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The Question That Childless Women Rarely Want to Hear

August 10, 2017


"Do you want to hold the baby?"


A simple question that's not simple at all. My assumption is that for child free (by choice) women, the answer isn't difficult: No! For those of us childless by chance, it's not so easy. I always want to hold the baby. Any baby. Any age. But, as my husband reminds me time and again, doing so will mess me up for days.


It's been a long, long time since anyone has asked me that question. My 60th birthday is within sight. The last infant I held was my goddaughter, and she is now almost 25. The children of my closest Momfriends are in or out of college, and it's been at least 15 years since I was at a baby shower or at the home of a new Mom.


Ah, but what about the GrandMoms?


My next door neighbor rang my bell holding her new infant grandson. I opened the door and she said excitedly, "Do you want to hold the baby?" Is it possible to have simultaneous, conflicting thoughts in your head? Sure it is. At the exact same moment, I thought, "NO!" and "YES!". I invited her in, then reached for the child. I heard my husband's voice behind me: "Hon, don't do it."


But I did.


The smell of baby powder and babyness overwhelmed me. The squirm