Why some childless people will never be happy

By Nina Steele 

I remember watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show years ago and although I watched the show religiously for many years, this particular one has stuck with me to this day. There was a young couple on the show who were discussing their inability to have children after many attempts. The woman was in tears throughout. I didn’t realise then how much that episode would be of use to me in later years.

Indeed when I started making the switch from wanting children to realising that I already had everything that life could offer, I kept going back to that episode of the show and thinking how fortunate I was to realise the fallacy of chasing a dream and feeling sorry for myself when life had already given me so much. It is funny how so many people take their lives for granted.

How many people can honestly say that they are grateful for the fact that they are healthy, can feed themselves and have a roof above their heads? Many assume that these things will always be there and so do not stop to acknowledge how fortunate they are in the first place. It seems that gratitude is no longer fashionable in this age of keeping up with the Joneses.

In this child obsessed world, no wonder some people are distressed at the very idea of not being part of the mainstream. But why do we have to measure our lives against that of others? I am one of seven children and the only one without children. Most if not all of my childhood friends have children, including all the cousins I grew up with. Does that bother me? Not in the slightest. In my dealings with some childless people who are desperate for children, it has become obvious to me that many are aggrieved because they feel inadequate compared to their peers with children. If no one around them had children, chances are that they would not mind so much.

And that is the real issue! We often make ourselves miserable not because of our situation but because of what we think others are saying about us or crucially the fact that we don’t want to be the odd one out. When I hear people who have everything say that they will never rest until they have children, I feel sad.

It’s time for some childless people to realise that our life is about ourselves, not about other people. This journey is about you and your personal growth, not about your neighbours, friends, siblings, work colleagues and whoever else you happen to measure yourself against. We choose to be happy and happiness materialises itself when we make peace with life as opposed to fighting it. Yes you should always strive to have these things that you believe will add value to your life, however, when it becomes obvious that the pursuit of some dreams is making you unhappy, then at some point, you must find the strength within yourself to say, ‘ok I tried my best, it wasn’t meant to be, now it is time for me to move on’. And move on you must.

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