A Teacher without a Child

My Story
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a secretary, architect or teacher, and I always thought I'd be a mom. I often played family with friends and dolls (when I wasn't reading). My guess was that I'd have a few children (when I was pretty young, I wanted four). 

As I went through my teen years and into college, I didn't date or have a boyfriend until my sophomore year of college. After college, I became a teacher's aide, then a second grade teacher and I quickly found out it was tough to meet guys as an elementary school teacher.  In the very early days of online dating, I gave it a try (before Match.com!) I met someone in my mid-twenties and we dated for a year; however, it did not work out. I was busy with teaching, but still hoped to find the right guy and was still pretty positive I would and I'd be a mom. 

In my mid-thirties, I dated someone for four years but things ended unexpectedly.
At that point,  I was about to turn 39 and determined to meet someone great. I tried online dating again. After that, I was frustrated and started to realize I might not meet someone right for me anytime soon.
The Decision
After I turned 40,  I spent a long time thinking it over, and decided to start looking into becoming a mom on my own. I didn't tell anyone until I had more information, and went through many medical tests and procedures. In my state, insurance does not cover the first six months of treatments unless you are married. Therefore, I  spent most of my saved money and some more.  After almost two years, the realization came that it was not going to happen.

Meanwhile, my cousin had been a foster parent in Massachusetts and I talked with her about it a lot. I decided to look into foster parenting in my state. I took and completed all the required classes,  and was almost done with the process. Before I proceeded I decided to take a serious look at finances. The state provided foster parents with a $16 a day stipend.  When I looked reality in the face, I realized there was no way, having drained my savings and being on a tight budget as a teacher (still paying off student loans), that I could not afford to host a foster child who needed all day daycare while I was at work or before and after school care for a school age child. If I was in  another state, I would be getting a much larger stipend and perhaps be able to take a child in; however, the small stipend in my state meant it would maybe cover formula or food, but not diapers and certainly not daycare. I had to resign myself that I could not continue the process.
Being a Teacher without a Child
How does it feel to be a teacher without a child? So many different feelings! I still feel sadness that I won't get to experience the joy of a child growing and learning in my family. I have children's books I collected at home that are still sitting on the shelves. I collected a few stuffed animals and a baby hat but I donated the stuffed animals to Toys for Tots. With that being said, I have made some peace with this. 

Sometimes to be honest, I have feelings of relief when I get to leave to head to a quiet home after a challenging day at school. I appreciate my independence and the flexibility that comes with being able to make my own choices. I am so glad I have time to write posts blog and create curriculum that helps and supports so many teachers and students. It's a little funny to me when parents ask me for advice about their child's behavior at home or homework routines. I wonder if they assume I am a parent too, because most elementary teachers have children. I can only advise them based on what works at school and I let them know that.

My life has led me in a different direction then I thought in some ways. Overall, I feel like I am okay with it not but sometimes I am still in disbelief that I am single and childless. It's a road less traveled perhaps, but one in which I am finding contentment.

My Saint Bernard "baby", Archie, who I got in 2017!







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    3 comments:

    1. Bex, This is beautiful! Thank you for writing such a thoughful, heartfelt blog.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Thank you so much for this post! It speaks so much to my heart! I am 32 and single and feel this way daily. Thank you for sharing!

      ReplyDelete