Why Being a Childless Woman is Rarely a Simple Case of Choice or Infertility – Childless by Circumstance by J. Day

Please note all you are getting here is a long excerpt. I did not paste in the whole article. The author discusses how she tried IVF at one time, or she considered using IVF, if I remember correctly.

(Link): Why being a childless woman is rarely a simple case of choice or infertilityby J Day

  • An estimated 80% of women who don’t have children are ‘childless by circumstance’, rather than choice or medical reasons
  • Feb 28, 2016
  • Before I became a statistic, by reaching my mid-forties without having children, I thought, as many of us do, that there were two ways to become a childless woman: you either didn’t want them (“child-free”) or you were infertile.
  • It has been estimated that 80 per cent of women who don’t have children are “childless by circumstance”, a phrase coined by the Australian academic Dr Leslie Cannold in her 2005 book, What, No Baby?
  • The figure comes from the work of Dr Renske Keizer, a professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, who in a 2010 meta-analysis of data from the Netherlands and the US estimated that 10 per cent of women without children are childless by choice, 10 per cent for medical reasons, and 80 per cent by circumstance.
  • Applied to statistics about UK women, it can be estimated that there are (or shortly will be) almost 1.5 million women in their forties and fifties here who won’t have children, with only 10 per cent of those being unambiguously by choice.
  • ….Perhaps the most difficult-to-digest reason for childlessness is that of never having been in a suitable relationship.

  • (And, in our patriarchal society, to be past your childbearing years having never been “chosen” evokes antiquated images of being “left on the shelf”.
    If you think I’m exaggerating, think of how, in just one generation, the most shamed female stereotype has shifted from being an “unmarried mother” to being a single, childless woman over 40. It’s open season on her, as all the “crazy cat-lady” jokes show.)
  • …. We need to be more open about the many ways there are to experience a meaningful and fulfilling life when motherhood doesn’t happen. We need role models, which is one of the reasons I (Link): curate a Pinterest online gallery of more than 500 childless women, from Debbie Harry to Angela Merkel, each with a photo and mini-biography.
  • Seven years on from the final realisation that I was not to be a mother, I have emerged from the fire of grief a wiser, more compassionate person.
  • I have learnt that most of us are scared of our own and others’ grief, and that childlessness can stir unconscious fears in those around us, leading them to offer “fixes” rather than empathy.
  • That is why I set up the free Gateway Women meet-up groups across the UK (and now globally): to create a space where childless women can talk freely without someone proffering a “miracle baby story”.

—————–

Related Posts:

(Link): A Woman’s Fertility is Her Own Business, not Everyone Else’s by L. Bates

(Link):  My Secret Grief. Over 35, Single and Childless by Melanie Notkin

(Link): Hypocrisy in Christian Culture – Those who idolize parenting chide infertiles for trying to have kids

(Link): Praying for a Child – The Catholic Church makes life impossible for infertile women.

(Link):  Why do we still have to justify the choice to be child-free? by H. Freeman

(Link):  Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): Mother’s Day Ain’t A Happy Holiday For Some

(Link): Why all the articles about being Child Free? On Being Childfree or Childless – as a Conservative / Right Wing / Christian

(Link): Misapplication of Biblical Verses About Fertility (also mentions early marriage) – a paper by J. McKeown

(Link): Baby Making Fixation at Christianity Today Magazine Online – Shaming Women For Not Procreating, or For Delaying Motherhood, or For Limiting the Number of Children

(Link): The Fruitful Callings of the Childless By Choice (editorial)

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

(Link): Family as “The” Backbone of Society? – It’s Not In The Bible

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

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