This woman cringes when she hears the daily complaints of frazzled mums. Here’s why.
My husband and I are childless, and not by choice.
Unfortunately, and fortunately, we met later in life. We were living in different cities and found each other through a dating website. I took a chance and came to meet the man I had been chatting with online. When we met in person, we knew that we were meant to be together. Why hadn’t we met in our 20s or 30s?
Here we are in our 40s, in a wonderful, loving relationship and we would dearly love to have a child. But this is proving to be difficult. We have been going through the IVF process and with every unsuccessful attempt, we just hold each other tightly and cry. Our next step is to consider being the recipients of an embryo donation.
At some point, we may have to stop and grieve for the loss of not being able to have a child. We are thankful that we have each other and we cherish our love.
Our inability to have children is intensified by me being a primary school teacher. I am surrounded by children. I adore teaching; imparting my knowledge and nurturing the children in my care.
Previously, I have taught Kindergarten and Year 1 classes, and sometimes I would become emotional when I would see the parents collect their children of an afternoon. The love and happiness the children would display, knowing that mum or dad was waiting for them with open arms - I want that feeling. I crave it.
I am now a Learning Support Teacher, assisting the children who have special needs or are falling behind. I mainly work one-on-one or in small groups, and have developed a good rapport with my students. I think about what I would do in the home, if this was my child. I fantasise about how wondrous it would be to read with my child every day and explore the world of literature as a family.
I clearly remember saying as a child that I wanted to be a mother and a teacher when I grew up. It's heartbreaking being one without the other when my life is enveloped by children.
Society is focussed on families, children and reproduction. As a "barren" couple, we occasionally feel isolated from the broader community for not having children. People often ask us, "Do you have children?", and when we answer no, the conversation stops dead. Sometimes, they respond with, "Oh well, you're better off without them". No, we're not.
Emotions of despair build up inside, especially when we see neglected or abused children. I grimaced when I heard a mother of three healthy and adorable boys bemoan that she wanted a girl. And my heart sank when I read this story.
We have so much to give and yet some people do not recognise or appreciate the gift that they have been given. Please, hug and kiss your child every day. Tell them that you love them. Make time for them. You are never too busy.
This post originally appeared on Educating Eloise and has been published here with full permission.
Do you have any advice on how parents should talk to women in Eloise's position?