I know how hard I’ve found it to speak openly about being childless, and I also know that by not doing so I’ve been hiding my true self from the world.
A good example of this was my last job. I was open about not having children, but not about why. There were lots of reasons for this; in many ways I wasn’t ready but it was mainly about trust, ie I didn’t trust my colleagues and managers not to use it against me. And the end result was that I was unhappy and never felt I belonged there.
One of the questions I ask myself when I go into a new situation or meet new people is “who should I present to the world?” and “how safe is it to be me?” And there have been many times I’ve made a conscious decision not to be open about my childlessness. [Read more…]