I was driving back from a yoga training day today and listening to Radio 4. It was a repeat of Woman's Hour with Jane Garvey and I heard an interview with Jody Day for the second time this week about her experience of being a childless woman. It moved me when I heard it the first time, but I was doing chores that time and today I was properly listening. It was a breathtakingly honest account of discovering one day that having children just isn't going to happen. In addition to dealing with the grief at this realisation there is the loneliness as friends with children slowly let you go as they carry on with their lives as a family.
It could have broken us. Thankfully it didn't.
The other reason is because now we do have a son and when I met up with friends recently we were chatting. I mentioned how I missed going out as much as they do and having holidays and other things that we don't do as much any more now we are parents. My friend said she would love to be in my position and have a child and a family life. I was reminded of that today on Radio 4 when a listener said she would give anything to have biscuit crumbs on her carpet rather than a clean and tidy childless home. That made me choke. Not a good thing when you're on the M25.
I know how it feels to long for a child. To try and count the blessings you will have instead of children. The beautiful home free from sticky fingerprints and the expensive holidays instead of day trips to Legoland and Chessington. I also know that I had a career because I didn't have children. I wasn't a 'career woman' out of choice. Hubbie was willing to endure acupuncture in our pursuit of parenthood - he is terrified of needles.
Most importantly that interview reminded me today that I should never forget to be a kind and considerate friend.
I remember how it felt to long for what I now have.