"You are a less relevant human being."
This is the message that society sends (repeatedly) to those of us without children.
We, the childless, are apparently incapable of understanding, feeling or giving "real" love. We are apparently selfish, self-centered and unable to sacrifice for others. We have never felt a deep human bond. We are not members of The Club, and those who are members never let us forget it.
One day, several years ago, I was at a friend's house for a summer dinner party. By then I had already been a practicing RN for several years. My specialty, by the way, is pediatrics. As several of us stood around visiting in the kitchen, my friend's five month old daughter was getting fidgety in the baby swing. Another female guest scooped the child into her arms and began patting and bouncing the baby in an attempt to pacify her. My friend turned to the woman holding her baby and said, "You sure can tell you're a mother! Only a mother knows how to hold and calm a baby!"
I did not say a word. But I knew that as a pediatric nurse, I had done more things with, for and to babies than my friend ever would in her life. I simply was not anyone's mom.
Somehow the rest of us - we NON-mothers - are put into a lower social strata by members of The Club. The army of non-mothers who are educated, successful, intelligent, kind, generous, creative, funny and who are productive, contributing members of society, are forced to hear and remember that we just don't measure up. We are not members of The Club and our lives are apparently meaningless without children.
Can I tell you that this mindset angers me to no end? If it turns out that my dreams don't come true, if I never have a child....well, pardon me.....but my life will still have mattered.
We all have the power to impact the lives of others in positive, meaningful ways. We change the world from what it was to something better. We deeply affect others, and lives are forever changed because of us. Don't give into to the mantra of The Club. Know who you are, know your worth, and know that you matter!
4 months ago