Is 'moving on' from being childless really possible?
Is ‘moving on’ from childlessness possible? How can I just ‘let it go’?
Really? Is it possible? If we ‘move on’ from our grief of childlessness, does that mean that we didn’t want children badly enough? Does it mean that we aren’t as good as those who pursued every option (even if those options weren’t appropriate or available to us)? What happened to our desire to be parents, if we can put our grief behind us’?
There may come a time when you feel your natural instinct to feel ‘less sad’ starting to emerge. This may feel different, strange, discomforting. It may be hindsight rather than any present awareness which reveals that moving away from grief has begun. You are allowed to move forward (or sideways, or any direction if the phrase “moving forward” creates any resistance in your body).
Coping with being childless is incredibly tough, so when you’ve found a group of other women who ‘get’ how you feel, it’s such a relief. The joy of knowing that you’re not alone is immense. It’s reassuring and supporting. What if, though, over time, you’re less comfortable being drawn back into the depths of what you used to feel. Are you allowed to even contemplate the thought that you don’t want to experience your and others’ grief any longer? You need to do what’s right for you. And if stepping away from the group-think is what you need, you are allowed to do that. And you don’t need to ask anyone’s permission.
If you think of all the images of Covid19 patients leaving hospital to great applause, they were leaving fellow Covid patients behind. And that’s ok. The patients that were healing didn’t need to stay in the Intensive Care Unit any longer. So they moved on. If you have any feelings of guilt, for not having the same thoughts and feelings sadness anymore, that’s natural too. You don’t need to let the guilt of moving forward hold you back from starting to move on. And there is a lovely way of letting go of that guilt. You are allowed to be curious and gently explore how moving on could feel for you.
You’re allowed to step back in order to find more of yourself. It doesn’t mean that you’re not able to be supportive of others. It just means that you are choosing what’s best for you at a point in time. And recognising that staying stuck doesn’t need to be your story.
During the depths of utter grief that I experienced for so many years, I never thought that I could possibly move on. Now I’m living a full and contented life, where the baby-shaped hole in my heart that used to cause so much pain is filled with other colourful adventures. Moving forward from childlessness is a wonderful, liberating experience. And I don’t feel guilty anymore for ‘moving on’. I only have one life, and I’d like to live it doing what brings me joy, rather than staying stuck where I was.
Moving on from the pain and grief of childlessness is possible. It’s not necessarily quick, or tear-free, but it is possible.
For more info on how to ‘move on’ from childlessness: