My husband and I found out a few a months ago we can’t have children. I now feel distressed every time there is a new baby announcement at work. I’ve just learned there will be a baby show for a co-worker in my office but I’d rather not attend. What should I do?
This is must be an extremely difficult time for both of you. It can be devastating for women, in particular, to learn that they will be childless – whatever the cause.
You are not alone: about one in six couples are infertile, and this figure increases incrementally with the passing years.
Your attitude to new baby announcements is totally understandable. You are reminded of your own heartbreaking situation and it is something beyond your control.
Not attending the baby shower is of course an option but you also need to be appreciative of the joy of others. Your non-involvement may communicate the message that you are not happy for the family.
In addition, you will need to consider whether you intend to tell co-workers about your situation. While you might mention it informally to friends, be aware your inability to have children will likely be messaged informally around the office.
It is important, too, not to let this matter consume you to the extent that your demeanor, your body language, tells people that you are constantly despondent.
(Some years ago, people mourning the passing of a relative would wear a black arm band: nowadays, however, we tend to be more private with our emotions.)
I presume you are investigating the options available to you. Adoption, of course, is a popular choice. Modern technology, such as in vitro fertilization, may be worth considering, following a consultation with your doctor.
You may feel more peace of mind about your situation once you have calmly examined the next steps that could be available to you. As time passes, you may also be somewhat more accepting of the circumstances in general.
I’d recommend you overcome the urge to “dump” on colleagues and instead focus on your work responsibilities. Attend baby showers – and other special social events – if at all possible, unless you fear you could become noticeably emotional.
We all face disappointments and defeats in life: it’s how you respond to them that makes the difference. Be proactive and pursue other options with your husband, if appropriate. Don’t make yourself an object of pity and instead be someone who is a pleasure to work with and for.
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