An LDS perspective on moving from childless to childfree living.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Consolation Prize

DH and I went to the dentist for our 6-month cleaning.  He hates the dentist, so the hygenist who knows him and has worked on him takes care of him.  I get the new hygenist.  She is trying to make small talk, which always bugs me at the dentist, because you can't respond.  Anyway, she asks about what I do (teacher), how long I've lived in the area (my whole life), etc. She then proceeds to tell me about their move here from Idaho for her husband's job, about her teenagers, etc.  Then she says, "So are you a mom?"  When I replied with, "No, I'm not," she goes on and on about how I can be a mom to my students and influence them.

Teaching is my career, and one that I love!  While it is true that I am an influence on many students each year and have been for the past 22 years, it is not the same as being a mom.  I assign homework, but I don't get to help with homework.  I help students handle the bully on the playground, but I don't see how they use those skills as they go on in life.  I watch kids grow for a year, but I rarely see the adults they become.  I have stayed in touch with a few students over the years as they have matured in life, but their children are not my grandchildren.

I wish people would not see my career in teaching as the consolation prize for not being a mom. 


  1. I guess people do not really see your teaching as the consolation prize for not being a mom.
    It is that they just don't know what to say and then they say this.



  2. I agree with Klara, that people don't know what to say so they say something like this. I try to think that at least they are being supportive and trying to look on the bright side and value me, instead of the comments I get (much more often) that are along the lines of, "Oh my goodness, I just can't imagine not being a mom; my kids are the reason I get up in the morning and the light of my life; I wouldn't even be a full human being if it weren't for my kids, blah blah blah." I heard a lady at church (a mom through adoption) sweetly telling another lady (childless, who volunteers with children a lot) something like "God has blessed you with SO MANY CHILDREN, even though you don't have any of your own, because you have such a gift for volunteering with them." I was feeling bitter and and thought, "Well, no, He didn't. He blessed all those children's moms with them, and you (like me) are just an extra who gets to help out." Anyway I know people say things like this a lot, trying to point out how childless women still get to do some form of "parenting," but I agree with you that it is not the same. (I found your blog via Resolve/Inspire, by the way. I always enjoyed your thoughtful and insightful comments.)
    Jennifer (I don't know why it says "Cynthia" at the top, I cannot figure out this commenting feature)