Childless and childfree women come in lots of shapes and sizes. We are all colors, all cultures, and all ages. As much as we have in common, we are also very different. Some people say it is strange to define ourselves by things that we are not, so let’s determine what we are instead. In this series, childfree blogger Laura LaVoie interviews women without children who answer the question, “If you’re not a mom, then what are you?”
The NotMom has been looking into the categories of child-free women. those who think of themselves as without children By Choice and others coming to acceptance that their bodies or Life situations have made the decision for them.
Imagine you’re a healthy 20-something who suddenly becomes swept up in a medical drama that takes away any ability to choose for yourself. This is the story of Nicole Ciomek. While she can certainly be placed in the category of “cancer survivor,” she is so much more than that diagnosis.
Tell us about yourself and your blog.
I’m a 33-year-old online advertising consultant. I live in Central Oregon with my husband, Ross, my dog Ada, and my cat Walter. I am self-employed and run my own business. I am also a volunteer middle school track coach. We recently purchased a house and renovating that house is taking up a lot of my free time.
When I have more free time, I love running, hiking, cycling, camping – basically anything outdoors. I also love to bake, write and take photographs. I’ve been a blogger off and on since I was 18 years old. I started my current blog, Real Life and Thereafter at nicoleciomek.com in 2010, almost a year after my cervical cancer diagnosis. I felt a need to write again. I wanted to share my experiences with cancer and the subsequent infertility. I was also hoping to connect with others who had had similar experiences.
I think for me, it was my first attempt at coping with all I had been through. I was only 28 when I was diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer and I found it hard to talk to my friends, seeing as how many were getting married and planning for families. It was, well, awkward. So, my blog started out a lot about my experiences with cancer and infertility.
It then rolled into a lot of the side effects from having a hysterectomy at 28, the depression that can accompany infertility and my relationship with Ross. I’ve also write a lot about walking down a different life path than many, feminism, and finding myself after all the chaos.