Is Married Life Without Kids Fulfilling?

Someone asked me recently if married life without children could, indeed, be fulfilling. 

She was anticipating that she might be in our shoes soon and wondered what it was really like.

Well, I can say YES, we feel fortunate to say that our lives have been extremely fulfilling. I don’t take that for granted for a minute, though. I had always dreamed of feeling this someday – and it’s a dream come true to have felt it.

So where has this fulfillment come from?

Well, the two of us tapped into a passion to bring hope to others and that moves us, motivates us, and keeps us going each day.

I think it’s important to feel a passion for something! Otherwise, I can see that life might begin to feel unfulfilling, no matter what your situation.

Before I started the blog, I remember once sitting at a desk job that was not meaningful to me – and at the same time it was becoming clear that my efforts to have children were not looking promising – and I began to really question the meaning of my life. Like, who would care when I died? Would I just disappear? I would have no one to leave my legacy with. In a way, this desire felt almost like an innate instinct – this desire to somehow leave a mark or leave the world a better place. I also had truths in me that I had learned from my life experiences. They were a gift. And I always felt they were meant to be shared as it was such a miracle to me to receive them. If I didn’t share them, they would one day be gone. And yet, there I was sitting at that desk job. And the vastness of the unknown years ahead of me put the fear in me. I didn’t yet know how I was going to do it. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to live a meaningful life. So I would sit in my living room with Danny and brainstorm what that life might look like.

And then one day, I got pneumonia.

I didn’t think I was going to die or anything, but I was so physically weak that I saw the end of my life. I felt the grace of every breathing day that I had. And I felt an urgency to share my truths; the best of what I had been blessed with in this life. And so, I began writing my first blog posts. I could barely keep my head up. But my thoughts were like a faucet and the ideas kept coming, so I kept writing.

And that was the beginning of my blog.

That was the beginning of my meaningful work.

What I can recommend to you is this:

Believe that you can have a fulfilling life if you don’t have children OR if you do. Rest easy. And believe with all your heart that the way will become clear. Believe that you WILL tap into a passion (or several). Allow some space and time for that to unfold. Don’t doubt it. It is in you. Trust this! And believe that you’ll have the creativity and energy to fuel this work, whatever it is. The work itself will fuel you.

And also, as you think of this fulfilling life unfolding, consider if you feel more full of light or more full of a heavy, fearful, doubtful weight. Because light is what will shine on our foot path and make our future feel bright and possible. Fear and doubt will sabotage the unveiling of our life’s work. Because we might have mud on our windshield and we can’t see beyond what is right in front of us. We might be in survival mode. We might feel like victims to our current situation. We might have voices in our head that say we’re not good enough. We might not trust that a path will open up. And all of that weighs us down completely and drains our energy.

So, regularly clear out any fearful, untrusting, doubtful energy as it arises. Do this every day. I do it through music, meditation, yoga, walking, and most importantly: re-writing my beliefs. I rewrite that script in my head until those old beliefs are pushed out. And this helps me to feel full of light and hope again for my future.

I hope I can feel this for the rest of my days. 

I’ll be doing my best.



(Photos from our visit to Utah. We saw some moose while on a hike! And we got to experience the glorious beginning of Fall!)

P.S. Love Mentoring will be on hold until Oct. 19! We’ll be at our beloved Body+Soul Camp next week and will be going on a little adventure after that to Cotopaxi National Park. We love you! And we look forward to chatting with any of you who are looking to transform your life.

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  1. Ruth October 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I think being content with whatever life brings is of the utmost importance. I had no idea there were moose here in Utah. I hope you are well. 🙂

  2. Hannah October 6, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Mara, thank you so much for sharing. I want to affirm that your life and work has made a lasting impact in my life. When I look back at how I felt when I first found your blog, even re-reading some of my old comments on your posts, it breaks my heart to remember how broken I was. ( Your words were one of the tools that helped me start the healing process. Though my circumstances have not changed one iota, I have changed. I have healed. I have learned so much about identity and love and having a meaningful life despite circumstances. So a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to you and Danny and the community here for all the encouragement and wisdom.

    • danny October 7, 2016 at 2:16 am

      Wow Hannah! That is most certainly one of my favorite posts from Mara, and I'm so happy that it and other posts have helped provide the spark for you to do that hard, but oh so valuable inner work.

      "Though my circumstances have not changed one iota, I have changed. I have healed."

      I could reread that all day long and just smile every time. That is the underlying message to everything we try to share….thanks for making it real in your own life.

  3. SarahLeeAllenBrown October 6, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I love all of these words. We are the colors, the paints, the medium. Each day is a blank canvas. Look up, look in, dig deep, and create/speak/dream/live. Give. I have an intense nature and think sober thoughts a lot. But that is part of my beauty and gift. But these parts of me are tools that would almost use me if not for my knowledge that I can be in the driver's seat. I'm the one who can harness and use them (my gifts/passions that can also feel heavy at times!) to benefit myself and those around me and to honor God, my Creator. I find so much meaning in sowing my seeds of uniqueness in a field of values I feel come also from deep within. The challenge to do all of this is a satisfying wrestle though losing sight of the big picture inevitably leads to despair, doubt, oppresion, and darkness. Banish those feelings with truth and light and love–as well as patience for oneself. Thank you for sharing your story of a fulfilling life, Mara!

