Work has become a very hard place to be.
It’s no one’s fault. If it were anyone’s fault, it would be mine.
I work at a small office full of young people. There are 7 of us and, besides the boss, the oldest one is 32. When you get a group of people in their late 20s and early 30s, you inevitably get a bunch of people starting their families.
I started working here in 2004. At that time, I had been trying to conceive for about a year, and for the first four years, none of us “young kids” had any children.
Over the last 2 years, all that has changed… One employee has had 2 children, another one just gave birth to her first child, and we hired an employee who is a new father to twins. Even the boss delights in being a grandfather.
It is rough! Every day, I see others rejoice in the one blessing I desire that never comes. I hear clients down the hall gushing over baby pictures, asking for updates, and laughing at all the adventures that come with new parenthood. I hear complaints about lack of sleep and find baby pictures in my email box. On good days, it is hard. On bad days, it’s devastating.
I was used to church being a difficult place to be, with children running around everywhere, pregnant SAHMs, and the constant reminder that “motherhood is your ultimate calling”. After a while, I learned being with friends wasn’t always a safe place, as they add baby after baby to their families, while the list of common ground gets shorter and shorter. Now work is another place where I can’t get away from the constant baby parade.
I start to daydream about walking out the door and never coming back. I do mental calculations… could we afford to live on Ryan’s income alone? I become sad because all of the years of hard work to develop this career seem worthless if I hate being here.
But then I have a client meeting. Just me and a single person or a couple. We talk and laugh and at the end, I feel like I did something to help their situation. And that gives me the strength to come back the next day.
I am fortunate in so many ways. I like helping people and I am able to do that as a planner. I have a boss that has a good heart. I have one co-worker (and a former co-worker) who will selflessly listen to me ramble and complain. I have a flexible schedule that lets me work from home 4 days a month or so. Not to mention, the money I earn at this job allows me to do the fertility treatments that might bring me motherhood.
So I take a deep breath, put my head down and get through it.
And remind myself it can’t be this way forever…