Are you saddened by your life as a childless woman? Here’s one of the best tips on how to be happy without kids: connect with other women who have experienced infertility.
“I am now in a place where I can say that childlessness has proved to be my biggest gift because without it I wouldn’t be enjoying the wonderful life that I now have,” says Lesley Pyne, who has made it her business to support women who are coping with infertility. “I want to show other women that they can have a positive life. I want to show them that they don’t have to hide, and if they take action to find support they can become the beautiful butterfly that’s inside them.”
Below is my interview with Lesley about learning how to be happy without kids. One aspect of her mission – which is to support women who can’t have kids – is sharing her own experience with infertility. She writes inspirational blog posts and share stories of other women who have learned how to be happy without having kids. One of my favourite articles is Victim or Victor; what’s the story you tell? because the stories we tell ourselves have a powerful effect on our minds, bodies, and behaviour.
If you have any comments about infertility or how to be happy with kids, please do ask below. I can’t give advice, but I myself have journeyed through the pain of infertility. I welcome your experience, and hope you find encouragement and support here.
How to Be Happy Without Kids – Inspiration From Lesley
This is a Question-and-Answer interview with Lesley Pyne.
What is your role in helping with infertility issues?
I support childless women to heal and to create a life they love. Many women who tried unsuccessfully to have children find that they struggle with sadness and grief and don’t know who they are in the world. I support them to find themselves and a fulfilling life. I provide support and tips by blogging and I also provide one-to-one coaching.
How did you start supporting women who can’t have kids?
Learning how to be happy without kids is my story too. I spent over ten years trying to come to terms with my own childlessness and I only found peace when I studied NLP. The techniques I learned supported my healing and I thought; ‘I can help others with this’ so I set up a coaching business to help midlife women. And it didn’t work. Why? Because I wasn’t being true to myself. I wanted to support childless women but doing so meant owning my story and telling my truth to the world and I didn’t feel strong enough inside to do it.
Then I heard Brené Brown say these words about owning your story:
“When you deny your story, it defines you. When you own your story, you get to write a brave new ending. You get to say it was horrible and I was in lots of pain …… and then I got help and this is how the story ends.”
And it was like a massive jolt, it summed up my life perfectly and I realised that I’d had enough of denying my childlessness. I found support to change my business to support childless women and help them learn how to be happy without kids.
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Does supporting women through the infertility journey fill a need in you?
This is a great question. I gave up my career of 25 plus years that I didn’t really enjoy. Now, for the first time in my life I get to be authentically, truly, unapologetically me – and it’s just wonderful. I’ve re-discovered my love of learning and I have so many more skills now than three years ago when I started. I also love continuing my own development especially new ways to support my clients.
The quote “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” has definitely been true for me. And along the way I’ve found that the more I’ve been open about myself and my story, the stronger I’ve become. Essentially it took me over ten years to find a fulfilling life. My aim is to support women to make this transition in less time than it took me.
A quick note from Laurie: if you’re thinking about making a career change because of infertility, read 5 Ideas for Women Who Are Coping With Childlessness, here on Blossom.
What obstacles did you face when starting your business?
Initially I was very naive and I didn’t realise how complex it is to have your own business. I also believed that I could do it all on my own, which obviously wasn’t the case. When I heard Brené Brown I was at a low point. I wanted to be open about my story and my life but didn’t feel strong enough inside to do so.
So, reluctantly at first, I asked for help. I found a business coach who believed in me and the difference I wanted to make in the world. She supported me in making the changes I needed, to show other women how to be happy without kids. This was invaluable and without her unwavering support I would have given up by now.
Over the last couple of years I’ve found other supporters and friends in the small business community. I still work with the business coach and I’m also part of a business club and mastermind group. Having your own business can be lonely and without their support and help it would be incredibly hard.
Looking back, would you do anything differently?
If I started again now I’d have more appreciation for the complexity of having a website, how to blog, social media etc, etc. There’s a lot involved, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for just starting and seeking out help as you go along. The key for me has been asking and finding a wonderful support network.
Can we truly be happy without kids?
I believe that it’s impossible to go through the challenge of infertility and not be changed by the process. I’ve used those changes to create meaning in my life. There’s no doubt that I’m different now. I’m stronger than I thought, I know myself a lot better and I’m a lot more empathic. I’ve learned so many new skills and have reclaimed my creativity.
Time will only heal you so much; you need to take positive action to heal your grief and sadness. It is hard to do this on your own – working with someone who has been where you are and knows the way out makes the journey so much easier.
Thank you, Lesley! You are an inspiration.
To learn more about her work, visit Lesley Pyne or connect with her on Facebook.
Does learning how to be happy without kids seem like an impossible task? Share your thoughts below, and please do visit Lesley’s blog or Facebook page. Don’t face this journey – or the grieving process – alone.