I am coming to terms with living a childfree lifestyle, slowly every day I accept it more and more, so the next step is to figure out what I want from my life now, but that’s a bigger ongoing issue. The point is I am getting to grips with our decision to live childfree, which leads me on to this blog post. The other night as I was drifting off to sleep a thought slid softly through my mind bringing with it terror, doubt and sadness. It was such a small thought, so random, but it pulled me from sleeps grasp and into a world of emotion I am only too aware of, I simply thought about my Nan living far away and that I haven’t been to see her since before Christmas, I thought innocently that I must go soon I know she misses her family, then my thoughts darken and being half asleep I was unprepared for what drifted through my mind. When I’m old who will come visit me?
I won’t have grandchildren to care if I’m lonely, who knows if I’ll be close enough to any nieces or nephews for them to visit, I doubt it, I’m not close to my aunts and uncles, I see them only at big family occasions, what if that happens to me? Will I only see family at funerals and weddings? Where will I spend Christmas? Then the most dreadful of thoughts came to me, what if I lose my husband, will I be some old lonely lady sitting home alone all day, with no one around to care enough visit me. By not having children am I doomed to a life of loneliness in old age.
Now I was fully awake in bed, a hollow pit in my stomach and my head spining with doubt and fear. It took me a while to clear it, to lull myself back to sleep, the whole time my mind was swirling with thoughts that were steadily getting darker and more depressing. Now this is not an uncommon thought process, I am sure there are woman (and men) out there that have these same fears, who will take care of us in old age? It’s not just care though is it? That’s not the scariest thought, we plan to have money to retire with, we will (hopefully) be prepared for the financial aspect of growing old. It’s the loneliness that scares me, I don’t want to end up as some lonely old dear that has no one around her, who spends her days alone at home, she spends her birthday alone, Christmases alone, you get the picture, because as we age that’s what happens, I know I’ll lose loved ones, my brother will start his own family as will my nephew, that is life, families grow, but I won’t be growing I’ll only be losing people.
I fear these doubts and thoughts will always haunt me, I calm myself at the moment with a shrug and say children aren’t just born to care for us when we grow older, and besides there are older generations that are lonely because their own children are too busy having their own life to remember good old mumsy and dad, so having children is no guarantee you won’t end up old and alone.