Making Peace With Living Child Free

How do you know when enough is enough? What do you do when infertility treatment and adoption don’t end up with you having a child. Join us to talk with Rebecca and Sallyann Majoya, co-authors of the memoir Uncertain Fruit, and Carole LieberWilkins, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist providing individual and couples counseling, as well as psychoeducational consultations, for those moving into alternative paths to parenthood and living child free.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Deciding to live child free is becoming increasingly common in the US. Research has found that 30 percent of women of childbearing age identifying wanting to live child free. However, that is not reflective of the people we are speaking to who have likely tried infertility treatment or adoption and it hasn’t worked for them.
  • What is the right name: child free or childless? Are you child free by choice or childf ree not by choice?
  • Age is less of a biological cut off point than in the past and that complicates the decision of whether to stop trying to have a child.
  • How do people know when it is time to stop trying? What are the signs that it is time to stop. How do you know when enough is enough?
  • Is making the decision to live child free ‘giving up’?
  • Are there predictable steps for reaching the decision of when it is time to stop fertility treatment or adoption?
  • Determining when you should stop.
  • How to decide to stop?
    • ‘Trying on’ the future
    • Seeking new goal/vision
    • Therapy
  • How can “giving up the dream” of children impact a couple’s relationship?
  • How to handle when both partners are not on the same page.
  • Once you’ve made the decision, should you take steps to not get pregnant? The “not-try-but-not-prevent” approach.
  • For many, the decision to live child free not by choice causes grief, but this loss is invisible. It’s hard for others to see or understand, so we mourn without the support of our community.
  • What can people do to help themselves resolve the grief of not having kids?
    • Writing a letter to the child you will never know.
    • Giving this dream child a “funeral.” Doing something with the letter that is akin to a funeral. Concrete reminders that the person is gone.
    • Create a ritual to say goodbye.
    • Writing a memoir.
    • Create a new life goal. A new vision for your future.

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth