So I need to preface this blog post with a couple of things.
- You’ll (hopefully) never read another blog post that is so personal and so from the heart as this one. If you’re not into that kinda deep, close the window now. I’ll spare you the time.
- I’m not looking for your sympathy. I’ve put this blog post off for so long because I hate reading comments expressing their sorrow for this topic. Maybe not so much “hate” but uncomfortable. Yea – uncomfortable is the word.
- This isn’t a topic that is discussed EVER, which made me feel alone in this journey, and I know i’m not alone because SO many women go through this and they’re not even wedding photographers or in the wedding industry.
Before Josh and I got married, I wanted to wait to grow our family. I wanted to get a master’s degree, have our life in order, and just be US for a couple of years. And then something in my heart changed. About six months into our marriage, the urge to be a mommy hit me like a ton of bricks. I know God created me to be a mom. I have some of the best role models in my life, so the motherly instincts come so natural to me.
This past spring, there was a conversation in our marriage that we never had before. With a heart that felt like it was beating out of my chest, Josh and I said we would try to have a baby. I told one of my closest friends that I wouldn’t be disappointed if we didn’t get pregnant because life was about to get busy. Like real busy. I was weeks away from quitting my teaching job and starting the busiest season of my business yet. But I told another close friend that if we didn’t, I knew I would be crushed.
See, when you’re a wedding photographer and Bride’s depend on you showing the up for their wedding day, and capturing moments for the decades to come and not just for Pinterest, you have to PLAN for a baby. So many family members said you can’t plan for a baby, you just let it happen. Well…as a wedding photographer you literally have to plan. And that means there’s only a 3-5 month window of time that God says you’re either ready to be a parent, or you’re not. When you miss that window, it’s HARD. It’s crushing. And that’s what is never talked about.
Yes, infertility is talked about (not as much as it should be), and is sadly all to common for women who deserve to be mothers. But I never hear other creative entrepreneurs with an “on season/off-season” talk about this window of time – and then failing to get pregnant. Are we unlucky with really bad timing, or is there a problem with our bodies? When do we accept that it’s a body problem instead of a luck problem. How many years do we go planning a baby in our off-season so we can provide for our families during our on season? Doctors don’t want to run tests until it’s been a year into this “trying”. So where does that leave women who want to be a mommy but also be a badass boss lady?
Boss ladies and dudes don’t have the luxury to try and try every month. Maybe that would make this more journey more bearable. When the window comes there’s a sense of optimism and hope. But as each month comes to an end the feeling of heartache gets stronger. When that window closes, it’s crushing and paralyzing. You’re left confused and mad. Envious of others. Then you’re reminded of this failure when someone announces they’re pregnant during your window of time and you begin to wonder what you did wrong and why you don’t deserve to have that same joy and excitement they have.
With the holidays coming, and seeing family you haven’t seen since the previous holiday season, I know what’s coming. And I’ve honestly considered boycotting ALL family functions until after the holidays. The last question I want to answer is “When are you going to have kids?” I don’t think the appropriate answer is “Shut your face. Whenever we damn well please” as I slam the door and walk out. As you can imagine, I don’t handle that question well. It makes me uncomfortable and reminds me how we missed our window. And how we have to work in this window of time.
Please don’t read this post and comment how sorry you are. That’s not what this was meant to do. I don’t want your pitty and sorrow. This was meant for other creative entrepreneurs to know they’re not allow in this journey. To know they’re not the only one who struggles with hitting that window JUST right. Not everyone has the luxury of having a December baby and having the whole winter and most of the spring before wedding season kicks in again for those who experience winter.
We have a good days/weeks/months. We still get excited for those are experiencing the joy we long to experience. But we also have those bad days. Days were you simply wish you could block all things baby/pregnancy from your social media.
What you can do though is share this post with those woman. Remind them they’re not alone. But don’t remind them “it’s in God’s hands. When he’s ready, you’ll know.” That doesn’t help the helplessness we feel in our hearts. We don’t need you to rationalize for us. We only need you to LISTEN. Be the best friend who listens when your creative friend needs to be selfish for ten minutes and then crack a joke when the rant is over.