If you’re reading this, it might be because you stumbled in here looking for some kind of comfort. If that’s the case, I’m not sure what to tell you. I’m writing this because I need to feel like my emotions are out there, if that makes sense, so I’m not really sure how much comfort this will bring. It’s probably just gonna be depressing and sad. The thing is, I was looking for articles or advice columns or some kind of help about this issue, and there doesn’t seem to be anything online for it, so I figured writing is my last hope.
The problem is, as you might have guessed, that I feel like a father without a child. I want children so much, and as we get older, it’s becoming more and more apparent that it isn’t going to happen. We’ve tried fertility help, with no luck, and according to doctors, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be getting pregnant. I’ve also been tested, and my boys are good swimmers. It just……isn’t happening. How do I reconcile that? How do I fill that hole in my life? I read something in an article that made perfect sense (the article was about this subject, but written for women, like all the articles I found).
“Yet if you’ve spent years (decades even!) of your life longing and planning to become a mother, and for a wide variety of reasons, some of them mundane, some of them tragic, you ended up without a family, you’re expected to just ‘get over it.’ But it’s not the flu; it’s not something you ‘get over’. You lost your family! You lost the chance to be a mother, to be a grandmother, to give birth to another life, to be the person that brought your partner’s children into the world, to be a grandmother. To have a hand and say in shaping the next generation. To have the respect of others, a place in the community of mothers and a say in how things are done. So, no biggie, really. We really must all be making a fuss about nothing…”¹
Obviously, I’m not concerned about not becoming a mother or grandmother, but the latter points are exactly right, especially the last line. It isn’t “nothing”. I find the coping tactics I often come across online treat the issue like this. Articles always say things like “make plans to take trips or do things you couldn’t do” or “consider the fact that other people have worse problems”. These ideas just seem to be saying “get over it”, but when you’re bombarded with images all day of happiness and family, it isn’t easy to just put out of your mind. It’s hard to talk about this with my wife because she’d end up blaming herself, and my friends all already have children, so it’s hard to take any advice they have to heart.
So for now, I’m choosing to put my feelings to keyboard and screen (that just doesn’t have the same flow as pen and paper, but oh well, lol), and who knows, maybe someone has that piece of advice that can turn things around. What I think I want most of all is to help people realize that while it seems to be an uncommon problem, men wanting children and having trouble coping with not having them IS a problem that exists, and maybe some other men feeling alone in that can rest a little easier knowing that they aren’t.
Keep fighting forward