Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Warm Embrace From the Club I'll Never Belong To

The Warm Embrace From the Club I'll Never Belong To
The Semantics

This author wrote about about her struggle with infertility, referring to herself as childfree. Apparently, she was told this was the incorrect word, since she followed up with an article about whether she was childless or childfree. Personally, I do think that people who have struggled with infertility can indeed become childfree if they eventually grow to embrace a life without children and feel they are not less for having a life without them. Embracing the freedom this life brings can transform one's status, if it is done genuinely and wholeheartedly. However, even in the follow-up article, she says:
nd yet, I desperately wanted children. I paid a lot of money to have children. And, I suffer lifelong losses from the journey I endured to have children.
. . .
My heart, my soul, my life are not missing pieces. They are simply scarred by three tiny souls. These soul scars have not left me lacking anything, but rather have left me more whole. For I am a more loving, more compassionate, continually healing person because I so loved those three tiny souls and even more so because I lost them.

I now choose the term childfree, yet childfull, because this is where I have found my continuing recovery.

And yet, there are days it doesn't feel like a choice at all.

I do not need everyone to understand my semantics but I do ask for compassion and the permission to define my own journey, just as I give you to define yours.
This doesn't sound very much like a person who defines herself as free. It is certainly not up to me to label her, or to give her permission. But if she is looking for accuracy, perhaps she should try a more objective approach.

I can understand why she doesn't like the word childless, though. Perhaps instead, she should stick with childful, or shun single word labels for descriptive phrases. Or perhaps we need a new word. After all, the reasons we ran from the word childless could indeed apply to more than just the childfree by choice.

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