INTRO by Stephanie Phillips
Last year I wrote about why World Childless Week will always focus around the 16th September and expressed how I thought we should reclaim the day for us, for the childless not by choice comunity. I tried to point out on some positives that we could celebrate each year.
We can celebrate that we have found support.
We can celebrate that each year the pain is a little less.
We can celebrate that each year more of us will speak out.
We can celebrate that each year more people will hear us.
We can celebrate that we are worthy.
We can celebrate that we are not alone.
The following poem by Samina Khan extends and deepens on my thoughts from last year. It expands on how we can and should celebrate going forward because of our worth.
Now is the beginning of our new tomorrow....
Now is the time to deal with our sorrow
the pains and hurts of yesteryear
need to be acknowledged and seen without fear-
yes we've done many things which we'd prefer to forget
but even more damning those things we didn't,
which lead to regret- over the life that we thought was ours to claim and instead we live under persistent shame
How can I claim to be a woman and live on this earth
when I've never had the experience of giving birth?
When I'll never know the joys of being a mother
of joining with a man to create another?
Isn't this what life is all about
isn't this the meaning that removes all doubt?
Doubt about our worth, our value, our place
and without this aren't we just a walking disgrace?
Yes its hard to battle the cultural story
of how motherhood is the ultimate glory
it's hard to admit to the loneliness and shame
to not take it personally and be filled with self-blame
Yet I tell you this sisters like me
we need to speak out so that others can see
we're not broken women, to be hidden away
we've got so much to offer, so much to say-
We're defining a new way for women to be
we're at the cutting edge, creating a new history
Whilst its true that many of us never wanted this role
we craved normalcy, a family, that was our goal
and yet we must play with the cards we are dealt
and that includes making sure all of our feelings are felt
we must make room for our grief and our rage
otherwise we condemn ourselves to live inside a cage
of our very own making and being our own prison guard
it really doesn't need to be so hard
so will you join me in this invitation
to change our lives into a celebration
not of what might have been, but what is here right now
include it all and simply allow
the thought that you have a place to claim-
a place filled with possibilities with no space for blame
we may not be mothers in the accepted sense
but what we have to offer is truly immense
we are giving birth to a new way of being
where our pain and our shame open us to seeing
that grief and compassion exist side by side
go deep inside one and you'll find the other resides
so to my sisters I say let's stop playing small
let's tune deep inside and hear the call
of the world crying out for the wisdom we hold
we need to be fierce and wise, gentle and bold
so yes our new tomorrow begins right here today.
childless sisters join with me and let's claim our voice-
and finally let's have our say.
Samina Khan June 2018