Especially those of us who live in a different kind of uncertainty. Let me go back and explain. The current COWID pandemic has affected every household in the world. It’s hard. From job loss to homelessness and everything in between. Parents struggle with the fact that they work from home and their children struggle with the style of the house. And I can understand that. That’s right. Since I work from home (I even have two remote jobs), I also know the challenges they face. Well, partly.
And from my childhood friends, acquaintances and former colleagues, I hear complaints about the confusion this new norm has brought into their lives. Having a baby isn’t easy, I know. And this is coming from a woman who doesn’t even have kids. But I do, and I know how hard it is for my mom (the biggest disciplinarian) to get my sister and I on the right track.
But it’s hard for me to imagine how difficult it must be during a global pandemic. It’s the social distance, the constant fear of contracting the virus and the lack of privacy in general. Again. I don’t have kids yet, but I can understand.
But here’s the thing… I’m worried about this too. Even though I don’t have kids. And you know what? I envy you too. Very much so. Look, uh… I know that having a child is a big responsibility. But the fact that we couldn’t have children (even during a pandemic) bothered me terribly most of the year. All day long… Every day. On top of an already dark and depressing vision of our daily reality. Every month that passes is another month of anxiety, stress, frustration and a huge amount of money, resources and positive energy thrown into the void. Having a child during a pandemic is stressful, but not having a child during a pandemic is overwhelming. And I’ll even miss the loud, but (mostly) well-intentioned questions from everyone around me.
-Are you trying? -I’m trying. What the hell is going on here? You’re welcome! Time passes and you are no longer a chicken. Just to name a few.
But I’m not going down that road. Other people play no part in my story. Your opinion doesn’t count, I often say to myself. It’s about my wants and needs. Wants and needs a child. Remember when Chandler and Monica (from Friends) found out she was infertile? Do you remember when Chandler asked
-What’s the problem? Me or you?
-Which one of us did she say… ?
And that includes me and my husband. It’s a relief, because I’d feel too guilty if it was just me. But here’s the thing. Now we both make it. It takes a lot more time, effort and of course money. There are constant tests, blood tests, hormones, supplements, pills and other unruly substances that I have to take every day. I asked about the folate content of peanut grass and wheat grass. I have become an expert at making the best cocktails to enhance fertilizers. I can take money from them and make some extra money. Because they cost a fortune.
And I know how to swaddle, change or bathe a baby because I’ve watched tons of YouTube videos of different new moms. The only thing missing is a baby to change, burp or bathe. But nobody talks about it. Infertility is a common stigma in my community. And nobody talks about this fight. And to sprinkle salt in my open wounds, I keep hearing/seeing pregnancy announcements from almost everyone. Especially on social media. And I can’t even handle those awful sex revelation parties. If I see one more sex party with a balloon and confetti, I’m gonna scream.
But I guess I should be happy for her. For his new purpose in life. For his bundle of joy. But I suppose you must know that pandemics are difficult for people without children. I think I’ll be happy. I think I’d like it. ……
Let me ask you… Do you?
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