It’s been a year since I wrote “The Childless Mother at Christmas”, a blog that poured out the frustration I was feeling at that time. I have connected with so many wonderful people over the last year. I feel less alone in this journey.
As the last of days of summer are coming to a close, I can start to feel the knot in my stomach. It starts because of my birthday because when it arrives, I know there is another year passing without a baby. This time of year seems worse than others as the focus is on Children.
Halloween, social media fills with adorable and some slightly disturbing images of children ready to tackle trick or treating. I still buy the sweets, we never seem to get any and let me tell you mixing that feeling of loss for not having a child to take part in the events happening around us and that big bag of chocolates never ends well. Usually it ends with me face down in a mountain of empty Cadburys wrappers promising to do better next year.
When the last cobweb is swept away on we go to the sparking lights and bangs of bonfire night, events all around me take place with chunky little faces, red noses from the cold and wrapped up like the marshmallow man, excited to see the displays with their families, meanwhile I am at home trying to convince my 14 year old neurotic Labrador that the world isn’t ending, it’s just fireworks and she can come out from under the quilt!
As the shimmering sparkles disappear then the dread really does eat away at me, the windows around my town start to shimmer with twinkle lights and the children in my life are at defcon one of excitement as the big man’s arrival is imminent, Christmas is coming. Christmas as a childless couple in our mid-thirties is not what I was expecting to be dealing with. I thought for sure by now we would have a family.
You see every year around this time even if I wouldn’t ever say it out loud, I made a little Christmas wish, I wanted Santa to bring us just one thing. A baby. At first I was optimistic it felt very possible that we would get our baby someday …. Just be patient.
As the years rolled by and we stood among our friends on New Year’s Eve watching Big Ben ring in the New Year. I would think ….. please be next year. Please don’t let me have to go through another year of this. Just one success, just one baby.
This period of time is hard. There is an urge to shut yourself in at home and wait for it to pass. To stop looking at the nativity pictures wondering what our child would have been. To not feel like we are missing out on the Christmas fun at Santa’s grottos and Polar Express steam train rides, after all if a childless couple turn up to sit on Santa’s lap alone….. Question’s get asked!!
The sad fact is we are big kids, we love Christmas. Imagining what Christmas morning would be like us sat around our living room, excited cries of thank you for the latest in technology, for them to then play with the box it came in!
Enough is so enough!
For the first time this year we are being a little selfish, we are locking ourselves away at home just the two of us, for many reasons but mainly the best of all is that we like so many other people out there run around all festive season and don’t get to really enjoy the bits we want to. We want to have a little alone time just the two of us. Is that so bad?
I refuse to let us not being able to have children define what we are for the rest of our lives, we have to find a way to move forward. I am so luck that my marriage is a good one, we still have so much fun together even after 15 years, he’s my best friend. This year we are going to spend the day at home, maybe in our PJs who knows. We might not even have a Christmas lunch. Maybe we will just eat chocolate. Because we can!
It’s time to start to try and embrace the cards we have been dealt, to find the things that are good and meaningful in our lives. As hard as this journey can be, there has to be a way of healing and finding a positive in it. We have to find a new version of the life we imagined, a one without children.
Maybe I will put my doggies into a nativity this year, who knows!
I hope this holiday season isn’t too difficult for you, I hope that you can find joy in what you do have and that next year does bring you your dreams. Until as always I am here to lend a hand to hold xx