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Accepting that I’ll never have my own children

My name is Janice. I met my husband when I was in college and we got married right after we graduated. I assumed that we’d eventually have kids but we wanted to get our careers going and enjoy our freedom before we settled down. We worked hard and played hard and I assumed we had loads of time to eventually become parents. Then when I started to feel “ready” to have kids, our relationship started to fall apart. Whenever I tried to bring up the topic of kids with my husband, he made excuses about “not being ready” and “not wanting to change a good thing”. I knew my biological clock was ticking and I started to worry that my chance to become a mom was slipping away. We started fighting more and things just fell apart. We ended up divorcing when I was 37 – right in those prime childbearing years. The ironic thing is that after protesting so much about having kids, my ex ended up in a relationship soon after we divorced. He now has 2 children – and I’m the one who ended up childless. I spent the rest of my 30’s putting my life back together and getting on my feet again. By the time I felt emotionally stable and ready to start dating again, I was almost 40 – not exactly prime dating material. I went on more dates than I care to remember, trying to find the “right one” but it never happened. The urgency to meet someone, settle down and start having kids proved to be pretty challenging (and a bit of a buzz kill!). I spent my prime childbearing years in a failing marriage and then trolling the dating scene, looking for the right partner who wanted to be a dad. But time kept passing and eventually, I found myself in my mid-40s with no partner and no children. I always had this invisible deadline in my head for when I’d be willing to become a parent. Somehow that deadline has come and gone and my opportunity to become a mom has gone with it. I still haven’t found the right partner and there’s no way I could imagine doing this on my own. And having a teenager in my 60s? No thanks! So here I am, childless – not by choice, but by circumstance. It just didn’t happen for me. I’m sad at the thought of a childless life, and that I still haven’t found a partner I can imagine spending the rest of my life with. Maybe that will still happen – the partner piece. In the meantime, I’m lucky to have great friends – and two cats that I adore and that need me – as much as cats need anybody!

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6 Responses to “Accepting that I’ll never have my own children”

  1. Jen says:

    This story really struck a chord with me. I’m childless and my pets mean the world to me. They’re like my children, but they never grow up or learn to clean up after themselves! People often shake their heads when I call myself “mama” but it really feels like I have a huge responsibility and special bond with them. I didn’t end of finding the right partner and didn’t want to be a single mom. So I have my pets. They fill the void and receive all of the love and nurturing that I have to give.

  2. Daniel says:

    I just got married, and only now realizing that kids are not an option. You are not alone. I spend a lot of nights up, alone. And my wife wonders why. Yes, I am a man, and I may be breaking trend here, but I’m 32. I see all the mistakes around me and I sometimes ask, why not me? Am I not fit to be a father. EVERYONE in my social circle has children. I don’t understand and it’s starting to make me feel like I’m not supposed to have children.

  3. Mary-Margaret Walker says:

    I understand Janice, Jen and Daniel. I was born unable to have children but didn’t know if until infertility led to complications and a complete hysterectomy at 44. I have not only mourned my future but also my past. I had to pass through a process of thinking about every year of my life growing up just assuming that I would have a family.

    We are in the Foster Care system finishing up our paperwork. I spent twelve years as a babysitter and then an unpaid babysitter broker in my sorority. I nannied my way through graduate school. Foster care is not for everybody and certainly not at any age and I don’t know yet if it will break my heart. I just know that there are children who need to be loved and protected and my husband and I want to love and protect them and for all of us to laugh and enjoy life along the way.

    in the meantime, I’m considering painting the front of my home to look like a fire station. 😉 I wil let you know how that works out. Being in the middle of a cul-de-sac I have low expectations that I will fool anyone.

  4. John says:

    My situation is similar but very different . I’m 38 as of this post and coming to terms with I may never experience fatherhood. I spent my 20’s alone for the most part. I am an introvert and it was excruciatingly hard to find someone. I am the poster child for nice guy finishes last.

    I met someone from another country I met them through their relatives here. I started the immigration process but that person cheated and had a child with the old boyfriend. I withdrew my papers and went my own way. 8 years later still not having success in dating I gave her another chance. She made it here at age 39. I was 32. After having alone time and financial problems and 8 years of unprotected sex with no birth control there is no pregnancy. So much for if it happens it happens. Now she has no realistic chance at naturally conceiving. Ivf is out due to financial reasons. By the time we saved the money donor eggs will be the only viable option.

    So it has come to a depressing end that I will never experience fatherhood. Sometimes the bond that the mom and kids have and not able to experience is too much. I bury the feelings and it results in arguments in unrelated matters.

    So just like the OP my situation is not by choice but by circumstances. Probably the most painful is I have great characteristics my offspring could inherit, and still some of the worst undesirables procreate is mind boggling.

    I can truly say I was a nice guy that not only finished last but dead last.

  5. Jay says:

    Us guys seem to be breaking the normal trend with our comments here, but I am a 34 year old guy and my wife is 33. We have been trying to have kids naturally for the past 9years we’ve been married. To no avail still haven’t had one. I am the nice guy who hides the fact I feel like I’m broken each time we’ve tried to have concive. Now as of today after trying our hand at fostering a 4 year little girl that needed a home and talking with her great aunt for over a month about the home situation. Only to get the call today to find out we have lost our standings to foster/adopt her that the grandparents who are not a stable household from what the ain’t told us now has custody and filed for an immediate uproot of the little girl from her great aunt’s home. Now I feel like I’ll never be a father even feel cps decided it for me as well without even speaking to us at all. Just as Jen said about her pets I have tried to have my pup who I consider my baby fill the void in my heart. I have also tried to stick by my niece only to have my sister never bring her over i have to make all the effort to visit. Ever time I call my sister to see my 4 year old niece she either doesn’t answer or tells me she’s busy I was raised in a family that was taught to never show feelings no matter how hurt you are. So I no longer know what to do. I stress out when people I meet have kids that don’t want kids or people who neglect thier children’s hygen and care. Like why do they get to have kids but the people with all the love in thier hearts can’t have even one child no matter if blood or fostered

  6. James says:

    I am 38 years of age. I have accepted that I will never be able to have a child of my own. With my wife, we have three miscarriages. I have four altogether. I am a Stepfather of three. But I hate knowing that I will never know what having an actual child of my own will feel like.

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