Patrizia, who owns a bookshop in Cagliari after having worked in Milan for many years, tells us about her not having children, partly due to health issues but also due to her choosing to dedicate most of her energies to her work life.
PATRIZIA: «I’m Patrizia and I’m in my store here in Cagliari, where I’ve been working for 10 years now.
And I wanted to share my experience as a woman with no children.
It’s been an experience that I didn’t choose.
I had some problems when I was very young, then others followed.
So there was my inability to be able to procreate.
But then, when I had the chance to adopt, I chose not to.
I don’t know whether it actually was a real choice or…
It was also due to the specific moment or due to my work in Milan to which I was totally dedicated to.
So work has somehow… counterbalanced my not having children.
I have to say that in my life I’ve had some people close to me for whom I’ve been…
Kind of a mom.
Somehow compensating for this lack of mine.
My last job was as manager of the Rizza boutique in Milan.
And I have to say, the fashion industry, is a very stimulating and fascinating environment, still, in order to succeed, you have to work hard.
This load of work deprives you of both time and mental energy which you would need to even think about…
Having a child.
Even though, in my case… I couldn’t have them.
In my work environment back in Milan, I was surrounded by work colleagues who were sort of in the same situation.
Mainly women, that is.
They were living what I was living.
I don’t know whether it was by choice or by contingent causes.
So I didn’t even feel different from others.
I didn’t feel as an outsider.
Honestly, I’ve never had, even from friends who had children…
A reprimand, or some negative judgement about my not having them.
Yes, they might have told me I didn’t have lot of responsibilities, but I had so many of them in my work that…
it was more than enough, honestly.
At least, for way I dealt with it, but mainly the way Milan helps you, or rather somehow forces you to stay focused on your work.
So, your lifestyle in this regard., let’s say it’s a bit more sterile and dry, But it’s so full of… At least to me, work gave me so many rewards, that not having children moved somehow in the background for me.
Meaning that my work fulfilled me.
In my work environment, maybe because I was surrounded by people who lived my same reality, I never experienced the slightest whiff of reproach neither did I feel any negative about not having children.
And really, not even my family, that’s the most important thing…
Back then, my mother was still alive, now it’s just my father….
Neither of them ever said to me: “You never gave me grandchildren!”
Those typical, awful things that I hear all the time.
I have to say, I’ve never… I never had any problems.
My friends, although I never had many, already had children.
So I’ve been kind of an aunt, kind of a surrogate mother for their children.
Anyway, with many young people I know, with whom I have a nice connection, I already act as a mother somehow.
I resolve and direct my maternal needs towards them.
The difference between women who have children and those who don’t, I have to say that… I’ve never sensed it.
Maybe because not having children I’ve never even considered it.
Because I think that each of us is the result of what we’ve done, of who we are, of what we express through work but especially on a human level.
Physically speaking, I’ve never seen differences between a mom and a non-mom.
Not at all.
Those with no children can still have a bit of belly fat, and those who have had children can have a physique that is… absolutely amazing. So, I’ve never…
The faces… The facial expressions, maybe.
The way people with children look at someone else’s child.
Or when reacting… To stories about children or kids.
I have to say, ever since you asked me to give this testimony or this interview or however you choose to call it… I kind of went back in time, through nostalgic memories, as to be honest… I had somewhat forgot.
I forgot about the issue of choosing whether to be a mom or not.
So I remembered all of my experiences of my human and working life.
And then, physical, too.
All the way through.
And looking back at my memories, at my past experiences, I can now honestly say that I have no regrets.
No regrets about not having children, about not wanting to try, even when I could have adopted, I didn’t want to.
Somehow, I felt as if my path was already mapped out.
I had no regrets.
Since I have no kids and therefore no heirs I’ve often thought: “Who should I leave my things to?”
I can leave them\ to someone younger, obviously.
A boy or a girl. I have to say… I feel women are more reliable.
I can leave my things behind, as long as they will keep me company as I grow old, maybe, and will support me through sadness, that will be…
I don’t know if it’ll be sadness, but rather loneliness of old age that unfortunately is always present.»