If you’re like me, and always aspired and expected to be a mother, Mother’s Day, and the days that precede it, can be a heavy time. With continuous Mother’s Day promotions and news stories featuring moms of all ages, shapes and sizes (“It’s the hardest job in the world!”), the day can make us feel left out and less-than. For some, Mother’s Day is a harsh reminder that the dream of motherhood has not (yet) come true.
OK ladies, take a breath. You’re not the only ones hoping to have a baby or who have given birth to a second or even third child after your fortieth birthday. In fact, you’re part of a growing trend of women who do.
I’m not feeling well. Over the past few says, my stomach has been feeling kind of queasy and I’ve had a certain malaise about me. My mood has been a little off and I’m just not as focused as I usually am.
This morning, it hit me harder, like it’s been building up and building up. It was while scanning Facebook and Twitter, blogs and news sites that I realized what has gotten me feeling so very out of sorts…
When a woman is over age 30, single and childless, people want to know why. Not just her doting parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Not just the college roommate whose bridal and baby showers she threw ten or fifteen years earlier. Not just her married mom friends chiding her to get on the bandwagon. Not just her co-workers. Not just the nosy neighbor down the street. Just about everyone is just dying to know: What is she waiting for?
Single women who yearn to be mothers go through their own heartache. They are waiting for their future life partner to come into their lives before they can even begin to try to conceive. While their infertility is circumstantial, it can be just as difficult as each month passes. But because their grief is not commonly understood, it’s often brushed aside with comments that, while are often meant to help, are hurtful.
In a new report published last month by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC: ‘Unnatural’, ‘Unwomanly’, ‘Uncreditable’ and ‘Undervalued’: The Significance of Being a Childless Woman in Australian Society, authors Stephanie Rich, Ann Taket, Melissa Graham, Julia Shelley Published studied the experiences of childless women in contemporary Australia. The study revealed five recurring themes: woman = mother; notions of ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’; childlessness as a discrediting attribute; feeling undervalued; and the significance of being childless.