Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beware of those easy answers

I was reading a question put online by a woman who is 40, childless and married to a man who doesn't want kids. She says it's too late for her to get pregnant. What should she do? She sounded really heart-broken. I'm betting none of the answers given will ease her pain much. It's so simple for folks not in this situation to tell us what to do. It's very likely this woman already thought of all possibilities suggested and knows why they might not work for her.

Commenters offered this advice:

You're not too old to get pregnant. Maybe yes, maybe no. It is harder when you're over 40, and the problem with the husband remains.

Adopt. First, a husband who doesn't want to father his own child probably doesn't want to adopt someone else's. Second, many adoption agencies have age limits.

Get a dog or cat. Well, that helps some, but it's not the same.

Get counseling. Maybe you're depressed. Perhaps, but not having children (when you want them) is a loss and she should be allowed to grieve. It can help to talk about it with a therapist, but it doesn't solve the underlying problem.

Talk to your husband. Maybe she has, and he is not going to change his mind. If she hasn't told him exactly how she feels, she should tell him and see if they can work out a solution that makes both of them happy.

Leave the bum. Maybe she loves him and wants to spend the rest of her life with him. She just wants to have children, too.

Judging by the comments we get here, I suspect many of you already understand the dilemma. There are no easy answers. Someone has to sacrifice, and it's going to hurt. The best hope is to make a decision and try to find peace with that decision.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Check These Out

My Google alerts brought me some great stuff to share with you.

1)There are numerous articles on the new Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan. She, like Justice Sonya Sotomayor, is childless. On his True/Slant blog, Michael Roston joins those who worry that having justices who are not mothers will mean they don't understand issues pertaining to mothers, children, families,etc. Plus, their appointment will send a message that you can only rise to the top of your career if you never have children. He got a lot of reactions, both positive and negative. What do you think?

2) A new book called "Two is Enough" by Laura Scott looks at the effects of childessness on couples who never have children. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds interesting.

3) A video called "Childless by Choice" from the USC film school looks at several people who don't have kids for various reasons, including spouses who don't want them, neither person wanting them, and more. It's 21 minutes, short but touching and well done. Click the link to watch it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Duck and cover, it's Mother's Day

Dear friends,
Here we are again, Mother's Day. I'm hiding out. After all these years, I still teared up at church when Father Brian gave the annual Mother's Day blessing. After I complained at the liturgy meeting, he altered it include all women who nurture or care for others. But I still got misty.

If this is a tough day for you, you might want to take a peek at my "Childless Woman's Survival Guide" at the Exhale online zine. If that doesn't do it, visit, click on Childless and read my "Mother's Day Rant."

If you're still miserable, turn off all media and do something physical, like gardening, washing the car or baking cookies (which you will then eat). Put on some loud music and forget the whole Mother's Day business. It'll be over soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

One of those dreams

I had another baby dream. I was having babies, twins, a boy and a girl. I went to the hospital and was escorted to a birthing room. A doctor gave me a shot that numbed my legs. I realized I didn't have anything at home for the babies, nor would they fit in my car. My husband had picked out names I didn't like. But he wouldn't listen to me.

A friend came in, and I showed her the babies by shining a flashlight on my belly. You could clearly see them, the girl facing me, the boy facing away. I could see their hearts glowing red. The girl talked to me in plain English.

All the staff went away. I felt the boy start coming out. I screamed for help, but nobody came. I was trying to hold the baby in when I woke up and realized there was no baby. Again.

Over the years, I have had lots of baby dreams, most of them not quite this strange. But I wake up certain that my breasts are full of milk. I feel my flat belly and can't believe there's no baby in there.

Do you have dreams like this? Do they ever stop? Do mothers have this kind of dreams, too?