Tuesday 14 January 2020

Over 40, single and childless....now what?

I am at a point in my life where I have no idea where I am heading. I always thought growing up that I would be married with kids by the time I was in my 30s. And as I sit here heading towards my 42nd birthday, I find myself single and childless.

A huge proportion of the society I live in is on a the same path in one way or another, either, married, co habiting, single parent, divorced. Couples and children are every where. Isn't that why we were put on this earth to reproduce and provide the next generation?

Now I know life is far from perfect and for some people they have headed onto that path society throws upon us and it has ended up far from that perfect fairy tale ending. Whether in an unhappy marriage with kids and are now fighting a custody and divorce battle or the single mum who got caught out with contraception and is now parenting alone. But how ever they got to be there, they have all been on the same path at some point of societies married with kids concept.

For me however, this has not been the case. I have had failed relationship after failed relationship. When I was in my 20s and 30s it didn't seem to matter that a relationship ended, after the heart ache I knew I would go on to meet someone else who would hopefully become my husband and for us to have a child together. I am not sure what age it hit me when I suddenly realised that this ideal of having a husband and having children might not happen for me. 

I split with my long term partner after he had an affair and in all honesty treating me pretty appallingly at the end of 2016 beginning of 2017 (it was a very messy, nasty split). After I picked the pieces up, I started to date again and had a couple short term "boyfriends" who are another blog in themselves! In the back of my mind I suppose I was hoping for a miracle and praying that they might be the one. Thankfully they weren't as they were head cases! I will write another piece on internet dating, that is another mind blowing experience in itself.

I was now becoming very aware of my biological clock and to this very date as I sit here I am consumed by the fear of this not happening for me and what the f**k should I do now? 

Nobody prepares little girls at school for not having a husband/boyfriend or a family. For most little girls it is drilled into us from a very young age that we are to be married with a family but no one ever teaches us what the hell to do if this doesn't happen.

Now there are women out there who simply have never wanted children and that is the path that they have chosen, totally different story. Also there is an amount of woman who are sadly infertile and who are having to accept that they can't have children. Then there are the likes of me childless by circumstance....we simply haven't found a partner. 

I am sick and tired of peoples "good intention" remarks of "get a sperm doner, just have a one night stand, have you tried freezing your eggs, what about IVF?" I have heard the stories of the 40 somethings having children because "it is still possible". With goodness in their hearts what people don't actually realise is that I don't choose to be a single mum for many reasons. The reasons I have in my mind now are statistically it is far harder to conceive over the age of 40 and the chances of having an child with a disability or complicated birth is higher. The chance of miscarriage is higher and lets face it with those odds why on earth would I want to put myself through that stress alone with out the support from a partner. 

I recently felt so alone with these thoughts I started to feel really depressed. If I cant have the dream I always hoped for of having children and a partner then what do I do now. What is my purpose? I always assumed that I would be married with children and having to swallow the facts and try to accept that this isn't my path is like a pain I just cant get rid of. I am grieving for something I have never had. Sometimes I actually think that I would have preferred to be in a loving relationship where they told us we were infertile, as that is solid fact and maybe easier to overcome than never knowing. I don't know, we all have sadness and deal with it differently.

I have been in touch with a group I found online recently dedicated to childless women. It is a space for women who are infertile, their partners don't want children or they have never met the one to have children with. The support is fantastic, but it doesn't take my path and grief away.

I am at a stage and I am thinking so is that it, do I give up? I mean trying to meet a man I have a connection with and start a family is pretty intense at this late stage. I have met several men over the past couple of years who have started to date me and then end the relationship because I'm too old. You would think they would have realised my age at the start but suddenly they say "You are great but if we want children and we wait a few years then you will be too old" and inevitably they go on to date younger women! Heart wrenching I'm telling you! That is no word of a lie, I have heard those exact words! That also takes me back to the sort of men that are actually on dating sites!

I sometimes wish someone would just give me the answers, maybe you can. I am feeling very lost and although I have felt lost in the past with these thoughts the reality of the age I am now it is really beginning to sink in.

I would like to share with you an article called "Double Whammy" it is written by the founder of Gateway Women, who I mentioned earlier are an online support group for childless women. She writes this piece exactly as if the words had come out of my own mouth. So if you are really interested in how I might feel or you feel this way yourself or know some one going through similar then please give it a read...

I am at a loss and really am struggling to accept that these words I am writing are accurate. Unless a man I connect with sweeps me off my feet and says lets do this and stays with me whether we are able to have a child or not, at least I got to have a go. Accepting the reality that this isn't going to happen is heart breaking.

And so the million dollar question is... what the hell do I do now? I know I can't sit doing my average job, paying my bills and coming home to an empty house every day for the rest of my life. So now what? And before you bombard with loads of unrealistic ideas that I have already thought of please spare a thought that I am grieving...

1 comment:

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