We always thought we would have kids. We started trying when we believed we were ready. A month went by, then two months, six months, a year. Nothing happened.

Something was wrong, but nobody could tell us what - and they still can't to this day. We tried IVF three times but our results were not good. We were devastated.

Eighteen months after our last IVF cycle, we knew we would not be having our own children. And, somehow, we have moved to a life that is much different to the one we thought we'd have.

This blog is about what we do now we know we won't be having children - the thoughts, dreams, realities, sorrows, and joys that have become our new life path.

I hope you will enjoy what I will be sharing, and I hope that if you are at the point where life without children is a reality for you, that you might find some hope and inspiration here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stuck in a rut...

When I started this blog I made the conscious decision that I would be honest in sharing the different things I experienced – including emotions and thoughts that might be considered negative.

Well – a few weeks ago I had a meltdown. I was going to write about it just after it happened, but instead I have waited until my thoughts have become clearer and the emotions I felt are not so intense.

The instigator to this meltdown was hearing one too many times from mums that their lives were never-ending chores, and day after day they had to do the same stuff. Clean the bathroom, go to work, and feed the kids...being busy, busy, busy…

It’s true that the lives of parents can be insanely busy, and that days seem to go past in a blur of doing the same things again and again. But, just because I don’t have children does not mean that my life does not do the same. The never-ending dishes, the floors that need sweeping, the bills that have to be paid.

Some might say that I have it easier as I have more time than parents do, although this is, in some cases debatable, given I have numerous health issues that have made me exceptionally tired a lot of the time (although recent good news is that there might be an answer to my tiredness!!).

The contest between who has the most to do is not really the point of this blog entry. The meltdown came to the fore when I had an adult tantrum and cried and asked Kirby how parents could really say that their lives were the same day after day when every day they get to see their children develop and grow a little bit more, and they get to watch as their kids learn new skills and become their own people. “At least they get something out of it! They have no idea!” I remember saying as tears rolled down my cheeks.

If anything – I said to Kirby in far more angry words than I am writing here – we are the ones that have the same drudgery day after day because we do all the housework and the bill paying and this and this and this, for what?

Is that the truth though? After some reflection I realised it is not – or at least it doesn’t have to be. Kirby and I can choose to have the same day over and over again and get stuck in a rut of our own making – or we can choose to seek new activities and adventures.

We can also choose to watch with delight, wonder, and interest as, not only the children in our lives, but all the people we care about and ourselves develop and grow and have adventures and become more authentic (all of which never stops as long as we live).

Just in the past few months:
  • One of my nieces has achieved top grades in maths (we definitely do not share that talent – one plus three equals eleven, right?)
  • Another of my nieces has been put up a level in swimming (she is part dolphin just like her Dad!)
  • Our nephew, now five years of age, created a card game for us to play (I love his imagination!)
  • Our friends have been on a holiday throughout Europe (I can’t wait to see their photos!)
  • Kirby has done up another BMX bike (before and after photos below)
  • And Kirby and I have both started mountain biking (I fell off and bruised my leg the first time I tried it!)


Even just writing those four examples has put a smile on my face and a sense of excitement in my heart.

Life doesn’t have to be a rut if we make it an adventure!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

All grown up…

Last year I redid our front yard to use only plants that are indigenous to our area. I wrote a blog post about it on the 3rd of March 2014.

One of the shrubs I chose was a wattle.

These photos show just how much it has grown and how beautiful its flowers are.

As a baby...
All grown up...
Beautiful flowers...

 As I’ve written before – while I can’t create a baby, I can create through words, through gardening, and in many other ways.

I sincerely believe it is important for people who want children but are unable to have them to find a creative outlet of some kind. This doesn’t necessarily mean something that is considered traditionally artistic. You could do up cars, you could nurture relationships with your loved ones, you could create adventures to go on with your family or friends.

The joy from seeing something come about because of you is an incredible feeling.

I often go out the front just to touch the wattle's leaves and flowers, and to talk to it. If that makes me sound strange then I’m proud to be strange...it seems I’ve always had an affinity with nature (maybe because I’m part Celtic?).

When I was about two years of age I was visiting the hospital where I was born. My Mum found me out in the garden where there were some stately old gum trees. I was standing quietly and Mum asked me what I was doing. I told her that the trees were talking to me (in the words of a two year old course).

I don’t hear my wattle talk, but I do believe it is part of me and I love my baby.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What Mali said...

One of my regular readers, Mali, made a comment on my last blog entry about losing friends.

