The thing I struggle with the most with my infertility is the “why me” attitude. It comes and goes depending on my mindset and could definitely swallow me whole, if I let it.
Here is a little background on my life up until this point. I went to college to be an elementary school teacher. I graduated with honors and was also certified to teach middle school math. I came out of college during the biggest educational budget cuts in years. Teachers were getting fired and the pool of candidates grew with new college graduates. I substitute taught for a year and half, went on multiple interviews for teaching positions, had several positions dangled in front of my face and then yanked away.
The final straw was when I interviewed for my student teaching co-op’s middle school math position. He was retiring. I handled the class for many weeks as a student teacher, subbed for all of the teachers after I graduated, and even subbed for him for 2 weeks when he was out for surgery. I knew this was my last chance at getting a teaching position. If I didn’t get this one, where I had a rapport with the school and was a frequently requested sub, then I wasn’t ever going to get a teaching position. I interviewed for the job and thought it went really well. They gave the position to a male teacher with one year of experience over me. I asked the principals what I could improve on to make myself a more desirable candidate. Their response? “Nothing, you were a great candidate and interviewed very well. It was a very tough decision.” That was it! I was done. Time to move on and find a more stable job than substitute teaching. And I did.
The one thing that bothered me the most about the fact that I had to give up on teaching and never got the chance that I thought I deserved, was the fact that I saw others, who I knew didn’t deserve it (in my opinion), get that chance. I know that sounds cocky and conceited but I’m human and I know that we all have felt that way about something. I know one of my classmates cheated on multiple tests in college (using the old graphing calculator trick) and that her GPA was not higher than mine. She didn’t work any harder than me in college and she partied constantly. Yet, she is now a teacher and I’m not. Why me? I had always been taught that if you are honest, work hard, and do your best, you will achieve great things. I learned that, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
It was a really hard pill for me to swallow. It isn’t easy to give up on your dream and see others, who you don’t feel are as deserving, get to follow theirs. I moved on and after one absolutely awful job, I found one I really love and am excelling in.
Why did I just share this story of self-pity and bitterness? Because it is really hard to see others have the one thing you want in this world and can’t seem to have.
We all know that there is no pre-requisite to having a child. Many women , who don’t deserve to be mothers and can’t properly protect or take care of their children, get pregnant daily. There is nothing keeping the drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. from having children they can’t care for. So the question is….why her and not me? It is a question I, and many others in my position, have asked themselves over and over again.
As I said before, I am a planner. I had my life planned out. I was going to be a teacher, get married, buy a house, get a dog, and have a kid, in that order. Well, obviously the teacher thing didn’t pan out but I was going to follow the rest of my plan. I got married and I knew that before we had a kid I wanted to own a home to raise our child in. I wanted to be financially stable. I didn’t want to have to “make it work” and not be able to provide for our child the way our parents provided for us.
I followed all the rules. I was ready for a baby. We could take care of a child financially and we had a home for our child. We were ready. Yet, it never happened. It’s hard not to ask yourself, why me? Why can’t I have a child? Why does she get to have a child when she can barely take care of it? Why does the high school senior get pregnant? Why do drug addicts get to have children and I can’t? Why does she get to a have second child when I can’t even have one? Why does the girl who was a whore in high school ( I know, harsh, but we all knew one) get to have children and I can’t?! It is hard not go into a spiral of self-pity. And you know what? THAT’S OKAY! It’s normal to compare your situation to others. Especially with social media, there is always another engagement announcement or pregnancy post to send you into a self-pity spiral.
What have I learned from this “why me” situation? 1) Appearances on social media are not always what they appear. The couple posting smiling photos could be 1 month away from divorce. The family announcing their pregnancy, could have struggled through many miscarriages before this one. Take everything on there with a grain of salt and try your hardest not compare yourself to others (it’s super hard and I still struggle with it every time I see a pregnancy announcement). 2) You can have a plan, but God may not agree with it. He showed me this when I didn’t get a teaching job. I didn’t get the career I planned but I did find something else I love doing. We may not have been able to have a baby naturally within a year of trying, but God wouldn’t put us through something we can’t handle. I like to think this is his way of getting me over my phobia of needles. (I’m over it now, God, you can give me a baby at any time!) 🙂
I know I am meant to be a mother. I know I WILL be a mother but I don’t know when or how (technically, I already am a mother to my little fluffball. He truly is my baby and I will always continue to treat him that way, no matter what.). Until then, I will continue to struggle with the “why me” feeling and other emotions that go along with this journey but I will remember that someone else has a bigger plan for us.