Monday, January 16, 2012

Last One Standing

Another one down. My friend is in her late 30s, a few years older than me, and I'm ecstatic that she was able to get pregnant when she was so afraid she couldn't.

But it's another one down, the second of three who were trying to announce her pregnancy. The third has gone silent about babies in her social media, which is leading me to believe she may be close to an announcement herself.

The point is, I'm feeling awfully alone. Friends don't understand when I explain how I feel and start pushing me to consider having kids, which is missing the entire point. I wish I had a friend who just got it, one who understands what it's like to be dealing with this mixed bag of emotions. I'm 34. My time's running out to change my mind and it's not changing and there are consequences to that.

But the only place I can talk about the consequences, the mixed emotions, is this private blog. I've swapped several posts to "private" on my public blog after friends took horrible offense to everything I said. I tried reaching out again, to see if it would be different this time. It hasn't been.

I have a couple remaining childless/childfree friends, neither of whom are very good sounding boards for such emotional stuff. I can't talk to my mom, even though I want to. It's starting to get really lonely out here.

27 comments:

Chester said...

When I found your blog I thought "finally someone that gets how I'm thinking". I've had lots of mixed emotions and same thing has happened when I express that to friends "well, just have a baby". Not the point! so don't feel like you are in this alone, there are others of us out there. I had an aunt that chose not to have children and she was the absolute best aunt ever! She died 12 years ago in a car accident and I wish I had her to talk to about it all. But one thing I take from that is that sometimes not having kids make you so much more available to other people's kids, like your friend that has the baby with grandma living there. how great that you get to have a relationship with that child and will be a great "aunt" to her.

Valerie said...

I am also in the Chicago suburbs and feel the same way you feel - wishing I wanted them, sad at what I'll be missing, but ultimately protective of my life as it is. We should seriously hang out - I can always use more child-free friends, too.

RedioSilence said...

RIGHT! Sometimes I do wish that I wanted kids, but nobody seems to understand why not wanted kids means I'm not just gonna have them to fit in! When you're growing up they tell you "Don't give in to peer pressure." then magically they forget that peer pressure is a horrible motive for doing anything, let alone something that has a lifelong commitment.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog, and SO glad I did!! I feel you so much, I am 28 and hubs is almost 30, and I am so tired of having to defend our choices to people. I wish we could just co-exist in the world, but parents just.don't.get.it.

Mandy

Nicole said...

This might be a long comment,but I want to share my history with your blog.

I found your blog many moons ago - maybe in 2005 or 2006 when was in my 1st marriage. I got married young - 22. Not a good plan, but anyway - we didn't know if we wanted kids and his family was HUGE baby pushers. I was looking around for info on people who were choosing to not have children and I found your blog. I was about 24/25 then. I really loved your blog because It was one of the first I found on people choosing to not have kids who also liked children a lot and who felt confused about the issue at times. Well, my ex and I split up when I was 26 and so the child issue dropped from my life.

I am now with my 2nd husband (we've been together about 4 yrs now) and early in our relationship we left the kid issue at "we are both open to the idea of kids" - but we didn't make any decisions.

Well, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 28. It was only a 3MM tumor, but it was invasive and I had to have a hysterectomy (I really had some bad luck). So, after being together about a year and half - my current husband, then boyfriend and I had to decide whether we wanted a kid right then. My doctor said if I did, I could wait about a year for a hysterectomy. I decided to have the hysterectomy for obvious reasons.

Anyway, I started blogging a bit over a year ago again and started reading a lot of blogs again and thought of yours and re-found it. My husband and I do not have interest in adoption or surrogacy no matter how much people try to push it on us and we are deciding to go the child-free route now.

I too frequently feel alone in this world. I know some of my friends who seem ambivalent about kids now will one day change their minds. I am 30, and everyone is starting to have babies and I know this will continue for a decade. I get scared of losing my friends because of it. It can be lonely, but at least on the Internet, you are not alone.

Hugs! And thanks for reading this long comment.

ESH said...

I have been an avid reader of your blog for years. I was elated when I found it. I can relate to your sense of loneliness, your wish to have the wish, and almost everything that you've expressed over the years. As other people have said, you are not alone. I turned 35 at the end of this past September. For some reason, it felt like the magic age. People in my life are starting to realize that my husband and I are serious about the decision. I've been a public school teacher for 11 years. This has been a significant outlet for any nurturing tendencies that I have. I just finished an MFA in poetry. My husband just started a PhD program in Math. We love our life. Our intellectual/creative pursuits, our marriage, and our cat are our babies. When I turned 35, I felt so relieved to be making a decision. I love that people finally understand that I refuse to try to have everything society says women should pursue. My marriage is happier than those of most of my friends. I feel fulfilled. I can enjoy kids again because I don't see them as part of a plot to rope me into parenthood. I still get the baby rabies when I'm ovulating, especially when I'm ovulating in the presence of an especially adorable child, but I now know that this feeling passes in a couple of days.

