February 6, 2016

One of those “challenges” was going around online recently, this time challenging all the mums out there to post photos of themselves with their children, saying what wonderful mothers they are.  Seems harmless enough right?  Wrong!

I know people were accepting the challenge in good faith, taking it as an opportunity to say how proud they were of their children, how much they love them, what fantastic parents they are.  But for me, it was really hard to see.  I know people didn’t mean to hurt me but seeing endless streams of mothers & their children really hurt.

Don’t get me wrong, I love children.  Whenever friends tell me they’re pregnant, I’m genuinely happy for them.  I enjoy spending time with them & their children and seeing photos of their offspring at different stages of their lives.  But it still hurts!  I guess I’d always imagined my life with children around me.  Imagined what they’d be like, what we’d do together, how it would be.  I thought about happy times & outings with my own parents and recreated those memories with my own children.  But the reality is, it hasn’t happened.  I haven’t met someone with whom I have been blessed with my own children.  It’s not going to happen now.  Children will not be part of my future.  That’s a hard thing to come to terms with & all the fortunate parents out there can never understand that. They don’t see that hole, that void which grows at times.  In a way it’s a kind of grief, a grief for something which I will never have.  It’s something which I’ve come to accept, I guess I have to, doesn’t mean I like it though.

So when I saw all those photos appearing in my news stream for days on end, it was painful.  It was a visible reminder of something which I perhaps bury in the ground & try not to think about.  It’s not easy to put into words eloquently, but suffice to say, it was tough.

It seemed incredible that I would be alone with these feelings, after all I’m not unique, there are so many people out there without children, some by choice, some by fate & despite desperate & determined efforts to change their situation. There are those out there who have lost children, who have been through unbearably painful experiences and to whom their childless states must be a daily challenge to their own existence.  My own situation seems rosy by comparison, but all the same it’s hard.

I read another blog post online which seemed to sum things up much better than I could ever do, so I encourage you to read it, to think about how other people might be feeling.  I don’t begrudge you your happiness, or your photos, I just ask you to stop and think next time.




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