A LITTLE SENSITIVITY, PLEASE

On Friday, my mom brought the babies up to work for a visit. They hadn’t been to the office since December and I’d been getting lots of baby visit requests. As I suspected, they were a hit. Thankfully, neither screamed and both were pretty outgoing running around and throwing a ball that was handed to them. They were also pretty enamored with our 16th floor view from the floor level windows. While the visit was a success, something happened for which I felt the need to apologize.

I have a co-worker who is about my age and married, but does not have children. At this point, I don’t know if this is by choice or chance, but in any event, she has no children. As we were making the tour around the floor, I heard someone say to this co-worker, “oh, you need one!” or something along those lines. I cringed as I remembered the same thing being said to me when a new baby came for a visit when we were trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. It was said to me on more than one occasion and eventually just replied, “Sometimes it’s just not that easy.” It was a simple statement that pretty much stopped the conversation right there.

I understand that most people just can’t understand how it feels, but I wish there was more sensitivity around the subject of a person’s childbearing abilities or even desires. Even though I’m not sure what the situation is with my co-worker and if she wants or plans to have children, I apologized to her if any of the situation or comments made her uncomfortable. Perhaps children aren’t on her radar, but maybe she’s on the disappointing monthly rollercoaster and will find comfort in knowing that someone else understands.

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