First of all, I want to thank you all for all the wonderful responses I received from my last post. Even though I know I’m not the only one dealing with this enormous burden sometimes I feel so isolated…especially in the sea of families, babies, and children in my work/social outlets. That makes it much harder for a person to move on.
Because I work for a Christian organization and I’m moderately active in my church I hardly ever get away from the “family” theme. Most of my coworkers are young and extremely fertile. Just about any given month there’s a birth announcement or a “we’re expecting again” announcement. I love my job and my wonderful work environment. I wouldn’t want to change any of that at this time, but working for a Christian, family-oriented organization can have pitfalls for singles and the childless not by choice.
Something interesting has occurred in me since reaching my forties…I’ve become less reserved and have learned to take up for myself and others, and I did voice my opinion recently.
Because our dept. seems to be made up of prolific procreators we’re always having baby showers. It doesn’t matter if it’s the employee’s first or their fourth…we always have a baby shower for them. In addition to becoming very time consuming and expensive for everyone it’s tough on the singles and/or CNBC (like myself) to be having baby showers on end. We’re definitely in the minority, but there are a few of us here.
In a recent meeting the subject came of up of someone expecting (their third) very soon and when were we going to do the baby shower? First, I spoke up about the time and expense side of having baby showers for subsequent children (and amazingly, several people agreed). I then added that everyone in the department cannot have children, and it can be emotionally taxing to be having baby showers all the time. While we rejoice (and we do) with every new addition it seems that having a shower for every new baby after the first is a little too much across the board. I think the “party planning committee” was a little taken aback when I said this, but it has effected change. I believe a little education went a long way in this case.
Now, only first-time parents will get a full-blown shower. Let’s just say that it will cut down on the baby showers drastically because most folks are already parents many times over.
While it was a victory I don’t want to come off as one of “those people” who seems offended by everything, but reality is that in my culture I will be perceived as being one of “those people.” It’s just the reality of living in a society where childbearing is the expected activity. Right now as I type this the Christian radio station I’m listening to is speaking with a artist who “Live-Tweeting” his wife’s labor and delivery…a glaring example of how child-centric our society has become.
I am in the minority and I have to come to terms with that. With that said I shouldn’t feel obligated to be front and center and/or expected to plan baby showers that never seem to end. I know children are a reason to celebrate, but it just seemed that the parents among us were the only ones having parties thrown for them.
There are people in my dept. who have gotten their college degrees, married, bought houses etc. that never got so much as a nod, but the parents always had a party. Why just them? Should parenthood be the summit of personal achievement? I don’t think so, and if I did have kids I wouldn’t even think so.
Anyway, sometimes you just have to speak your mind and not worry…just like sometimes when you want to to speak your mind you just have to keep your big trap shut. The key is learning to pick your battles.