Welcome to the next fabulous episode of ‘Unclassified Woman’. I really enjoyed chatting to Sas about this topic. She is bursting with common sense and a wicked Kiwi sense of humour (I lurve the accent). I also love her vision of how she’s planning to be looked after in her old age! What do you reckon? 🙂
Sas Petherick is a big-hearted, cognitive coach for real women. She shows women how to experience a life of love, meaning, and joy by thinking on purpose. Sas is an in-demand certified coach, the creator of Rethink Group Coaching programs, and co-host of “The Heart and Hearth Circle.” Sas’ energy, smarts, humour and intuition guide every transformational coaching session and sold out retreat. Find out how to amplify your life with curiosity and kindness here.
Sas believes that being childless was a conscious, personal choice. It’s mostly because she felt ambivalent and never had that ‘pull’ to be a mother. It has taken a number of years to come to a conclusive place with the decision. She is happy to be without a child.
Sas got divorced at 32 and felt like that part of her life was over. Many people said to her that once she met the right person then she wouldn’t hesitate. She later met Ash, her husband when she was 35, and they had an intimate conversation on their second date about having children. She informed him that it wasn’t something she had in mind and asked him if he was okay with that. It was a very important conversation to have and was their first personal discussion. They then got married and discussed the concept of having children for many years. They’ve been together for more than 7 years and still wonder from time to time if they’ve made the right decision. Fortunately, Sas and her husband continue to believe they have made the right choice. She came to the conclusion that once you meet the right person, you’ll make the right choice (whatever that may be).
When you are not 100% certain of your own position and are still deciding, for someone to then question what you’re not certain about, can make you feel vulnerable and exposed. That can be a challenging place to be in. It can be uncomfortable when we feel we have to defend ourselves. It’s important to realise that it’s okay to be in the uncertainty…and live the life that you want to live.
Did you feel influence from your family or friends that made that made it more difficult? Or were they understanding about your decision? Most of the friendships Sas developed were through work or travel. She found that she needed to be mindful of who she chose to reveal that vulnerability to. It’s about being respectful of the people we talk to about this subject. Her mother passed away about a decade ago. She was a psychiatric nurse who worked with women who suffered from post-natal depression. She was a brilliant example to Sas of a woman who was nurturing and mothering. Sas believes that more and more women are deciding that motherhood is not the right choice for them and because of that shift, it can become easier to find people who share your same views and position.
What are your thoughts about the question, “Who’s going to look after you when you’re older?”
“My standard comeback is about the beautiful Spanish male nurse that I hire.” (Me too please!) Sas says that she has a pact with a few of her close friends that they’ll pitch in and buy a house together and hire some hot Spanish nurses. As we are an increasingly ageing population, it will be more of a reality of friends getting together and living with each other as they grow older.
The exciting thing for women who are not going to have children is that you’ve got thirty or forty years ahead of you where you could whole-heartedly focus on something meaningful and fulfilling. One of the key reasons for making the choice to be childfree was:
The immense freedom with opportunities and possibilities in her future.
A common question is: “What does your life mean if you don’t have children?” It can be confronting but you can reveal to yourself a lot of interesting, exciting, and not of the “norm” answers for yourself. For Sas, it was about trusting her intuition and trusting her inner voice. That possibility and freedom feels very exciting to her.
Do you have advice for somebody who is struggling with how to respond to people questioning them about being childless or childfree? Sas believes that if you are in a place of not knowing what the answer is and people are questioning you, saying, “I don’t know yet” is perfect. “Thank you for your interest, I really don’t know yet” is also a reasonable response. It’s really about letting other peoples’ voices wash over you. This is true for anyone else’s opinion about anything in your life.
What would you like to leave as your legacy or message of the values that are important to you? A statement that Sas read a while ago that really stuck out to her was, “A hundred years after you die, no one will speak of your name.” That idea filled her with such relief that she can just live the life she wants to live without anyone having to judge her about it. Sas encourages you not to live your life worrying about what other people think of you.
Freedom is a huge benefit that you experience without having children. For Sas, it gives her intellectual freedom, financial freedom, and spiritual freedom. Without children, she doesn’t have anyone dependent on her, which gives her the space and freedom to play, create, and do what she wants to do. Find Sas here.
Please share this episode with anyone you feel would benefit. I would also love to hear your feedback in the comments box below. Thank you!