Have you ever witnessed the “I know YOU!” connection that occurs when 2 women who have never previously met introduce themselves to each other? When one woman talks about her children, the other will say something to the effect of “I’m a Mom, too!” And that, as they say, can be the key to the door of friendship and more.
I used to work in healthcare for a supervisor who often spoke of the Creed of the White Coats. To truly gain the ear of a physician, he believed, you needed another physician. Administrators, nurses, community leaders are OK, but he was convinced that the only way to be assured that a target doc received the message in a positive light was to make another doctor deliver the news.
Ethnic communities, religious folk, college alumni…name the group and I’ll guarantee that most humans generally pay more attention when they’re connected to one of their own. A bit more trust, perhaps, and certainly, the feeling that you are understood before you even say a word.
NotMoms know this to be true. Meeting someone new and saying that you don’t have children can generate a bit of anxiety, conscious or not. It’s kind of like putting on an invisible Kevlar vest just in case. But when the other person says, “I don’t have kids either,” both parties rest a bit easier, comfortable in their own space and with the other person.
There was a time in my adult life, more than 10 years ago, when it seemed that I just couldn’t seem to meet a woman who wasn’t pregnant or didn’t already have a child or two. Online, I found several sites for women challenged by infertility, but resources for women trying to accept their childfree life or those who had chosen it were rare.
Those days are gone. The number of childfree women has doubled since 1970 and continues to grow. Just as the world is becoming more accepting of lesbians and gays, the childfree life is destined for broader acceptance as well.