Non-Mother’s Day

To all who dreamed of being a mother, raising a child, passing on your most prized possessions and values, I see you. To all who fantasised about shopping for tiny clothes, fitting out a nursery and singing lullabies, I see you. To all who chose names and schools and godparents, I see you. To all […]

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In Honour of Bereaved Mothers

This Sunday is International Bereaved Mother’s Day (first Sunday in May every year). In honour of bereaved mothers everywhere, I want to acknowledge the different kinds of bereaved mothers in our communities. The mothers who had a child or children and lost them. The mothers of stillborn babies. The mothers who lost pregnancies to miscarriage. […]

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False Hope or False Economy?

When I was single, I was the unwitting recipient of false hope. ‘It will happen for you.’‘You’ll meet someone.’‘You’re gonna make some man very happy one day!’ And of course, the trump card from Christian friends: ‘God will not deny you the desire of your heart.’ The same thing happens to childless people as well. […]

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A ‘Real’ Woman

I recently read Chocolat and, without giving spoilers away, there’s a bit when one of the characters falls pregnant. What follows is a rather euphoric description of this woman feeling ‘full’ and ‘satisfied’. As though being pregnant, and having children, makes a woman complete. I am not in any way deriding this novel, which was […]

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*When* You Have Kids…

Why do people say, ‘When you have kids…’ as though they know my future? It’s just as annoying as, ‘When you get married…’ Such blanket statements bely an assumption that we are all the same and will all follow the same trajectory in life: get married, have kids, raise them, kick them out of home […]

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If You Really Wanted Kids…

‘If you really wanted kids, you would do whatever it takes to have them. And if it was meant to be, it would have happened by now.’  Yes, there are people in the world who still think this is helpful advice to give to childless people.  Where do I begin with dissecting this twaddle?  OK, […]

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Am I Selfish?

Pop Francis recently got into hot water over his comments that people without children or ‘just one’ child are ‘selfish’, and that having pets instead of children ‘diminishes us, it takes away our humanity’ (see the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/05/pope-couples-choose-pets-children-selfish). This provoked an onslaught of outraged online responses, particularly from the childless and childfree communities. Including […]

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Christmas and Caterpillar Soup

I pity the caterpillar. He spends his existence crawling around, eating leaves, only to eventually enter a cocoon where his body completely disintegrates. He liquifies. He turns into caterpillar soup. Of course, he then emerges as a beautiful butterfly, and a new chapter begins.  But I wonder how he feels as he approaches the cocoon. […]

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I Don’t Want to Be a Piano Teacher

‘I really wanted to teach my daughter piano,’ I said to my friend.  She looked thoughtful. ‘You know what,’ she ventured, ‘There are probably lots of kids in your church who would love to learn piano.’  ‘Oh yes, there are,’ I agreed. ‘Although I’m not sure I have the experience to teach them piano. And […]

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Cards and Conversations

‘My wife has drifted from the Lord,’ the man said softly. ‘Would you say a prayer for her?’  ‘Of course I will.’  I wrote down the man’s name and the name of his wife in my little notebook, the one I always carry to book signings. The man bought a copy of my book and […]

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