Life Without Children by Meriel Whale

It’s not what I expected.

It’s not what I planned.

It’s not what I hoped for.

But it’s OK all of the time and sometimes it’s really good.

And it comforts me to know that I did my best to have children,

didn’t give up,

tried as hard as I could.

So what does my version of a life without children look like?

Sometimes, it is quiet.

Sometimes I feel lonely, or sad, or regretful.

Sometimes, my heart still hurts.

Sometimes, I am busy.

Sometimes I feel relieved.

Sometimes I realise that it wouldn’t have been the life I had dreamed of, but a different life.

Sometimes I pine after lost dreams, sometimes I make room for new ones.

I go to work, I clean the house, I cook and I see friends and family.

I don’t travel the world, go to wild parties on work nights, or wear glamorous clothes.

I live an ordinary, and fairly prosaic life.

I am lucky to have an expanded family of fellow childless women who have become my sisters.

I am lucky that I have not lost my friends who have children.

I am lucky that we are still close and that we all realise there is more to life than kids.

I am lucky, although I still wrestle with loss.

The time when I could have children is in the past,

and I spend less and less time looking that way.

When I look to the future,

I see that my life has more and more in common with others,

both those with and without children.

I feel grateful to see the similarities more than the differences.

I feel grateful to have something to offer.

I have learned, loved and lost.


And now I offer my experiences to others

as I prepare for a life as a counsellor for childlessness,

ready to be a fearless companion

and advocate to others walking my path.

You are not alone.

Meriel Whale