To All the “Child-Less” Mothers during the Holidays

To Touch the Void

To Touch the Void

Not all women have children, but many (not all) women desire to have children. I consider myself a “child-less” mother. I alwys desperately wanted children of my own, four to be exact. Something about driving around in a mini-van filled with children appealed to me. Life did not work out that way, though. I do mother, now, two wonderful stepchildren, but they are not mine in the birth sense.

For a child-less mother, the holidays can be difficult. In no way with a sense of negativity or regret, we may ask “What if?”. Within our question of “What if?”, we also ask “What now?” and for one particular holiday, the “What now” was particularly hard on me. I traveled with my husband and stepkids to visit his family. As a stepparent, you often feel like an outsider, and for some reason that sense multiplied on this trip.

I wrote the following poem:

My Children Were Never Born

Some women
are made
For motherhood
others not

I was- I thought
The former,
The latter not my self defined

A woman in my condition –
childless stepmother –
should armor for the holiday

A degree of separation
multiplying- daily

Twas the night of

Had they ever
been mine?

To ask is to know

The Stars

Laid a kiss

Upon their cowled heads.

For me, this poem was inspiration. Others may say to me, “Your stepchildren are like your own”. They do not know what they speak. In my mind, my children were never born during this lifetime. Perhaps some life past, ages ago, or sometimes in heaven (however you may define it), I will meet my children. For now, I may be “child-less” to others, but within me beats the heart of a mother. This heart beats within all of us, and with it, we truly birth and care for our worlds.