My name is Tansy Boggon.

I am a childless not by choice woman, now in my forties. I am an Australian citizen living in New Zealand and an author, nutritionist and support worker. I have a website called Joyful Eating Nutrition, where I write a mindfulness blog and share recipes to support people in breaking free of diets and making peace with their bodies.

Although the above labels describe me, they are not my identity or reflect how I show up in the world.

I am creative. I love to learn. I am empathetic and perceptive. I prefer to think or write before I speak to articulate my thoughts. I enjoy deep conversation. I love to dance. I enjoy cooking.

Through my childlessness journey, I have learned to embrace who I am without the titles. I think this is because the title of mother never eventuated.

For years, I thought that becoming a mother would define me. My husband and I purchased a four-bedroom home in anticipation of having children. I cut down to part-time work and then quit my job in the conservation sector to support my husband in establishing and solidifying his business so that it could financially support us when we had children.

Yet children never eventuated.

We tried to adopt for five years after we learnt that my husband was infertile. However, the application process is long and convoluted, especially intercountry adoption, which has a history of corruption and unethical practices, causing it to be regulated tightly (and rightly so). We were accepted to adopt twice, once for Thailand and then for Colombia, only to have the programs close before we were allocated children.

The adoption process took its toll on us. We eventually reached a point where we emotionally couldn’t continue. We decided to live our lives for ourselves and pursue other dreams and adventures.

We moved interstate to start a ‘new’ life. Yet, we didn’t realise we hadn’t fully grieved our childlessness. For a few years, I felt unsettled, and we still weren’t sure what we wanted to do. So we moved again, overseas.

Only when I stumbled upon the childless community through a childless, not by choice woman did we understand the grief we felt and could begin to redefine our lives.

Since then, I have written blogs on our childlessness journey, and one of my novels, The Tears of a Woman, follows a similar storyline to our own experience. It was cathartic to write.

Writing and connecting with other childless, not by choice people has helped me deal with our situation. It has also reignited my creativity and desire to continue sharing my perspective on acceptance and living a joyful life.

Sadness of not having children does arise occasionally, but it is far less frequent than it was. I don’t think you can expect to fully overcome the grief of not having children.

It is grief that we will always carry. But we can now carry it lightly, without regrets or what-ifs.

I am not sure I would have ever become an author if we had children. Not that you can’t have both, but because not having children has set us on an unexpected path that we fully embrace and enjoy.


Instagram: @tansy_joyfuleatingFacebook: @joyfuleatingwithtansy