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Victoria’s Story: Accepting that I will never be a mother is still a work in progress

I am 32 and found out when I was 20 that I couldn’t procreate (I was already suspicious but pushed it to the back of my mind as I had many other medical challenges growing up). Needless to say it was devastating news and every time a friend announces a pregnancy it is a reminder of what I do not and will never have. However, sadness is always mingled with joy for my friends; I would hate them to feel like they had to tiptoe around me or the subject.

I was lucky enough to meet someone very understanding when I was 26, and we married at 30 knowing we would likely never have children, let alone any of our own. We’ve looked into adoption but at the moment it doesn’t feel right for us, and surrogacy is just too difficult and expensive.

What helps is that my husband insists he is content with being child-free, and often points out the advantages, mainly associated with time and money. Rationally, I am ok with it – I can even feel lucky that I don’t have to undergo invasive medical treatment to find out what I already know. Emotionally I am up and down with it – sometimes I feel fine and then something hits me, for example a colleague going off on maternity or paternity leave, that makes it hard again. I hope we will be okay.

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Comments

  1. Hi Victoria, thanks for sharing your story and for inspiring others in similar circumstances. Just like you we have been fortunate in that not being able to have children has brought us closer as a couple. We tried for 9 years and also considered adoption but decided against it at the end, as we worried that the lengthy process could be detrimental to our marriage. Like I said in many articles I have written on our journey from potential parents to now living happily childfree, once we stopped trying, a whole new life opened up for us and it has never felt better!

    It is a difficult process, no doubt about that and that difficulty is due mainly to the fact that we live in such a baby centric world, with the message that having children is the key to happiness. The good news is that as my husband and I have found out for ourselves, this could not be further from the truth. Ultimately, whether we are happy or not is up to us and us only. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest that you read The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll. It is a great book on the subject of childlessness and it seeks to open the readers’ eyes to the fact that the desire to have children is deeply ingrained in us, through centuries of influences from society and understanding this can help you on your childfree journey, as I have discovered.

  2. Having a good marriage these days is quite an achievement and like Nina said, ultimately, we make our own lives. Many marriages fail because of the pressure of raising children. You just don’t know what is around the corner.

  3. I strongly believe that we all have different paths and that while some of those paths will include children, others will not. Whichever path we end up on, it is up to us to make the most of it. It took me 9 years to realise that our path did not include children and once I made that realisation, I never looked back. We are blessed with a great marriage and I am not sure that this would have been the case had we had children.

    • Thank you both for your kind words and to you, Nina, for setting up this community. I always believe in counting one’s blessings and understanding how fortunate we are in so many ways.

      • You are welcome Victoria. Yes we are very fortunate indeed. I am originally from the Third World and for me being here in the West is a blessing beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I love this country for giving me the chance to make something of my life. I was so caught up in trying to fit in with the rest of society that I forgot how blessed I am to have the life that I have today. I love my life and I am grateful for it every waking moment. This is why I started this community and why I feel so passionate about it.

  4. moonaj10 says

    Our situation is slightly similar, although I am far older than you, lol. We could not have children and tried fertility treatments for a few years and eventually decided to give up. That was some years ago I have to say. We are quite content with our lives now. We both work, own our home and have good jobs. We also have a dog that we adore. What helped us through this was the strength of our relationship and it has endured to this day. I agree with the previous comments that a good marriage is quite an achievement and I am not sure that our relationship would be quite the same if we had children.

    • Thank you for your comments, and I’m delighted things are going so well for you.

      We do have a good relationship and are happy, and one day we will own our own home but it may take forever to convince my husband that getting a dog is a good idea 😉

      I do think children add a lot of strain to marriage, but it’s hard not to feel like you’re missing out. I’m hoping my sister might have children as I would like at least to be able to be a devoted auntie, however she is still single so that won’t happen any time soon. Some of my friends have children but they tend to socialise more with other parents and children – one refuses to even bring her child to my flat as she is worried he will break something; surely that is for me to worry about? She also will never consider asking me to look after him for any lengthy period of time because she thinks people without children won’t be able to cope with nappies etc.

      Anyway, sorry I am going off on one a bit! The important thing is to appreciate what I have, I do realise that. Maybe we will change our minds about adoption in the future, in which case, even more reason to enjoy the freedom of the present!

      Best wishes,
      Victoria

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