybe I’ve always been searching for some sort of completeness that I thought would come with a child. Maybe it never would have made a difference. I suppose the thing that gets me the most is that I will never know. Someone summed it up for me yesterday; I’m angry about having my choice taken away.
I’m also really angry that I still have my periods. It’s like a sucker punch every month (or every 23 days in my case). If I’m not producing eggs anymore then why does my body have to keep reminding me of what could have been? Nature’s way of rubbing your nose in it? Harsh really. And then there was last month. 33 days and still no period. I knew I wasn’t pregnant but I had no symptoms of a period either. I ended up doing a pregnancy test. Why on earth would I do that to myself? Of course it was negative and of course my period came the next day. Like I said, harsh.
So, back to the perimenopause. Lately I’ve been struggling with fitness motivation. I’ve been tired. I’ve been having night sweats for a few years now but they’re increasing. I get headaches. I’ve been eating badly. I get strange nerve pains through my body. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I can’t actually be bothered to go to the doctor about it because it doesn’t affect me that much. I just need to give myself a good kick up the arse and get back on programme. I’ll start tomorrow…
The other thing that gets my goat is people with children. I have lots of friends with children. I love my friends, I love my friends’ children. But I don’t need to hear about them all the time. I’m sorry, but actually what I do is zone out of the conversation. Or walk away. Or start talking about my dogs (well, they’re children to me!). It’s really people I don’t know with children that I’m talking about. Or maybe they don’t even have children, they’re just rude. When you first meet someone, is it appropriate to ask them if they have children? I hadn’t really thought about it until I couldn’t have children. It’s not. I usually just reply ‘no’. Generally that means the conversation moves on. But occasionally people are really rude. ‘So do you not want children?’ WHAT THE FUCK HAS IT GOT TO DO WITH YOU??? Saying ‘I can’t have children’ usually shuts them up but seriously, WTF?
I have lots of friends who are childless out of choice. Their choice. Sometimes they like to bracket me in with them but that’s a little like putting a square peg in a round hole. I’m not childless out of choice. However, the above applies on their behalf too. And I don’t hold anything against people who choose not to have children. I do, on the other hand, hold something against people who have children but then choose not to love them or care for them or keep them safe. Those people are monsters.
Anyway, I think I might have gone off track (no change there, the rambler returns…) and have moved away from this concept of acceptance. It’s time to move on. I’m nearly 46 and I have to start thinking about a different course for me. I’m not going to have a family in the traditional sense but I have ‘my family’. I have my husband, my two dogs, my cat, my mum and dad, my friends. I also have my other half a family: my half sisters, my birth father. I’m doing ok. I have a home, my health and my fitness (generally) and I do a job that I enjoy. There are lots of people in the world far worse off than me and maybe, just maybe, in this age of climate change, political instability, unfairness, poverty and overcrowding, not bringing one more mouth to feed into this world is a positive step.