The fear of missing out. We’ve all been there.
Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
It doesn’t matter if you are childfree by choice, childless because of biology or have a big, ever-growing family. Our lives are lived in comparison. She has what I want. What I need. What I have never even given a damn about.
Every time I get the message “Guess what?! I’m pregnant”! I feel it.
The fear of being left behind, of not living up to expectations, of being left out. With every pregnancy announcement, I feel my friends moving on from our way of life, and whether it’s real or not, I feel judged and left wanting, with my family of two. For me, this the fear of missing out boils down to the fear of not measuring up.
When I chose to go childfree, I also chose to leave a life of living up to certain expectations behind. My parents will not have grandchildren. My mother-in-law will not have any more grandbabies. I even had a friend whose dream was to have children at the same time.
Living the childfree life means leaving this life behind, and yes, that brings fear, specifically the fear of missing out.
The thing is, when I talk to my friends who have children, I have come to realize that they have fears too – the fear of leaving behind their old lives. The ones where they didn’t have little ones relying on them, long(er) sleep-ins on weekends, and the ability to pick up and go out on any given day.
For better or for worse, I think this is life. We all will miss out on something, no matter what our decisions are. Have children, leave behind the quiet. Don’t have a baby, leave behind expectations, and a ready-made community/activities. Neither is better, neither is worse. It is just what it is. It’s not ‘us versus them’, not mothers vs childfree. No good, no bad.
Just choices we all make, and the fears or regrets we all leave behind us.
So, to those struggling with the fear, know you are not alone. Your friends may have different priorities. People may not understand our childfree lifestyle, but here at Kidfree Not Carefree, we are all here for you.
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1 thought on “The Fear of Missing Out: What Did You Leave Behind When Considering the Kidfree Life”
Good post. Everyone compares, whatever their situation. And ‘comparison is the thief of joy’, as someone once said. I love that.