Brianna Popsickle’s Blog

Letters from a Suburban Prison

Brianna Popsickle

Brianna Popsickle
Ontario, Canada
March 03
Hi. I’m Brianna. I write because I don’t sleep. What else am I going to do at two in the morning while everyone else is snoozing? I feel like one of those people who’ve fallen and can’t get up. I’ve started to write and can’t stop. I write about my life and the lives of those around me: friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbours. Sometimes I change names and places to protect the innocent. Sometimes I don’t. I haven’t lost any friends as a result of my writing (yet), and have actually made a few because of it. I don’t write about politics or the economy, and nothing I say will change the world. But it may change how you look at your own life and the people around you. One thing I’ve learned, through the response of my readers, is as different as we all appear to be we’re all pretty much the same. We cry over the same heartaches and disappointments. We laugh about (and try to hide from) life’s embarrassments. We feel guilty for our fantasies (but no one knows because we never talk about them). Until now . . . Brianna Popsickle – Mother, wife, daughter, friend - finding my voice after years of confinement in a suburban prison.

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Editor’s Pick
MAY 7, 2012 2:41PM

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

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Mother’s Day is around the corner, and it’s customary to acknowledge what our mothers mean to us. 

However, at this time of year, I can’t help but think of women who’ve wanted to be mothers and who for whatever reason, have not been blessed with children. Mother Day must be a painful reminder of what they’re missing.


It’s common to want what we don’t have. I know people who refer to childless couples as DINKS – double income, no kids. All they see is the free time and financial freedom that comes from having no children. What they don’t see is the suffering some couples endure in silence.


I know, because of several women in my life who are in this position. They tell me the pain begins soon after marriage when everyone expects to hear ‘baby news’. They attend countless baby showers and celebrate the birth of friends’ children, while the months turn to years and they remain childless.


They haven’t quite learned how to respond to people who, years later, still ask when they’re going to start a family. They don’t know how to react when people boldly suggest they adopt.


Christmas and Easter must be especially difficult for them, as most holidays revolve around children. And while they always enjoy seeing nieces, nephews and friends’ children at family gatherings, they never get to play Santa or see their own children race down the stairs searching for Easter eggs.


My friend says it gets worse as she gets older. These days she’s invited to her friends’ children’s weddings and baby showers. She sees her friends enjoying family times with children and grandchildren…while facing the prospect of growing old alone.


As a mother, I believe the expression, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, especially in today’s world of working parents and latch key kids.  It’s important to have caring role models in our children’s lives. Extended family plays a huge part in their development.


The childless women I know, whether they recognize it or not, are having a huge impact on children. One is a public school principal, and her compassion and caring attitude for her students has influenced and benefited them greatly.


Another friend, a godmother to her two nieces, is every bit a mother to them. She lights up when she tells me the latest about her girls. She showers them not only with gifts (she’s a shopping fanatic!) but with plenty of love and attention as well.


My sister has been a blessing to me, and a ‘second mom’ to my children. When they were born, she was one of the first to hold them and when my seven-year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, she came to be at our side. Other times she drove for hours to see my daughter compete in a thirty second swim race. She’s always encouraged and supported my son in whatever he’s chosen to do.


I can’t help but see what wonderful mothers these women would have been.  But perhaps if they’d had children of their own, they wouldn’t have been available to play such an important part in the lives they’re influencing now.


Take a look around this Mother’s Day. If you know women like these, send a card or flowers or simply tell them what they mean to you and your children. Encourage their relationship and keep them informed of what’s happening in your child’s life. You’ll find if you do that when your children are young they’ll establish a great bond, and when they’re older, they’ll continue the relationship on their own..


So this Mother’s Day I salute all the childless women who suffer in silence, but still find it in their hearts to love and care for the children of others. It takes a village to raise a child, and we’re all blessed to have these women in our lives.


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family, children, moms, mother's day

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yeah, B, since my mom kicked off in 2004, much to my distress,
my older sis L., 18 yrs older,
and my other one S., 16 yrs older,
swooped in to become surrogate moms.
nothing like the real thing though.
ohh these sisters love me unconditionally, yeah, ok..
but Mom? she was IT, she was the place to go
for calm ultimate love, often
snarky, sure, but
she was kind of a smartass gal..

