The fact of having never been married or in the kind of long-term partnership in which the opportunity to try for a baby arose, seems to be a their stories because they don’t feel ‘entitled’ to their pain, grief and despair compared to those women who’ve suffered miscarriages, failed to conceive or who have experienced unsuccessful IVF.
There is sometimes a sense of deep unworthiness, of being right at the bottom of some invisible pecking order of childless women and not quite ‘full members’ of the childless club, and so therefore not quite due Whereas just a generation ago, being an unmarried mother was to be the social outcast, now it’s the single, childless woman over 40 who carries the weight of shame.
It’s called ‘social infertility’ and it’s affecting a huge number of women in their 30s and 40s in the UK.
1 in 5 women in the UK born in the 1960s has turned 45 without having had a child – some by choice but many by circumstance, this is double what it was a generation ago.
The ticking clock of babymania feels more like a bomb when you’re living through it as a Double Whammy.
You’ve heard every piece of advice, countless times.
I dipped my toe back in the water early this year for a few months but I was relieved when my ‘three month trial’ was up.
I did meet a couple of interesting men but one was too ready and one not ready enough and well, that was that.
As someone who works for herself and runs a women’s organisation, my life is pretty testosterone free and very nice that is too!
And whatever piece of brilliant advice it is that you think you’ve got for your single friend, your daughter, your sister or your colleague – just don’t.
Only for this week if that’s all you can manage, but preferably never again.
Friends and family tell their single friends to just ‘get out there’ and suggest ever more and more bizarre (and undignified) suggestions of how to meet a partner (things that they would never dream of doing) without realising that they’ve tried it all.