Of course, it doesn’t take a psych degree to know that developing a website for and about childless women is healing to the writer. What is catching me off guard — and shouldn’t — is its potential to help someone besides me.
A few days before Mother’s Day, blogger Happy Drummer Girl left this comment:
“I, too, arrived at Childfree via infertility. Fortunately, we are happy the way things are. I am grateful for all the communities online. We are not alone.”
And there it is. “We are not alone.”
My BFF has squinted at this website again and again, asking in frustration,” In service of WHAT? Why does this site exist?” I generally stay quiet, thinking that the answer should be obvious, and at the same time trying and failing to put my feelings into words. I knew the site as I envisioned it needed to exist, and not just for me.
Comfort and reinforcement was always the goal, even if early posts didn’t make that easy to figure out.
Women without children can be fairly quiet about their experiences as a square peg bumping through a round world. Little bruises here and there. Big frustrations. Speaking up can sound whiny, bitter, bitchy, or worse, particularly when no one in the audience has a similar experience. Even so, when a hub of women get to sharing ‘my kid did this” stories, NotMoms may start thinking about how to exit gracefully. Better to stay and wait it out. Better to stay mum.
I want TheNotMom.com to be a digital hug for any woman without kids, regardless of how she arrived there. When journalists need stats on childless women in America (and perhaps, in the world), I want them to click here first. It seems few researchers are studying childless women, even as our numbers are growing across the developed world.
It’s that growth, I believe, paired with the magic of the Internet, that will amplify the voice of childless women at last. Suddenly, we’re not only talking about our individual lives; we’re finding each other. At last.