An LDS perspective on moving from childless to childfree living.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Circle of Life

My sweet MIL passed away last week.  Her funeral was yesterday.  This is DH's last parent, so he is feeling very lost about where he belongs.  We have a good life, but we were talking about regrets, since he had recently asked his mom about her regrets.  Interesting that both are related to children.  My MIL said her regret was having children before my FIL was able to earn a master's degree.  She said that would have allowed him greater job opportunities.  They struggled as he supported a family including four children on a teacher's salary.

DH and I both said our regret was not having children when we were young, before he got leukemia.  We basically did what his mom wanted his dad to do.  We were waiting for DH to finish his degree, only three classes left, when he was diagnosed.  Would we have had the same regret as his mom if we had children too early?  Who knows.

Major life events like the passing of a loved one make you reflect on your life and on the future.  I am happy.  DH is happy.  We have a great life childfree together.  Who will be there to plan our funerals?

In addition, I saw our oldest niece, who is PG with her first.  I found out she was PG on Christmas Eve morning.  DH told me while we were talking that morning.  He said he had known for a couple of weeks, but with my anxiety over my job change and leaving my students mid-year, he had been trying to find the right time to tell me.  He knew he had to tell me that morning, because we were seeing his whole side of the family that evening.  Anyway, it's a boy, and she is showing.  I will be a great-aunt the first part of June.  This is all good.  She has a kind DH, they have both graduated from college and have good jobs.  The situation is ideal.

Knowing a new baby will be in the family, and knowing I will never be a mother, I'm trying to decide how involved I want to be.  I haven't held a baby in a LONG time.  I can't even remember when.  Do I go to the baby shower?  Do I offer to host a baby shower?  Can I even buy a gift? 

I have been able to throw myself into my work, so I haven't had to think about my childless situation in a while.  Yesterday, I had to face it in the form of my PG niece.  I truly thought I had moved past being childless to enjoying living childfree, but my niece being PG has me thinking about what I don't have instead of focusing on the good I do have.  I need to get back to that way of thinking.

I know lots of people in our situation have become great-aunts and great-uncles.  I hope I can hear from some of them about how they have managed that transition.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Life Update

I saw an article on FB, which I now cannot find, about being infertile in the LDS Church culture.  It was excellent!  I decided to revisit my blog.  I haven't written for a long time.

I was challenged by the school I transferred to.  It took a couple of weeks to establish relationships with the students to the point that they would respond to my classroom management.  It was high-transient (6 move out and 8 move in from September to December).  I also had to fight to have an acceptable classroom.  I was put in a portable (relocatable) that was old, dirty, stinky, dark, musty, and spider infested.  Because I know people in the district, I was able to get moved up on the remodel list.  I enjoyed my teaching and being able to reach a very diverse group of students. 

When I finished my term as the local education association president, I knew one of the directors was looking to retire in a year.  I had been approached about this job before, so when she announced her retirement in October for the end of January, several people encouraged me to apply.  I did apply, went through a grueling 90 minute interview, and was hired.  I resigned my teaching position after 24 years, which was an incredibly difficult thing to do, and my last day of teaching was December 21.

I have had the month of January as overlap with the director who is retiring.  I also spent the last 9 days at training.  These trainings are great, because you learn a lot and get to know people who are not like you.  The question of children came up, but no one else there was LDS, so it was always asked as a "Do you have children?" instead of the assumption that you do.  I opened up to one person at dinner one night, because she said in her introduction that she has fraternal triplets.  I figured she had experienced infertility, and we did have that in common.

Another funny experience happened one night when we went to a social at a club that had been rented out.  We were in VA, so being white put me in the minority.  I was eating snacks and talking to the two people I had been with at a school earlier in the day, when some of the teachers started line dancing.  I was drawn to it.  I danced as a child and would go line dancing with my friend when we were single.  I taught line dances to my students, but I don't go out dancing, because DH doesn't like to dance.  I started dancing with about a dozen black ladies.  I didn't know these exact dances, but it was easy to pick up on.  It was a lot of fun!  Later, one of the guys from OH said, "If I had to pick someone in this group who would dance, I wouldn't have picked you.  Who knew the white, Mormon girl from Utah had more moves than the black ladies!"  The next day, several people in the training asked how I know how to dance and how often I go dancing.  I couldn't believe how many people were fascinated that I could dance!

Anyway, my new job as a director in the local education association gives me the opportunity to advocate for students and teachers along with developing laws, policies, and procedures.  I am closer to finding my purpose after deciding to live CF.  I'm enjoying the work!