Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My CFNBC Reflections on Spring Break

I had a great Spring Break. Nothing was planned, but I ended up meeting with friends for lunch every day. From a childfree not by choice (CFNBC) perspective, I found things to be particularly interesting.

  • My first lunch was with my friend, a former co-worker, who is 12 years older than me. Her two kids are grown (ages 19 and 21) but will still be financially dependent for several more years. I have known her kids since they were 5 and 7. Wow, time flies. I enjoyed getting caught up on her life and catching her up on mine. She knows what all I've been through over the past several years. She said I looked happier and healthier than I've seemed in years. She was so happy for me. She is parenting young adults in her early 50s. I asked her if she would want to be parenting teenagers in her late 50s and, without hesitation, she said "No!" Me neither. If others want to do that, that's totally fine. But my husband and I are moving on. Our window for parenting has passed.

  • My next lunch was with two new friends from school, 12 and 14 years younger than me. Not surprisingly, children never came up once in all of our conversations.

  • The next day I went to dinner with my good friend from school (also 12 years younger than me), his wife, and their 1-year old baby. I like their kid, and I really enjoy how they parent in a reasonable, flexible, yet firm and understanding way. And, full disclosure, I am kind of picky about parenting styles. It was a great meal with lots of laughs, and the kid even tolerated the restaurant experience pretty well. Interestingly though, I felt no jealousy, no longing. I've never particularly liked going out to eat with small children, so maybe that was it. Or maybe I have better boundaries between other people's children and myself than I have in the past. Whatever it was, I was glad I could enjoy dinner with my friends without any residual negative feelings.

  • The next day I went to lunch with my parents. Sigh... I love them. But I have to get to a place of acceptance that they will never understand my infertility. They know I want to move and they know my relocation plans are a part of the rebuilding of my life, but they are not exactly supportive. I've done well in school and have made progress in the area of moving (researching, networking, etc.), but my mom still cried when I told her the progress I've made. I love them so much but it's complicated. I wish they could be happy for me.

  • My final Spring Break meal was a totally spontaneous lunch with a really awesome friend I hadn't seen since Thanksgiving. She is my age and does not have children. We ended up spending seven hours together, talking and hanging out. I can't think of many people that I would even want to spend seven hours with these days hahaha, but the time flew! It was energizing and so much fun. I told her that my mom told me the day before that I could be friends with people my age with kids and I told her (my mom) that I couldn't. My mom was confused but my friend immediately got it. She said, "Of course we can be friends with people with kids," but then she followed it up with, "But not really." Hahaha. She said she liked her friends with kids but she often didn't call them because she knew hanging out with them meant also hanging out with their kids, which, as much as she liked them, that sometimes wasn't what she felt like doing. She went on to say that friends with kids had schedules that we didn't. They had birthday parties and school functions and baseball games and dance practices. It was just so nice to be validated and immediately understood.

So, no closing thoughts really... It was just a great Spring Break, and I couldn't have planned it any better. I'm thankful I got to see so many friends. This month alone has been such a contrast to the last five years of my life. As I continue to say, I do not take any of it for granted for a second.


  1. yeah your friend without kids sounds like she gets it. Sometimes I long to just hang out with one of my friends but because she has kids she's always busy and if we do find a time she'll probably arrive late and then with her baby and toddler. Which is fine, better than nothing, but I miss the days before everyone had kids when you could just hang out with your friends for hours! I'm sorry to hear your parents don't really understand what you've gone through.

    1. Thank you Dubliner. I wish my parents tried a little harder to understand. I know people who haven't been through this can't really ever understand; I wouldn't be able to if I hadn't gone through infertility. But still, my mom could read books or do some google searches to gain some insight if she put forth even the smallest effort.

      I understand what you're saying about friends with kids. My friend without kids has been a godsend. We've been friends for only about four years now, but she was one of my biggest supports when I was going through infertility and treatments. She's never even tried to get pregnant, but somehow she just GETS it. She's an incredible person.

  2. I love my friends my age without kids. There is a particular one who sounds a bit like yours and I cherish the friendship although she lives miles away. I don't get how mums and older female relatives don't seem to understand things - my aunt (age 64) would be exactly the same: she's have absolutely no time for any notion of my not really wanting to visit my cousins' newborn babies, for example. A few years ago when we were not long out of IVF etc, she really tried to push me and hub into making a huge detour to visit my cousin, her son (who I hadn't seen for over a decade anyway) and his 8-months pregnant wife (who I'd never met). She'd be very impatient and scornful of the whole area of sensitivity around CNBC. I've grown apart from her since she got grandkids as she's insufferable about them. A different generation, I suppose.

    1. Your aunt sounds a bit like my mom. Just doesn't get it. At. All. Thankfully, there are other people in my life that do get it. That is who I choose to spend most of my time with.