Ruby’s Story: I feel lonelier as I grow old and wished we had made time to have children

My husband and I did want children and could have had them, however our busy jobs meant that we ended up not having any. I worked in the airline industry and had a long and successful career while my husband ran a chain of international hotels. Both our jobs were very demanding and my husband’s job entailed a lot of travelling abroad and so work pretty much took over our lives. We both thoroughly enjoyed our careers and took pride in what we did and so we didn’t feel bitter about being very busy, far from it. However now looking back, I wish we had made time to have a family.

Indeed I am now in my sixties and my husband passed away some years ago and so I am on my own. I am not British by birth and so my remaining family lives abroad. As I have made Britain my home and do not intend to go back to my country of origin, I am pretty much on my own. I do have a close friend whom I see quite regularly, however the truth remains that I feel lonelier as I grow old and wished that we had made time to have children.

Yes I do understand that having children does not automatically mean that they will keep in touch on a regular basis, however at least the thought of having someone out there who cares about you is a relief. I am an outgoing person and full of life and try my best to stay active and positive most of the time, however occasions such as Christmas are a painful reminder that I do indeed have no one.

I suppose the hope was that my husband and I would both live longer. None of us expected that one of us would die as early as he did. And so I might have another 20 or so years of being on my own, and the thought that I will be on my own for all that time can be quite depressing at times.

I try to fill the gap as much as I can by helping out in the community for example, and although I do find it rewarding, nothing can fill the void that I feel when I am alone. I suppose you can say that my life is a cautionary tale for anyone who does want children but is also in a demanding job. Please do make the time to have them when you can, otherwise like me, you might end up regretting it.

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  1. GemmaRowlands says

    Hi Ruby,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I agree that people should absolutely make the time for children when they can. Almost everything else can wait, but having children definitely has a time limit on it, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    I hope that many people are able to read your story and find some good lessons for their own relationships.

    I wish you well,


  2. Lucy Burrows says

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your husband; that must be something that’s really hard to deal with. I know that things must get very hard for you at times, but you seem like a very strong person. I think many people reading this should take note of the things that you say, and remember just how lucky they are to have everyone and everything that they have in their lives. Because none of us really know how long they’re going to be around for.

  3. Sorry to hear about your story. I bet you find websites such as this helpful, though where you can talk to other people who are in similar positions to you? One of the best things about the internet is that almost everybody is on here, and it breaks down all of the barriers that you might have had in the past with regards to communication. It’s good that you do community work, and this means that you are leaving a lasting legacy regardless of whether you had children or not.

  4. Julez Fitzmond says

    Sorry that you never managed to have children. It’s important that you surround yourself with good friends and family now who will be able to take care of you and make sure you’re not lonely. Talking to people on here is a good start like Dawn said, because we’re all in the same boat for one reason or another. You’re making a difference in your life because of your community work, so you are leaving a legacy.

    • It’s amazing just how much your friends and family can change a situation. Whether childless by choice or not, you are still surrounded by all of the expectation that arises when it comes to children, and you can find that life completely takes over. But once you stop thinking about it, and take a look at the people who you have around you, you will find that actually you have SO much in life.

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