An 85-Year-Old Woman Wrote a Poignant Letter to People Who Are Hesitant About Whether to Have Children or Not


Many people find it difficult to decide whether to have children or remain childless. Many couples worry that they may regret not having children in the future. An 85-year-old widow who lived a long life with her husband but never had children penned an open letter to those who are unsure whether or not to have children.

Dear young people:

I was married for just over 50 years. We bucked the norm and did not want kids. In those days, we would say, “We’re trying,” for a while, and then, “We can’t have kids,” end of discussion. It was our little secret and nobody’s business. If we were honest and said, “We cannot have kids because we just don’t want them,” the fallout with family and friends would have been tough for us.

In a nutshell, our 50 years together were amazing. We had decent employment, no financial problems, and pursued our own interests and hobbies. If I could go back in time, would I do it again? 100% yes. I’d live the same life a thousand times.

Here’s my simple observation:

GROUP A: They have children, live a wonderful life, and everything is perfect. I know a lot of people, therefore it is possible and happens.
GROUP B: They have children, live a difficult life, and face issues. Many people wish they could start again without having children.
GROUP C: They have children, and everything is fine, until the empty nest and declining contact shatter their hearts.
GROUP D: This is the child-free group, of which I knew only a handful.

I cannot provide breakdowns and percentages for all groups. Bottom line, in my experience, GROUP D is always the happiest and most satisfied. Of course, there are many happy people in GROUP A.

My husband passed away 10 years ago. I mourned him and still miss him every day. But being child-free means that my life was never defined by children. I had a large network of acquaintances and numerous activities. I was able to move forward. Life continues, and I have a full and happy life with a new partner.

My friends who have lost their partners and have kids have the common problem of their kids not giving them enough time. It upsets and hurts them. They are too reliant on them. They expect “payback” for all the time and money they spent on them.

Their interests and hobbies are sometimes nonexistent because everything revolves on their children (and grandchildren). One acquaintance said something that I’ll never forget: “The empty nest thing is real; it’s like being dumped by the love of your life after two or three decades but remaining friends.” It’s never the same. I now have a separate apartment in a “rest home,” nice friends, busy days, and a wonderful staff.

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