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A Childless Life? Maybe Not Your First Choice.


a blog by kathleen puls andrade, Feb. 25, 2010

I was recently featured on a new PBS series that’s been showing locally here in Chicago called Health Secrets: What Every Woman Should Know, hosted by Paula Zahn. I posted the segment on YouTube and have received lots of great feedback. One woman, in particular, had a great perspective on being childfree by choice. It’s positive, direct and hopeful.

    “Thanks so much for sharing the YouTube link to the PBS women's health piece. Paula Zahn was right: It is courageous and giving of you to shine a humorous light on all you have been through. I feel sad and sorry about your struggle.”

No need to feel sad about it really. I’ve come to terms with it and we’ve dealt with it through humor and positivity as time goes on.

    “My husband and I are childless. I don't think there are many women out there who ever really imagine they won't have children.”

So true! When RE Tarun Jain spoke to the audience after my show, he said that people always refer to when you’ll have kids . . . not if you can actually have them. That’s the expectation in our society.

    “I have found a great deal of hope and happiness in being a role model to lots of nieces and friends' kids who see me as a successful, happy woman who has no children. I can say that we have been in the position to help my siblings' kids and our own folks in ways that we would not have been able to had we had a family of our own. In that way, I feel like our childlessness has been a great gift. I am also lucky to have supportive friends (all with kids) and a cousin who's like a sister to me who has also chosen to remain childless.

    SO many of my friends tell me how lucky I am not to be going through the struggles they are with their children, whether they are toddlers or teenagers. I usually tell them, "Luck had nothing to do with it." People always say that parenthood is so much more than you'll ever know. I can tell them that they will never know a life without kids, a life with a husband only, all the time."

Not a bad way to think about it, eh? Positive. Realistic. My husband is one of the funniest people I know which makes our lives that much more fun!

Truth be told though, telling someone going through infertility that they are lucky they don’t know the struggles of parenthood is one of the stupidest things people say! Most of us want to know those struggles of parenthood. Ultimately, we hope that the good will outweigh the bad when it comes to raising kids . . . if we’re actually able to have them in the first place!


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Comments (1)

That is really a great segment. I encourage all our viewers to watch it:

Thanks for being open, honest and inspiring, Kathleen.

Laurie Gordon
Executive Editor

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