Being childless in a family-centric society, there are constant reminders that you don't fit into the norm... baby changing stations, maternity/paternity leave, time off for a child's school activities, audio and video commercials, newpapers, magazines, books, websites, social media. It's all in your face. Something as seemingly benign as the memorial service for a person who recently passed away is a slap of reality that you will have no one to come to your grave, no one who'll want the sentimental trinkets, no one to follow your ancestry. And then there are the breeders - gloating about their good fortune of having such amazing spawn in one breath, complaining about the sacrifices they make and lamenting the loss of their freedom in the next. They tell you how lucky you are not to have your heart broken or expectations dashed by a child's decisions or behaviour. All the while, you silently scream that you would give all the freedom and make all the sacrifices for a chance to be a parent.
Just yesterday I ran into one of my husband's friends at the grocery. We chatted about how busy our lives are and then he says "how'd you like to have a couple kids running around, too?" I smile and change the subject, but inside I'm saying "LIKE? I'd LOVE it!" I mention it to my husband when I get home and as I repeat his friend's question, he shakes his head "no," with a face that makes it clear that he really means it, too. Of course, he has had the experience of little feet running through the house... he's a dad. I turn away from him as I say "well... that's not MY answer."