SUPPORTING AND UNDERSTANDING THE INVOLUNTARY CHILDLESS Eight actions for family, friends and the rest of the world #1 Myth Awareness, #2 Know the Numbers, #3 Listen, Listen and Listen, #4 Have An Informed View of Adoption, #5 Respect the Grieving Process, #6 Setting Reasonable Social Expectations, #7 Know Your Audience, #8 What To and Not … Read more #1 MYTH AWARENESS
SUPPORTING AND UNDERSTANDING THE INVOLUNTARILY CHILDLESS Eight actions for family, friends and the rest of the world. #2 KNOW THE NUMBERS Currently, 17.1% of the female population in the United States over aged 45 does not parent. In the UK it is 20%, and even higher in other countries such as Germany and Japan. … Read more #2 KNOW THE NUMBERS
SUPPORTING AND UNDERSTANDING THE INVOLUNTARILY CHILDLESS Eight actions for family, friends and the rest of the world. #3 LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN What? Yes, the healing power of a willing ear and open heart I thought I’d start off with a short list. What do the involuntarily childless need from people in their lives? I … Read more #3 LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN
While we still need and deserve many more things out in the world that reflect our lives and experiences, this is a positive step in the right direction.
You can check out the magazine here. The current issue includes a piece from yours truly on the subject of needing a tribe, aptly headlined “Hiding Behind the Curtains, Sarah Chamberlin avoids the local block party.”
How to participate in World Childless Week? Well. On one level it’s easy. I encourage you to visit their site and/or FB page to read and like posts. Since World Childless Week is an awareness campaign, sharing posts and especially sharing them with the good ole outside world is important.
This is where, at least for me, it gets challenging. I realized this when the other day I ran across a commenter on another blog that essentially said she’s put the word out about WCW and heard crickets, and how are we supposed to get the word out when we are basically ignored like lepers? So of course I burst out laughing. Her comment rung true and got me back in touch with the risks we take when we share and post on infertility and involuntary childlessness – the usual crickets, perhaps awkward looks or exchanges when we see people in person, or even having to moderate the mainstream dipshittery that can often happen in response to the sharing of our experiences. I haven’t had any of that this week, thank goodness, and I did get a warm response to my #IAMME picture (which I admittedly hesitated to post). But the risks are there and can be felt deeply on a visceral level. On the other hand, we will reach people and make them feel less alone, and we just may be changing the world little by little in ways that are not yet clear.
Many aren’t ready to share or be “out” with this experience and that space needs to be honored. There are phases of grief where sharing and fielding responses is the last thing someone needs to be doing. Looking back, I wish I was wiser to this in my own process at the time, however being silent was just too strangulating for me. Either way, I know you will honor where you are and if you are in a place where you can push through the natural trepidation, do consider sharing one piece via mainstream social media this week. If my piece doesn’t resonate with you, there are a bunch of spot on, well written and thought-provoking pieces on the WCW site to choose from.
Another thing to consider – the #IAMME campaign. #IAMMME was created by blogger Cherry Williams. The general idea is to show we are a diverse group of people who are shaped by other things beyond childlessness. You can read her post here.
You can visit their site here to read more about the daily events and find out how you can get involved.
Be sure to check out their #IAMME campaign and participate if the spirit moves you.
On Friday the 14th the people at WCW will be kindly sharing a piece from me addressing comments that hurt. This year’s pronatalist feature is the ever scintillating “You’ll never know true love until you have a child”, so as you can imagine I was more than happy to offer my rebuttal.
Am also pleased to have a piece featured in the upcoming edition of the Childless Not By Choice Magazine, due to come out in a few days. Will let you know when it’s available.
For the longest time, I have seen my children in other people’s children.For years, perhaps as many as seven, I have seen what I kept losing and then finally lost for good in other people’s children.There was no even imagining a day when this wouldn’t be.
