Monday, February 21, 2011

"No" is the Hardest Answer

This is going to be my space, my therapy.  Perhaps you will get some amusement out of my writings or find some sort of solace in the fact that someone else is going though what you are as well.  Maybe you'll have a greater understanding for someone going through something like I have.  I'm finding it difficult to have a real conversation about this kind of stuff with anyone.  I'm angry.  I'm sad.  I'm confused.  I'm hopeful.  This is my journey.

I'm a 32-year-old female who has a graduate degree and is happily married to my college sweetie.  I graduated at the top of my high school, college, and graduate classes.  I have a beautiful historic home and a snazzy little sports car that I've always wanted.  I have a great job running a youth program for 32 at-risk, beautiful kids that I enjoy immensely.  I love to garden and scrapbook.  I've learned to ski, but prefer laying on the beach in Hilton Head.  I dance, sing, play (mediocre) piano, and do theatre.  I have a cat (or two), a dog, and a pond full of goldfish.  God has blessed me in many ways, except one very important one.  Whenever I meet someone new or run into an old acquaintance, the question is always the same.  "Do you have children?"  It always happens.  It's inevitable.

I answer this question depending on my mood and to whom I'm talking.  My answers have ranged in the past.  "No, we're just practicing" if I really want someone to quit asking.  More often than not, it was more like "Not yet," or  "It just hasn't happened yet."  These have all been my vanilla answers.  Lately, my answers have changed to "No, I wish," or "We are trying." Or, if I really want to change the subject altogether, I say, "I have 32. Don't I look great?" alluding to the fact that I work with 32 children everyday.  However, there is no good answer.  Sometimes I want to scream, or cry, or feel sorry for myself.  I even find myself making excuses as to why we don't have children.  Sometimes I dance around the truth.  But no matter how many times I change the subject, the truth is, my answer is, "No." 

I know that at age 32, if people were going to have children, most would have already done so.  Anyone who has met me knows that I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, focusing on Child Psychology.  I have a graduate degree in Early Childhood Education.  I have a job where I work with at-risk youth all day long.  I love children.  I always have.  I have found myself mothering, teaching, and caring for people my entire life.  I know that most people ask if I have children out of politeness or perhaps a bit of curiosity.  I would wonder too, if I were talking to me.  Why doesn't this woman who is good with children and cares for others' children all day every day have any of her own?  I truly don't think anyone has asked thinking that they are being invasive with what should be a simple question.  It's so difficult to have to continue to utter "No."



  1. I am so happy that I found this blog today. I too have degrees in education, I am a special education teacher. My husband and I have been trying to concieve for over a year with no luck so far. I am 30 yrs. old and I totally agree that "I have found myself mothering, teaching, and caring for people my entire life". Sometimes when people ask me if I have kids, I say, "Yes, I teach 10-12 teenagers everyday." or I say, "Yes, two dogs, they are my babies."

  2. I have thought about this so much lately. I am not a mother but I mother all the time. I will admit that my answers to that question range from ... as soon as I find the storks number. Lately I have started looking people straight in the face and saying I am not able to yet because I have a condition called PCOS. I have gotten some reactions. People have been surprised by my honesty.