When is it ok to give up on a dream?

By Nina Steele 

Recently, I have been told by a few people who don’t know my full story that I should not give up on having children. One woman even suggested that I spend more time with other people’s children. Apparently, it brings good luck for those who are trying to conceive. She was surprised to hear me say that we had long ago moved on from trying to have children and that, that chapter of our life was now closed.

If like me, you spend a fair bit of your time on social media, you would have at some point, come across inspirational quotes advising you to ‘never give up’. I used to believe in it too, until we went through the experience of trying and then giving up on having children. That is when it dawn on me that sometimes, giving up is the only way to find happiness.

Some people mistakenly see giving up as a sign of failure. But isn’t the alternative of living your life chasing a dream that has eluded you for years without any sign that it will ever materialise, even worse?

Today, my husband and I are in a good place. Gone are all the worries about the drain of fertility treatments on our finances along with the emotional cost.

As I have found out, sometimes, giving up is a sign of strength. For us to decide to become non-parents when all our siblings have children, without mentioning the place that being a parent occupies in society, requires courage. We weren’t afraid to become the odd ones out.

Having been through what we have been through, I no longer believe in advising anyone to ‘never give up’. It is not as simple as that. Each situation has to be considered carefully and be judged on its own merit. This idea that one must never give up is the reason why so many people are making themselves miserable by chasing improbable dreams.

This is another reason why I strongly believe in not living your life based on what other people are doing with theirs. What is true for other people, may not be true for you. Just because someone you know ended up having a miracle baby after trying for years, doesn’t mean that your story will end that way too.

I still remember very clearly that day when I knew that the time had come for me to move on with my life. The message couldn’t be clearer. I had the courage to give up on a dream that was no longer working for us. I am glad that as always, I listened to my instincts.


  1. nuttyalmond says

    I really really wish i hadn’t spent 20 years trying to get pregnant because life is so much more enjoyable being childfree.I was living a good life and didn’t realise it until i stopped trying for the impossible.When i stopped and took a step back i saw what i had all along,my life wasn’t going to be better with a child,it was already better as it was.I love this post,thank-you for writing it.

  2. You are most welcome Liz. I am really glad that after all these years, you found the strength within yourself to move on with your life. That is a very inspirational story indeed.

  3. nuttyalmond says

    You know i look at life now and go i haven’t got time for kids,i’m far too busy.
    I recently moved house,hubby and i both said thank goodness we don’t have children with moving them and their things.It was bad enough moving our things.Then we’re moving again into our dream home which i’m so looking forward to.
    It’s going to be so much fun to decorate!

    • I know that feeling too. That is when you know that you really have moved on from wanting children. That feeling of contentment with your life as it is and the realisation that you would not have been able to do what is now giving you so much pleasure had you had children.

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