The children that are already in our lives

By Nina Steele 

I have 11 nephews and nieces (at the last count!) and my husband has 6. Children have always featured in our lives. In actual fact, I was like a mother figure to my brother’s eldest child, who is now in his 20s and still lives with my mother. I wrote an article about him a few months ago. His dream has always been to come and live with us, and I get the occasional email reminding me how much I mean to him.

For those who do not have siblings, children of friends can play a role in your life, if of course that is what you want. And if none of the above applies to you and you still want to be involved with children, then working for a children’s charity among other things, can be a viable alternative.

There are so many children around us that, it is not at all difficult to be involved with them and make them a part of your life, particularly for people who still find it difficult to come to terms with not having children of their own. We as a couple have never felt the need to be actively involved with other people’s children. But I know a few people for whom, having children in their lives is a form of therapy, as it helps them deal with the pain of childlessness.

I met a woman in her early 50s a few months ago and she falls within that category. She has always wanted children, however according to her, she never met the right man to have them with. She is now resigned to the fact that she will remain childless. She is actively involved with her siblings’ children and loves nothing more than spending time with them. She does understand however that she has to tread carefully and not get too attached, as this is likely to do her more harm than good.

We all have different needs and for some people, having some kind of connection with children, matters. I will advise caution however, particularly for those who have still not come to terms with not having children of their own. Always remember that no amount of time with someone else’s child alone, is enough to heal the pain of childlessness. Ultimately, you will have to work on yourself and find a way to move on with your life in peace. If you find the prospect of doing this yourself too much to handle, then I suggest you seek professional help.

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