We must have transparency on the subject.
A person must be able to say they don't have children without a reaction. They don't have to or need to offer any explanation if that is a person's preference.
What I want and what we want as childless and ageing persons/people is for that person to then be recognised as someone who may need assistance - either now or in the future. They may not but please, those of you with children, recognise that being someone who has no children can be a lonely and scary place. Especially if a person is older and alone, or is caring for someone disabled and alone. Don't simply dismiss us out of embarrassment or list us as non human - because we are ageing without children.
Childlessness is not weirdness. It can be a choice or it can be circumstantial - not a choice. Doesn't matter. It's not oddness just because a person or couple has no offspring. In fact childlessness, whether by choice or not, needs to be acknowledged within communities more than it currently is. I will expand on that subject on another blog post.
So, on the back of the above and feeling quite strongly about the subject I decided to 'do something'. And with the help and cooperation of TED Ageing Better, East Lindsey, we have set up a local Ageing Without Children (AWOC) group to provide a mouthpiece and support for those of you who are ageing without children.
I would like to start a group with a voice on this blog. If you would like a voice, please use the comment button at bottom of page and send your thoughts/opinions. Can you keep it clean and printable please? Thank you.
Here is the (not exhaustive) list of people that may be defined as AWOCs:
People aged 40 and over who have no children nor immediate family support may be ageing without children for any of the following reasons:
You were unable to have children and either no medical intervention worked nor was offered to you, or you chose not to have medical intervention.
You were turned down for adoption. You may be alone in this, or you may be in a partnership.
You may be in a partnership or you may be alone, but you chose not to have children or were unable to have children.
You are living with (or have) a disabled or mentally disabled child and you are the main carer.
You are part of the LGBT+ communities, and are ageing without children.
Your partner or parent, is severely disabled or has Alzheimer’s or dementia and you are the main carer. And alone.
Your children live a great distance away and you are alone.
You are estranged from your children and have no contact with them at all.
Your child (or partner) is in prison.
You are simply alone with no one.
It's a pretty wide group of folk, is it not?
If you are in any of the listed above groups, or any other group whereby you find yourself childless and ageing, without family support, please do join us on this journey.
Between us we can find a way to support each other and, hopefully, educate others to understand our situation more fully.
We can be alone and ageing - together!
Feel free to comment.