Conversation stopper

a long time ago

I learned to smile

and say, “No.”

when strangers ask

if I have children

gone the polite mask

as mental narratives unfold

comforting themselves

no need to be told

I’m done with the baggage of family

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9 thoughts on “Conversation stopper

  1. Being childless by choice in suburbia is a singular existence and people’s assumptions range from the predictable to the, frankly, gobsmacking. Thanks for your comments Sy 🙂

  2. I am always so moved by your writing, Bb! People always expect others to be the same as they are – quite illogical when you come to think of it. Would you ever ask them why they have children? 🙂

  3. Yep, been there, Bb. I was ‘barren’ until 43 and then we adopted a child. I got so sick and tired for over 20 years being pressured to answer ‘why’ we didn’t have children, I told them I was barren. That usually shut them up, but some times people would pry ‘why?’.

    LOL!…

    People definitely treat you differently when you don’t have children. And it’s a legitimate choice. I know so many rotten mothers….and their children suffer the most.

    Our son is in the Navy and now we get questions about when we will be grandparents. I hope not any time too soon…because he’s only 23. And isn’t dating anyone. Life will take its course as it will.

    Children or not isn’t something that should define you. Creativity, compassion,etc…will.

    Lady Nyo

    • Thank you, Lady Nyo, for giving me your insights and for telling me your experience of this. It’s not often I come across someone who really understands. I have been told straight out by a person I’d just met that “couples who don’t have children are just selfish” and that was without her even knowing whether it was a choice. Our prime minister, who is a woman, was accused of being “deliberately barren” (an oxymoron if ever there was one) by another member of parliament, so this particular prejudice is alive and well across our society, particularly against the woman in the relationship. I guess it’s just a quirk of human nature for some to want everyone to fit into neat little boxes and not challenge the expected.

      We, like you, considered it around the time I turned 40, but ultimately decided against it, so I admire you for taking it on at that stage – and it’s great that you now have the gift of a young adult son in your life (and yes, bizarre that the grandchildren pressures are manifesting already!) Best wishes to you and your family 🙂

  4. Thank you, Bluebee….there are always challenges, with children and without….and they come from all different levels.

    You nailed it for me! “I guess it’s just a quirk of human nature to some to want everyone to fit into little neat boxes and not challenge the expected.”

    That’s it!! But we don’t fit into their neat boxes, there are all parts of us straying outside…LOL!

    Blessings on your head, Bluebee.

    And Merry Christmas!

    Lady Nyo

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