It’s been two and a half years since I started this blog, and sometimes I’m fascinated how central the issue of childfreeness remains in my life, how the experience evolves over time as more of my close friends get pregnant and have babies, with each year that I make family members wait for their grandchildren they continue to hope will come.
And while I feel like sometimes I beat a dead horse with my words, I’m constant encouraged to keep blogging by my readers. I often wonder how many of you there are, so often I see comments that say you’ve been following my journey forever.
Mostly, as I get older, I realize that while being childfree may not be as powerful an experience as having a child might be, it’s emotional in very different ways. If I’m typical, it’s on our minds regularly. Not having a child colors my days in the workplace, my response to marketing campaigns, my experiences on flights and at tourist destinations, or even at the mall or grocery store.
Often I wonder if this preoccupation with my lack of children and how it makes me different is actually how my unique brain (insomuch as we are all unique) is interpreting what many women would respond to with cluckiness, with "the baby rabies". Perhaps this IS my clock ticking, but instead of responding with deciding I’m ready to have a baby no matter what, my mind wants to write, speak, blog about my experiences as a woman whose brain and biology are at odds. Because I do think about it a lot. I would even venture to say for every moment a clucky woman thinks about how complete her life would be if she just had a child I think about how miserable a baby would make me.
I think about this because I’ve been asked why this is something blogworthy and how the hell I can think of all these things that I care so much about that I need to put it down in words. The people who ask, though, are never childfree. They have kids currently or plan to have kids one day. They don’t feel like an outsider, as I sometimes do, that the people around them don’t get them. They don’t worry about offending people and don’t have the pressure of having made a decision that has a tendency to be polarizing. They’re never told by "formerly childfree" women over and over and OVER again that as you get older, your mind changes, invalidating what they're feeling in the here and now. They're not treated like they don't matter.
Do I think I’m “special”? Only in that each of our life experiences is unique. I don’t think my childfree experience is universal, but it’s mine. It helps me to write about it and I’m thrilled to know it helps others to know that there is someone else out there, especially when they might not have the need to address it all the time.
For me, sharing the words is my escape. Sharing my experience in this blog helps me feel a little less alone in a world that sometimes overwhelms me by making me feel too “different”. And over 140 posts and two and a half years later, I credit this blog and the support of my readers for making me feel a little more a part of this world.