An LDS perspective on moving from childless to childfree living.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What Are Your Plans for Father's Day?

My DH doesn't talk much about our childfree situation. He came home from work yesterday and said, "You should have seen Greg's face when I dropped the Father's Day bomb on him." I asked what he meant.

He said that he and his co-worker Greg, whom he doesn't know well, were talking and Greg asked DH what he was doing this weekend. DH responded that he had nothing out of the usual planned. Greg then said, "Don't you have plans for Father's Day?" DH answered, "My dad died in 2005, my grandfathers are both dead, my wife doesn't have a dad, and I don't have any kids. We have no plans."

DH said there was a look of shock on Greg's face, then Greg walked away without saying anything. I'm proud of DH for saying something, but it just goes to show that most people don't know how to respond when faced with information that is unexpected or out of the "norm." 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rough Weekend

It has taken me a couple of days to be able to write this, because I had such a difficult weekend.

On Friday, June 9 at work, I wondered about my niece, K. I remembered her due date as June 5, and I hadn't heard anything about the baby coming. I sent her a text to let her know I was thinking about her and saying it should be getting close. She responded that she had the baby on Wednesday, June 7 in the evening. She said her mom, my SIL, sent out a group text, including my DH but not me. I became very angry at DH for not telling me. I know he thinks he is protecting me, but I know K is PG, I have seen her multiple times, I know her due date, I went to her shower, so you can't keep a new baby from me.

I set my anger aside, because I did not want to have a bad weekend. DH didn't say anything on Friday or Saturday. We had an enjoyable time working on cleaning out his mom's house and working in our yard. We also went to a cousin's wedding reception in the evening.

Sunday I went to Relief Society and the lesson was on Home-The Basis of a Righteous Life. The title didn't bother me, but the content and the way it was presented was horrible! The teacher only focused on the mother-child relationship. At one point, I think trying to be inclusive of those who do not have children, she shared the following from Ardeth Kapp, a former young women's leader who never had children:
"A little lad new to our neighborhood looked up with eager eyes asking, 'Can your kids come out and play?'
A coldness seemed to creep over me as I almost whispered, 'I don’t have any.'
The child in a somewhat questioning tone asked, 'Aren’t you a mother?'
With a quick and somewhat abrupt response my voice cracked, 'No, I’m not.'
The little boy’s eyes squinted and with his head cocked to one side in the innocence of childhood he asked the question that I had never dared to put into words. 'If you’re not a mother, what are you?'"
The teacher did a cursory, "Everyone can mother children without having your own children," then off to the responsibility of mothers to their children.
I wanted to leave, but I didn't want to make a scene. I don't know if I would have been as sensitive if I hadn't been excluded from knowing K had her baby. I cried for about 20 minutes until the lesson was over. Two kind women, JD (a friend from high school) and RL (my former Visiting Teacher), stayed and talked with me. The question I asked was this: How many couples do you know who are over 45 years old, who have been married more than 20 years, who are faithful and active in church, who don't have children? JD could think of none. RL's brother and SIL couldn't have children, but they did adopt two girls, so to me that is still not the same as my situation. The other thing I pointed out was that in the video the teacher showed, was a phrase about the Lord trusting mothers, ". . . everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you." So, the Lord doesn't trust me? That's the implication, and no one picks up on it!
In the LDS church, there are so very few of us!
I had a text conversation with a woman I Visit Teach who struggled with IF, but has since had three children. She was not in Relief Society on Sunday, but she heard some women talking about it in the neighborhood on Monday. She said she overheard them say something to the effect of, "That sure would be a hard lesson for someone who didn't have kids." She reached out in support, which was very kind of her.
Then this evening, my current Visiting Teacher showed up at my door with a card and flowers. This was very sweet as well. I do love the Visiting Teaching program and the relationships that are built through it!
I was very upset when I arrived home from church. I explained what happened to DH, mentioning that it started on Friday when I found out K had her baby, but no one bothered to tell me. He was kind as well. He let me cry it out, then we went for a drive up to the beautiful mountains near our home and stopped for dinner.

It has been four years since we closed our adoption file, and I still have struggles! I think I've moved on, but not completely, not yet.