You should never just assume a woman doesn’t have children because she doesn’t want them.
Often woman without children and of a “certain age” have a heightened level of perception surrounding the subject of children and family.
Everybody is fighting an unseen battle. It is likely we never get to see the true depth of a person’s internal suffering; It is such a personal matter. However, just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Some things to consider when it comes to a woman without children
According to the NHS, around 1 in 7 couples have difficulty conceiving a child. This equates to approximately 3.5 million people here in the UK alone.
Women are also well aware of the ticking of our “biological clock,” and the older a woman gets her decline in fertility is a well-known fact. Inevitably with each passing year, the anxiety becomes increasingly onerous.
As with most things people don’t spend time thinking about things unless they affect them directly; Being able to conceive, carry and give birth to a child is a blessing never to be taken for granted.
Then there’s long-term singledom.
Dating and relationships have changed dramatically over the last decade.
With dating websites and apps like Tinder and Plenty Of Fish, seemingly people are spoilt for choice. Even if you do manage to avoid being “ghosted,” or stood up the likelihood of anything progressing beyond the first date is minimal. As a result, people are losing interest.
So where does this leave the women longing for a family and children of their own? Often subjected to the torment, sadness, and feeling of loss with every passing day.
The most cutting things you can say to women who do want children
Your comments may be well intended but just take a moment to think before you speak. Considering the above, ask yourself how your words may come across.
You don’t want to miss your window.
A line I heard recently in the film, What To Expect When You’re Expecting. The film presents the case of Holly Castillo (Jenifer Lopez) a woman pained by the agony that is infertility. She confesses feelings of inadequacy and shame, due to the fact her body will not do the one thing it is supposed to do.
I wonder how many times is it assumed a woman might be waiting for the right time to have children?
You know nothing about parenting.
Probably one of the most hurtful things a woman desperate for children can hear is that she’s no knowledge of what it’s like to be a parent.
Parenting is the one thing in the whole world she wants to know all about. She will not need reminding of the fact she hasn’t reached that season of her life yet.
Just because somebody doesn’t have children doesn’t mean they can’t see things from a perspective you don’t. Given the fact they are an adult and have knowledge of the way the world works a person may well have some good advice to offer, parent or not.
Don’t forget this person is an outsider and can see things from an “unstressed” and often a more logical point of view!
You can’t have an opinion because you’re not a mother.
Purely because a woman is not a “mother” does not mean she has no experience of issues presented raising children. Behind the scenes, bringing up somebody’s little human, there is many an aunt or best friend. Such women, having been there and done that, have some good solid advice to offer.
I also believe the greater equality for women today is terrific. However, this also means women are working extended hours in positions of higher responsibility simply to pay the mortgage and bills.
Some may argue this comes down to a lifestyle choice. But it’s a complex issue raising a child alone and being able to afford the cost of childcare and keeping a roof over, not only hers but also the tiny human she has chosen to raise.
Being a single parent myself I didn’t put my family in this position by choice; I didn’t go into this thinking I’m prepared to do this alone. I take my hat off to those who do, now that’s bravery!
Approach the subject of children with a woman who doesn’t have any with compassion, gentleness, and understanding.
Be mindful of a single woman or couples mental health. You never know how extensively the effect of something you flippantly say can harm. You might not know how she feels if you do have children. However, you can offer support, a shoulder to cry on or ear to listen when the anguish of her situation gets too much to bear.
Some women merely decide for any amount of reasons children just aren’t for them and that’s ok too. Others should respect that decision without passing comment or persecution.
There are many reasons why women, in a later stage of life do not have children for some it might be a choice, but for others maybe it isn’t.
Who are we to judge?