I took a break. A long one.
December sucked for many reasons but the largest one was the passing of my grandmother. Her passing and the affect on the family was very sad and no matter how much it may be time, no one is ever prepared for it when it comes.
Gram had six children and the majority of them spoke at the funeral. Siting there, listening to the stories, it hit me. BOOM. A psychological punch to the face. When my time is up and let’s face it - we have a 100% chance of death - no one will stand up and talk about their mom. If I am lucky someone might talk about me as a wife, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a colleague or a friend. But never as a mom. When I go, all that is me goes with me.
Holy F**k, that’s dark isn’t it?! And that, internet friends, is why I had to take a break. That was one hell of a long, dark rabbit hole.
So why now? Why can I come back now and talk about it? Two reasons. 1) Time, the great equalizer of all things shitty and 2) a good friend who can look me right in the eye over a cup of coffee and a piece of quiche and remind me with a single look (and possibly an arched eyebrow), that I am being ridiculously dramatic. Thank all that is good in the world for friends like that.
I am sure I am not alone in these thoughts. As humans we have psychological desire to contribute to the next generation and most of us accomplish that through having children. Read more about generativity here
So when you don’t have children, how do you fulfill that deep desire to make your life count? (and no, this isn’t me saying you need to have children to make your life count - read the article) I think that’s the biggest challenge that we face as people who are child free but not by choice. Even for those who have decided to be child free, the same psychological needs are there. This sense of meaning, of purpose, is still one I am struggling with more than six months after our decision to stop. Perhaps we can figure it out together.
And yes, in the calm light of day I understand that having children so they can speak at your funeral and look after you when you are old is not what having children is all about but brains can be very irrational at times : )