Jayna said...

I used to feel that way but than I looked at the world around me and said no way am I bringing another child into the world. Millions of orphans in Ethopia alone. The world can be a beautiful and wonderful place, but also scary and ugly too. Overcrowded, food shortages, diseases, wars, pollution, etc. the worry alone would kill me, and I get worried all the time for other kids. I do hope you find peace. I wish we could be friends but I live in Hawaii.

RebeccaHedwig said...

Hello,
I've just found your blog and it's
brilliant!

I find talking about children in general difficult because i'm younger than i guess what would be considered a 'good' age to have children. (I'm eighteen). I decided i didn't want to have children a couple of years ago and i'm relieved to see that other people also get bursts of (unhelpful) emotions and feelings towards having children.

Thank you!

Angela said...

"I wish I wanted kids" <--- this.
I'm 34 years old as well,single, attending more baby showers than weddings at this stage. The few single friends I have left all bow to the clicking biological clock and are reduced to tears when discussing finding the "right" man to start a family with. But for me, no such tears. No such clock. No such desire.

It's as though I'm blind or deaf or "missing a sense" that other women have. Do you ever feel like that? Like you're missing that "mommy sense"?

Liz @ MaybeBabyMaybeNot said...

Believe me, you're definitely not alone! (Which I'm sure you realized from the comments that are already on here.) But I know that having online support is not the same as in-person support.

I just turned 30 and all my friends are starting to have babies. As the subject comes up more and more, I'm realizing that I am the ONLY one in our group considering not having them.

So I did what you did - I started a blog (www.MaybeBabyMaybeNot.com). I have to say, it's already helping me work through some of these questions. But it's still really hard when you're looking around and realizing you're going to be the last man (and woman!) standing in your group.

My only advice is to do everything you can to not let your friends fall off the face of the earth when they have kids. I think there are going to more and more childfree people out there now that our generation is realizing they don't HAVE to have babies. So maybe you won't be as alone as you think...

Regardless, keep going - I LOVE your blog.

Brian said...

Here are my thoughts, I'm 28 and child free:

Every time a person has a child, they are rolling the dice on the life of someone else without their consent. Any number of bad things could happen to that child. To me, it's not moral to put that burden on someone else without their consent.

That being said, why don't you adopt!?!?! My Aunt never married and adopted a 2 year old when my Aunt was 53. She is now 6 and is the light of my life! I love her!

There are so many children in orphanages. Adopt one and be a hero.

a child free sister in Europe said...

You're not alone. I'm so grateful and glad that I have found your blog because I too, feel so lonely in the I-wish-I-wanted-a-kid thinking.

mr. Elmo said...

Oh.... I love your blog. I'm childfree with my husband and we are happy with this decision.

Pearlharbr said...

I'm sorry you don't have supportive friends or family. I've known I didn't want children since age 11 and have always been open about it. My mother told me when I met the right person I would change my mind. I laughed out loud! That was about twenty years ago and now she has realized that I was serious and doesn't ever mention it. I met my husband at age 26 and one of the reasons he was the right person is because he didn't want kids either.

I don't recall any friends trying to convince me that I should have kids. Some were initially surprised upon learning about my choice but they've all supported it. I'm currently surrounded by friends who are new moms, pregnant or talking about getting pregnant. Not one of them has suggested I have one.

Bottom line, if you're wishing you wanted to have kids in order to better fit in with your associates then I think you need to find different associates.

Lynn T said...

Wow, your blog is exactly what I was looking for. I have only just found it but I have read your posts right back to the beginning. I identify with many of the feeling and emotions you have described. I am looking forward to your updates in the future.

Crafty Blueberry said...

Your post describes exactly how I've been feeling too. All my friends are either parents or desperately broody and trying for a baby. Sometimes it feels like me and my husband are alone on a shrinking child free island. Lately I've found myself wishing I had that drive to have kids, just to feel less alone. Like Angela said, it's like missing a sense. I'm so glad I've found your blog, it really is a relief.

Childfree Travel said...

I to am 34 (turning 35 in less than a month - "the magic age" according to ESH and I believe that, I have been looking forward to it for that very reason) and I do not want kids. Like you I see ppl in my life having babies left and right. I know a few ppl who don't want kids but I'm not really close to any of them. My boyfriends brother and his wife plan to have a baby and I look forward to that - someone to spoil and play with but none of the responsibility. I see cute babies, I see people who are so happy to have one but I agree with you - babies are only babies for so long and then they are toddlers, kids, teens - UGH, UGH, UGH. Even "ugh" to babies - sleepless nights, vomit, crying, no money - NO THX! Anyway, I live in CA not IL but I am more than willing to have a phone convo with you if you are willing. My biz number (Childfree Travel 866-388-6182) is the only one I will give out online but you will reach me directly. I love your blog, I completely relate to it and as you see from the many replies - you are NOT alone.

