So, there I was trying to book a blogger for a job, when in a moment of glorious serendipity I was redirected to Steph's wonderful website. For those who don't know Steph, she is a bold, brave and frankly fabulous human who set up World Childless Week which supports those that don't have children, not by choice. The support is there all year long and this generosity of spirit inspired me to want to do my bit too.
Not by choice is key here, behind those simple few words are stories and journeys and depths of emotion that can be so very difficult to navigate. It wasn't so long ago that I went through my own experience; and whilst I'm so very lucky to have come through to a happy place, it's something I may not have thought possible in those years.
And that's how I decided to get involved. When people talk about those fabulous (because yes we are!) people who don't have kids it is so overwhelmingly negative and frankly depressing. We've all had terrible things said to us many times, knowingly and not, and it is about time we celebrated ourselves.Ladies and gents we are not and should not be defined by this trick of biology, this frustration, this reason, whatever that is, this moment.
I find it extraordinary that we ask such personal questions with such loaded judgement to women especially of child bearing age. I feel I know more about Kylie's ovaries for example than I'm really that comfortable with! The semantics aren't helpful either: Child - less. Let's please not kick a girl (or boy) when they are down.
I spoke to Steph and we came up with #IAMME. It is so important to celebrate who we are as humans, not what we don't have or aren't. And I appreciate in the throes of the sadness and grief this can seem like the last thing you may want to do. You may have to trust me that you are amazing.
It is time we stopped the them and us aspect of being a parent, it is time to stop beating those without kids up, we aren't selfish, we aren't all like the sinister characters from books and films (what is that even about!). It is not only those with children that can feel love, empathy and compassion. Quite simply you can be a dick regardless of your family situation and you can be awesome. Nothing to do with biology.
It is dear world, time to be kind and cherish your loved ones, whatever their path, whatever their lifestyle. Celebrate diversity, celebrate difference, let's just be kind. I don't want there to be two tribes, we are all part of the same human race after all. And that is enough. You are enough.
I acknowledge my loss and grief and it's OK to cry and scream and stare out of windows but it is also OK to laugh and dance and grab this life by the scruff of its neck. Let us celebrate who we are as people and be proud. #IAMME
In this selfie, I've chosen three nice things I am. If you'd like to do the same, send a photo to Steph at World Childless Week (StephWCW@hotmail.com) using IAMME in the subject of your email and we'll create a gallery of splendid people who are just their wonderful selves and share during the week. If you'd rather not be in the picture, write down the three words and either cover your face with your notebook (like the mini pic!) or take a photo of the notepad instead. However you want to do it - #IAMME and rather wonderful!
If you'd like to send us your name that's fab but we also respect people's privacy and if you'd like to remain anonymous that's cool too. I'm actually feeling a bit nervous about posting this, so we totally get it.
You can also tweet your pics to @ChildlessWeek and use #worldchildlessweek and #iamme
If you'd be happy with the lovely folk at World Childless Week using your picture after the week to help continue raising awareness then please just let them know when you send your email.
Check out the World Childless Week website
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Tweet your pictures here