As the close of 2020 arrived I found I started to think about full stops. It seemed weird to me at first, why am I thinking of a piece of punctuation, then I realised the power that a full stop can elicit.
Its more than a dot on a page, a dot that appears at the end of a sentence, it commands attention, it dictates the end of something, it marks a pause a break, before the next bit starts, or it just brings it to a complete stop, no more to be read, seen or to be heard.
Narratives can be left on a cliff edge with the simple placement of this small dot, lives can be changed in stories forever, great love affairs can start and end, lives can change beyond recognition all because of this one small dot.
Well how the heck does this relate to Anotherhood, to women without children, you might say, well…
I was thinking about the full stop that society can often predict.
Its can appear to feel like if you do not have children, a full stop is placed right in the middle of your life, and its there plain as day. That full stop becomes bigger, and bigger until at times it can feel insurmountable. You push with all your weight into that full stop but it just won’t shift.
Who are you, what are you if you are a woman without children?
Well that’s just it, its just a wee dot, a wee dot placed by someone else, placed with power that can skew your own perspective, even if we know the path of motherhood is not for us.
How do you make that full stop still have power, but let it be placed where you want it to be.
My full stop was placed in one part of my story, it was placed in the firmly knowing I could not have children and this was a part of my story.
Until the holidays and the passing of a family member I had not thought about having or wanting children for a several years, but all of a sudden there was a feeling inside me, and a wish I could have children.
Its not unsettled me, but reminded me that the full stop can shift and move, and our knowing of self shifts and changes as life around us evolves and sometimes a full stop is placed at the close of someone’s life.
That full stop made me wonder about what drives us to have children?
I would say I have never been driven to have children, I have never been broody, but now I have a feeling I have not had before, it feels alien, and I know is a part of the grieving process.
As I type I don’t know if I am making sense, I just know I wish to get it onto paper, and I also know it doesn’t need to make sense, because life sometimes doesn’t really make sees, and I know I have the habit of overthinking life.
But what I want to close with is…
Simply that a full stop is not and does need to be a defining moment in or lives. Yes I am not able to have children, but that full stop does not define me, it has power and strength to punctuate a point, but I am the one that will place it at the end of where it needs to be.
Today I am a woman that cannot have children, and a woman who feels a deep-seated tug deep inside that feels like something is unknown and shifting within. Today I am me, doing my thing and processing as I go.
Today this is my full stop.
And tomorrow it can, and may change.
Be the placer of your full stop, and be empowered to create the punctuation in your life, in your narrative, in your world of being a woman without children.