When you are grieving being childless not by choice it can be extremely difficult seeing others around you live the life that you wanted. Being surround by pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, and parenthood can create many feelings. One of those feelings that we feel and yet we don’t typically know how to verbalize aloud to those that haven’t been in our shoes is envy. This feeling is typically associated with negative character traits and the less attractive side of people’s personality. Feeling envy does not make you selfish and it doesn’t make you a bad person or a person with low character. It is a normal and natural feeling for the situation. In fact, how could you not feel envy in these circumstances? When you notice you are feeling envy try validating your feelings around it vs berating yourself for it. If people around you berate you for verbalizing envy, remember this- THEY ARE WRONG.
When you wanted something so badly, or it never occurred to you that you would never have that thing seeing others with that thing is painful. Seeing others in that situation AND having to manage feeling unseen, misunderstood, and not getting the more traditional supports that go along with grief is HARD. The absence of that type of support is another part of the grief to manage. Feeling like your grief is invisible. Being told ,OR feeling like you are being ungrateful because the sting of childlessness is so painful and yet you recognize you have a lot to be thankful can make the grief and pain even more difficult to manage. It is also hard to ignore your own inner voice once it starts spiraling into negative self talk.
Envy is normal and is an authentic feeling to feel. I don’t want you to get stuck in envy. Not because our job is to make those around us comfortable ,but because envy is a painful feeling to feel in perpetuity. Call your envy out, honor, validate your envy, and then, when you are ready here are a couple things to do to manage your envy.
1. Journal about your feelings. Get the feelings out and as you are ending your journal entry end it with your favorite quote, mantra, or comforting self talk statement.
2. Engage in the childless not by choice community either on YouTube, Facebook, instagram, or within support groups like Sonder Sisterhood and Gateway Lighthouse.
3. If you are a creative, engage in your creative activity art, song writing, writing, singing, playing music. Whatever your outlet is, do it.