How to Leave a Legacy as a childless person

 

The word legacy can be triggering for some and especially today in this post as we are discussing the topic of how to ‘Leave a Legacy’ as a childless person, especially when childless not by choice.

I know this can be a terribly difficult topic for those who are part of the community of childless not by choice and those who know people who are, and don't know what to say.

I have spoken about this before but to recap my own personal story about legacy and bloodline.

You haven’t missed here on the blog, on social or in newsletters; me talking about kids, as my husband and I, aka Mr P don’t have our family yet and it wasn’t by choice.

Ours has been a 13 year journey so far.  Without it becoming a 13 year soap opera, there have been many procedures, many avenues investigated.  There have been heartbeats seen and hearts broken when lost.  There are more stars in the sky during our 13 year journey. And the journey has been over £50K investment before we stopped counting.

I’ve been kicked out of an entrepreneurs group, because I wasn’t a mum.

I’m sharing this with you today, only to give context from where I am in the journey.  A note if you are wondering why I can share this so openly,  and yes it is being vulnerable, but it is because of the inner mindset work that I actively do.

Why did I write a blog post on how to leave a legacy as a childless person?

This is an incredible uncomfortable topic for many and for those who are resonating with having their own journey, it can bring up emotions of fear, shame, guilt and sadness.

Some areas that can be of concern include:

  1. Bloodline – when we discuss legacy it can be connected to bloodline that we can’t or won’t continue on after we have left this soil.
  2. Money – if you are childless then what do you do with the money and wealth that you have created during your life?
  3. Traditions – who will carry on what you’ve created, whether than is intimate ritual traditions or bigger legacy recurring events.

Legacy can be a painful reminder of the reality you didn’t choose, especially when childless not by choice.

Words that I’ve heard from entrepreneurs and business owners when it comes to making more money in business when childless, is:

  • why bother?
  • It feels shallow
  • It feels without a point.
  • It feels like a lack of purpose
  • Lack of feeling like we don’t matter as much as those with children
  • That we don’t have anyone to leave anything behind for.

 

When you are dealing with the reality (even if it isn’t permanent) of creating a legacy when childless and not by choice there is a grief process to go through.

From grief to acceptance.

However, grief for being childless not by choice isn’t a widely offered or accepted specialism for grief counsellors/ therapists and coaches.

It should be though.

And can be difficult to get funded access to grief counselling.

But know this, that you are grieving. For an imagined future that has been lost.
For the dreams that will not come to pass.
For a situation, that with all your effort might never change.

If you are here today and listening not from a place of being childless either by choice or not by choice, but of wanting to understand more.

Firstly, I thank you.  Being childless not by choice or by choice, can be isolating.

I once said to a client to explain being childless not by choice, “it’s like you made the huge decision to jump off women island with a view to landing on mum island and never landed.

“You can’t go back to being on women island, as you don’t want to be there, but you aren’t on mum island. “

“It can feel like you don’t belong anywhere. “

And this is part of the reason for this uncomfortable for some post, because only through talking about being childless not by choice or by choice, can others who are feeling isolated connect.

It can be helpful to understand what not to say to someone in this position, especially when business networking or socialising:

  • Do you have kids?
  • Reframe to: Tell me about your family
  • And never ask a follow up, why don’t you? Why not adopt?
  • I read an article about (strange procedure)
  • You’re so lucky you get to (travel/ lay in/ eat out)
  • Have mine (kids) for the weekend
  • You can babysit anytime
  • Look on the bright side….
  • It must have been great running businesses without kids
  • At least you don’t have stretch marks
  • You don’t know what tired is
  • You don’t know pure love until you’ve had a child
  • Your work is your life, isn’t it
  • Animals don’t count as children

I have an exercise to go through, if you are childless to start defining how to leave your legacy as a childless person:  

  • What footprint do I want leave?
  • What will my friends & family say about the way I lived my life?
  • Did I make the best use of what was put in my hands? (and if not what can I do differently?)
  • What impact did I have on others (& how could I have more)?
  • How many people do I think would be at my funeral?
  • What things do I do every day to make each day count?
  • What did I leave undone (& how can I do it)?


Legacy is so much more than blood line.  It is your footprint on the world, it is the impact you make on those around you and sometimes you will never know the impact that you make.

For my part whilst our journey we would not have chosen, it had made us who we are today. For me personally I have transformed the sadness into helping others through coaching & relationship therapy.

If you are childless not by choice, know that you are not alone.

You are whole and magnificent as you are.

If you're looking for support to create your legacy, you can work with me in the following ways:

Firstly a 90 minute on demand session, for a super boost of top-line strategy for how to kick off your 2022 for success.

Secondly a private accelerator day in person or on Zoom and 30 days of support, including 2 121 sessions. 

And if you are ready to work together 121, then why not come and listen to the podcast over on Apple Podcasts called Wielding Legacy

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