The Pandemic Is Horrible For The Childless Too
You know, I don’t want to diminish your pain, suffering, and problems in general parents… But the pandemic is hard on the child-less couples as well.
Especially those of us who are living in a different type of uncertainty. Let me back up a little, and explain. The current COVID pandemic has hit every household on this planet. Hard. From job loss to homelessness and everything in between. Parents have been struggling with the fact that they’re working from home and their children with styling from home. And I empathize with that. I really do. As I work from home (hey I even got 2 remote jobs) as well, I know the struggles that they face. Well, in part.
And from my child-bearing friends, acquaintances and former co-workers, I listen to complaints about the mix-up this new normal has brought to their lives. Having a kid is not easy, I know. And this is from a woman who doesn’t even have kids. But I was one, and I know how hard it is for my mom (the main disciplinarian) to get me and my sister on the right track.
But I can barely imagine how hard it must be during a global pandemic. There’s the social distancing, the constant fear of catching the virus and the lack of privacy in general. Again. I don’t have kids yet, but I empathize.
But the thing is…I worry about all of that as well. Even though I don’t have kids. And you know what? I envy you too. A lot. Look… I know having a kid is a huge responsibility. But the fact that we’re unable to have kids (even in a pandemic) is a terrifying worry I’m having for the better part of this year. All-day- Every day. To top of the already dark and depressing sight of our daily reality. Every month that goes by is another month filled with anxiety, stress, disappointment and lots of money, resources and positive energy was thrown into nothing. Having a kid in a pandemic is stressful, but not having a kid in a pandemic is soul-crushing. And I’ll even leave out the noisy but (most of the time) well-meaning questions from everyone around me.
-Are you trying? What’s going on? Come on! Time flies, and you’re no spring chicken. Just to name a few.
But I’m not going to go down that path. Other people don’t matter in my story. Their opinion doesn’t matter, I tell myself often. This is about my wants and needs. The wants and needs of having a child. Remember when Chandler and Monica (from Friends) got the news on their infertility? Remember when Chandler asked:
-Who’s the problem? Me or you?
-Both of us she said…
And that’s the case with me and my husband as well. Which is a relief I suppose because I’d feel way too much guilt if it was just me. But the thing is. It’s both of us that we’re fixing now. It takes a lot more time, effort and of course money. There are the constant tests, blood work, hormones, supplements, pills and other gnarly stuff I have to intake every day. I’ve become obsessed with the folic acid content in peanuts and wheat-grass. I’ve become an expert on making the best fertility-boosting smoothies there are. Damn it I can charge them and make a little money on the side. Cause they cost a fortune.
And I know how to swaddle, burp or bathe a baby because I watched a ton of YouTube videos from various new moms. Everything I’m missing in my equation is a baby to swaddle, burp, or bathe. But nobody talks about this. Infertility is general a stigma in my community. And nobody talks about these struggles. And to add salt to my open wounds, I constantly hear/watch pregnancy announcements pretty much everyone. Especially on social media. And I can’t even deal with those god-awful gender reveal parties. If I see another balloon/confetti gender reveal party I’m going to scream.
But I suppose I should be happy for them. For their newfound purpose in life. For their bundle of joy. But I suppose you should know that the pandemic is hard on the child-less folks. I suppose to be happy. I suppose to be grateful……
Let me ask you… Are you?