1. All the incredible life experiences people have gone through to either get to the point of having to make the heartwrenching decision to be childfree, or to have that decision forced upon them by their circumstances.
2. And the many issues that people experience in dealing with being childless/free.
I had started to record stories and was going to link to them, but there are just too many and all of them deeply touched my heart. The best I could do was to add these incredible women to my blog list for others to also be able to share their in their journeys.
The difference I am finding in the childless/free community is how much we all connect with each other. Our hearts recognise each other and we relate to everything that we have gone through. It doesn't matter that the stories are different. They have all led us to the place - trying to live happy and fulfilling lives having lost the profound fight of trying to be mothers.
And then there are those who are childfree by choice. They have a whole other set of society based issues to contend with. "How can someone possibly choose not to have children?" say all the parents.
We understand each other.
I found good support in the fertility treatment community. I met some incredible women with whom I was able to share my journey. But in the end, our stories are always different and everyone is in different places in their journey. Mostly though I found that women come and go in that community. It is constantly rotating. Often it is because many women "graduate" to mommy blogs. Don't get me wrong. I am still reading these womens blogs. I am so happy for them that they were able to fulfill their dreams. But, except for the few women I really bonded with, the connection is no longer there. We are in different places.
My first day of childfree blog reading led me to Silent Sorority's blog and the following quote on her front page:
…when a path wasn’t clear, the natural instinct was to go with the herd. Only trouble was finding the right one. I was slowly separating from the ‘Trying to Conceive Tribe’ and from the looks of it I wasn’t ever going to be part of the ‘Mother Tribe’ – the working mother or the stay-at-home mother set. The schism between the two camps was now so whatever. I didn’t even fit into the ‘Childfree by Choice Tribe.’ I learned a new term. I was ‘involuntarily childless.’ How the hell was I going to locate that motley crew?”
Obviously since the time she wrote that, things have evolved and there are many of us so grateful that Pamela has been a forerunner in this area. Of course, that it bittersweet. The joy of being able to find a place in the blogging world versus the sadness we feel that there has to be this place.
I have only been in the childfree community for a week, but already I feel a connection. Already I feel supported by women who know exactly what I am going through. Already I can reach out and support others who are on the same journey that I am experiencing. Already I can see a better future that is described by the women who have been living childfree for many years. It's really an amazing community and I am so glad I found it.
The thing that I connect to most of all is how we are all searching for the positive in the childless/free situation to which life has led us. All my life I have searched for the positive and I've had blogs devoted to that very thing. I am so grateful that through this community I am meeting many incredible, like-minded women who have found that, who are sharing that, and who continue to seek greater positivity, joy and happiness in their lives.