Life doesn’t always go in the direction we want or imagined that it would. But who said that we can’t discover the purpose and meaning of life whilst pursuing plan B? When a friend of mine told me that after several unsuccessful attempts to conceive a baby they were giving up, I could hear the sadness in her voice. She had feelings of failure, shame, blame…and I wanted her to know I was there for her. But also let her know that no matter what direction her life goes in, she can still have a meaningful life. Living a meaningful life doesn’t depend on our motherhood status.
After writing a previous post, ‘Do I Matter Even if I am Not a Mother,’ I received many heartening comments. They were a great encouragement. But also showed me that there is a need for people to speak on the subject of women without children. Not just so that we, women without children, feel less alone. But also for all the other women. So that women without children, for whatever reason, know that they are not alone and that they and their lives matter.
Read also ‘Do I Matter Even if I Am Not a Mother?‘
Your status doesn’t define you
In a society that honours women according to their motherhood status, it often isn’t easy to be a woman without children. However, just because others don’t understand what you are going through, or agree with what you have chosen in life, doesn’t mean your path isn’t right for you or that it can’t be meaningful. We have to understand that others aren’t in our shoes. They don’t walk in our shoes… They didn’t have to experience and go through what you may have to have gone through.
And so, with Mother’s Day approaching again, I want to remind you once more that whatever your status, it doesn’t define you. This was also what prompted me to submit an article to the Tutum Journal several months ago. And I was honoured and delighted when Jobi Tyson, the founder of the Tutum Journal, got back to me just before the end of last year, saying they were happy to include my article in their winter ‘Joy’ issue.
Tutum Journal is a quarterly magazine for, and by, childless women. On its pages, you can find encouraging stories providing hope and solidarity for every woman, no matter their position. So if you are a childless/childfree woman the Tutum Journal may well be for you.
Given their mission, I also wanted to provide words that could comfort those who will read them. After all, the right words can breathe life into our being. They can give us what we need at any particular moment.
Living a meaningful life without children
And so I shared my story of friendship, of two women without children, of me and my friend. This wasn’t something that either of us imagined twenty years ago when we first met. But it’s something that still connects us and that we both have had to learn to live with. And we haven’t just learnt to live with it; we decided to rewrite our story. Because who says that you can’t have a joy-filled, happy, and meaningful life without children? Living the life of a mother doesn’t guarantee you a meaningful life. Just as your life without children doesn’t have to be meaningless. Because living a meaningful life doesn’t depend on your status.
So, I want to invite you to open the pages of the Tutum Journal to find the words that will provide you with the comfort you need. Because although these words may not be able to change the situation you are in right now, they can act as a reminder that you can have a valid, meaningful, and enjoyable life without children.
Read also ‘A Letter to My Dear Mum in Heaven‘
Happy Mother’s Day to all the extraordinary, selfless, fearless, caring, funny, smart, strong and amazing women out there!
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