If you haven’t picked up on this yet, I like my routines. It helps me keep order in my life. One of my routines is to write a weekly blog post. However, as of yesterday evening I didn’t have any well-formed thoughts in my head, so I decided to let the routine go. I was (mostly) okay with not posting today. And then this morning I was reminded that I am always infertile and now I have a few things to write.
Confronted by my infertility
I’m taking an online course about teaching online. It’s very meta! Our most recent discussion post assignment was to comment on how we are using the skills of online learners in this course. I outlined my thoughts with bullet points. I wrote about how I set aside time each week to work on my assignments, how I don’t try to do it all at once. I wrote that I’m eager to learn new things and that writing comes easily for me since I practice it a lot.
That all feels really safe to share. It feels neutral. When posting this, I had no expectations of being confronted by my infertility.
Then I logged in to read the comments (and then make sure I responded because it’s required?). This is one of the comments to my post:
Anne, You sound quite organized and on top of things! I’m not so much, especially right now…life-work-kids-everybodyworkingfromhome-mywife tookovermyhomeoffice-world-politics-anger-courseprep-dishesmessdirtyfloorsandpuppyfostering, oh my. At the moment, i wake up each day in a panic…so many urgent things to do that need my attention.
I was okay, but then I kept reading comments on other posts…
Like many of my students, I am at home balancing another career while also finding time to learn and process materials with a 6 year old and a 2 year old vying for my attention.
I know your children come first as my daughter always did and does.
At this point the tears were in my eyes ready to spill over onto my cheeks.
I appreciate their experience, and yet… if we were in a face-to-face class having this discussion they would see the look on my face. They would see me shutting down. They would see me fighting back the tears. But we’re not face-to-face — we’re in an online community that keeps my tears hidden.
I can’t decide if I want to speak up or not. I was able to share my feelings with a colleague who is in the same course, but there’s more I could do. I could use this as an opportunity to inform. I could respond with reasons why I’m so organized and on top of things (not all related to my infertility, to be sure).
I need some space
I’m also tired. This has been a challenging few weeks (just writing that I acknowledge my white privilege). I’m tired. I’m emotionally spent. I’m especially sensitive to minor things like spelling my name wrong and major things like people complaining about their kids.
I need some space — that’s been a theme in my personal reflections over the last few weeks. I need space to absorb all I’m learning. I need space to rest. I need space to invite in more joy, even for just a few moments.
I’m always infertile. That’s a heavy sentence. It’s true though. Even if you don’t see my tears as much as you used to, they still spill over my eyelids and onto my cheeks.