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  • Writer's pictureKatie

Stop telling me I'm lucky

Dear parents:

I get that you're struggling right now to do your full-time jobs while simultaneously raising your kids/trying to home school.

I get that if you have more than one child, especially more than one child where there is a vast difference in sibling age, it is a particularly difficult road to navigate.

For women, I get that unless you have a particularly "woke" partner, you are likely taking the brunt of the aforementioned difficulties, taking responsibility for most of the schooling/meals/cleaning and worrying about how whether you'll be seen as "unprofessional" if you have kids causing a ruckus in the background.

And I get that since I am not currently saddled with a caretaker role, my life might seem like a dream scenario.

"What is it like to have so much time?" an exasperated mom recently asked me.

"People without kids, check on your parent friends because WE ARE NOT OK," a Facebook status read.

"You are so lucky you're not dealing with this," said a mom on a recent work Zoom call when her 2-year-old wiggled his way onto her lap and started waving at the screen.

So, like I said, I get it. And I myself have even written in here that it's probably a good thing I don't have children right now.

But, at the end of the day, if you asked me, "Would you rather have a 6-month old or all the extra time you have now," I'd say the 6-month-old. It's cool that I can spend an hour every day practicing my new accordion, but I never would have bought the accordion in the first place if either one of my embryo transfers had lasted. I sit through all these meetings watching your kids buzz about in the back of the frame and my heart aches.

There's been about a million thinkpieces written about how this pandemic has revealed the systems in which we live our daily lives to be a house of cards and how those suffering this the most are the parents, but so far I haven't seen anything written from the perspective of the childless and heartsick about it. The people smiling and nodding every time someone tells us how lucky we are, how much their kids annoy them and how much they wish they could trade places.

Trust me, you don't want to trade places. Because as someone who has spent thousands of dollars, gone to hundreds of doctor appointments, stuck herself with hundreds of needles, watched the life drain out of two babies inside her and has no idea when this pandemic will be over and she can try again, I don't feel very lucky. At all.

But what do I know. I'm not a parent. I just don't understand.

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