Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We have a Google group now

I don't know why I didn't do this a long time ago, but I have set up a "Childless by Marriage" Google group. There's not much in it right now, but judging by the number of e-mails I get on this topic, it will grow quickly. Access the group at http://groups.google.com/group/childless-by-marriage. Come one and all. We have a lot to share.

As you probably know, I'm a writer working on a book and articles about childlessness, but I promise I will never quote you without asking for your permission, so have at it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Share childless feelings in Exhale zine

My Google alerts brought me to an interesting zine called "Exhale," which is subtitled "A literary magazine for intelligent people who have lost a baby, or can't figure out how to make one in the first place." You can get it in print or online. My friend Tiffany Lee Brown won an award from Exhale for her piece "The Kitchen Sink." It's available online and definitely worth a read.
Bravo, Tiffany.

I also discovered an interesting article called "The Men Who are Desperate for Kids," published April 19 in the UK's TimesOnline. So often, we only look at the woman's viewpoint, but men have strong feelings about childlessness, too. They may not show it, for fearing of appearing "soft," but writer Nirpal Dhaiwal tells how men who wanted children and don't have them can feel the loss just as much as woman can.

As all the advertising media won't let us forget, Sunday is Mother's Day. I'm planning to duck and cover till it's over. Someone already wished me a happy Mother's Day yesterday. I just said "thank you" and moved on. I didn't have the energy to set them straight.

Happy whatever, my friends.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Running Free

Following up on yesterday's post, I've noticed something interesting. Today, with my father and brother gone back home, I'm feeling amazingly freer and younger than I did when they were here. I danced to regae music last night, I had cake for lunch today, and just now I was outside running with the dogs. It felt good. Not having anyone to please or to care for can be awfully lonely, but it is also freeing. You become ageless, not pigeonholed into the role of daughter, mother, grandmother, or wife, just yourself, running in the unmowed grass, the breeze blowing your hair around and making the wind chimes sing.

There's a lot one can regret about not having children. God knows I have shed an ocean of tears, but there are advantages, too. As the Mother's Day ads threaten to drown us in our childlessness, try to remember the good parts. If there's a mother in your life, celebrate her. If not, just tune out the ads and go run with the dogs.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Always the daughter, never the mother

The men in my family have been visiting. They put me right back in the role of the daughter. My brother insists on driving. My father insists on paying for my meals. I'm physically much smaller and more agile than they are, and I'm riding in the back seat again, wishing I had my MP3 to entertain myself. The one time I jump ahead to the cashier, at the air museum, my father drops 20-dollar bills on my table that night to reimburse me. To them, I'm the one having financial trouble, husband trouble and emotional trouble, so they assert their authority trying to straighten me out, not letting me explain how I'm taking care of things in my own way.

Being a wife and mother makes you look like an adult to the rest of the world. With Fred in the care home and no children of my own, I'm always the weird kid, not Mom, not Grandma. In the eyes of my family, I'll never move up into that "we're all adults with kids" role.

Do you ever feel that way?