Living Life Married without Children
As a blogger, it is fair to say that I spend time following and reading several of my fellow blogger’s work. This reading allows me to be inspired by their journeys and learn my craft. One thing that hits me is the number of lifestyle bloggers who are talking about their role of being Mum. The lifestyle developed around having children. The importance of being organised as a busy mum. Creative projects to do with children and making the house homely for a family. All of those topics resonate with me. I am (as far as my health will let me be) a busy wife. I love finding new organising hacks and producing creative projects. I certainly want to create a living space Michael and I will enjoy inhabiting, however, I am not a Mum.
A woman’s place in the home and workplace
I have had many interesting conversations with Women who (on the whole) have children. A common theme seems to be however much they enjoy their job. Some even pursue a career. Given the chance financially they would prefer to stay home. Choosing to spend time homemaking and being creative within the home. Before the Fibromyalgia reared its head it is fair to say that I had a plan. By the time I was 45, I hoped to be in a position to have a first child. Living in our own home rather than this flatlet. Financially stable enough to be able to have a few years out of the workplace. Potentially even able to leave the workplace and make my own modest living at home. Well enough to pay for my creative past times at least.
Has equality taken away the choice of being a homemaker?
Interestingly it seems women have rightfully fought long and hard to be treated equally to men. Just because we are equally capable of performing well in the workplace. Does that necessarily mean that we need to be in a workplace? In previous generations, many families had good qualities of life. Living on one wage. It seems as women pushed further into the workplace so the economy shifted. So to maintain a similar quality of life both members of a couple have to achieve a living wage.
Surely part of that equality is to have the right to choose where your time and talents best lie and if a woman can achieve intellectual stimulation and a sense of purpose in the home should this not be more financially achievable, or, as works so well for many families a man prioritising the role of homemaker whilst his wife or partner goes out to work, I digress…
How Fibromyalgia has maybe changed our family plans
Maternity leave was the planned time to transition and make the move to being a homemaker and entrepreneur. However, here we are over a year and a half later and living with the reality of Fibromyalgia. I know the possibility of children has not been totally ruled out but we have to be realistic, beyond the first three months or so of life there is a good chance that I may not be able to pick an infant up and that is not something I am prepared to sacrifice. If I am going to do something I need to do it to the best of my ability it is just how I am made.
We have talked about other options down the line when we have a home. Like the adoption of a primary aged child. Hugs, I can do those, listening, I can do that, inspiring a small human being to reach for the moon and be the best they can be, bring it on.
We have talked about fostering but I don’t think I am emotionally strong enough to bring a child into my life only for them to leave again a short while later. I am genuinely impressed by the many foster parents who do this role so successfully. If you are suffering from a condition like Fibromyalgia and have had to change your life plans you can read my article about Learning to live with Fibromyalgia
How do we compensate for the lack of children when plans have to change
At the end of last year, I attended the funeral of my choirmaster for many years. He and his wife married a little later in life and didn’t have any children however over a period of many years they gathered a large family around them in the form of all their choristers. As someone commented during the service for a childless couple they had an enormous family.
Other couples I know have pets, we also partly share our flatlet from time to time with my brother’s dog, Gemma, who we love to bits but she isn’t technically ours and we do not have the responsibility of constant care. So some people become parents to fur babies and this satisfies the need to be a parent.
For the first year of my marriage, the question of when would we hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet was a regular one, it was sort of expected. People even used the phrase “you’ll understand when you have children” about a vast variety of topics. Of course, when the Fibro arrived and I didn’t mention the subject of children anymore it was as if I had suddenly unfulfilled my potential to some people.
I would love to hear from other women who like me have not made a conscious decision to not have children but life has taken you on a different journey, whether like me, that is down to health or some other reason.