Childless in the Age of Social Media

By Amy Braid

As I have mentioned before I have two step kids.  Neither of which I knew as babies.  I was brought in when they were well past their diaper and nap time stages (phew).  But having step children and having children of your own are two entirely different things.  I love them both and I am so blessed to have them in my life.  They have allowed me to be a mom when I thought that would never happen.

But not having babies in this world of social media is difficult.  Each day you are bombarded with picture after picture of babies, kids, pregnancy announcements, etc.  And no matter how excited you are for the person, you still feel that tug at your heart.  You see your friend who is pregnant again announcing it with fun pictures and reveals – happiness and some jealousy.  You see the family photo of your parent’s friend and their kids with their spouses and kids – a little bit of envy.  You see the friend who struggled for years to get pregnant finally have her baby – pure happiness because you know the desire to have a baby of your own, and only a twinge of jealousy that she got it and you didn’t.

I think back to the days when my parents were expecting my brother and I.  Friends didn’t post their news on the web.  They didn’t have cute little reveals or parties to announce the pregnancy or the gender.  You didn’t see photo after photo of the kids doing everything from the first bath to the first grade throughout your day.  It was much easier (or so I think it may have been) to kind of ignore all the baby hoopla.  You dealt with it when the baby shower invitation came or the birth announcement.  Holiday parties and block parties you could see the kids, or running into them at the mall.  Maybe a birthday invitation here and there, but only for the first couple of years since you had no children of your own (I think that is pretty consistent in this era too).  Avoidance was much easier.

But on the flip side, the social media bombardment can also be a blessing.  You CAN SEE all the stages from the first bath to first grade.  You can revel in the happiness of it, even if you can’t experience it with your own children.  You get to watch the children grow up and become young adults right before your eyes.  You can see all the moments that you would have missed otherwise and will never get with your own children.  Instead of only having one or two babies you now have a classroom full.  Each friend’s child is like your own.  And while it may bring some envy and jealousy to your heart, deep down you know that this is almost as good as having your own child, and it comes with out the stresses of parenting and raising kids…or dirty diapers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *