As told to Brandi Lytle
Shannon, of the Happily Ever After (Without Children!) podcast, shared her Good Things Story in September. (You can read it here.) This month, she’s back to tell her CNBC story. I absolutely LOVE Shannon’s perspective and the beautifully complex person she is…
How did you become childless not by choice? (Infertility, chance, circumstance?)
Infertility and pregnancy loss, and then choosing to take the childfree path instead.
You are so much more than childless not by choice. Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in a small town outside of Detroit, Michigan. I went to Syracuse University where I studied TV, Radio and Film. For around nine years, I lived in LA, working as a TV Producer for reality television, until I met this English dude while working on a TV series in Jamaica. In 2006, I moved to London to be with this guy, and then, I married this guy (Robin) in 2009. He is very handsome and charming. I still work in TV and still live in London. I love water sports, gardening, socialising, my adopted cat Daisy, and I miss my family in the US very much. My husband and I volunteer regularly with the Sea Scouts because we really enjoy spending time with kids and especially introducing them to boating.
What roles are you redefining for yourself? and How are you redefining those roles?
I am claiming my right to a better life / work balance. I always felt as though I would not get that balance until I had kids, but I am fighting for it now. Also, I am trying to interact more naturally with children. I used to be very natural with them, and then for years, I was either avoiding them or behaving awkwardly around them, as if I had on baby repellent and I was afraid they would see it and smell it, like an old, musty dress.
How are you Creating a New plan Bravely and Courageously?
First, I am trying to speak up for myself more and be less afraid of making others feel uncomfortable. Second, I am working on listening to my instinct. Third, I am trying to carve a path, as opposed to walking on one that has been pre-trodden. Finally, I am saying ‘no’ if I don’t want to do something, and I am sitting with the uncomfortable emotions like loneliness, fear and insecurity that creep in when I let myself be still.
Have you figured out your Plan B? If so, what is it?!
I am pretty excited about the podcast I am producing at the moment. Like Brandi, I felt very alone on my journey and I want to help others feel less isolated. I think there are lots of Plan B’s to come, and I am grateful that I have the freedom to explore them. I look forward to being a great aunt to my nephew and his new sibling, who arrived in August. It takes a village to raise a child, so I identify as another mother in the village who is just there to help.
What emojis represent the “. . .” part of your Not So Mommy… story?
Every single one of them, depending upon the day / hour / mood.
Shannon, thank you so much for sharing your CNBC story! My favorite line is “It takes a village to raise a child, so I identify as another mother in the village who is just there to help.” What an incredible perspective! The children you influence–from your nephew to the Sea Scouts–are blessed to have you as a “mother in the village.” You are an inspiration…
If anything Shannon wrote resonates with you, please tell her about it in the comments…
Fabulous one, I encourage you to check out Shannon’s podcast, Happily Ever After (Without Children!), here… (And while you’re there, have a listen to Parts 1 & 2 of my chat with Shannon!)
You don’t have to blog or have a podcast to share your voice. Click here to find out how to tell your story and inspire others…