Well, that was freaky. I couldn't remember what email I used to log in to this blog. Whew. I'm glad my brain finally kicked into gear - otherwise, I was afraid I was gone, never to return. Double whew.
It's been busy here - I am preparing for a week away, starting on Sunday, and my lovely husband will not be home until Wednesday. Sulky puppy will have to be boarded starting on Sunday - which is not exactly a hardship. Let's just say it includes being carried around like a baby, and daily peanut butter. Neither of which he gets at home. ;) But I will miss him - particularly the readily available snuggling - which would be quite welcome, as I am going to statistics camp and might not have much brain power left by Friday.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about context recently. After all, that *is* what I study in my real life. And thinking about how our infertility is not *such* a big thing in the context of how we are living our lives. Most people know that I am on a big-time career track - tenure track, to be precise - and I think it doesn't necessarily surprise them that we do not have children. Of course, they do not know that it's not really by *choice*. But that's okay. The story they tell themselves probably makes a bit of sense, given my career inclinations.
I confess - I am glad that I have too many degrees, and that this is where my career has taken me. I am glad that I no longer work with kids on a daily basis (although that might change, as I develop my faculty practice position). I am glad - this is a little weird - that we are not LDS members. I can't even imagine struggling to have children in the context of being a member of a church that places such a heavy emphasis on family and children and LARGE families. Comparatively, I have it easy.
Sometimes I am glad that we don't live near my family. They were the ones who talked about grandchildren, and talked about when we were going to have children, and what we were going to do. Being distant from them - while difficult - means that our day-to-day context does not include those conversations.
I've been having some difficulty, recently. With the idea that we're done. With the fact that we're not going to try anymore. I suppose it is a process - one that I need to work through, and that my husband needs to work through - but knowing that does not make it any easier.
I think part of my difficulty is that I cannot relate to other peoples' experiences. It just so happens that one of my colleagues studies breastfeeding. I don't have firsthand experience of this, obviously...but I am expected to comment and critique her grants. And her breastfeeding experiences are SUCH a big part of her life. So many of my professional discussions recently have focused on this, and I just stay quiet. What do I have to add? But it's hard. I study kids, but that doesn't mean that I *have* kids. I study cancer, but that doesn't mean that I *have* cancer.
Another difficulty...neighbors are relocating back to their old city. They (like many of our neighbors) have 3 kids. The husband posted on facebook earlier this week about the going away party held by the neighbors at the pool. A party that we were not invited to. An invitation that I suspect was not extended because we are the only family in the neighborhood without children. I don't know that, but I do know who was there. And I know who wasn't there. And that is the main difference I see.
I'm going to have to learn to deal with this, obviously. I guess I just didn't think that my childless status would be hitting me in the face so often - at work, particularly. I expected it in my life at home - we live in a neighborhood full of children, so it's kind of hard to avoid it. I need to learn to lose the defensiveness. To remember that we (at least at this point) have made *this* choice, to remain childless. To remember the good in our decision.