Living Life Married Without Children in a World Full of Parents

Living Creatively with Fibro | A couple in the sunset

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.

Living Creatively with Fibro | Married without Children

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.

Until next time,
Gentle Hugs,

8 responses to “Living Life Married Without Children in a World Full of Parents”

  1. Kim Johnson avatar

    Susan, I loved this post. I never thought I would get married, let alone have children. I wanted nothing to do with anything that got in the way of my career. Then my career ended, then I got married… children? We didn’t try, we didn’t ‘NOT’ try… we did discuss adoption (way out of our price range) we did discuss fertility treatments, my husband said no (I was relieved as visions of having multiples finally stopped invading my nightmares.) Thanks to feminism, we no longer have the option to be a one-income family. The idea of bringing a child into this world with a chronic illness did not appeal to me, however… I knew it would be heartwrenching once I made the final decision. It was. I grieved for the baby I would never have. I grieved. Now it is up to me to find “other” purpose in my life and I think that is what we try to do, Susan. We try to find our purpose without motherhood… our generation is the first that can say we made a conscious decision whether to reproduce or not. Now we will pave the way, consequences? Possible regret. Great post as always, very thought-provoking.~Kim (I signed up for your newsletter!)

    1. Susan Pearson avatar

      Hi Kim, Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a meaningful comment. As the window for considering fostering etc. is gradually reducing I feel I am going through the grieving stage although not entirely because there is still a slight possibility. I increasingly see this blog (and now my Youtube channel) as the legacy I will be leaving behind. Alongside an enormous family tree! Thank you so much for subscribing.

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  3. Liz avatar

    I have chosen not to have kids due to having barely enough energy to take care of myself! But when I was younger, I definitely wanted to so sometimes I get a little sad about it because life kind of chose for me. I have had friends with chronic illness though whose overriding desire to have kids made all the physical sacrifice etc worth it to them but for me, my heart’s not in it. I love my pets and my husband and my hobbies and I already can’t do nearly as much as I want. I love that you are considering some alternatives for yourself such as adoption down the road. It sucks what life can hand to us and it’s hard to know how to adapt! I have had to grieve what I won’t have but I also 100% know that for me, not having kids is the right decision so that at least gives me some measure of peace. Sometimes the grief still gets me though.

    1. Susan Pearson avatar

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Liz. As you say sometimes life chooses for you and this is the hardest part, deciding whether to have children is still a decision however hard it may be but if your body makes a choice for you… I am glad you have reconciled yourself with the decision. I find the hardest times to cope with it are when I am sat doing my genealogy work and seeing my family spanning the centuries knowing it will stop with me. I also struggle to look at bad parents who do not remotely understand the gift they have been given. Stay strong ?

  4. Clara avatar

    Like You, also cannot have children, plus totally echo the wise words above by Cath. We are still in the words of Maya Angelou- A Phenomenal Woman- we are no less as women plus no less worthy in society , for sure! Many mothers do not deserve to be mothers as they cannot care or love their children as they deserve to be loved too- there in lies the irony!! Some people who never become mothers end up showing motherly love to so many people even though they do not raise any kids or actively care for them under the same roof. Plus you can be motherly/nurtuing to adults, too! Some can easily breed that do not deserve to breed as they do not know how to be a parent or want the responsibility of showing that child love balanced equally with sound discipline so the child knows right from wrong yet always feels loved and valued ,however their offspring are still precious all the same just as we are equally special for being our unique selves! It is what it is- there is a purpose to everything even when we do not always fully understand it. Sometimes it can be a curse as well as a blessing simultaneously!! Our womb may be barren yet our hearts can still give out a great deal of love- just we are motherly in a very unique kind of way in nurturing others!

  5. Cath avatar

    I always imagined I would have children – but I have not. Not entirely by choice, but not straightforward. The world expects parenthood, and it can be hard when you don’t tick that box. I have those I love, but I am not a mother. I don’t think that has to define me, but motherhood does seem to be quite an exclusive club when you are not a member. I am still me.

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