Anonymous said...

I totally feel you. You are not alone. I was crying until I read your blog and realized that another woman feels exactly the same way I do!

olivia said...

I relate so much to this post and I am so glad I found your blog. I wouldn't begrudge anyone something they want as badly as many of my friends want babies, but I do feel a sense of loss as our worlds almost inevitably drift apart.

Meg said...

I wish I knew *someone* in my city who was childfree. I also feel increasingly alone in this - and I'm only 29. Most of my friends don't have kids yet, but they talk about "someday, after we have kids" all the time. It's hard not to feel like the odd (wo)man out.

ChildfreeNYC said...

I knew at 14 that I didn't want kids and I went all through my 20s and 30s wishing, as you sometimes do, that I could find the desire to have children. About 5 years ago, a co-worker who I really liked and hoped to build a friendship with asked me if I had ever had that almost physical feeling of craving a baby. I haven't. I don't know what she is talking about. I looked at her and was honest and said no, I haven't.

After that, she and I drifted apart. She got pregnant and gravitated all the time towards the other people in our office who had children. I didn't begrudge her or anyone else the things they want. But I felt left out.

On almost a daily basis, I feel a total sense of relief that I do not have a child. Little things reinforce why this is the best choice for me and my husband all the time. I am so happy I live in a time and place when I'm free to make the choice.

But it is lonely. Consider meetup.com for childfree (or nokidding) groups. They are a great way to not feel so alone in being childfree!

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how grateful I am I discovered this blog. I echo so many of the sentiments expressed here, particularly ChildfreeNYC - I'm 31, very happily married and everyone around me has had a first child and starting their second. I do often feel left out as so many conversions at work revolve around what the kids did over the weekend etc. It's hard as I honestly don't dislike kids, I just have never felt "that feeling" or want you are supposed to have as an adult. I take issue with some blogs or sites out there that tend to vilify and mock parents-- I think everyone is entitled to their own choices, and I feel like this blog is awesome because it does not seem to be the intent. It's just feels quite lonely at times... Like I'm missing out or potentially missing out in the future.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your blog!! I'm 34 and my husband and I have been married 9 years-no kids planned/desired/wanted! My very best friend who alledgedlly felt the same way, and supported us in this, is now pregnant. I've felt lonely before, as the number of child free couples we were friends with dwindled, but this one hurts the most. I truly feel-and I sadly know, that I've lost my best friend. I too, have often wished so badly that I wanted kids, just to feel less lonely-but then I realize that's not being honest with myself. It's so good to know that I'm not the only one going through this.

Anonymous said...

I am 31 years old my husband and i have been married for 10 years. Before we got married we talked about the kid subject and both agreed we didnt want any. We have still not changed our mind and dont plan too. I am so happy to find so many others like myself that dont ever want kids. It makes me feel not so abnormal after all. My hubby and i love our life! I just dont understand why more people dont understand how relaxing and wonderful the childfree life can be!! I am on vacation and laying on the beach as i write this. All of the people with kids dont even get to relax it looks absolutely miserable!

Adge Lockhart said...

I understand exactly what you mean, but you are definitely not alone. Even though a large group of my female friends have yet to reach that moment of starting families (we are all entering our thirties this year or the following, approximately), I know that many of them are interested in doing so in the future.

It is a strange feeling, certainly, to know that I will not be following that particular herd into the realm of motherhood. However, I am certain that my decision for not having children is correct for me. I shall happily play the aunt (oh yes!), but just as happily bring the little ones' back to their home afterward.

Nonetheless, I can only imagine the severe change it will have upon my social circle with these women. I suppose life is change and we will all adapt or drift apart or come closer. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I'm very fortunate to have a very honest friend, who is a mom to two kids.

I visit her and her kids act crazy and she doesn't hide how hard it is.

She admitted to me that she's on anti anxiety meds and anti depression as well.

A year ago, she knew I was on the fence. She was honest enough to tell me that parenthood is so much harder than she thought it would be.

She admits she misses her life before children.

She's told me the truth.

And I witness the chaos when I visit her. She used to be such a clean freak and very organized... and now her house is always dirty.

I wish more parents would be so blunt about how much of an energy drain parenting is.

At the end of the day, she says the only enjoyable part of her day is sleeping.

I know, without a doubt... if I had a baby... I would feel the same entrapment. Or worse.

Thank GOD for depo provera!

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel! It is so refreshing to see a post which describes how I feel. I am 35 and have just found out my friend is pregnant - she was one of the last who were still saying they didn't want kids. I feel alone and sometimes I think i'm in denial or something but at the end of the day I just do not want to look after a baby. I still waiting for that urge and it's not coming....