Being a Chidless woman in a World full of Opinions...
As women, we are expected to play a certain role...
We are in the year 2015. As women, we have come a long way from the days that we were expected to behave a certain way, and do certain things. So you may think, yes, we have come far. But have we in all aspects of womanhood? This article, is very dear to me, because it hits close to home. This is the story of my dear friend, Ileana Barbara.
Ileana came to me, to share her story, so I can share it with the world. It is the first time she opens up about something so personal, and I feel beyond honored to be writing her story. These are her words.
"I am a Childless woman, not by choice. The deep null felt by a woman who wants a child but is unable to conceive is indescribable. I have tried explaining it but it is something that I can barely begin to describe. My own infertility has the dreaded title of unexplainable. In my words the Dr. has no idea what's wrong with me. Through the years my emotions have been a roller coaster of sadness, devastation, loneliness and even depression. A lot women have been brought up to believe that pregnancy is the greatest achievement that a woman can accomplish, but is it? Or is it society?
For many years I hid the fact that I could not have children, I have deceived myself by telling myself and others that I don't want children, (Something not true) but this brought questions like , who will take care of you when old?, what do you do for a living? What does your family say? Does your husband feel the same? Does he have children? It is very uncomfortable to speak about this issue. Believe it or not, and I can understand that coming from the other side because they think we cannot relate or share your children's achievements (something not true because I have nieces and nephews) but again these conversations happen. Without forgetting the religious point of view of " God works in mysterious ways, he has a bigger plan for you" , is this some strange way of saying that God felt I was not good enough to become a mother? Really? (Puzzled moment) I overcame my feelings of shame and now when asked "Do you have children?" I just reply " no, I can't have children ." I ignore ignorant comments and found other projects to fulfill my life. And even though nothing can replace that emptiness in my soul, I deal with it the best way I can. Even though I am childless, I feel that I have birthed a lot of things and mothered many others through the years of my existence but I don't think it is fair to put that kind of pressure on people without knowing circumstances. I have not failed any part of my feminism or my value as a woman just because I cannot have a child."
When did children become a Symbol of a Stable Marriage?
I feel Ileana's pain. Even though I am a mom now, the years that me and my husband spent trying to conceive still haunt me. I remember I would cry every time I heard someone I knew was having a baby, I remember standing in the bathroom, holding my breath waiting for the pregnancy test to say positive, just to fall on my knees when it would show the opposite. I remember having to answer peoples questions on why we still had no kids. It was painful. When do opinions become too much? I believe there should be an invisible line where people shouldn't comment, or even give their thoughts, because we never know why that person is the way they are, or live the life they live. As a society, when did it become ok, to stamp a marriage as "Strange" or "incomplete" because they don't have children.
But this goes both way as well. Today some women, choose not to become mothers, simply because they don't want to. And that's ok too. Why must we view these women as less? When did children become someone's personal trophy? When did having children mean that now you are accepted and viewed as whole?
I believe the pressure that is placed upon marriages and women does a lot of emotional harm. As a mother of 2, with many female friends, I can tell you first hand, women are amazing, because of who they are. We don't need children, and much less judge another because they don't have them. Every time you ask someone, "Oh you don't have children? what are you waiting for?" just that simple question can open a wound. Some women, can't have children. And some women choose not to. And clearly, we shouldn't be asking these personal questions.
As women, we need to support each other, be there for one another, and lift each other up. We need to empower one another. After all, we women are mysterious creatures, and who better to understand us, than other women.
Lastly, I would love to thank Ileana for sharing her story with me, and the world. After all, she is one of the most courageous and amazing woman, I have come to know.