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Warning, No Children Zone!

Happy New Year and welcome to my first blog post!  I have decided to step out on faith and start this journey of writing my thoughts and feelings about being a 40+ something, single, unmarried, Black, professional woman without children! Yep, that's me!  My goals are to provide a space for older women to share openly and honestly their feelings about not having children (for whatever the reason), offer some humor to different stories and scenarios on not having children, and provide thought-provoking questions and content on what it means to be a part of this unique club.  Please don't judge me just yet! I am not a mom hater!  I do like kids (sometimes, lol).  I have come to the conclusion that there are many women just like me who are not mothers and that NOT having the title of "Mother", "Mama", "Mommie" or "Ma" can mean something spoken and unspoken to society, family, friends, colleagues, and potential intimate partners.

My uncertainty, introvert woes, and lack of technology knowledge kept me from writing a blog for a long time.  I follow some pretty dope female bloggers and they make it look so easy!  After doing my own research about blogging and the actual process of blogging, I've decided it is now or never (believe me, never almost won)!  However, in this New Year, I have adopted a key phrase that will hopefully keep me evolving and challenging myself.  My phrase for 2019 is "No Fear"! Fear has kept me from writing a blog. Fear has kept me from sharing my true thoughts, feelings, and doubts about not being a mother and having children.  Fear has created moments of procrastination. Fear of being judged for having a comma in the wrong place or offending those who have children have kept me silent. I understand that fear can be paralyzing.  However, I have decided to use my fear as a marker to create change, do something different, step outside of my comfort zone, and freely make the mistakes that I need to make in order to shift and grow.  I am only human. So here it goes!

I am Dr. Angela L. Harris, also known as "Doc Sirrah"on my social media handles (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). I have a Psy.D.in Clinical Psychology from Wright State University.  I previously worked as a therapist at a college counseling center. I currently work as an Assistant Dean of Students at a small private liberal arts college. So, now that the formalities are out of the way, where do I begin?

I am in the process of writing my first book titled,"Bibs, Burps, and Bottles: Stories of African American Women without Children".  A project that is long overdue.  Fear and self-doubt made writer's block my best friend.  Don't worry; this project will come to fruition this year. I will tell you more about the content and the book release date in future blog posts.  So why a book and blog on this subject?  Honestly, I am interested in hearing if other women who fit my similar profile can relate. I personally believe there is a negative narrative about being a Black, single, older woman without children.  There is the single Black male that believes something is wrong with us psychologically or questions our fertility.  The grandparents that continue to ask us why we are not married and why we do not have any kids. Let us not forget the employers who think that just because we do not have children to pick up from school or daycare that we are more than happy to volunteer to work late.  Lastly, those who are completely dumbfounded or even hurt when you simply state that you never, ever, wanted children.  The Old Maid narrative is still alive and well!

Older, single, unmarried, Black professional women without children should be respected and valued for living their best life! We are far from Old Maids! I absolutely love dogs and I am okay with cats, lol. However, no woman should ever be downsized and labeled the "Cat Lady" just because she does not have or even wants to have babies/children, does not have an intimate partner, is not married, or what many believe, not having a fulfilled life! I hope that my blog posts will stimulate great conversations.  I welcome and invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions about my content. Your personal stories are appreciated. Positive vibes here! Please know that I do respect healthy dialogue and difference of opinions. As I conclude this first blog post, I notice that my fear has decreased just a little bit. How exciting to put fear aside and just do it! I am slow to warm and appreciate your patience in advance. Yep, I have a feeling that this blog journey is going to be a trip. I truly hope you come back soon and join me for the ride.

