I am a single woman with no children, and I’m 40 years old. I didn’t set out not to have a family, but I suppose since I didn’t make it a priority, it just didn’t happen. I’ve always been sort of a free spirit, I like to experience different things and so have had different jobs in different states for most of my adult life - another reason why I have not married and “settled down.”
My question is this: Does God and/or the Church look down on me for not having a family? Is my life wasted? My own sister once told me that since I didn’t have children I was “insignificant”. At the time, I chalked it up to her own issues. But more and more I do feel invisible - out in the world and in church too. Tonight, when leaving mass, I was approaching my parish priest to shake his hand, but it was like he didn’t see me. He took the hand of the woman behind me and proceeded to ask how her kids were enjoying their summer vacation. I know I don’t know him that well - I don’t have kids that go the catholic school, and there aren’t many church groups or stewardship opportunities for single women, so the priests don’t know me like they know other parishoners. But I’ve been going to the same mass every week for a year, you’d think they’d have recognized me by now.
I was feeling pretty uplifted by mass up until that point…and suddenly I was thrown in the thought, “do I really matter to God or the Church” ? And if I don’t, what is the point of me going to mass - or even of being a Catholic?