And now, for the past couple of months, peculiar things have been happening.More and more, images of children seem to be computing as simply children instead of registering in every last cell as an unsolicited cannonball of all that I lost. Read more →
The experience of not being able to have children when you wanted them will always be life altering.And it has the capacity to inflict a level of grief that is, among other things, transformative.
The experience of wanting children and not being able to have them does not always have to be so inhumane, however.
What do we do when evolution is so clearly needed?When we are driven by the common thread of leaving this experience more truthful and less pulverizing than we found it?One doesn’t need to have their own children to have a vested interest in improving things for the next generation, that’s for sure.
A word from Jody: “It is my experience that childless grief is misunderstood and that learning to work with rather than against it is the path to getting your life back. There will be plenty of time for Q and A’s at the end.”
Actively engaging in the childless not by choice experience
“Do you have time to talk in person?I have to ask you something.Can’t really explain it via text.”
That piece of me that’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop, that piece of me cultivated and well primed by multiple failed fertility treatments and four years of actively trying to conceive, still lives on.Duller and more in the shadows now, but still there.
I quickly made the time for my dear childhood friend, preparing myself for the intense at the very least. Read more →
The medical profession’s tone deafness surrounding infertility and involuntary childlessness
On the Thursday before this past Sunday, the day that shall not be named here in the US, it finally came.
Considering the fact I’m living as, among other things, a childless not by choice survivor of infertility, I had had a relatively trigger free week.I went food shopping twice (a newly regained ability since coming down with post infection dysautonomia almost a year and a half ago) and no one wished me happy mother’s day.I ran into a neighbor while getting my groceries out of the car and she didn’t mention the looming national holiday.Making up for my winter of hibernation, I went out twice – once grabbing lunch with a friend and another having dinner with my husband and two friends of ours.Nary a peep.And aside from the usual commercial bombardment, which seemed to be making me only mildly grumpy and was not spiking my sarcasm meter to the degree it usually does, I was actually starting to feel like this is my world too once again.
Now, I want to be clear, it’s not like I was just skipping through my week.Four years out of trying to conceive and four years into the grieving and healing process, there are still many times when I wish I could emblazon myself with a “fragile, please handle with care” stamp.The week leading into mother’s day is of course one of them.Sensing my wounds and vulnerabilities undulating just beneath my now quasi functional surface, I attempted to make the necessary adjustments. Read more →
A reminder my We Are Worthy Summit Yoga Class is posting tomorrow at 9:00 am EST and will be available for viewing after that as well. Hope you can carve out the time to practice with me!
Here’s the event description:
Join Sarah Chamberlin, writer of the blog Infertility Honesty, as she leads us through a basic yoga class.
The practice of yoga can aid in enhancing the health of the mind, body and soul. Stepping “onto your mat” affords opportunities for self care, self connection, and exploring the art of being. Add to that the benefits of practicing with an instructor and a community (albeit a virtual one!) who have walked in your shoes.
Interlaced with the theme of worthiness, this alignment based class is open to all levels and will highlight basic yoga poses and practices. Pose modifications and alternatives will be offered.
Items needed are:
A basic sticky yoga mat (or, a non slippery surface to practice on)
Two or three folded blankets, non slippery and rough in texture
Two yoga blocks (or, two similar sized VERY sturdy shoeboxes)
See you on April 28th!
Hope you’ve been able to get something out of the summit this week. I’ve enjoyed a couple of live events and will be catching up on the rest as I can. You can check out the rest of Saturday’s events here.
It’s a week long event featuring live webinars, pre-recorded trainings, live chats and panel discussions, including a basic yoga class led by yours truly on Saturday the 28th.
Everything is free (yay!), however hop on over to their SITE and check out the program of events as some do require pre-registration.
The week is going to be chock full of topics relevant to our community – everything from dealing with motherhood loss and grief, to writing, self care and of course my personal all time favorite topics – coping with a child centric world, disenfranchised grief and fielding the timeless (and clueless) why don’t you just adopt and have you thought of trying IVF questions. So in other words, it’s time to party.
Finally it looks like the script has been flipped and we have a week that addresses our needs and realities. Hope to “see” you there!