Tag: Childless

My jaw dropped

Published / by sandymichelet / 1 Comment on My jaw dropped

It was a LOT different than I thought it would be. Looking back, I should have read the agenda for the 2 day conference a lot better. It clearly stated the event’s purpose. However, my brain decided that it would be something similar to the Gateway-Women’s retreat. I was wrong.

For the purpose of clarification….this blog defines childless as those who cannot have children (for whatever reason). Childfree describes those who have made a conscious decision not to have children.

On Friday, a childfree keynote explained the backlash she received after a 1974 interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes. She and her husband discussed their decision to not have kids. The morning after the TV show she was fired from her job, received death threats and was ostracized from her friends/family.  After realizing the footage had been edited to remove any positive references, she became an author and now in her 70’s, continues to advocate for and celebrate those who decided not to have children.

The message, though, was a little hard to take. The keynote was cheering (arms in air) about not having kids….actually celebrating….mere feet from childless women who had come to the event unsure of what they were looking for….but I don’t think this was it. She was celebrating not having the one thing that some in the room desperately wanted but couldn’t have. The more she spoke, the lower my jaw dropped.

Please understand. I have nothing against Marcia Drut Davis. I admire and applaud her for taking a stand and setting the stage for women to be able to make the choice to have kids. (After the conference I purchased her book for a friend and asked Marcia to sign it…which she happily did.)

So why was I so….so….shocked? Confused? Honestly, I think I had just geared myself up to hear a supportive talk for the childless and was surprised by the obvious lean to the childfree life.

After the keynote, 4 superstars in the childless/childfree community took to the stage for a panel discussion and a Q&A. Based on the comments and the audience participation, I guessed the room was split about 80% childfree, 20% childless. Childfree women shared their stories. More cheering. So far, nothing from the childless.

I reallyyyyyy started to question if this weekend was going to work for me. And I don’t think I was alone.

I watched the mic move throughout the room while I sipped on coffee…I initially had absolutely no plans of speaking up…….I was full from lunch and happy with the caffeine. But my heart started to break for my new childless friends who I knew had to be listening to everything I was….and who were not being acknowledged as attendees. I raised my hand, asked for the mic and started to share my thoughts (insert your surprised face here):

  1. “Yay for you if you decided not to have kids. Seriously, it is your choice….and I applaud you not having kids just because someone/society/your mother says you are supposed to have kids.”
  2. “Something was becoming very clear to me. We actually had three groups in the room: a.) The cheering childfree, b.) the childless who were well on their journey to peace (like me) and c.) those who were coming to terms with their childlessness and accepting that their life wouldn’t turn out like they’d planned. That last group was rightfully raw with emotion….and being completely ignored.”

A few random claps…and I felt like I had alienated myself from the rest of the group. Way to go, Sandy. Making friends in Cleveland….

The conference organizer, Karen Malone Wright thanked the panel then addressed the group. From the podium, she spoke directly to me with sincere concern for the childless women in the room who (at least in my mind) had previously been unacknowledged. Then….she clarified the format for us….and realized that she hadn’t done it at the beginning over the conference. The first day’s keynote was dedicated to the childfree, the second day the childless. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. That made a LOT more sense. I immediately felt better. Kudos to her for starting The Not Mom group to provide a safe space for women who (for whatever reason) do not have kids. She is passionate about making this group inclusive and protected.

After the clarification, I was flying high. And ready to meet some peeps. Ba BAM!

During the break I was lucky enough to meet women who felt the same way I had all morning….and they wanted to speak up but didn’t know what to say or, as one woman said, didn’t have the strength to say it. So…my estimation of 80% childfree, 20% childless was actually wrong. The childless were there…but just not ready to talk yet.

So….that meant that the following day was for us. And Jody Day did not disappoint.

Next Blog Post: The Super Hero of the Childless

Why I don’t want Daenerys to get pregnant

Published / by sandymichelet / Leave a Comment

Welcome to my first (and only) Game of Thrones themed post. Even if you aren’t a fan of the HBO show, don’t worry. This post will still make sense….so keep reading.