Children, huh? well, we are all children often.
we need our parents .
in the workplace, at the gym, at the spa,
at the hospital
at the court
at the living room arguing about what to watch on tv..

we need our parents..
mom AND good old dad..

we can indeed provide this for one another
with the solemn understanding that ya only got one mom.
and only one daddy.
Terrific post which I appreciate for a number of reasons. I always try to send MD cards or wishes to women I know who have "mothered" me whether or not they personally have children. I did not have a child until I was 33 after having three miscarriages. MD was always a very difficult day for me in those years after marriage and before having a child. This year again MD will be difficult for me because I've just lost my own mother this winter. I think it also makes people think about their own mothers; nothing in this life is as awful and wonderful as the relationship between mother and child. Excellent post. rrrrrr
Brianna, I am a DINK. I am sad at times, and it is harder at the holidays. Thanks for this post.
Lucky you to have such caring sisters! But you're right James, in the end, we only have one mom. Thanks.
Thank you Amy. I'm sorry for your loss. My mother has been ill for quite some time and I can't help but think each Mother's Day that it might be her last. I think Mother's Day is tough for a lot of people for a variety of reasons. All the best to you.
You're more than welcome Erica. Thanks for reading and taking time to comment.
'mom' is one of those so called 'archetypes', i suspect!
shit, i miss her ...thanks a bunch..(tease)
Unfortunately, motherly instincts are primarily genetic. Fortunately, motherly instincts are usually put to good use whether or not a woman has children. Just the same, an inherently good mother does not guarantee inherently good children. Therefore, depending on one's opinion, children are usually overrated. Excellent post, Brianna. R
Sad but true. Being a good mother or parent doesn't ensure good kids. As with love and life, there's an element of luck involved. Thanks Thoth.
Amen, sister! And thanks for a great post.
Thanks for this great piece. Wonderful. I never married and never really, really wanted kids but I sort of did, as is the case I think with every woman who did not choose to have children. We are the sum of our choices but that doesn't mean our choices are easy. Anyway, thanks for recognizing those souls who did want kids and never had any. As an American Canadaphile, I am thrilled to encounter another Canadian OSer, so I also thank you for commenting on my might have been story.
Thoughtful post, but some childless women chose to be so. Happy Mothers day to you, Brianna.
Definitely, where there are children, all the available adults play an important role.

I remember my first year of teaching and how surprised I was right before Mother's Day. I received many beautiful cards from the parents of the children in my class. I was so touched that they thanked me like that.

I have to agree that it does, in fact, take a village to raise a child.
My experience in knowing childless women has not been yours although it's by no means scientific. I'm sure there are many women for whom holidays and being around women with children of their own is painful. But I don't think that's always the case by any means and I wonder if the term "suffering in silence" might not be a bit condescending.

As for the term, "it takes a village," I've never liked it or believed it. (Although if you live in a true village where everyone knows each other, and actually cares about each other, maybe it works.) Some people may be lucky enough to have a network of others in their lives who can help with the bringing up of baby but more often than not, it simply doesn't work out that way. Everyone's too involved in their own lives; kids fall through the cracks every day. It's too bad the fanatics who want to pass things like "the heartbeat bill" never give a thought to the real live children in the village who go to bed hungry, who are neglected, who have no one to turn to.
I agree Jackie2. Some children spend more awake time with their sitters than they do their working parents. The relationship between them and the sitter is very important. Thanks for the comment.
So true Mary. Choices are not always easy. I feel for those who make the decision to have children, then can't for whatever reason. Many though make the choice not to and are very happy I"m sure. Nice to run into you on here as well. Enjoyed your story. Thanks.
Yes there are many women who are happy with their decision to not have children, but then it was their choice. I think it must be very difficult to make the decision to have a baby and for whatever reason can't. Thanks for reading and commenting Allan. Also thanks for the Mother's Day wishes. I'll be seeing my mother and mother-in-law and going shopping for a wedding dress with my daughter. Couldn't be nicer!
Diary of a Hopeful Starving Student - It's wonderful that so many of your student's parents acknowledged your part in their children's lives. Very nice! Thanks for sharing that with us, it may give readers of young children an idea.