Friday, December 14, 2012

Aging And Childless

Working in aged care again, even just dabbling in a locum role as I am at the moment, often smacks me in the face with the reality of aging, and aging alone.  I speak to many clients, or carers or kind neighbours, of people out there, living and aging and declining on their own.  And I wonder if that is what is ahead for me.

I feel like I am surrounded by people getting engaged, announcing they are pregnant, or have just had babies.  My social circle seems to be going through this cycle yet again, and my youngest sister's social circle the same.  The middle siblings could very well be joining that cycle.  And our mother's constant reminders of her anguish about not being a grandmother rings in our ears.

This article last week seems to have hit my screen at the right time, some stories sad and painful, some important and meaningful and they leave a message for me.

My closest friend and I have been joking recently that we are at our mid-life crisis now.  Having both quit our over-bearing and demanding jobs for the freedom to choose something better for ourselves, given our wealth of work experience and expertise, and over-abundance of educational standing to allow us to do anything we want.  We have joked that perhaps now is the time to buy silly sports cars and date hot men half our age.  That's how a mid-life crisis goes, right?

However, I do believe that I will be the fun aunt.  Like the notion of the "small mothers" in that article, and travel blogger's Ottsworld's amazing and inspiring Niece Project - that I can be a mate, and sounding board, a neutral influence, the holder of hopes and dreams and facilitator of crazy plans. THAT is more what I can imagine.

There is no real guarantees that having kids will mean that we don't while away our old age alone anyway. There are no guarantees in life.

Never say never, sure, I believe that.  But it looks less and less likely for me within my big dreams for the next few years.  And by then I will probably be too old to have babies, and ride the journey of parenthood all the way through.  I am almost too old now. I just cannot imagine it for myself.

All my friends are getting married....yeah, they're all growing old....
Growing up does not actually look like something I would enjoy.

** This piece of street art is just before Brunswick Station, and signed off as the work of Baby Guerilla **

1 comment:

  1. I hear you on this. I was feeling MUCH more 'Why is everyone getting engaged/married/pregnant at the same time?!" about life earlier this year, and then my cousin broke up with her boyfriend of eight years, and my brother broke up with his girlfriend of seven years. And now I don't feel quite so much like the tragic spinster sister any more. Hurrah!

    That said, I feel like there should be a dedicated social circle for those of us who are childless by choice so that you can hang out and talk about travel/work/boys/whatever and not have to listen to conversations about toilet training or reflux or teething. You know?!


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