I don't have children. It's not my fault. It's not my choice. I was born in a body that doesn't work like most other women. But, I'm not alone. 12.5 percent of those born and reaching adulthood will have fertility issues. There are over 5 million childless couples in the United States according to recent census information. More than half of those did not choose their childless state.
There is no special, extra sensitve treatment for us on Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day or Easter. These holidays are centered around children and parenting by throngs of marketing groups and media personalities across the country. No, the childless are required to be quiet in their pain and celebrate as if they are overjoyed by the season, even if they are in so much emotional pain they can hardly get out of bed. Of course we know the true meaning of these special dates, but the same ads that pull your heartstrings toward the latest trend in gifts and social events, can remind us of heartbreak we can't quench.
"I'm just a little blue this time of year," I told a good friend on a shopping trip.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," she said, "lets go in the toy store, that always cheers me up."
Yep, that will do it, that will pull me right out of my Not-a-mom funk. Let's go to the toy store so I can see all the things I would buy for my kids. IF I had them.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-toys. I just wish the child bearing community could understand our broken hearts. Maybe be a bit more sensitve?? Is that really too much to ask.
Normally I am fine. I love my life. It is rewarding, filled with love and very busy. I don't sit around, day-by-day, counting the sorrows of childnessness. But, certain times of the year, I just get a little blue.
What can you do? What should friends say?
Well, I'm not going to congress to petition for hate crime legislation to be enacted over words like toy store, playground and toddler bed. I won't picket MOPS or Mom's Time groups because they exclude me from their Christmas tea. And I certainly won't require insurance companies to grant insurance coverage to children who are not legally mine, just so I can have equal access. It would just be nice to have a little break from the cacophany of people who tell me I MUST put up a Christmas Tree, or go to the toy store, or visit Santa. I might do any or all of those things, but not in moments that are a bit raw. On those days, I want to sit quietly with a cup of tea and a book, my puppy in my lap and count the blessings I do have in my life. Not in spite of being childless or as a result of being childless, but just because they are blessings and we all have them.
There is really nothing you can do. Just say you get it. Just say you are sorry. Just don't offer to loan me your children. I don't want borrowed kids.
What can you do? Have a cup of tea with me and talk about your dream vacation spot. It might be mine too. Tell me about the last movie you saw? Or ask me about the book I'm reading...or about my dog.
Don't ask me if there is anything I can't do...because I will tell you there are two things I cannot do. I cannot ever be a mother, and I cannot do algebra.
But it's okay. I was born this way, or made this way by illness that invaded my body...either way it's not my fault. All I need you to do is to love me, just the way I am, and I will do the same for you.
Blessings and Joy to all.