It’s something that, for some reason, women aren’t encouraged to talk about.
It’s something that some think connotes weakness.
…like a conservative, 1950’s housewife instead of a 21st century independent woman.
It’s something that certain people take to mean you are like a conservative, 1950’s housewife instead of a 21st century independent woman.
And it’s not even remotely controversial. Ready?
“I’m really sad that I may not get married and have my own biological children.”
You may think I’m exaggerating. But all you have to do is pay attention to the title of this first-person piece by Melanie Notkin called “My Secret Grief: Over 35, Single and Childless” to know that sharing this desire is not always a popular stance.
Not in a society in which admitting one’s desire for something traditional is often twisted into a retrograde, anti-feminist message, rather than what it is: a deep and aching need for many women.
“Grief over not being able to have children is acceptable for couples going through biological infertility. Grief over childlessness for a single woman in her thirties and forties is not as accepted. Instead, it’s assumed we just don’t understand that our fertility has a limited lifespan and we are simply being reckless with chance…Or, it’s assumed we’re not ‘trying hard enough,’ or we’re ‘being too picky.’ The latest trend is to assume we don’t really want children because we haven’t frozen our eggs, adopted or had a biological baby as a single woman.
This type of grief, grief that is not accepted or that is silent, is referred to as disenfranchised grief. It’s the grief you don’t feel allowed to mourn because your loss isn’t clear or understood. You didn’t lose a sibling or a spouse or a parent. But losses that others don’t recognize can be as powerful as the kind that is socially acceptable.”
Women like Ms. Notkin are my readers and clients – women who have everything going for them…except for the life they envisioned for themselves. Which, is why I’m so sympathetic to their desires and take great pride in helping women find love and start families – yes, even in their 40’s. Love U is filled with ’em.
I’ll give the author the last word:
“The grief over never becoming a mother is one I will never get over, like the grief over losing my own mother 23 years ago. But like that kind of grief, with time, it’s no longer constant or active. Yes, there’s still hope I’ll meet a man who has the desire to have a baby with me and will be prepared to be with me through the treatments I may need to make that happen. Or grieve with me should they not work. But mainly, I just keep going, looking for love. Thankfully, there’s no biological time limit on that dream.”
Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.