Finding Purpose without Children

Hey all. First time posting. I couldn't find in a search of previous posts answers to a question I ask myself often: what do I do now to have purpose if I'm not going to be a mother or mother figure (no nieces or nephews)?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Part of me thinks I need to find a way to spend my energy - a business, a cause, a hobby, a new skill...not sure. I also feel like I need SOMETHING to talk about when trying to be social. I feel like I have nothing to say about what is going on in my life, since infertility has been the cloud over everything for so long. My friends try to be nice and ask about my job and my dog, but I really need something else.

I had told myself a year ago, which was just before the first IVF round, that if this didn't work out, I'd make sure I got into the best shape of my life. Well, post IVF #2, and 4+ years of trying, I'm at my lowest low in the acceptance of my life without kids....and trying to channel that into exercise. I have all my workout gear on right now, but couldn't help but first to post this before I get to the sit ups!

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9 Replies

  • I think that what you have been through is tough, it's awful. Maybe your purpose is to help other women who've been through the same? Go travelling/go on holidays. Be the best wife/gf/partner you can possibly be. Choose to be happy. I know exactly what you mean because I look at celebrities without children and I think we'll it's alright for you because you have a career/money/status. I have a rubbish job that's a low wage. But in a couple of years when I'm coping better I'm going to tell people I'm infertile. Everyone. Everyone I meet. I'll wear a tshirt if I have to. Because I wish someone would tell me!!

    I'm a bit upset with myself for thinking that I didn't have a purpose without children after reading this. So for that I'm going to thank you.

  • I love your idea of the T-shirt to proclaim your infertility. I mean, might as well. It's written all over our faces anyway.

    That reminded me of a really funny sticker I saw on a car. I'm in the US, and I'm not sure if this is common in the UK. People have these stickers on their car to show all of their family members as little stick figures. The one I saw that was hilarious was a husband-and-wife in a big bag of money stick figure. Funny, cause it's true.

    Back on the actual subject of the post…I was awake in the middle of the night last night thinking that I should ask my husband to do a bucket list with me. I talked to a friend last night that I've known for about 15 years, and she has a four-year-old. She was saying how she wants to do another hiking trip, like we did on the Appalachian Trail in our 20s. But she would need to do this once her daughter was old enough to either come along, or stay home by yourself, and she would be about 55 by then. I got me thinking about all the things that I could do easily, that would be really hard for people who do have kids.

    Not to say that I exactly see this in the Silver lining quite yet. Still feels very self focused to think how I can go hiking anytime I want because I don't have kids.

  • Hi, although its difficult you have to try and think of the positives that's what i try and do,plan events,holidays weekends,meals out anything to give you something to look forward to. It might seem like escapism for a short while,which I must admit I struggle with when on holiday and I become morose thinking what could have been and almost feeling guilty. Hope that helps? Take care 😊

  • To be honest I cope better when I make a joke out of things. It's easier to deal with if you can have a laugh about it. Love the sticker! For now we are keeping it all a secret, only a handful of people know exactly what's going on. But I'm adamant that once I'm coping better I'm going to tell people. If I'm going to be the infertile one then I'm going to do it my way!

    It's true, we can go anywhere we want whenever we want without children. I think it's really important to focus on the positives. I don't do this often enough. There's 2 good things that have come from this experience. 1. I realised how strong I am! Im amazed!! 2. I realised how strong mine and my husbands relationship is. I know of a couple that went through similar and they've just broken up. Also because hubby was so ill when he was younger we feel grateful that we're here at all. It's got to get easier right!?

  • I think your feelings are exactly how we all feel and for me, what is the purpose question came up time and again. I saw a life coach for 6 months to explore everything find something and discuss my experiences and feelings. I did not "find" anything to replace motherhood, I mean how can anything replace that! However I learnt that's ok, time is what's needed, and grieving for something that will never be is a process. I'm 9 years on now from when we first started trying, all I can say is that it will get a little easier but no there will always be those "hard" times. We travel a lot, we eat out, we do all the things families don't have time for or can't afford. We just try to look at the positives of our lives and the things we CAN do. Regarding the comments about advertising the fact of infertility, I really want to. In every other way I'm a strong and confident individual but this topic is so very personal and for me it's like shouting " look at me, I'm a total failure as a women!". Good luck to all those who can, I really admire you, maybe I'm just not there yet. Thanks for bringing up these topics though! Now must get back to my decorating, love and hugs to all xx

  • Thanks to all for the wonderful replies. Julieo_13 I like your idea of seeing a life coach. What would you say was the most helpful part of that experience?

  • Hi Leadesigns

    Probably discussing everthing in my head and realising it's ok not to have an answer to everything. I'm someone who sorts solutions and just gets on with it. However I realised it's ok to be stuck sometimes. Onced I realised that this wasnt something that could be fixed or replaced, I sort of took the pressure off myself if that makes sense. It's also a good way of going through everything you do have in your life. Hope this helps xx

  • Hi ladies...

    Thanks so much for these posts they are really helpful to read. So nice to have a group who understand everything you have also experienced....And great to hear advice from people at different stages of this journey.

    I have just finished reading Jody days book...And quite a few chapters are dedicated to finding things that bring joy and satisfaction back. We all know that when you put all your hope, money, dreams and goals behind something that is ultimately out of our control it can rob us of joy and hope.

    It's been quite lovely to consciously bring joy back ...For me its been discovering the things you loved doing when young. Reading, dancing, drawing, sewing, making, walking, riding, crafting, going on adventures, , gigs and music and seeing friends (Nomo's). No massive purpose, but life changing non the less xxx

  • Travel, holidays, cooking, long walks, I enjoy all of these things. It takes time though to get your head around enjoying life without children. I try and get as involved as possible with my nieces and nephews as well as my friends children. I'm also thinking in future of some sort of voluntary work with children. There are other ways to be fulfilled, but it takes time. It's a journey. I still really long for my own child to love, hug and hold. It's not going to happen. I think I can relate to what you are feeling. A new hobby could be good for you?

    Hope you enjoyed your work out x💐💐😀

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