  4. Laura October 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Beautiful words, and great reminders for everyone! My SO and I do not feel called to have children, for a number of reasons. I find it helpful to remember that whether an individual has children or not, it's SO important to make the world a better place for future generations. I work with high school students in low-income, high-need areas, and I am filled with hope and joy for their futures. My abilities and talents can be used to better their lives, and remembering that helps me be a better employee and mentor!

  5. Anonymous October 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Can you explain a little more about re-writing the script in your head? Or, to prevent you from reduplicating material, can you point me to an entry on your blog which touches on this? Do you actually physically write a script on paper that you repeat aloud to yourself? Or is it more of just noticing a doubt or fear arise and then just rewording the doubt/fear to be the opposite etc?

    Thank you for all the wonderful knowledge and truths,

    • mara October 7, 2016 at 2:06 am

      I need to do a full post on this! We have a class on this at Body+Soul Camp.
      So, yes, I do physically write stuff down. I think of what I want to be or achieve, and then I write something as if I already am that – or as if the achievement is already happening. An example, for say preparing to speak and getting rid of fears: "I exude light and love. I know exactly what to say. It is already in me." For preparing to move back to the states and getting close to looking for a new home: "All is going smoothly. The perfect home is waiting for us and many gatherings will take place there." For getting rid of fears about being an entrepreneur and preparing new things to launch: "We are creating a life we love. Success is already happening. We are serving in bigger ways. All things are possible. We are motivated and focused."

      Now, the key is, you create these beliefs, even if they're not true at the moment. Even if it's something that feels out of reach. That's the point. You want these to be the opposite of the beliefs that are currently holding you back. Danny and I sometimes say our beliefs out loud to each other – not formally – but just to get pumped up. haha.

      And then yeah, also, as I notice a doubt or fear rising up, I try to catch myself and go to my written list – or just rewrite the script in my head right then – or write a new belief down. I also have a white board in my kitchen. Each week, I write a new belief – something I want to manifest or something I want to be that week. I swear, it helps so much. We also write down the top 3-4 things that we must accomplish that day. This is exactly how we've been making stuff happen on our end lately. We are trying to tackle the next task in front of us – instead of getting bogged down by the end result. And then we tackle any negative beliefs that are keeping us from moving forward.

    • Anonymous October 7, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Thank you for this reply. It gives me a good idea of "what this looks like".

  6. Anonymous October 11, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I loved this post! If I may, I never felt the urge to be a mother, it was never in my "dream path" and I had a very fulfilling life without kids. Then I became a mother, not by accident, it was planned, even though I hesitated a long time about welcoming a kid into the world. My life changed completely, I am very happy as a mother and I find it fulfilling in different ways. But I must say that I do miss the other kind of fulfillement I had that I can't have it no longer for the moment, since my child is very young. Now I do know that the most important thing is to cherish the young years of my child (and all the others too, but he will need me a little less later on) and give it my best and I do it whole heartedly, I do not regret a second of it. But what I mean is that "the grass always seems greener on the other side". I have friends who became parents and although they love their kids to the moon and back, they miss living other kind of fulfilling things (the capacity to travel (for work or pleasure), to do spiritual retreats or learning courses as you please, to go do humanitarian work, change cities and work without wondering if this will be horrible to the kids . Besides some couples suffer a lot with the arrival of kids, it's a huge challenge and adjustment. That doesn't mean that there is a couple problem, it only means that a whole new human being is there with new demands,challenges and no matter how much you prepare for it, every new person is a new challenge and nobody knows how each of you will individually react and bond, how your couple will be, how many education differences there are. Because, theoratically, we can all be in the same page of education, but when the kid is there, you might feel differently and act differently than what you thought you would, and it's tough on the couple. This is not a complaint, it's more of an eye-opener. But as a midwife I know always says: the adopted child that hasn't arrived, the baby who isn't born yet is always the ideal child – because we don't know yet how this child will be, how the child will challenge us (sleep deprivation, difficulties to eat, being ill often, being very shy or very outcoming, being gender creative, living with special needs, who knows?). The main point is that it is a huge unknown, but we step in with faith in life, in our love, in us as human beings. And not having a child is the same, it's a huge unknown too, but we must still step in with faith in life, in our capacity of loving each other and the world and in ourselves as human beings. There are so many wonderful things that can be lived and experienced when you are not parents and somethings are even only possible if you are not a parent. So whatever card life gives you, embrace it. Make it the best…

  7. Free Spirit October 12, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hello, I'm Free Spirit. In just a brand new woman… Trying to find myself and my freedom. If you could be of any guidance and advice, I'd really appreciate it. Here's my blog… If you'd like to take a look.

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