Infertility and Womanhood

I've always felt more comfortable in co-ed situations.  I was disappointed when I reached high school and could no longer play on a co-ed soccer team.  I like pink and lace and girly things, yet I prefer the conversation and time that is spent with others that is co-ed.

Having shared this, I've been spending a lot of time with other women lately.  Last week I attended a women's conference.  This weekend I attended another women's conference to cheer on my sister as she was the keynote.  Today I attended a bridal shower.

After coming home from the bridal shower I've been torn how to respond to my mother's and sister's strong desire for the three of us to go to a movie together.  I understand how they think it would be fun - us three girls - but it doesn't sound fun to me.  (And a side note: I think I'm the one who brought it up!)

I started reflecting up this some more and I think I am not enjoying hanging out with other women in a new way because I don't fit in.

I came across a blog today that I found comforting as the writer put words to the experience of an infertile woman.   No, I don't think I'll be infertile forever.  I am hoping to someday become a biological mother, as well as an adoptive mother.  But this woman just says things as they are.  She doesn't sugar coat it.  On one of her posts she talks about how those who oversee adoption won't allow a couple to adopt until the couple is "cured" of the grief of infertility.  She shares how that isn't something anyone is ever "cured" of unless they become fertile.  It is like having an arm amputated and being told that you can't do something until your arm grows back.

Anyways, back to meeting and socializing with other women.  What is one of the first questions women ask each other?  "Do you have any children?"  How does one answer that question without making the conversation awkward.  Women ask that question (including myself) in order to find a place of commonality, or a conversation starting point.  It is kind of like how when you are acting in an improv, you are never suppose to use the negative or say "no," because that brings the skit to a difficult point that only the best actor can navigate out of.  The question about children is asked, the response of "no" is given, and then there is the awkward pause as the woman asking the question looks for an out.

So, how to respond?  Move on to the next question on a different topic.  Here is a conversation model to follow:

Person A:  Do you have any children?
Person B:  No
Person A:  What do you enjoy doing for fun?
Person B:  Traveling.
Person A:  Tell me more about that!

It is kind of like the single woman conversation.

Person A:  Are you married or do you have a significant other?
Person B:  No
Person A:  What do you enjoy doing for fun?
Person B:   I love going out with my friends.
Person A:  Tell me more!

A more professional thought about the question, "Do you have children?"

And here is another great thought!

And a little sarcasm.

And the best response: "We don't have any cats!"

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