It is not worth spending all that time on nothing but childbirth! I certainly don’t want my whole life spent on nothing but childbirth!

For many people, developing and pursuing other life goals results in higher acceptance of their unmet desire for children and, in the longer-term, better adjustment. However, despite desiring to ‘move on’, some people find it hard to pursue other goals because they really value parenthood or because they lack other meaningful things to pursue. Others express that it requires them to look into the future, which can be painful because it implies a confrontation with their childlessness and lack of legacy.

While finding a new goal or activity requires an active effort, it is a valid way to distract oneself from the emotional pain of grief. That’s exactly the reason that drives many people to do it, and the result is that they end up being surprised by the benefits they experience. Pursuing other life goals not only gives people a new sense of purpose, but helps them regain agency over their life, something they often feel they had lost while trying to conceive. Even when the pain does not fully subside, connecting with new goals creates many new feelings and joys that can counterbalance that pain.

It does not matter which new goals or activities one pursues. It can be an artistic interest, a sport or any other hobby, some people choose to refocus their attention in their previously neglected professional career, others find new ways of caring for children (or even pets), others may even move town or country or completely change their life style. Whatever one chooses to do, the important thing is that they derive gratification or fulfilment from it.

Being a whole person, being a good person, having a meaningful life does not mean being a parent. You know, there’s lots of ways that you can have a perfectly valid existence.


How can you pursue meaningful life goals?  The following two activities may help you do this. 

  1. Develop value-driven goals

  2. Commit to pursuing your goals


We appreciate any feedback on these activities, please complete the following survey.

Click here to go to Meaning Making

Click here to go to Acceptance