Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Non-Mom Club

The other day at yoga class, I discovered that Nancy, who exercises next to me, never had children either. It wasn't a long discussion. While the mom-types were talking about their kids, she muttered something about not having done that. I said, "So you didn't have children either?" She said, "Nope," and that was it. No more discussion needed. It was time to cross our legs and walk our hands forward, stretching out our backs and focusing on our nasal breathing. Leave everything else outside. Let it go, the teacher said. Later I discovered she'd never had children either. Same story as mine. Husband with kids, vasectomy, not wanting any more.

But now it was time for yoga. We bent, we breathed. We spoke no more. Without knowing why or what had happened to make Nancy a non-mother, I felt less lonely and realized that although I will never be an official member of the Mom Club, I am part of an ever-growing Non-Mom club, women who for whatever reason never had children. At this point, among women over 40, that's approximately 25 percent of us. Wherever I go, aside from obvious child-centered places like schools and kiddie playgrounds, I'm going to find others like me. It was a good and comforting feeling.

All I really know about Nancy is that she's a nurse at the local hospital, currently cross-training to work in pre-op. She has a perfect figure but uncontrollable curly hair, and she is more flexible than I am. She can get her head all the way to the floor. Oh, and she has the most beautiful flowered green yoga mat.

There's got to be a better name for the Non-Mom club, something more mellifluous. Help me out with a name. I'm won't accept the "Childfree Club" because some of us really wanted children and feel the loss. But the "Childless Club" sounds so sad and doesn't include those who are just fine with not having kids.

Whatever we're called, we didn't have children. However we feel about it, we're in good company.

Thanks, Nancy.

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