I started my new job this week. It's interesting. I am grateful to have an income to say the least. And I am glad to have a full-time position in my new career. I'm still working in schools, but my role is no longer as a classroom teacher. I spent all week trying to shift my mindset from teacher to student service provider. I was also adjusting to both wearing a mask all day and hearing co-workers' chatter about their kids and parenting.
I moved to a really small town. This is the kind of place that must be brutal for someone who is going through infertility. Everyone has kids and it seems like they all have a lot of them too. The majority of my co-workers are from here, left for college, and came back after graduation to get married, start working, and have kids. I'm really interested in starting an in-person support group here. I don't know how that would work with covid precautions and also with getting the word out to the community, but it's definitely an idea that's simmering in the back of my mind... Infertile women are everywhere. I would like to be supportive for anyone suffering here.
So far, the best part of my new job happened at new employee orientation. We were all in a gym, sitting two to a table to physically distance, and there were often short activities where you discussed things with the person at your table. I was sitting next to a woman who was very nice and friendly and I enjoyed talking with her.
When we first introduced ourselves she asked if I had moved to town with my family and, not even thinking, I said, "It's just me and my boyfriend but we're glad to be here." Then later she asked me my age as she shared hers. If I was being more perceptive at the time, I might have realized that she was already scoping out my mother/non-mother status.
The morning session of orientation was several hours long, including a half hour for everyone to go around the gym and introduce themselves to the whole group. As I listened to everyone introduce themselves, I realized there was something unmentioned in both my table partner's introduction to everyone and in all of our table discussions with each other...
I couldn't help myself. I had to know. So, yes, I asked THAT question. (But I apologized first, if that helps.) I said, "I'm sorry, I never ask this, but you haven't said anything about them if you do. Do you have any children?" She said a simple no. I replied, "Me neither." Then we both smiled big smiles (you could tell even though we were both masked) and our excitement was palpable.
And that is how I met my lovely new co-worker, who also doesn't have kids. :)