Involuntarily Childless: Re-igniting Hope Post Menopause
Menopause can be an incredibly challenging time for many people, and particularly for women who are involuntarily childless. Yet there is also liberation and freedom on the other side, once you break free of the additional trauma menopause often triggers for involuntarily childless women.
Menopause: the hope of becoming a mum goes out permanently for childless women
Even though I’d made a conscious decision to be happy despite being involuntarily childless, when I hit menopause, I discovered, completely out of the blue that I’d never given up hope.
My thirties and forties were an emotional roller-coaster as I wrote about in my blog Coming to Terms with Being Involuntarily Childless.
During that time, I’d cried, grieved, and done a lot of healing so I could create a wonderful life for myself without children. By focussing on abundant possibilities, surrounding myself with childless friends, and getting involved in charitable projects, I’d built up a good life and been happy again.
I was in a place of emotional acceptance and able to enjoy time with parents and children again, rather than feeling really upset or sad.
Until menopause hit, and the finality began to sink in.
More sadness, loss, and grieving
This was it; it really was over.
The lightbulb of hope had gone out – forever!
There was no way of reversing it.
I would NEVER have my own children
It was time yet again to release all my lost dreams and the many experiences I would never enjoy as a mother or grandmother…
Yes, at a conscious level I’d been at peace with being involuntarily childless and was happy with the decisions I’d made not to go through IVF again or to pursue adoption.
But the reality I was no longer fertile hit me with a thud I hadn’t expected.
It was only then I realised that at an unconscious level and cellular level, my body had still been going through the motions each month in readiness to produce babies. Until my monthly cycle stopped. And with that any hope of becoming a mum.
The whole injustice of it all flared up again.
Most people experience the privilege of being a parent. Why not me?
Involuntarily childless men in their forties, fifties, and beyond still have hope. Yet that’s obviously not the case for women.
The trauma of never having had children intensifies the sense of a loss of sexuality and womanhood that women can often feel post-menopause.
Even now as I write this, I find myself wanting to shout out to parents: “At least you are a mother with at least one child! Be grateful for that and be mindful that there are many of us (around 18% of women who reach menopause) who are involuntarily childless plus of course those who have tragically lost their children.”
Our loss is different from other women but the loss of never having had a child (if you wanted one) is very different from no longer being fertile.
The thing women who are involuntarily childless do have in common with other women is how we choose to respond to our reality – our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Why is this important? Because, no matter what is happening in your life, your thoughts, feelings, and actions today have a huge influence on your future happiness. I explain how to do this in my book Heartatude, the 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success.
Questioning my purpose again as an involuntarily childless woman
As I went through the Menopause, as a woman who was unable to have children, I also found myself questioning the purpose of my life again. Asking myself all sorts of questions including:
- If one of our core purposes as a woman is to have children, who am I now that possibility is over?
- What’s my value to society?
- Why do I feel I’ve failed because I’ve not had children?
- What’s the point in me being here?
- What legacy do I want to leave in the world if it’s not children?
Involuntarily childless: the ongoing healing journey
I also reflected on other future life events that I would miss out on and yet be expected to witness with joy for others:
- Seeing my children grow up to be the incredible adults they could have been.
- Becoming a grandmother – having fun with my grandchildren.
- Enjoying family dinners, weddings, Christmases, and holidays surrounded my children and grandchildren.
Menopause reminded me that being involuntarily childless is an ongoing healing journey – that there will always be times when the sadness of not being a mum may resurface.
We can heal from our trauma of being involuntarily childless
Thankfully as a coach and therapist, I have the tools to let go of any negative feelings as they come up, so I can move on and focus on continuing to enjoy a happy meaningful life.
I’m so grateful to be able to use tapping (EFT), NLP, theta healing, and hypnosis to overcome loss, upset, and disappointment and make the most of life. Without these, I know I wouldn’t have coped so well.
That’s one of the reasons I love helping involuntarily childless women overcome their grief – so they too can create a happy meaningful life that lights up their heart and leaves a legacy they are proud of.
We don’t need to have children to feel our life has been worthwhile. There are so many ways to enjoy a life without children as I write about in my blog How to Enjoy a Life of Meaning Without Children.
Renewed hope and unlimited possibilities post menopause
Just as endings and beginnings are common threads in all forms of nature, The menopause offers us new opportunities too – it may physically signify the end of your fertile years, but it is also the start of your wisdom years and unlimited possibilities that could lie ahead.
We all have a choice – you can hold on to the distress, sadness, and upset of being involuntarily childless but that will only make your future worse. Or you can proactively take action to heal yourself from the trauma of reaching menopause without having children – so you can make the most of life and be happy again. The likelihood is you’ve got many more years ahead.
Dwelling on what hasn’t been feels selfish to me given so many women haven’t had the privilege of reaching this age.
So I chose the latter. Over the years I’ve done all I can to be free of all traumas associated with being involuntarily childless. I’ve also enjoyed the adventure of discovering who I am at this stage of life, and want to be in the future, so I can have a positive impact on the world and feel my life has mattered.
Reaching a place of inner re-alignment around my identity (who I am without children) ignited new confidence and optimism for the future. Being involuntarily childless is part of my story but I won’t let it define me or ruin my life.
As I stepped into my identity as a strong post-menopausal woman who happens to be involuntarily childless, I also found my voice in writing and speaking about my experiences so other involuntarily childless women wouldn’t feel so alone.
Having let go of the dream of becoming a mother and grandmother once and for all, I feel there’s a clearer path forward, even if I’m unsure of what’s around the next corner. I feel I’m on a fabulous new adventure.
What about you?
Are you ready to let go of your grief and trauma so you can enjoy a happy life where you feel loved, feel you matter, and your life has been worthwhile?
Has menopause given you the desire to overcome the trauma associated with being involuntarily childless so you can create many happy meaningful years ahead without children?
Having been through it myself, I love helping other involuntarily childless women break free of their grief and trauma so you can find it easier to create a happy meaningful life that lights up your heart and makes a difference you’re proud of.
With love and gratitude,
The Meaningful Life Guide, Best-Selling Author & Coach
Empowering you to enjoy a happy meaningful life that lights up your heart and makes you feel proud
P.S. Have you checked out My Meaningful Life course yet? Find out more HERE.
Often described as one of the most authentic and inspiring souls you can meet, Alisoun is on a mission to improve the lives of 100,000 people – by making it easier for women to create a happy meaningful life that lights up their heart and leaves a legacy they’re proud of.
Alisoun’s keynote talks, training, mentoring, and best-selling books Heartatude: The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes have favorably changed the good fortune of thousands of people worldwide. Personally, she loves spending time with friends, exploring the world, and enjoying a quiet lifestyle by the beach in Scotland.
Alisoun has written the following free resources:
- Your Meaningful Life Quiz (complete this here)
- 101+ Ways to Create a Joyful Life of Meaning, Vitality, & Impact (download this HERE).
- Ebook: 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (download this here)
Connect with Alisoun here:
alisoun, alisoun mackenzie, childfree, childless, childless not by choice, Childless woman, Childless Women, devastated, grief, hurt, involuntarily childless, life coach, life coaching, loss, Meaning, menopause, mindset, no children, over fifty, peri-menopause, post-menopause, PURPOSE, the menopause, trauma, upset, woman, women