Hello lovely readers and thank you for checking back on the On Being Childfree series as we kick of 2020. You may know that I took some time offline over Christmas and had a really good time away from life online which was perfect and gave me a lot of really useful thinking time.
One of the best things I did last year was launch this series in March 2019 and it’s definitely become an invaluable and comforting part of my online life. I’m so proud of the help I know it’s brought to people based on those who reach out to me, and I know too there’s a whole group of people that turn up to read the posts each week and take some solace from them, even if they never voice it.
So as part of thinking about my 2020 plans, the On Being Childfree series is going absolutely nowhere. That said, it IS a huge commitment to try and find stories to share each week. As I’ve mentioned before it’s an incredibly personal space, one of THE most, and to ask people to trust me enough to give them a voice is both a privilege and incredibly humbling. It does happen more often than not that guest posters change their minds at fairly short notice and I will always prioritise their welfare over anything else even if it means I go a week or two without a story to share.
I’ve been giving some thought as to whether I change this to a fortnightly posting instead of a weekly one, and I think that’s a route I’m ready to go down now. I’ll be producing less DIY content this year on both Instagram and the blog since well, I’ve almost run out of main rooms to makeover and I’ve been really questioning how I add value to the online space and what makes me different.
As an alternative, what I’d like to do is offer a similar category on my blog space to offer support to those who have to live with an illness of some sort, if they too would like to share a story around how they find that, challenges, and how they get by on a day to day basis. The two things I’ve found people most relate to me on when I do come on Instagram is my openness to talk about being childfree as well as how life has changed for me now I have a hidden disability.
I’m still adjusting on this journey, but again I know that speaking to people who may be familiar with what I’m going through has been so important as I learn a new normal and if I can offer people the opportunity to share what they’ve been through, I hope that can only be a good thing.
So watch this space and I’ll look to kick things off next week, alternating between those who are living without children (or just parents of a single child), and those who are living with an illness on a fortnightly basis. I hope in some small way it can be my attempt at sharing something back to the online community.
If you have a story to share and would like to take part, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Having been through both scenarios myself, I know how isolating both can be and how incredibly difficult it can be to try and move on with a different path.
This is such an amazing idea Lins! The On Being Childfree series has been the most wonderful platform for people to share their experiences and for others to learn about the many many facets of this complex topic, and I have loved every single one (and I don’t think there was one I managed to read without tearing up, whether it is the subject matter, or the beautiful way you have helped people express their feelings). It is such an important resource, I feel as though you should get in touch with any charities who operate in this field and make them aware of it, because they are exactly the sort of stories those going through fertility challenges or not wanting children or one of the myriad other reasons for being childfree will want to read.
Which is why a similar platform for those with chronic or invisible illnesses is also an amazing idea. There is nothing really like it except perhaps a few case studies on various websites for certain diseases, and they don’t really tell you things like how it feels when you wake up on a day without any symptoms and you suddenly realise how ill you’ve been because you had actually slowly got used to the constant pain, and how to deal with that emotion. Or what it is like when you can’t even get out of bed on a day when you have lovely things planned with lovely people, no matter how much you want to, and how that feels. Or just how hard it can be keeping on keeping on with daily life and work when even getting up the stairs is a big effort. All these things that are part of the lived experience of people with chronic illness or invisible illness or long term conditions, that don’t feature as medical symptoms but are arguably the biggest part of the struggle. I think this will be so important and help so many people on getting a diagnosis or becoming used to an altered life, and I will share the heck out of it.
Thank you for being a wonderful human xxx