The blonde lead actress in the show is always introduced (in a super cool accent) as “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons”. I don’t wanna brag….but my moniker is similar.

Very similar. But say it with a Louisiana drawl. “Sandy Michelet of Baton Rouge, First of Her Name, the Burnt Food Cooker, Queen of the Wedge Sandals, Devotee of the Wheat Grass Smoothie, Breaker of Rules, and Mother of Brody the Chocolate Lab.” No, it doesn’t have quite the same punch….but it can be a snazzy update for my Facebook profile name.

Early in the series, Daenerys became pregnant with her first child and I remember being silently disappointed. (Don’t judge me.) She was so powerful and kicked butt with her 5′ 2′ frame. I couldn’t imagine how she could continue to overtake cities to build her army while caring for a newborn. Because this is TV, she, in a twisted attempt to save her husband, negotiated with a witch and lost her baby. I had been disappointed when she became pregnant….so when she lost the baby I immediately felt guilty.

What surprised me was how I felt after this scene. Since she was no longer pregnant, I knew she could continue brutally demonstrating her strength and power (and her unwavering commitment to rule the Seven Kingdoms). But why did I think that?! Does that mean that women lose their ability to rule or their ability to topple cities as soon as they become pregnant? Of course not!  But it does show that I had my own expectation about what I wanted this powerful character to be.

I want a childless hero.

Flash forward to last week’s show. Daenerys told Jon Snow that she was sure couldn’t have children (the witch told her). That felt like horrible foreshadowing…I am guessing now that after the one night tryst on last week’s show (with a hottie) she will become pregnant….

I am not sure who said this quote but I love it. “We cannot be what we cannot see”….so shouldn’t the world’s role models reflect, well, the world!?. I don’t want her to have a child…I don’t want her to experience the miracle…I don’t want her to have the greatest gift that she could….aughhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! She has a freaking dragon. Three of them! Isn’t that enough!? Why would she have to have a child to become “complete”?

Daenaerys and I both worry about our legacies. As time goes on, I will begin to fall off family trees because my branches don’t go anywhere. I don’t have a child to continue this awesome blood line of migraines, anxiety and a fondness for junk food. After building an army of over 100,000, she wants to rule the Seven Kingdoms but doesn’t have a silver hair winner of the gene pool to reign once she’s dead. I agree. That is a lot to consider. And I’ve just been worried about who will want my formal china and wedding dress.

Am I going to hell if I am mad at God?

Published / by sandymichelet / 5 Comments on Am I going to hell if I am mad at God?

For 99% of the week I am unbelievably happy. Great husband, great family, great job, great friends. My family is healthy, we have a roof over our head, we have food to eat and we feel safe everyday.

But for that 1% of the week when I am in complete silence and stillness I…ooooooo…..I. Am. Mad. In another post I shared that there is no explanation as to why I couldn’t get pregnant….so it just kinda hung out there…..with no answer or resolution.  Medical science and all of your miracles, kiss it.

My anger is usually directed in one of two places. My body who betrayed me. And God.

Some people turn to the church in times of sorrow…I do the exact opposite. If things are rocking, then I never miss. Absolutely nothing is expected of me during that one hour a week. Except to sit. To think. To listen.

But after 15 years of sitting in church every week while horrible things were happening around me…one after another after another I started asking WHY?

Knowing my struggle Craig convinced me (after about 20 conversations), to go see The Shack….even after I realized that there were no car chases or gun battles (my two usual requirements to see a movie).

The main character, after a personal tragedy, had a lot of questions…and asked them over and over again…..

I am sure there are people who would never question God….who would never admit they are angry at God…who would think that the mere thought of either of those would send them straight to hell.

Is that right? Or wrong? I have no idea….but the movie seemed to bring me some peace….which, other than a baby, is really the only thing I’ve ever wanted.