If I was not meant to be a mother to 2.1 kids, then perhaps I was meant to be motherly to many more. My infertility is circumstantial but my life is not barren.
From a girl in Tanzania I've adopted as a niece and email with many times a week, to the little ones down the hall in my apartment building, and of course to my amazing nephew and nieces by relation, I am an aunt. And to the women who are on the other side of hope, know that you are more powerful than your womb.
Childless women were more likely to cite personal desire and biological urge as major influences, compared to men.
Men were more likely to cite cultural, societal and family pressures than were women.
You are maternal whether or not maternity ever comes.
You are a woman and your love and how you choose to offer and receive it, is a gift.
I was a nanny, camp counselor and frequent babysitter.
And as I saw couples younger than I getting sympathy for their biological infertility, I wondered why all I got were accusations of not doing enough, not trying hard enough. Generation X is the first generation of women who have a choice to wait for love.
Unlike many of our mothers, we earn enough to take care of ourselves (please don't call us 'career women' as careers are as much a choice for women as they are for men.) But still, the assumption is that all women who don't have children don't want children.
There is a place between motherhood and choosing not to be a mother. I'm 42 and still single and I have come to acknowledge the truth: it's very possible I won't have children of my own.
I've grieved and have found my happiness on the other side.