Here it is in its entirety:

“You're right - there's no real reason for this. But I had one friend - the last person I would have thought I would have lost - who withdrew from me when her children started school. A few years later I was invited to a dinner, and there were all these new friends I'd never met - all parents of her kids' friends. None of the friends she'd had five or ten years earlier.

I'm lucky though - the friends I have who have children have mostly not changed. And you'll find that once their kids are older, they start to come back too. Case in point - I'm going to my aforementioned friend's new house for dinner this week.”

It’s the last two sentences of the comment that had me really thinking.

I hope that the friends that have disappeared from my life after they’ve had kids do come back to me one day.

And I do believe I’ll be there to welcome them with open arms, a smile, and, of course, a coffee!

Thank you, Mali, for your comment, your continued support, and for how you have a way of making me reflect more deeply than I otherwise might about the issues we face when we can’t have kids.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lost friends...

I never expected that it would happen to me. I always thought that the friends I cared about most would be my friends throughout any situation – including when they had children. I imagined being there for them, spending time with them and their kids, listening to funny stories about what their sons and/or daughters had done, and being a sounding board whenever they needed one.

The truth is – when you can’t have kids, and your friends who were without children when you met them have their babies, you may find yourself on the outer edges of their world, or not even in their world at all.

This has happened to me. Fortunately I still see most of my friends who have had children and I am so grateful and blessed for this. But, there have been a few that no longer contact me or make any effort to try and catch up. I’ve tried a couple of times to organise coffees or a trip to a local play cafĂ© so their kids could come too, but to no avail.

I don’t know why this happens. Some people have told me that it is because my friends have children now and they will have made friends with other mums – women who have more in common with my friends and understand their situation more than I do.

Maybe that’s true. But, I have friends from a range of different situations – from single to partnered or married, to divorced or widowed; friends with and without children (some children are young and some are adults); people in their twenties to people in their seventies; people who are gay and people who are straight; people from all different cultures…I don’t see why becoming a mum means you can’t have a range of friends from all walks of life as well.

Especially when a friend outside of the parenting community is willing to drive for 45 minutes just to have a five minute coffee, if that’s all the time their parent friend has to catch up.

I don’t get it. Maybe they no longer contact me for some other reason – something I’m not aware of that has upset them perhaps.

Anyway – I need to remember the friends and family I do have that are amazing, that seek me out as much as I do them, and for whom I have such love and admiration – family who are my blood relatives, and friends who are my soul family.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

On being invisible...

Once again I haven’t written a blog entry for a while – due to bits and pieces in life and due to wallowing in self-pity for the past few weeks (I admit it! I did!).

Part of that wallowing and that “It’s not fair!” attitude that I’ve had has been related to what I believed was an increase in advertising aimed at, and other media (such as on-line groups to share  recipes and household tips, and opportunities to review products such as cars) reserved for, women who are mums.

I have been in tears. I have felt as though I am not worth anything because there appeared to be so many aspects of life that I cannot participate in due to not having children, and where I am invisible. It seemed that the world was pushing a toothpick into a wound that was almost healed, and it hurt.

I became particularly angry at one post on a car manufacturer’s Facebook page where “real” mums were providing reviews on a new model of car that had just been released. I posted on the page asking what was with all the reviews by mums for seemingly every product on the market.

Well I sure got it from the mums... How dare I say that mums shouldn’t do reviews – although that wasn’t what I meant – I was just wondering why the views of people who weren’t mums was being overlooked. Some of the mums pointed out that they have special criteria, as mums, that they require from cars – such as safety, space, easy to drive, fuel efficiency, etc.

Ow! There goes the toothpick jabbing my wound just a little bit more. My next response on the page  was that these criteria were equally important to me and to many other non-mum people – such as grandparents, dads, people with fur-kids, uncles, aunts, friends of people with kids, and even people who have nothing to with kids at all. After all, who wants a car that isn’t safe, doesn’t have enough space for their lifestyle, is horrible to drive, and costs a lot of money to run?

This, too, did not go down well. How dare I suggest that my needs in a car were the same as that of a mum?

The toothpick…well…

I realised something important and decided to pull out the toothpick and put a strong bandage over my wound.

It was a sudden epiphany that the opinions of those particularly mums was completely inconsequential to me. I know who I am. I know what I like and what I don’t regarding many different products. I care about my nephews and nieces and their safety – just as much as their mums do. And I have the choice to not allow the mum-focussed marketing to hurt me. It doesn’t actively hurt me – I hurt myself. I let the toothpick in – and often the toothpick is one I selected for myself.

And most mums – and especially the ones that are my friends and family – don’t think of me as unimportant. They see me as I am, without children, and seek my company and want to know what I think about all sorts of things.

I am not invisible to them. And that is what matters.