Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children. Unknown

Single women without kids are the happiest group in the world followed by married men.  I’m looking at an article by Harriet Minter and she says this is news that could only shock men.

I understand that the day to day looking after children is not liable to rate high on the happiness chart. But, the moments of intense joy one gets from our children can be had no other way.

We are told that expecting things outside of ourselves to bring us joy is the almost guaranteed way to feel disappointed. Unmet expectations make us miserable. Do no expectations make us happy?

I find it hard to believe that I would have a more happy and fulfilled life without my husband and children. This evening we will gather around the TV and watch what we hope is a winning basketball game. We will revel in laughter, togetherness, and the hope our team will end up champions.

Thinking of shared trips with our children across the country, and our daughter’s wedding less than a year ago. All of these great experiences would not have been possible without the sleepless nights of early motherhood.

Girls just want to have fun, didn’t we all dance to that song? Didn’t it ring in our hearts as part of what we wanted? Single childfree women have moments of doubt about not being married and having a family. There may be some mothers who also doubt the wisdom of their choices.

The hard work of motherhood brings the joy of grandparenthood, which childless women will never know. Holding someone’s baby is a joy, holding our own is without words, but holding our grandbabies I can’t even imagine. how that will feel.

The more we put into life the more we get out of it. Marriage and children are not for the faint of heart, it is not for those who just want fun and easy. It may not seem like joy when your day is filled with crying babies and dirty diapers. What these single childless women don’t know or don’t want to admit, is when they talk to their girlfriends who were part of their single childless club their girlfriends never want to go back to it. Yes, they miss the tidy life they had, where they could go tripping off wherever, with whomever. Yes, they might miss the candlelight dinners where men were trying to prove they were worthy of pursuit.

Some of courtship and weddings seduce us into something that if we knew the whole truth of, we might not dare to go. If we have a life with all its drama, messiness, sleep deprivation, and demands that don’t look on the outside as good as someone’s neat and tidy life it doesn’t mean it isn’t happy and fulfilling. In the stillness of our heart we know we have something worthwhile, something bigger than tidiness, and fun, something real, something of lasting value.

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for. Anonymous

It is with a degree of sacrifice we bring the next generation into being. Guess what, we will not still be svelte and firm even if we don’t have kids.  At sixty I can’t tell the figures of the women who’ve had children from those who haven’t, but there is joy in children and grandchildren you can’t buy at high-end stores or get from traveling to far-flung, exotic places. At sixty we can all be footloose and fancy-free. The heavy lifting of parenthood is over but the joy we get from it is ours forever.

If anyone is looking at their life of no commitments and fun, and wondering if they made the right choice, they probably didn’t. When you look at your children with their accomplishments or challenges it is something, and something is better than nothing.

Easy doesn’t make the best lives. Not having to learn how to live with someone doesn’t bring more joy into our lives. It may bring less conflict but conflict can lead to growth. Being married and having children is a growth experience.

Not having children to me seems a little like just living on the periphery of life. It doesn’t seem better to never take the chance to dive in deep, to feel deeply, to give more than you think you can, and to love with your whole being.

Is it happy in the moment, or deep joy, contentment, passion, and purpose that we want in our lives? I doubt the happiest people in the old age home are the ones without family. When I look at people who have lived good lives, they are proud of, they weren’t just easy and fun, they were doing the hard work of making society work, families work.

I can’t think of any women I know who regret having their children. Even relationships they are no longer in brought something to their lives. When we are on the outside of life and looking in, even if what we see is messy, and has its miserable moments, it is real. If we are going to accomplish anything in life it will have its messy parts, its miserable parts, and its times of unbelievable joy. We can’t just have the unbelievable joy.

Only when we are willing to live through all of life do we reap the rewards of a well-lived, productive, joyful, passionate life.

I’m waiting to meet the fulfilled single women without children of a certain age. Maybe I’m biased, I chose marriage and motherhood, and maybe I feel the need to justify my choice. Instead, it seems to me the justifying is by the single childless women, trying to justify why they are happier without love in their lives. Friends are great, but I don’t think they take the place of a loving partner and the depths of love we have for our children.

When we don’t create a family of our own we miss out on one of the great joys of life. We get our partner’s kooky relatives and they get ours. We are connected to people, and we form our own tribe.

It doesn’t matter how much I read about how great it is to be single and childless; unless at the moment I read it, the mess is overwhelming and the angst of motherhood and marriage overwhelming, I will always believe I made the better choice.

I think that enduring, committed love between married couples, along with raising children, is the most noble act anyone can aspire to. Nicholas Sparks

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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