Childless on Father's Day
As Fathers Day approaches, I have been ruminating about my life without children.
I am 65 this year and I am now having to accept that there are not going to be anymore of this bloodline.
Like many men my age who you see alone in coffee shops and donut counters downtown we are childless and alone.
Call us cowards, but a raging woman is the scariest thing in the world for most men. We have been , brought up to provide and protect females. And to fail at the only thing she really wanted from you is doubly painful.
To know it is not you or she is stressful beyond belief, because unlike other domestic disputes, this one comes with a referee, the fertility doctor.
In ten minutes you know and then the conflict begins. It did not surprise me when recently it was revealed that 25 percent of children in the UK where not the progeny of the husband, and that most women had not told their spouse. Our fertility doctor told me: “Don’t listen to that old wives' tale about the couple that adopted and because they could relax got pregnant. She had an affair and the child not his.”
Through all this, men are supposed to pretend we don’t want children until they arrive and then tell everyone it is the best thing that ever happens. We have our defence mechanisms up at all times.
I worked with my father on and off for over twenty years and he would say “You will know when you have kids of your own” only I didn’t and when I reached 38 he stopped making reference to kids. He had his grandkids with my sisters and my first bout of deep sadness swept over me.
My wife quietly left me and I met someone about two years later. It looked good until the hysterectomy It sent her into a two-year rage. I thought it had subsided until a niece announced her pregnancy and she started to feel that old anger well up and me the old sadness that now turns to depression.
We separated soon after. Her telling me I reminded her of all the loss.
The anger at bad choices, missed opportunity and a life tract that was set to be a father and failing, a one for a hole that is never to be filled.
I now approach the age that all the women I meet are either just finishing being single mums or are passed being able to have children.
I even had a childless women yell at me because I can have babies until I die,as if men’s feelings don’t matter.
And the first question when meeting a a new women is “so why don’t you have kids.” I have no good answer that is believed without sounding like I am slamming the past women in your life, not a pleasant way to start a first date. And I am realizing that if I fathered a child I probably won’t live to see its 13th birthday.
So now occasions that I used to attend with joy I avoid because my missing children are there. When I do attend, I am the life of the party and hit the depths of depression for a week after.
Next time your uncle without kids is a little too tipsy at the party, remember he is not a jerk he’s just masking the pain.