I work for a pretty small company, maybe 110 employees total. We are a small tight-knit group but most of them do not know our struggles in trying to start a family. My boss is one of few there that know. At first I kept from him what we were going through, it was personal and I didn’t want to share that burden with anyone that I wasn’t sure would understand. As time went on, and I needed to make doctor appointments more frequently, he asked me if everything was okay. I hesitated, but told him what we were going through and to my surprise he offered to pray for us. He told me that whatever I needed to do to alter my schedule to make an appointment, to do it. As time passes, and doctor appointments come and go, he doesn’t ask many questions, but ever so often will reach out to see if he can do anything to help, or if we have any good news to share yet.
One of our contracted partners recently returned from medical leave. When she works in our office her desk is on the other side of my managers cubicle. I was working with him on some internal auditing today (my favorite! – no really it is!) and overheard her talking to some others about the struggles she is facing in adjusting to a new baby at home. I kept about my business and tuned her out. Gathering my things to head back to my office, I turned the corner and almost ran right into her. She and I exchanged small talk and I asked her how her little one was doing. (it is the polite thing to do) She went on to tell me that her nights are exhausting with very little sleep, and her days are filled with a baby who cries on end. On and on it went, one complaint after another.
Part of me empathized for her – I am sure that bringing home a new baby is quite an adjustment – there is no arguing that, but the other part of me yearned to be in her position. To wake in the middle of the night to my son or daughter, to hold him or her while they cried, and rock them back to the comfort peaceful sleep they need. To do anything that they needed – what I wouldn’t give ..
I offered my words to her wishing her well over the weeks to come, that it would get easier for her as she found her way through the new journey of motherhood to which she responded “Be glad you don’t have kids!” She turned to walk away, and I thought to myself “If you only knew..”
What I didn’t know was that my boss had made his way back into his cubicle and overheard the conversation. As I settled into my desk I started typing away feverishly turning angry at the conversation I just had. I didn’t hear the footsteps behind me as my boss approached and said to me “You will be a Mother someday, I just know it, and the difference is, you will appreciate him or her in a way that she’ll never understand.”