I recently read this blog post about having a void when you’re done having kids. (I strongly encourage everyone to read it!) Even though our stories are different, I knew exactly what she was talking about. I know exactly how she felt. My void isn’t by choice, but I too feel the void of knowing we won’t have any more kids. No more infants to feed and snuggle, no more watching them walk for the first time. No little girl of ours for the boys to play with and tease. No cute hair-do’s and dresses.
And it is a void that is filled with many things. There is really no other good way of describing it. Yes it’s contradictory, but true. I love how well the author was able to put into words exactly how it is.
But still… there’s a longing now that the void has brought. I will never feel my muscles tighten with contractions as my body preps itself for labor. I will never again hold a newborn that is my own. I will never again watch with joy and awe as a baby learns to roll over or crawl or eat for the first time. These events, this sadness, take refuge in the void.
I think that this feeling is magnified as both of my boys are now in school full time. I am left with days filled with the void of no more, and the void of all grown up. I am not so needed, and will never again be needed in that way.
And I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know what’s ahead, it’s like I’m about to (or already in the process of) going over a waterfall that I’m not ready for.
It’s scary, and at times lonely. But even though I feel this way, I’m also glad to remember that I know how to swim. Somehow I’ll manage to get through this portion of life and be stronger for it.
It’s not something you ever think about. This is the first time I’ve ever heard (well read, but you know what I mean) about it. I never knew that there was this void. I don’t know that knowing about it before hand would have prepared me any better for actually feeling it. But it would have been nice to at least know it was coming. I’ve mostly just heard stories about people knowing that there family was complete. I wonder though, now, if they also felt the void. Does everyone?
When I looked on Google images for “void” it gave me a lot of black holes and space pictures. So I decided to look at some of NASA’s pictures, and this nebulae seems an appropriate image for this type of void, emptiness but filled with stuff. Beautiful, but dark and haunting.