I belong to a church that has a beautiful focus on families and the sacredness of them. This is a wonderful thing, except when you’re infertile and feel like you’re going to hell if you don’t have a kid by age 25. I don’t mean to bash the teachings of my church; I’m just trying to express the hardships that I dealt with being infertile in a congregation of mothers with large families.
Our church has a tradition of handing out flowers on Mothers’ Day to everyone woman. The first year I just kind of laughed at the idea of getting flowers when I wasn’t a mother yet. The second and third years weren’t as cute or funny though. When I was handed the flower I said quietly, “No thank you,” and shoved the plant back in the kid’s hand. The boy was 12, maybe 14 at the oldest, so he looked puzzled. He explained, “It’s okay if you don’t have a baby now, you’ll be a mother someday.” At this point I should have smiled, thanked the kid, and took my plant, but no. I was on Clomid and very hormonal so I starting crying hysterically and ran from the room. I’m pretty sure the boy was confused and thought I was insane. I went home from church and told my husband how Mothers’ Day was the stupidest holiday ever and that I was going to boycott church on Mothers’ Day forever.
The next year came around and I stuck to my word. I am a faithful, church attending person, but I decided that I wasn’t going to go and be surrounded by babies, flowers, and happy women. I was mad, sad, and wanted to throw myself a pity party. Against his better judgment, my husband allowed me to stay home and watch sappy romance movies in my sweatpants. At church he told anyone that asked that I wasn’t feeling well (not really a lie) and that I’d probably be back the next week. He took a flower plant for me and brought it home. He was nice enough to leave it outside in case it would have made me angry to see it. I told him how I hated hearing everyone talk about the special and sacred role of women is to bring souls here to Earth and to be a mother. It killed me every week to sit in church and see the happy mothers, younger than me, with a cute baby snuggled into their shoulder. I told him I didn’t think I could go back to church until I was pregnant or in the process of adoption.
At this point my husband laughed in my face. He very simply, yet seriously said, “Do you think God will bless you with a child if you’re doing the opposite of His will?” I decided I would continue to go to church, as hard as it was, but if I started feeling upset about not having a child I would do something productive about it.
I made a list of things that I thought would be hard to do once I had children- sky diving, taking spontaneous camping trips, going to Disneyland, buying ridiculously expensive shoes, etc. So once every month or two I’d go shopping and buy a fancy shirt or get my hair highlighted. I know it sounds selfish, it was, but it was what I needed at the time. Slowly I would start to walk around the baby area of the store and pick out little outfits that I would use one day for my child. This bimonthly shopping spree continued up until I found out I was pregnant with my daughter.
Looking back I’m glad I took time for me when I didn’t have children. It is hard to find “me” time when you have kids, so I advice to go and live it up now!
Photo credit- http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1192051