A Letter To the Child We've Chosen Not To Have.

By alison March 14, 2007 17 Comments 2 Min Read

Babypic

Sometimes you read something, that plain old breaks your heart…

"A friend sent your dad and I a Christmas card last year, wishing us peace and joy. Under the news of her two little ones, she wrote that the past year had brought her "lots of joy, but not much peace".

Your dad and I have chosen peace over joy, which is why you don’t exist. Most of the time, sitting in our calm, ordered home, relishing the peace, freedom and all the other perks of childlessness, I’m happy with our decision.

But sometimes I wonder what I’ve turned my back on and who I’m missing out on.

You see, I won’t ever know what it is to cuddle you tightly in my arms and feel consumed with a love for you that is so strong that nothing can rival it.

I won’t experience you curling into me on the sofa as we look at a picture book together. I won’t smell your hair, still damp because you wouldn’t let me dry it properly after your bath. I won’t marvel at your shining brown eyes, so much like your dad’s. Instead I’ve chosen to fill my lap with the warmth of a cat.

I won’t look on with horror as our small, carefully furnished house fills with coloured plastic tat. Feathers, stones and other treasures gathered on Sunday afternoon walks won’t ever make it on to our windowsills. The beige sofa will remain blackcurrant-stain free…"

Oh for a sofa that remained blackcurrant stain free.  Hair never damp because he won’t let me wash it without world war three breaking out. Mess. Constant mess and early mornings I  quietly resent…

Life without him was easier, cleaner…and yes, indeed, in retrospect, peaceful. But I need him now. He’s a little piece of me I wouldn’t have the chance to meet.
I am him and he is me.

But respect where it is due; to make a decision that clearly steals a bit of your soul, is a brave one indeed. May she always be content.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

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17 Comments

  1. Petah Hatcher says:

    You are so right Alison, every body has the right to make their own decision and I hope in the end this lady feels she has made the right one. Even though I might complain about the mess and the lack of 'us' time with my husband, I wouldn't change it in a heart beat. I have three little people that I love so much I could pop!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I think even if we have kids, we'll find ourselves in this lady's situation at some point. I bet I'll be bored out of my skull when my two sons are grown up and not around. I truly dread when the next six years are up and they're off to college or whatever it is they decide to do. They're so funny and active, and give me a new perspective on the world every day. I'd better get some more compelling hobbies going before the day comes when I find myself alone and staring around at my quiet, clean house. For now, I plan to enjoy our ripped sofa, our skateboard and helmet cluttered house and my noisy, sweaty, affectionate family.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I think even if we have kids, we'll find ourselves in this lady's situation at some point. I bet I'll be bored out of my skull when my two sons are grown up and not around. I truly dread when the next six years are up and they're off to college or whatever it is they decide to do. They're so funny and active, and give me a new perspective on the world every day. I'd better get some more compelling hobbies going before the day comes when I find myself alone and staring around at my quiet, clean house. For now, I plan to enjoy our ripped sofa, our skateboard and helmet cluttered house and my noisy, sweaty, affectionate family.

  4. Alison, everyone has indeed the right to make their own decision but I find women with children so much happier than those without a family. You are so lucky to have a little boy, to have joy instead of peace. I do not have children yet and can only hope my dream comes true in the near future. I long for stains on my sofa and some mess around the house.

  5. That letter makes me so sad. By giving up what she will never know now, she has lost so much already. She'll never know the overwhelming joy of just looking at your child and feeling the all consuming love for them. The utter peace you feel when you hold your sleeping baby. There are no greater riches than the sheer delight when one of my children catch my eye and say "I love you, Mommy".

  6. That letter makes me so sad. By giving up what she will never know now, she has lost so much already. She'll never know the overwhelming joy of just looking at your child and feeling the all consuming love for them. The utter peace you feel when you hold your sleeping baby. There are no greater riches than the sheer delight when one of my children catch my eye and say "I love you, Mommy".

  7. Kimberly says:

    Alison,I love your web-site and part of why i love it is because I'm childless and not by choice. The Dr.'s still don't know what's wrong with me ten years later after initial testing. According to them i'm a medical mystery because i should be perfectly fine for children. It helped destroy my marriage because my husband wanted sons to pass on his Scottish heritage to and adoption wasn't an option for him and we couldn't afford fertility treatments. So he married someone else and I get to see him and his new wife all the time with their kids and it kills me sometimes. I have a very difficult time with my girlfriends because they are all married with kids and they don't have much time for friendship anymore so I am often very lonely. Plus to my surprise many of them disapproved of my being such a career oriented woman never realizing that I had medical issues that kept me childless. There is this sense of pity and resentment towards me because my life is seen as so easy and carefree. I've been yelled at by work because on a day off my car was in the shop and some frantic mommy with a sick kid was counting on me to come in and cover for her simply due to the fact that I don't have kids. I didn't have any possible way to come in for her because of my own emergency with my car and she has been nasty to me ever since. It's not easy dealing with situations like that because i like to help when I can but i'm not always available. It actually helped me to read this letter. thanks for being brave enough to post it.

  8. pinky says:

    This story made me shiver.My 1st marriagebroke up because of the strain of infertility and when I eventually met a man I really, really wanted to have babies with and still could`nt, the responsibility of my unfulfilment & unhappiness drove him away too. Now at 40, the realisation that I`ll never become a grandparent either is kicking in.All my heart goes out to Kimberly as I know just what she`s going through.

  9. pinky says:

    This story made me shiver.My 1st marriagebroke up because of the strain of infertility and when I eventually met a man I really, really wanted to have babies with and still could`nt, the responsibility of my unfulfilment & unhappiness drove him away too. Now at 40, the realisation that I`ll never become a grandparent either is kicking in.All my heart goes out to Kimberly as I know just what she`s going through.

  10. Elaine says:

    Ummm – I’m childfree by choice and I’m very happy and content, and have joy in my life thanks. I’m very glad you ladies are happy too and my heart goes out to those who yearn for children and can’t conceive – however, please don’t judge me and those who are like me, as women who are some how lessened by that choice.

  11. Elaine says:

    Ummm – I'm childfree by choice and I'm very happy and content, and have joy in my life thanks. I'm very glad you ladies are happy too and my heart goes out to those who yearn for children and can't conceive – however, please don't judge me and those who are like me, as women who are some how lessened by that choice.

  12. Elaine says:

    Ummm – I’m childfree by choice and I’m very happy and content, and have joy in my life thanks. I’m very glad you ladies are happy too and my heart goes out to those who yearn for children and can’t conceive – however, please don’t judge me and those who are like me, as women who are some how lessened by that choice.

  13. Elaine says:

    Ummm – I’m childfree by choice and I’m very happy and content, and have joy in my life thanks. I’m very glad you ladies are happy too and my heart goes out to those who yearn for children and can’t conceive – however, please don’t judge me and those who are like me, as women who are some how lessened by that choice.

  14. Elaine says:

    oh good grief – sorry about the posting in triplicate folks!

  15. Elaine says:

    oh good grief – sorry about the posting in triplicate folks!

  16. jellybean says:

    Well said, Elaine. I agree with you completely.

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