Special to Times of Oman
Why do people relate to and sympathize with grief and not with struggle? People sympathize with a woman who loses a child, yet they don't know anything about the struggle of a woman who cannot have a child.
They sympathize with a person who loses a job, but they don't think much about those who cannot find a job. Is it because humans can feel "pain" and relate to it, yet they can't feel the struggles of others, if they themselves have not been through it? Grief and pain cannot be denied or ignored, but a daily struggle should also be acknowledged.
Women without children live their lives without ever knowing so many joys of life: Conceiving, preparing a baby's room, shopping for baby clothes, baby shower, delivery, first time to hold the baby, the baby's first smile, first word, first laugh, breastfeeding, carding for a child, birthdays, first day at school, first drawing, mother day celebrations, sport practice, ballet practice, the pride of their achievements, graduation, marriage, successes, problems, unconditional love, hugs, and kisses.
These are just some few moments, that many women would call "the best moments in their lives", which a woman without children would never know. It is not that simple to live such a life, especially in a world that revolves around children. You face many days feeling lonely, empty, useless, without a purpose and frustrated. The world around you makes you feel incompetent, incomplete and a failure if you are not a "mom".
And it is a daily struggle, this is what people need to understand. It is not a "problem" that you can solve, no it is not. And no, it does not get better by time. Let alone that no one talks to you about it, it is like a taboo! Then there is the famous question you hear every time you meet new people "How old are your kids?" Like it is not an option that you may not have kids.
And let's not forget those good hearted people who try to ease your pain, yet end up hurting you more, when they tell you how lucky you are not having children!
From their point of view, you are lucky because you have all the time in the world to do whatever you want. Then there is another important angle that many people might not know about. The fears of a woman without children!
The future is something women without children don't really look forward to. While women with children look forward to enjoy their old age with their kids and grandchildren, women without children face fears of growing old alone, with no one to look after them, with nothing to do.
I call for a day for "Women without Children" to honour their struggle and pain. To tell them you are not alone.
The world feels your pain and admires your strength. These women deserve to have a day to honour their struggle.
The author is a freelance writer based in Salalah, Oman. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.