Love Your Childless Life (you are allowed!)

Janell

You are allowed . . .

– to have a fullness of joy. Now. Right now, in your childless present, without a footnote about waiting for blessings to be fulfilled in the eternities.

– to glory in uninterrupted sleep, dry-clean only clothes, poisonous ornamental plants, nice furniture, and electronics on low shelves.

– to cuddle babies and give them back to their parents for diaper changes.

– to not cuddle babies.

– to invest in an education.

– to spend time and money to travel, cultivate a talent, volunteer, mentor, and add to your shoe collection.

– to be ambitious in your career and take pride in the work that you do.

– to maintain your dignity and privacy. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you are childless, or a rationalization for the way you live your life.

– to cultivate a relationship with your husband that is not dependent on the bond or the buffer of children.

– to think it’s pretty great to never have to worry about birth control.

– to drive a two-door sports car like it is meant to be driven.

– to love your fur-babies dearly (maybe ditch the poisonous plants though…)

– to have never seen Frozen or Cars.

– to eat popcorn or cupcakes (or both) for dinner, just because you can.

– to let go of any guilt that your husband is not a father, that your parents are not grandparents, that you skip church on Mother’s Day, that you love going to work, that you can sleep in on Saturdays, that any night can be date night in your house, or any number of other things that you have cried into your pillow over or felt the need to apologize for.

– to be grateful for the opportunities and blessings that you have in your life because you are childless.

– to share your joy at the opportunities and gratitude for the blessings of your childless life (go ahead, rock some people’s worlds with the knowledge that it is possible to live fully and happily outside of the box!)

– to be secure in the understanding that you have worth as a person and as a woman because you are the child of a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother who know your name and love you, not because of the function of your reproductive organs (and refuse to let anyone tell you or treat you otherwise.)

to not waste time and emotional well-being wishing you could trade your life for that story you had all planned out in your head.

– to live with the Spirit as your guide and companion and trust that relationship absolutely, especially when others may have different (and loud) opinions about what you should think and do and feel.

– to make changes.

– to (kindly) decline invitations to or remove yourself from situations that you know will trigger grief or depression.

to educate others who have never had the opportunity or inclination to view the world through the lens of a childless woman.

– to claim your place in a Church and culture that places motherhood on a pedestal above all else.

to know that your life is not a consolation prize.

– to live your life as an example that happy endings aren’t necessarily what you always thought or were always told they would be.

– to LOVE YOUR LIFE!!!

Janell
Author:
"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life." Robert Louis Stevenson

8 Comments

  1. KaceeReply
    February 7, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Thank you for your inspiring post. I do struggle with guilt when I am really happy, given the situations my childlessness presents. I know I need to give myself permission to be OK with being happy when I can do any of the things you named above. I feel that I can choose to count my blessings and focus on the good as opposed to focusing on the (long-desired) things that I don’t have. (A.K.A. : Children) We all have great purpose(s) in life. I’m still discovering more and more purposes that the Lord has for me every day. My life is no where close to how I expected it to be, but I need to trust that the Lord knows better and that He will make more out of my life than I ever could do on my own. Thank you, once again, for being a beacon in my very difficult week.

  2. KatieReply
    February 7, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Loved all of these reminders on how many things we have to celebrate!

  3. LeAnnReply
    February 8, 2016 at 7:07 am

    This was spot on! I’ve learned many of these wonderful truths in the last 2 years. I’m glad I’m finally feeling joy in my life’s purpose and mission.

  4. Erin MuirReply
    February 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you so much for this wonderful article, it was so inspiring!!!! I’m getting there with the feelings if guilt and worthlessness…. I’ve been really struggling with this lately xxx

  5. LilyReply
    February 8, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Great post! As a 48-year-old woman who is childless and never married, I am just getting to the point where I love my life and all my blessings. I think we do a disservice to our single and/or childless members when we say things like “never give up hope” or “there might be a miracle”. I’ve learned that acceptance brings peace and being in a chronic “what if” or “only if” mode is taxing and destroys happiness.

    • EMReply
      February 11, 2016 at 1:50 am

      Thank you, Lily! And thank you, Janell! As a single woman I am also beginning to accept my life and enjoy the benefits of my situation. Thank you for permission to not feel guilty about it! Living in perpetual “maybe this year” mode certainly IS taxing and I’ve noticed it actually makes me feel worse about everything. Thanks for uplifting me!

  6. SusanneReply
    February 11, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Janell, You a re a beautiful person and friend and have so many talents, so much to give others. Talents flow out of you and your heart is so caring and compassionate. I feel so blessed to know you and admire ‘your all” Never stop being who you are. …..a royal queen indeed Love, Susanne

  7. CristallReply
    February 6, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    This. More posts like this please!

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