Finding Purpose In Your Life Without Children

by sockii

When infertility or circumstances have kept you from having children, you may find it difficult moving forward and finding purpose in your life.

"There is no point in living when you're infertile."

Did the quote above stop you for a moment, maybe even make you gasp? Did you wonder how I could even suggest such a thing?

Or did you actually agree with it, either from the sorrow of battling through infertility yourself, or quietly being thankful that you have your children and can't imagine a life without them?

Either way, let me explain.

I regularly check the search statistics on my articles about infertility, to see what phrases and words lead people to them via Google and other search engines. The results are quite often painful - and sometimes even infuriating - for me to read. For just one of my pages the other day, I saw the following results among those searched-for phrases over the past month:

  • "why are people so insensitive about infertility"
  • "why am i infertile but bad people are not"
  • "my mom doesn't understand infertility depression"
  • "family insensitive with our infertility"
  • "why don't people care about infertility"
  • "infertility made me a horrible person"
  • "devastated because infertile"

But one search phrase that really struck me was "There is no point in living when you're infertile" - because the sad thing is, I have struggled with that very feeling from time to time myself. I think most people who have battled infertility have been there and felt that way, in their darker moments - perhaps emphasized when we hear others talk about how having children has been the most important thing in their lives, something which gave them purpose and meaning in living that they did not have before.

Does that mean our lives have no meaning, no purpose, without children? Are we doomed to know only a "lesser existence" without children?

Absolutely not!

In those dark moments, it's important to remember all the many ways we can and do find meaning in life without children. Ways we can contribute to the world around us - to future generations - even if we may not have children of our own. A life without children can have great meaning and purpose, often in ways that might be difficult if not impossible to fully pursue or achieve if we did have children to care for daily.

Have you ever questioned your life's purpose?

Previous results of this poll

From February 22, 2013 - May 7, 2015

1. Yes. Sometimes I wonder what my purpose in life is, since I don't have/can't have children.


2. Yes. Sometimes I wonder what my purpose in life is - and I *do* have children!


3. No. I know my children are my main purpose for living.


4. No. I am confident in my life's purpose - without children being part of the equation.


5. I just go on living my life and I never think about such things, to be honest.


Total votes: 153


Find purpose in life through the creations of your mind's imagination.

We can all create words, art or music that will live on long after we're gone. The world is enriched by the artistic and creative legacies left by great minds and great talents who have come before us - and what do we remember them by generations, even centuries, later: their creations or their children (if they even had any)?

You don't have to be the next Da Vinci or Shakespeare, either. You can just be you, and share your unique voice and experiences.

  • Create crafts that delight others at fairs and markets
  • Start a blog, or create inspiring content on the internet (like here on Wizzley!)
  • Share your words and music at open mics in your community or city.
  • Write an ebook about your life

You never know when one small act of creativity may inspire others, or where your imagination might some day lead you.


Give to others selflessly. Be a mother to your community.

Without children of your own to care for, you can devote more time and energy to volunteering in your community, your church, anywhere help is desperately needed.

  • Give time at animal shelters, where volunteers are always needed to spend time giving love and attention to abandoned or abused rescue pets.
  • Offer to serve or prepare food at soup kitchen, or help otherwise at a homeless shelter.
  • Want to spend time with children? Why not sign up for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where you could end up having a lasting impact on a child's life?
  • Volunteer to teach arts or crafts classes at a local community center to the young, the anyone!
  • Volunteer time to an urban improvement program, be it a community garden/green space, a mural arts program, a food the web for "urban volunteering" in your area and see all the ways your time could be spent helping improve city spaces around you.

Be that special aunt or uncle.

Enrich the lives of others' children within your family.

If you are fortunate to have nearby nieces or nephews? Spoil them! Be that fun aunt who expands their world in new and exciting ways. Who provides an ear to confide in, who offers a different point of view on life. Who can "take care of the kids" while the parents can take off for a much needed vacation, or even an occasional night out on the town.


Your donations can make an impact that lasts for generations to come.

Since you don't have to scrape and save to build up that college fund, why not give some extra resources to charitable causes that could desperately use the support? Become more of a philanthropist, find ways you can donate to causes that can impact your community and the world around you.

Maybe it's helping to expand or keep afloat your local library, or a scholarship fund to help others attend school they could not otherwise afford. Maybe it's a historical or art society dedicated to preserving and restoring our world's great art treasures. (In our house, we are regular supporters and donators to Italian art societies such as Save Venice and Friends of Florence, organizations working to save and maintain the great art and architecture of Italy so future generations can continue to experience them.)

What are your passions, what causes do you believe strongly in? Your donations could leave a legacy on this world that you might not even realize.

Want inspiration? Just look at John and Mable Ringling - they turned their love for European art and all things Italian in to the state art museum of Florida. As a couple they never had children, yet they continue to enrich the lives of thousands every year with their generous philanthropy and legacy.

Live your life - for you.

Don't waste precious years on regret.

We only have once chance at life - don't spend it regretting what you don't have. So go on and embrace "being selfish" - something people without children are often "accused" of being. Experience and revel in the things you might not have had the chance to do, if you had children to be responsible for (financially and otherwise!)

Enrich your life. Travel and see the world - alone, with your partner, with your friends, with complete strangers in a tour group! Take classes and never stop learning. Stay out late to see your favorite band - maybe even pack your bags and follow them on the road. Train for a marathon, start a new business...your future is exactly what you choose to make of it.

Incredible women who never had children

Think your life can't have purpose without children? Consider what some of these incredible women accomplished!
  • Mother Theresa
  • Julia Child
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • Jane Austen
  • Betty White
  • Deborah Harry
  • Janet Reno
  • Gloria Steinem
  • Mary Cassatt
  • Edith Wharton

...and many others!

Updated: 02/02/2017, sockii
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happynutritionist on 05/13/2015

This is an article that will be helpful to many who struggle with not having children. Some of it is also helpful to those of us who are "empty nesters", have raised our children....and now what?

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