(Note: This was extremely hard to write and I will, I’m sure, offend someone. But, I needed to share this not only to further healing myself but to take a stand on a issue that is too quiet. I hope I can help just one person go through this struggle. I hope that I can be their voice. And maybe I can open the eyes of those on the other side.)
There are a few kinds of “Non-Moms”: Those Childless by Choice, Those Who Cannot Bear Children, And Those Struggling to Conceive.
This blog is not particularly written for the “Childless by Choice”. You have already come to terms with your decision though I am sure some struggles arise for you as well. And maybe this blog will help you. Who knows? However, this is written for those of you who have had their motherhood dreams crushed or who were told the chances are small and for those trying every month to no avail. All non-moms-not-by-choice continue to go through the same trials. We are essentially living through what I call “The Great Mom Divide”.
We are broken up into two completely separate groups: The Moms & The Non-Moms. At times, we might as well be in separate countries with the way the distance feels between us. Moms will be social with other moms. And us non-moms, well, our group grows smaller and smaller.
The support group surrounding moms is large; non-moms, not so much. Think about it. Watch advertisements. There is even a National Holiday. There are groups and meetings. There is no voice for the non-mom sector of women.
Well, here it is, I’ll say it.
It almost feels like your going through a long term bereavement, a never ending sense of mourning. Society has essentially made it seem like you have not “arrived” unless you have become a mother or that you have failed at the one job you were put on the earth to do which is to procreate. You lose your sense of womanhood. You mourn the loss of your friends. They have migrated to the more like-minded, birth-accomplished circle. They are no longer in your life like they used to be or like you think they should be still. You are mourning the sense of accomplishment. You may be a successful career woman or an an intellectual or a giver to the community. But, you have not given to the world a child for the future. And unfortunately, you may be mourning the loss of your relationship with your partner whether it be all together or the way it used to be.
All those things that were once there are no longer or they are hanging on by a single thread. You feel alone. Childless women are a minority. They are sidelined by the Mommy Networks. Even the support you do end up getting sometimes isn’t the greatest either. You hear things like:
“It will happen when it happens.”
Or you are given a list of suggestions of what to do and not do.
Those suggestions are easier said than done and often unachievable. The stress is immense. We don’t know if it will happen. What if it doesn’t?
And then we have social media. Pregnancy announcements and endless baby pics clutter our news feeds.
I’m sure I can speak for most when I say:
Listen. We are happy for you. However, tone it down. Remember, there are those looking at your elated baby pics and crying for what they cannot have or what they have lost. It’s a constant reminder. Be conscious.
Their pictures get more likes than your announcement of a promotion or your picture of your cat. This is again when we start feeling like we’re being picked last for the dodgeball team. This is also when, through the tears, we hide you off our feeds.
This shit sucks. (Excuse my French.) But let me tell you this, you are not alone. That is one thing I have found out for sure working with the public and being insanely candid about my life. There are people out there that you would never guess that went through similar situations.
I can’t promise you your friends will ever come back. I can’t promise you it will be the same when they do. I can’t promise that you won’t hold a grudge when they return when you, in fact, conceive.
I can’t promise you any of this will become easier. But what I can promise you is that you will survive. You will become strong. And I can promise you that good things will happen if you believe it. Maybe a baby isn’t in our future, but we will be blessed with something else truly amazing.
And for those of you on the other side, here is a few words for you.
Though we may not be mothers, we are people too. We matter. And if you think we don’t notice that you have come to only associate with other moms, we have. We have noticed your texting us has essentially disappeared. We have noticed you only share, comment on, and like other moms’ social media posts. We are there too, you know?
Again, we are people too. You can say you had no idea that we felt this way because 1. We are out experiencing the wonders of the worlds and thought we were busy or 2. They have been so busy caring for their babies that they feel like they have no time to even shower let alone send “hi”via text. However, that picture you just posted showed you at the park with another mom friend says otherwise.
We all have emotions, the Moms and Non-Moms. I just hope maybe this makes a difference or just starts to narrow the Great Mom Divide.
We want to be excited for little Timmy’s first steps, but you have to let us. We want you to be excited for our life too, but you have to be there. We don’t have to feel like lepers. You can be there for us too. It only takes a second to ask us how we are. Maybe we won’t open up right away, but it’s nice to know you are still apart of our cheerleading team.
And though we may not have given birth, we can be mothers too. We have the power to be just as nurturing as those who are in your mom cliques. We would want to help you if you didn’t exclude us. If your too tired to reach out, call us we’ll come babysit while you nap. And please don’t think we can’t do or don’t trust us doing it. We are not morons because we haven’t pushed out a child.
It only pains us more to not be apart of your lives in the reality sense. We don’t want to only see your life from the light of a phone or computer screen. Let us use your children as our rent-a-kids to find some solace in our struggle.
Don’t let us fall by the way side. Please. It’s hard enough fighting a war with fertility. We non-moms and moms can coincide on this Earth. We are women. We have plenty of other fights to conquer. Feel free to comment but remember, this is all a matter of opinion and personal experience. Please do not comment negativity.
Happy Healing! Happy TTC!