Many of us who struggle with infertility, especially for a good length of time, may begin to feel we are losing out on time. It can be incredibly devastating to hear the news that your odds of success are low, or that they are good but face a let down every single time you lose another pregnancy. Maybe you just want to take a break from trying to conceive. No matter what your situation, for many women there is one undeniable reality, the biological urge to have children is so powerful it can take over our lives if we let it. The awareness of our Biological Clock can lead us to act a smidge neurotic at times.
I’m smiling to myself as I write this because I’ve found myself having serious conversations with my husband about kids, maybe a bit too early into our relationship. But I just felt compelled to, because I knew what I wanted out of life. Almost all of my friends have shared the same experience. Many of us are not shy at all about speaking up about when we expect to have children in a relationship, and that can kind of freak out our partners if they didn’t think that far ahead yet. I’ve also known friends who broke off their relationship because their partner couldn’t get on board soon enough and they chose to move on. Our desire to settle down and have kids can seem to dictate our lives. Sometimes we just need to take a chill pill. Once you get to the point where you found the love of your life, you are ready to start a family, but things are not going according to plan it is frustrating beyond belief. It is a real test of not only your relationship but also a test on how you adapt to the situation. No matter where you are in this process I think it may help to find an outlet for acting motherly, while we wait to become mothers.
Top 5 Ways to Scratch the Itch of Wanting to be a Mother
We all have friends and family in our life who have children. Start to pay attention to which ones sound like they could use a good break from parenting for a bit. You could offer to watch their kids while they have a much deserved date night. Maybe they are going through an intense time in their life. Say they lost a loved one, or are dealing with a medical issue that limits the quality time and attention they want to give to their children. Or maybe their daycare has inflexible hours and they need someone to pick up and drop off their kids while they are at work. If you are able to help out, why not let them know you are available? Make that time you spend with their children quality time. Teach them something new, read them a book, teach them a few jokes, play a board game or video game with them, try a new hobby out together. If you don’t have children and are wanting more experience this is a great way to do it.
2) Become a Mentor
Look into opportunities in your town to become a mentor for a child who could really benefit from hanging out with you. Look into the Big Brother Big Sister program. This opportunity can be great for the couple who may be thinking about being foster parents but may not have the resources yet that are required to become licenced. By being a mentor you are still making a positive impact on a child’s life, with the flexibility of maintaining your current lifestyle. Depending on the child and their needs, you could bring them out with you to the fun stuff you are already doing. Take them on a hike, go to the movies, take them to the state fair, bring them to the library, or try out something new together. Ask them what they would like to do for fun and what they expect from you as a mentor.
3) Work with Kids
I’d recommend that if you don’t have much experience with kids try babysitting first. Try babysitting kids of different ages and temperaments to get a feel for how to be flexible and meet the needs of different kids. If you are serious about starting a career working with kids consider the possibility of being a teacher, daycare worker, tutor, school librarian, or social service work with at-risk youth (field I’m in now). There are many options to choose from, check your local job listings.
4) Become a Foster Parent
Although I do not have personal experience with this, I am seriously considering it. One thing I learned recently is there are different agencies within my city to help place children into homes. I had assumed the only foster agency in my city was the Office of Children’s Services, run by the state. But I learned about several non-profit agencies who are committed to helping place children into good foster homes. They can provide a wealth of information, training, and resources to get you going in the right direction. Why not look into an orientation or open house? Call them up and ask questions about what it takes to become eligible. If you are intimidated about the potential for behavioral issues, ask yourself if you are emotionally ready to take this on right now. Do whatever you can to help the child, the best way you can. I like the commercial I saw recently with the simple, yet powerful statement, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.”
5) Get a pet
Check out the animal shelter or ask around to see if your friends have any puppies or kittens they want to give away. You can even foster pets these days too. Pets can brighten our day, make us laugh, and become a special part of the family. We help them as much as they help us. I was going through another miscarriage while at the same time our Sheltie (looks like small Collie) passed away. It was heartbreaking to experience two losses at the same time. After some time passed both my husband and I wanted to get another pet. We got a new puppy and boy did he keep us busy! It was a little overwhelming at first, especially since he was the first puppy I ever had (we had always gotten older pets growing up). But with some time and attention I was able to teach him a good amount of tricks and I can happily say he is now potty trained! Thank god for that.
Try to think outside the box. This goes for men too, seek out ways you can act like a father figure. If one method doesn’t really seem to be a good fit, try something different. Dip your toes in first before you decide to fully commit. One way to do that is to ask a lot of questions and learn from others first. But also don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Even if you feel like you are sucking at it, you are gaining valuable experience and challenging yourself to try something new. Tell me if you’ve tried any of the suggestions above and what has helped you. What would you like to add to the list? As always, thank you for reading.
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