Early in the morning one holiday, I was walking to the gym when I passed one of my neighbors. She was loading rowdy kids and sundry gear into a minivan.
“Off to the gym?” she asked, grunting as she hoisted a toddler into his car seat.
“I would give anything to trade places with you.”
For a split second I paused, then replied with the only response that seemed appropriate. “I’m sorry.”
As I continued down the street, it dawned on me that for the first time in years I wasn’t feeling (a) judgmental (she was, after all, dissing her kids) or (b) wistful. So often in the past I would have thought how I would have traded anything to have precious kids of my own to play with on a holiday outing, but now, not so much. I was pretty happy with the prospect of spending my holiday taking care of myself, maybe even reading a book or taking a nap instead of having to read a book to someone else hoping he would settle down for a nap. I didn’t feel sorry for or envious of my neighbor, and I didn’t want to trade my grass for her grass. The grass was perfectly green on my side of the street.
For those of you in the U.S. facing a long weekend, I hope you have something fun planned for yourself—or perhaps you have perfectly nothing planned for yourself. May there at least be one moment during these next several days when you feel okay, if not thankful, that you have a day off all to yourself.
Jane P (UK) says
Good post Kathleen – always gets me thinking – I think I would still feel a sting. I do admit though – the fertile have no really appreciation for the darkness we have been lost in (so don’t quite understand the “trade”) and equally I will admit that mostly I’ve seen only the joys of raising my own children – and not the relentless stress and worry or the reality! So for me – with a weekend of fun to look forward to (my birthday next week), we are off to a gin festival tonight with friends and we are over to my FIL for a birthday meal tomorrow night. I’ve order myself lots of new clothes from my husband too! So – today my grass is green and I’m happy. I also went to the gym at 6:30 am this morning and played netball with work colleagues yesterday lunchtime – things, I would no doubt not have had time for. It by no-means makes up for not having my longed for children but I’m feeling good about filling life with good things for me!
Kathleen Guthrie Woods says
You have such a great attitude, Jane P! 🙂
Since the exchange with my neighbor, I’ve wondered: How would she have responded if I’d said, “Okay! I’ll take your kids. Thanks!”
With horror, right? Or maybe she would have stopped in her tracks and realized how very lucky she is. (Or she just would have written me off as the Crazy Lady and never let her kids anywhere near me.)
Enjoy your green grass today. xoxo
This is my first time posting something on this website/blog. I live in the U.S. Texas to be more precise. I am 30 years old. Female. And married, but not legally. I live with my spouse. I have a rabbit, which now I am like, why did I even get her! Rabbits chew on everything :/ But my husband, the bear(that’s what I’ll call him), will not give her away. That is very kind of him. And so, I respect his wishes.
I am writing today because I have a feeling that my husband and I will never have children. I have been with him for almost three years. We turn three years next year in Feb 2019. I don’t think he wants to have children with me.
I read this article titled, “Men reveal the real reasons they don’t want children – and one admits he’s scared he would ABUSE them
Speaking on anonymous confessions site Whisper.Sh, sixteen men revealed why they never want to have children – or raise anyone else’s. A GROUP of men have revealed why they never want to have children – and some are absolutely heartbreaking.”
This website truly helped me to understand why my husband doesn’t want to have children with me.
And then I also read this article titled, “I’m Scared To Have Kids — But My Biological Clock Is “Ticking”” by Dana Hall and the writer made me relate to her. Reason #8 got me the most 🙁 I can also relate to her on reason #2 as well :/ 🙁 🙁
So now, I am stuck in deciding to get a dog to replace my future child or children and that either makes me extremely angry or upset (more like sad), so tonight I had a moment. My moment was that I had to accept never having children with my husband or ever. And that just hurts. It hurts because I feel like I have failed as an individual and as a person who can bear children since I am a woman. So I am writing in this blog to not feel alone bc I feel pretty much alone. You see, I grew with my mom and that’s it. I don’t have a sister to cry and lament this with. I don’t have a brother. I don’t have an aunt or aunts. I don’t have an uncle or uncles. I don’t have a father to cry on on his shoulders. I don’t even have a grandmother or grandfather. All I have is a mother who I don’t want to burden with already. She already has a hard life. God bless her. I feel pain. I fear what will happen- a life without children, a life without a baby. Raising children can be hard, but I guess the childish part of me says, “Well, why can’t I have children?!!” [Basically speaking in a tone of offense.] I don’t know what to do with my life..like am I supposed to be happy that I’ll never have children? Why should I have children? Will having a child really make me happy? Or maybe I would rather get a dog, so I’ll never have to think about or consider having the “baby-option” open.
All of this seems soo frustrating yet depressing-more like disillusionating. *I make a disheartened sigh* 🙁
If you read this, thank you. At least that makes me feel like I am not alone. Thank you❤
P.S Call me C
Lisa Manterfield says
I’m glad you found us here. I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. You are definitely not alone here.
Please have a look around the site at some other posts and know that you are safe talking openly here about this.
Kathleen Guthrie Woods says
You are not alone, C. You’ll find many women here who are walking the same path and understand how you’re feeling. Be gentle with yourself. xoKathleen