Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Cost of My Freedom

I see it in their eyes.

We will be standing there, both of us in our late 30s/early 40s, meeting each other for the first time. It may be at a work event or when making small talk while out and about town. They tell me about their kids and ask me about mine. I say I don't have any and there is a brief pause while I watch so many thoughts flicker across their eyes.

No kids?
Why not?
How old is she?
Is she married?
What does she do??
Oh wow, what does she do with all of her TIME???
Good gawd, what does she do with all of her MONEY???

It doesn't always happen like this, but it happens enough that it's worth writing about.

I know these parents love their kids. They love their kids unconditionally.
They just don't love the constant act of parenting 24/7.

They hear that I don't have kids and their overwhelming thought is: FREEDOM.

But their initial thoughts sell me short. Aside from the fact that I have the same 24 hours in a day that they do and that I make the same low salary as everyone else in my field...

Their assumptions leave no space for my losses, my trauma, my grief, and my hard work.

I'm not looking to turn every interaction into a teachable moment with friends and strangers alike, but I do appreciate having this place where I can vent about what annoys me. ;)


  1. Vent away! I know - I want to turn a few interactions into teachable moments, but definitely not all. I just don't have the energy to do it, and many don't deserve to hear my story either. I hear you!

    1. Sometimes you just gotta vent. :) And the awesome thing is, I don't have to explain myself here in order to be understood.

  2. Oh, ouch -- this is so raw, so true. I feel like the way you put that, "the cost of my freedom," is perfect. It's so hard for others to understand, and it is a real conversation-killer to go into the nitty gritty of it, but I'm glad you have this space to vent, I hear you!

    1. Right? And it's not healthy for me either to constantly reiterate my experiences with grief and trauma and what I've lost. I am learning to accept that the vast majority of the world will never understand my reality. Honestly, it's their loss. There is a deep resilience that comes from surviving infertility without your children.

  3. I love this post. It's so true. People think we have this fabulous life -- and we do, in so many ways! -- but they have no idea what it took for us to get here. The cost of freedom, indeed...

    1. Exactly!! We do have fabulous lives, but people have No Idea what it took for us to get here. <3

  4. oh my gosh! This post!!!!! Most of my friends treat me this way, as if my husband and I are so lucky to go out when we want to, or that we don't have to spend hundreds a month on diapers. They have no clue what it has cost us to have this so called "freedom".

    1. It's aggravating, isn't it? To say the least.

      Oh well, I try to remind myself that it's not my job to teach everyone and that others do not have to understand my reality for it to be real.

      People who survive life-altering trauma deserve to enjoy the good parts of their lives.