from Adoption and Child Free Living.)
way in which people cope with childlessness will depend
on many factors, but remember that:
There is no "right" way of coping with childlessness.
Each person's way of coping will depend on their own
experiences and emotions and has to suit that individual.
You have to give yourself time.
will be times when it is easier to manage than at others,
and your level of coping will fluctuate. There are bound
to be moments of doubt and questioning - what if ...?
Denying that it is hurting doesn't help. The more you
express your feelings in words, tears, writing down
your thoughts or whatever, the easier it will seem.
may feel angry because the thought of childlessness
might be so hard to contemplate. This might be directed
towards your partner, yourself, your doctor. Recognize
that this is a start to acknowledging your feelings.
not to apportion blame - there is no one to blame.
should constantly remember that many others have survived
this crisis and gone on to lead happy and contented
lives and so can you!
as you get older, you may still find that other people treat
you as "odd" or "different" because
you have no children. You have to accept this - and learn
that you need not conform to others' norms in order to lead
a happy life.
a new identity without children is an important part of
asserting control over your infertility. This involves trying
to think beyond children and deciding what you want for
yourself. The only effective way to cope with childlessness
is to build up your self-esteem which may have been battered
by the experience of infertility. Creating a new identity
does not mean abandoning your reasons for wanting a child.
Just as those reasons shaped your infertility experience,
so too do they affect the form that your resolution takes.
For example, you may choose to spend time with a children's
organization as a volunteer.
an interest in other people's children on a regular basis
may also be helpful. When you were a child, remember how
you longed to see that special auntie or uncle? Enjoy the
children around you - use your energies for a child that
exists. Another useful outlet for the longing to nurture
is to keep pets. A lovable and furry pet such as a dog or
cat are most popular, because they can give love back, but
infertile couples report pleasure in almost anything alive
- from fish to flowers to gardens.
passage of time heals but it can't be hurried. Time brings
a sense of perspective or the "larger view of life"
for those who have had tunnel vision focused on infertility
for a number of years.
Soul searching can be helpful - and try answering these
questions together - honestly.
Why do you want a child?
would you not want to have a child?
of the time before you tried for a baby. What made you
happy? What did you do with your time? What did you
look forward to?
What are your other dreams and ambitions besides having
that the value of, and reward from, a firm resolution are
what you make of it. If you select a child-free life, and
then treat it as a second-rate existence, that's exactly
what it will become. But if you invest it with all your
interests, pleasures, energies and talents, this lifestyle
can be creative fun, delightful and filled with accomplishment.
Such a lifestyle may not be for everybody, but it may be
just right for you!