Welcome everyone! It’s week four of the “On Being Childfree” blog series and I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your continued support. Every week the post is the most read on my blog and I receive emails from people wanting to take part and DMs on Instagram that people are finding this so helpful. This week I’m delighted to welcome our third guest story, Lydia. Lydia and I have only met so far on Instagram sharing a love of period home renovations and she is the loveliest person. Please do read, leave a comment and share as much as you can, I’m really willing this to grow and grow so that we can help as many people as possible who may be going through something similar.
We Are: Lydia and Mr S, in our 30s
Home Is: Lancashire
I Do: I work in the legal profession
Find Me: Instagram @houseofspolland
My name is Lydia and I live in Lancashire with my husband (we’ll call him Mr S!). I am in my early 30s and have worked in the legal profession (in varying roles) for over 10 years now. We are currently renovating our terraced house, which as you can imagine takes up a lot of time! We are enjoying having this joint project together though, learning new skills along the way. When we’re not busy DIY-ing, we also enjoy travelling, hiking in the peaks of the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales and spending time with our friends and family.
When I was 21 (before I’d even met Mr S!) I found out that I had a condition that would make it difficult for me to carry a baby full term. Treatment was available but I would need to have this before I even tried to conceive. At 21, having children was far from my mind – I was still young, single and having fun! It was a shock though as I’d always thought that it was the ‘natural’ thing to do.
I decided, after doing some research, that I would rather not put my body through the risks. I put it out of my mind and continued with my career and kept busy as always.
When I met Mr S I found it hard to share my feelings about this – I’d shut them away. Plus he had recently found out that he would be an uncle and if I’m honest I felt quite scared. I knew that I would have to stick to how I felt about my body and the responsibility though and that if he was the right person for me, then that conversation wouldn’t go as badly as it was playing out in my head. It did go well and all the fears I’d had, had literally no foundation and he understood why I would feel as I did – he has been so supportive.
More recently, my mental health has been very important too and I honestly don’t think I would be able to cope – my major trigger is lack of sleep, which I manage to have a lack of already! I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last 5 years and I certainly know what I can and can’t handle in life.
It surprised me how many people asked about when we were having a baby, or referenced it, not long after we were married. When we do respond it has often been met with “oh you’ll change your mind”, “a woman’s body tells her when she’s ready”, “really? Never?”, “it’s a rite of passage for everyone”. In fact recently a friend that Mr S had known for years even disregarded me and looked to him, dismissing my comments until I felt that I had to speak up for myself, and I did!!
I’ve often found a lot of comments to be quite patronising – I can’t be tired because I don’t have children, I can’t be busy because I don’t have children and I don’t have a clue about life because I don’t have children. Often this has caused me to do too much as an almost inner pressure because ‘surely I should be able to doo ALL of these things because I don’t have children’. The opposite is true! I can’t do all of the things and I only make myself feel worse when I stretch myself so thinly.
The fact is I love kids, mainly because I’m still a big kid myself! We enjoy seeing our friends and family, along with their children, and love being the ‘cool’ aunt and uncle.
I am so happy and content with my decision and a decision that has now become a joint one. There are tough times, obviously as many of my friends are having babies at the moment. I am learning to navigate my feelings and my responses to people and I recently had an open discussion with two other friends and none of us realised the difficulties that we each have – we now have what feels like a special bond. That really is something that I’m thankful for.
Thank you so so much to Lydia for sharing her story as a guest poster and sharing her thoughts and views in this piece. As I’ve stressed from the very beginning, this is a warm, empathic platform for people to share their stories, hopes, dreams, fears. Please do read Lydia’s story, leave a comment if you’d like to and share this series if you know anyone it could help. Together we are making changes.