Kidless & Content

By Cynthia A. Lovely

Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the long lethal needle. Averting my gaze, I fought a wave of panic. It was too late to turn back. The needle had already been injected into my fragile flesh causing a faint numbness to steal over my body. As the panic receded, I welcomed the numbness from the shot. It would alleviate the pain and discomfort of the present necessary medical procedure. Necessary if I wanted to discover the reasons for my thus far infertile condition. Minor surgery and numerous tests still had not pinpointed the problem. I was weary of the challenge and unwilling to go much further. Afterwards, my husband and I sat in the medical office waiting to hear the latest report. Sensing a moment of decision, he reached over to hold my hand. The Doctor breezed back into the office in all her professional demeanor with her clipboard at the ready.

To this day I’m not sure of all the medical jargon and textbook terms that were discussed in that office. But the end result was clear. Too many negatives, risks and uncertainties factored into our final decision to remain childless. Ironically, the day I gave up the dream of having a child, I relinquished my own child-like belief in demanding that life give me exactly what I desired. My grown-up journey had begun.

It didn’t happen overnight but it started at that crucial point of resolution. The next step was to make the best out of the situation. The fact that I had a caring and supportive husband made all the difference. We determined that our love for one another was solid and sure; we would protect and cherish it above all else. Watching friends and acquaintances struggle through the troubling seas of infertility, with an unrelenting insistence to produce a child, was an eye-opening experience. They became burdened with stress, obsessive behaviors and an unhealthy outlook. Sadly, a few were contemplating divorce proceedings. The main goal in their lives had been reduced to creating a child no matter the cost to their own relationship. After viewing these circumstances we arrived at the same satisfying conclusion. I didn’t marry my spouse because I thought he would be a wonderful father some day. I fell in love with the single male who was gentle, compassionate, fun to be with and who could make my toes curl with just a wink. He didn’t marry me dreaming of the sweet little mother I would be to his offspring. He fell in love with “an innocent, pretty blonde with a strong sense of integrity, a caring manner and an unexpected spunky attitude behind the shy appearance.”

Two is the perfect number for our marriage. We are smart enough not to question this fact. Of course, the journey has been interesting as we navigate the murky waters of childless couples vs. couples with children. Constantly we veer away from discussions on bottle feedings, pregnancy war stories or grandchildren escapades.  We gravitate naturally towards other couples without children. Does this mean we avoid couples with offspring? Not at all. It is interesting to note that our closest friends do have children. They have accepted and invited us into their family activities and events. They enjoy our adult conversation and friendship. We love being included as part of their family. We treasure these special friendships.

My husband and I have chosen to focus on the positive aspects of no children.  Instead of bemoaning the fact, cringing at the scent of baby powder or fleeing from the joy of the newly pregnant – we smile, congratulate them with sincerity and move on. Rather than completely avoiding any children, we enjoy being an aunt and uncle and even an adopted aunt and uncle to close friends. As I grow older, I do admit to a sense of freedom and relief on returning home to a quiet child-free refuge after spending a lot of time with rambunctious mini-people.

Other pros include no worries about college costs, adult children’s poor life choices or the threat of turning into overactive grandparents with constant babysitting responsibilities. Through this maturing process I respect the choices of others. I hope for the same respect in return. I am not to be pitied. I do not feel unfulfilled. Have I ever wondered what it would have been like with a child? Yes. I willingly released the dream of a little girl with blonde curls and the easygoing disposition of her father with perhaps her mother’s sassy attitude. It wasn’t part of the master plan. I accept that.

It has been said that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When life hands me lemons, I’m gifting them to a busy neighbor with six kids. The children will be sure to enjoy the lemonade treat. Then I’ll head off to the best dessert place in town, overdose on a Death by Chocolate creation and toast to the good life with my husband. God has blessed me with a man I treasure, a country home in beautiful upstate New York, the time and ability to pursue my dream of a writing career, beloved friends and family and a deep rooted faith in wisdom higher than my own. I’ve learned to appreciate the blessings that I have and not waste time or energy on wishes that won’t happen.

I am kidless. I am content.

About this writer

  • Cynthia A. Lovely Cynthia A. Lovely is a freelance writer from upstate NY. Previous publications include Tea Time, Romantic Homes, Looking Back, other periodicals and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is currently writing a women’s novel for the Christian market. Compare kidless stories with her at cllyrics@gmail.com or www.cynthialovely.com.

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10 Responses to “Kidless & Content”

  1. Cynthia, thank you so much for this excellent article. My husband & I celebrated our 29th anniversary July 4th. We too are child-free. Both coming from very rough homes we went into our marriage not wanting children. We wanted each other. We “got” each other–understanding each other. Then, I wanted a family. He didn’t. Then a life-quake occurred and again I didn’t want kids–actually, was relieved kids weren’t underfoot to experience the upsets. Now I’m at the age when friends are becoming grandparents. I’ve also seen so many broken homes with kids forgotten about. Yet, I still get choked up when I see an honest-to-God beautiful moment when a parent is sincerely loving his/her child in public. It’s all good. And I’m okay. I’m not less of a person for not having kids. Bottom line: God loves me for who I am. He’s my Father. All I want in life is to make Him proud as His daughter.

    • Cynthia says:

      Elaine,
      Thank you for your response and for sharing
      your own kidless story. I love how you expressed
      the balance with “it’s all good.” And so glad to
      find out you are another New Yorker and within “meet for tea” distance!

  2. Excellent article, Cynthia! What a blessed couple you are. :-)

  3. Elizabeth Camden says:

    What a great post. Thanks You! I am also without kids of my own….. I got married too late to have them, and would prefer to count the blessings of a wonderful marriage rather than dwell on one aspect that simply isn’t in the cards for me. Perhaps it is because most girls grow up assuming we will have kids that it takes us a while to re-wire our thinking.

    Anyway….. it is nice to meet a fellow traveller. Thanks for the post!

  4. Cynthia, I am in awe how God brought you from a point of pain to a point of acceptance and contentment (and even joy). I waffle between those three states of mind. The start of a new school year – seeing kindergarteners board the bus in their crisp school uniforms as I wait in a line of traffic behind them, their mothers weeping with pride and sadness as they take off… Mother’s Day.. family birthdays & holidays etc. all bring the pain rushing back. But like you, as the years pass and with God’s grace, it doesn’t hurt so much and I can accept the “upside” of being childless. Yet, my first choice would have always been to be a Mom. And I am learning it’s okay to feel that way.

    • Cynthia says:

      Jenna (Beth),
      Thank you for your honesty. I think the comments on the article both here and personally, show how we are all at different stages in this area. I do understand your feelings. And I pray that God reveals to you how beautiful and blessed, and valuable and treasured you are to Him, just as you are! And that He desires to use all those talents, skills, abilities that He has placed in you. He truly has a perfect plan for your life…

  5. Theresa Diane Cahill says:

    Dear Cynthia-What a beautiful, insightful and truthful article. It’s so great to have your personal and honest prospective of a subject that is often off-lmits as far as meaningful discussion is concerned, Your acceptance of God’s plan for your life is inspiring.Also,your writing is a blessed gift from God.Please keep it up! I look forward to lots more in the future.

  6. Thank you for reposting this link. It’s a great reminder to all of us that Mother’s Day is still a sad day for some…for a variety of reasons.

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