I thought I was done grieving!
Prior to the pandemic, I had gotten to a good place with grieving the missed opportunity of motherhood by giving birth. Or so I thought. I use to tell myself I had until 42 to find a life partner and have a child. That idea had morphed over the years. I had gone from wanting 3 kids and not wanting to start a family after 40 to “I can probably have one if I hurry up and find someone by 42.” Once I turned 42 and didn’t have any solid prospects, I was trying to make peace with it. To say it was hella hard is a profound understatement. I felt useless, worthless, unlovable, sad, despondent, and probably a few other adjectives that are escaping me at the moment. I lost my Father at 11, then my Mom when I was 32. I am an orphan. Surely, God would see fit to allow to have a family of my own, as in a husband (earthly covering and kids.) That’s not what He did though.
I stayed in a low place for years before I was able to somehow rise out of it. I wasn’t ever suicidal, but I was probably only one step from being so. One day I finally decided I was tired of feeling like that and it was time to snap out of it. I sought therapy. At the time, it was hard to find someone that I connected with to really get to the heart of my issues. I ended up getting a small dog and that gave me something to love. My deepest void with being single and childfree is that I didn’t feel as though I had something of my own to love. And vice versa. I didn’t belong to anyone. Of course I have family and friends who love me dearly, but I longed to be loved by a nuclear family and intimate partner. By the grace of God and the companionship of my boo Zari, I managed to find joy again. Or at least come out of that overwhelming, depressive cloud. I thank God for that because BABY it was HARD!
Fast forward to May/June 2022. I’m swiping on Bumble and I connected with a guy who’s in nursing school. We text/chat a few times, but hadn’t been out. He starts telling me about the OB rotation in his program. That was fine. Before too long, he was texting me about his day and the patients that are in labor. He was telling me their stories(not in a HIPAA violation way.) Then, he sent me a pic of him in class playing with a sim baby. That bothered me a little bit, but not enough to say something. However, I did take note that it bothered me and I wondered why it was bothering me. I realized I didn’t want to talk about babies with him. He has 4 kids. I barely knew this gentleman at all and it would have been hella awkward to have a discussion about why babies are a sensitive subject for me. He simply knew I didn’t have kids, but there was no further discussion about why or my feelings about it.
What got me was, he sent me a pic of him holding a baby that he helped deliver, along with a message about all the warm and fuzzy feelings one has about newborns. That awakened a dormant place in my soul and triggered a meltdown that I didn’t even know was in me. I talked through the meltdown with my therapist. She mentioned that what I was experiencing is called disenfranchised grief.
I share this to encourage another lady who may be walking a similar path as me. I realize it’s deeply personal. Some will wonder why I’d put something like this online. Even I wonder if some guy who may think I’m kinda cute will have second thoughts about me after reading this, lol. However, I feel called to share this and add my story to the narrative. There is a false narrative out there that every one who desires children can and will have them. That’s just not so. I’m also here to say that grief can sometimes rear it’s ugly head when you least expect it. There is no 1 narrative that’s a catchall for women who are childfree. For some, it’s by choice. For others, it’s by circumstance or not by choice. I am a testament to desiring children, believing God for it to happen and finding myself having aged out of my fertile years without having them. I know I’m not the only one.
Part of my therapy plan was to find a support group. I had looked into joining one a few years ago, but I wasn’t sure I would fit in. I was looking for something based in the US and I was hoping to find something that caters to Black women. I hadn’t found that, so I decided to create it. If my story resonates with you, I invite you to click the button below to join our community for women who are childfree, not by choice
Sending hugs, love and inspiration your way,
JOIN OUR PEER SUPPORT GROUP
Childless Not By Choice
hosted by Meredith
Thank you for sharing your story and testimony! And for creating a space for women to join the conversation, share, and feel safe, heard and supported.
May God continue to work in and through you to be a blessing to others. ??❤️
This is something I struggle with as well. Even though I am not child-free, I only had one son-he just turned 20 on July 5. It was my intention to have more, specifically a daughter of my own. My son has other siblings but not from me. Like you, I am still single. I always thought I would have more kids or at least one more with my husband but that has not been in the cards for me. I turn 47 this year and I have pretty much let go of that dream, even though women do have babies in their 50s. I find myself feeling some type of way as I journey down this path of menopause and the physical limitations I now experience as it relates to getting older. I feel robbed of the life I wanted vs the one I ultimately created for myself (because life does go on, right). Therapy has helped but some days my emotions do get the best of me. I am unsure if this group would be for me as I do have a son whose alive, healthy, and happy and I feel very blessed to acknowledge that!
I wish all of you love, light, and happiness. I thank you Meredith for creating space for black women specifically because it is hard relating culturally sometimes with women who don’t understand the struggles we go through while being black women.