Comments

Unknown said…
Happy New Year to you as well. I enjoyed your first blog. Thank you for taking the time to conquer your fear and sharing your thoughts and feelings of being a mature woman without children. You may not have children of your own but you have a nephew and god children who you are very active with. Women should not allow society to dictate who they are and who they should be. Live your best life. Continue to blog and I will be right here following! Have a great day and may God continue to shine love and light upon your life.
Kellea Tibbs said…
Great job! Glad you finally did it. I was recently watching an episode of Sex in the City, the one where Carrie attends the birthday party of a friend's child. All guests were required to take their shoes off at the door. She wore her $400 shoes and someone stole them on the way out. She asked her friend if she would replace them. Her friend instead of apologizing that someone came to her party and stole another guest's shoes, judged Carrie and made her feel guilty for being single and spending so much money on shoes. But after much thought, Carrie came to the conclusion that as a single person, we might not have children, yet we do contribute to the baby showers, the wedding showers, weddings, the kids birthdays, etc, spending upwards to hundreds of dollars to participate in these celebrations of others. Her friend eventually wrote her a check for the shoes to be replaced. But Carrie realized that as singles, because we don't have kids, partners, or other responsibilities outside of ourselves, we might be able to spend on more expensive items like shoes , cars, vacations, etc. And we should not be made to feel guilty about it. This is our station and season in life and others should respect that instead of criticizing or making us feel guilty when we don't have children or aren't married, or whatever else they think is missing in our lives. Believe me we are good!
ASHLEY said…
I'm so happy to see this conversation happening and I'm happy to see you bringing it to the table!!!
I can relate to some of these pieces. I am a woman approaching 40, though not African American. I am unmarried, though I do have a partner. And I am childless. I have had the experience that people seem to take me ou my relationship or my life less seriously because I do not have children. And YES!!!! On more than one occasion, it was assumed that I could sacrifice evenings or weekends for me employer because there was an assumption that I didn't have anything to go home to (children, husband). And I've also had the experience of isolation. As many of my friends become wives and mothers, it feels like our worlds change and distance occurs.
I will be excited to see the development of this! Can't wait for the next post!
DocSwiner said…
So proud of you. Continue to share your truth.
Anonymous said…
Great stuff Angela. Wonderful read!
Juliana said…
So,I get what you are saying and in some ways I have lived/live in both worlds. I was married for almost 10 yrs. We didn't have children...I never wanted birth children. I always wanted to adopt, but then my educational and career pursuits stopped that from happening. At 44 yrs old I have been divorced almost 12 years and no serious relationship for the last 3 years. Eleven years ago, I was a legal guardian...raised a baby for 6 months, four yrs ago a foster mom to three siblings, and a baby this past summer. I still have a desire to adopt (sometimes), but honestly, I am totally fine with my child-free life and would be okay if adoption doesn't happen. While I get "praised" for being a foster parent and wanting to adopt...I also get ridiculed for not wanting birth children or people asking me if I can have kids (which by the way is none of their business and not an appropriate question). My normal response to that question is, "I don't know...I have never tried to get pregnant." That normally shuts people up. So, having said that, I will be interested to see where this blog goes and the conversations.
Unknown said…
You are truly blessed sis, keep striving for great and impowering people.You are amazing and I Thx you so much for being a great support system for me.Love you for ever & everyday
Anonymous said…
Great job on your first blog! Keep shining my sister.
Tanice said…
I'm so proud of you! I look forward to reading more!
Monique Turner said…
Wow Doc I admire your courage to talk about this subject. I have been wanting to do this for years but fear too held me back. We are kindred spirits. Can't wait to see what God has planned for you. Congrats my CU sista:)
Latonya Jones said…
I'm very proud of you!!
B. Leigh said…
As a woman in her 30's that has decided not to have children, I am thankful for this blog. I am often approached by well-intentioned individuals wishing their dreams and hopes upon me, never understanding the damage that can be done. Well written. Thank you for offering up this space.
Joan said…
I am so happy to read your blog. Being single, 40+, and childless is not an easy way to live in our society; especially within Latino culture. Often times, people ask me why I don't have children or why I haven't tied the knot. The answer to those questions are not simple nor easy. They require a level of disclosure that can only be shared with people that are supportive and that are deserving of the honest truth. Like you, I have my stock answer, but as I get older, I realize that I have to try to understand my choices and fill my life with love and peace. I love my life and all its' complications. I am grateful for each day and the people in my life...and my wonderful pets. Yes, I am a proud cat lady! Life is a beautiful journey. Thank you for this post Angela!
Anonymous said…
Embrace the journey. God has a plan for you !!

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