As told to Kathleen Guthrie Woods
Here’s a somewhat different story. For many (most?) of us, becoming a mother was a long-held dream, and losing that dream was a devastating experience. Melanie, however, never felt that “burning desire,” although she was open to having children if a husband wanted them. Now 48 and single, she has a healthy perspective on what being childfree means for her, and I think we can learn from her, maybe even embrace some of what she’s discovered for herself along the way. Take a look.
LWB: Are you childfree by choice, chance, or circumstance?
Melanie: I am childfree by chance, I suppose. The opportunity has never come up for me, so I am content with the way things turned out.
LWB: Where are you on your journey now?
Melanie: I feel I am too old to have kids on my own anymore, so have accepted that outcome and am at peace with it.
LWB: What’s the best part about not having children?
Melanie: I don’t feel I need children to complete my life. I can concentrate my time on bettering myself and finding a partner with whom to enjoy life’s journey together. I also am able to get my children “fix” by spending quality time with my beautiful nieces. Additionally, I feel that children could be a financial burden in a way; I would have the added stress of providing for them, not only for their necessities, but also for their educations.
LWB: What have you learned about yourself?
Melanie: I’ve learned that I was not meant to be a mother in this lifetime. I have done a lot of personal development work, and maybe there’s a reason why the blessings of children did not come into my life. I think I needed to do more work on myself before I would be ready to be a mother. I think I’m best suited to be a mom to a pet instead!
LWB: What’s one thing you want other people to know about your being childfree?
Melanie: That a woman can still be happy and fulfilled without being a mom! There’s so much out there to experience as an individual in this world, and I am glad I have the independence to experience this either on my own or with a partner.
LWB: What do you look forward to now?
Melanie: Continuing to work on my personal goals in life and helping to make this world a better place for the next generation. Rather than choosing to have children, I choose to be a better person who could be a role model for my nieces. I hope that that could be my contribution during my time on this planet.
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Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is mostly at peace with her childfree status.