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“Sometimes people with good intentions can say hurtful and insensitive things to people with infertility who are trying to conceive: “Maybe it’s not meant to be.”, “Well, you can always try harder” “You want kids? Take mine”. “What do you want a baby for anyway?” “Don’t worry, just relax, and it will happen.” “Why don’t you just adopt?”

I have heard those statements over and over again. My ex-husband and I tried to have a baby and were unsuccessful. We did what we could afford. However, I am older, and many things available today were not unavailable then. We were military and went to the hospital on base to get help. They did the usual things, but nothing helped.

I don’t want to talk about why I can’t have children but how it is to live a childless life.

I was angry that God did not allow me to have children. I was envious of my friends who kept having baby after baby, even when they were not ready for their next child. We tried adoption and had a baby in our home, but before the adoption was final, the birth mother changed her mind. We were devastated.

There are triggers to being frustrated at not having children.

HOLIDAYS can be difficult. Christmas is a memorable holiday for all. It is the birth of Jesus. However, secularly it is a holiday for children—Santa, reindeer, presents, etc. I often shop online because I feel pain when I see all the toys, children’s clothes, pajamas for families, and more. When I was younger, I envisioned my children waking up early in the morning and opening Christmas gifts. Now I struggle with not watching grandchildren open presents. There are many other difficult holidays. I have learned to feel my pain and then find the things that bring me happiness during the holiday.

CHILD DEDICATIONS AT CHURCH. At my church, we have child dedications where parents pledge to teach their children about Jesus. They vow to bring them up in the Christian faith. Unfortunately, I never got that opportunity, so I often get a lump in my throat when that event occurs.

SCHOOL/SPORTS EVENTS. I feel like I missed out because I do not have a child to support in their school and sports activities. There are musical and drama performances, science fairs, many sports activities, and more.

SHOPPING. When I go to stores, I avoid the infant and toddler section. However, when walking through the store, it seems like you often walk past the infant’s department. My eyes look at the little clothes, cribs, and car seats, and I wish I had someone to buy for. My heart hurts.

The question is, how do I face life now?

I have shared that I spent years in depression after losing the child I was attempting to adopt. Now life is good, and I appreciate every moment. However, it is not easy, and the longing for children is always present.

I will never forget when a person I met for the first time asked me if I had children. When I said “no,” she asked if I had pets, I said “no,” and she called me selfish. Others ask the same question and respond with “That’s too bad” or “Did you not want them?” and other questions that are none of their business,

I have learned to be satisfied with myself. I often feel lonely not having much family left, but I have learned to do things independently. I go to children’s movies and enjoy them. I buy items for baby showers for my friends’ children. I enjoy my friends’ grandchildren (yes, I am of grandparent age!) and attend children’s musicals. Does it hurt? Yes, it does, but I find it in my heart to find some joy in the activity.

I love to be a part of others' joy. Sometimes looking at pictures of children and grandchildren is almost more than I can bear. However, I do not want to be left out of special events, and more times than not, I want to see the pictures.

God has blessed me with three children (two of them are adults) that call me Aunt Christy and have been a part of my life since they were born. At times I live my life vicariously through their mom and grandma.

There are times when I am reminded that I am childless. It is not as hard as it was when the majority of my friends were having babies. Now my friends are having grandbabies, and I get a little jealous of not getting to experience that joy.

I looked up how to be happy when you are childless and got the following:

How to Be Happy When You Can't Have Children

1. Be willing to let go of how your life “should” be.

2. Change how you think about happiness.

3. Carefully choose how you spend your time.

4. Learn how to live with wisps of sorrow…and say hallelujah anyway.

5. Learn how other women are coping with childlessness.

I know that the above sounds trite, but I have tried some of the above, which was helpful. So, I encourage you to try some things to better your life.

My prayer for you is that you become comfortable with yourself and give of yourself to other children. You have a lot to offer!

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