Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grey hair

Not that long ago, whenever colleagues at work were discussing problems with raising kids they usually commented something like "You will see when you have kids."  I never commented anything, I just smiled (I guess it was either a sad or a bitter smile or both).

This week, two coworkers were discussing how was their night. Both children were vomiting so they slept very badly. One coworker looked at me and said: "We should stop talking about these details, Klara never needs to hear about it, it is boring."

Her comment was so matter of fact. We never discussed anything really personal. But she just said it - between the lines - matter of fact - that I will never have children. Since I am too old to have children. This is absolutely true. But it still hurts to realize that somewhere between waiting for a child that never came I got old.

All coworkers of course know I am over 40. And they see my partially grey hair (somehow I can't decide to start colouring it, perhaps I don't want to look younger than I really am).

There was no malice in my coworkers comment. It stung a bit. But it didn't really hurt. It is what it is.

A day later,  I went with this colleague (32, mother of a 2-year old child) to a business event for two days. We had a lovely time together actually.

Since I was driving this time, I drove her home with company car. She invited me to go to her home to meet her husband and a baby. My first instinct was that I should decline invitation. But somehow that seemed impolite, so I went. I played with her beautiful daughter for ten minutes, it was nice. In the darkest days of infertility I couldn't play with someone else's kid. But now, that I am almost cured, I really know and feel that because what my colleague got (=a picture perfect little kid) I didn't loose anything. There is no such thing as limited number of babies.  But there are something as broken tubes because of swimming in polluted swimming pool in Australia and ovaries that got too old to produce anything.


  1. Dear Klara, I am sorry about that comment. I wish people were more sensitive!
    But I am glad that playing with the baby went fine - it is something we don't take for granted any more after having been through that grief, isn't it?

  2. Self protection is usually always our first thought when faced with invites involving kids.
    It’s a little victory when we can accept an invite without worrying about any fallout.

  3. Ouch! On one hand I'm glad you didn't have to endure the conversation about vomiting kids, but on the other hand the realization that they've given up that you will ever have kids must hurt too.

    Well done on visiting your colleague's daughter! This gives me hope.

  4. These three words - "It was nice" - are so precious, and tell such a story of a painful journey, but one that doesn't last forever.

    I have to say though, that I though that your co-worker at least showed a little sympathy, realising that talking on and on about children isn't always interesting to others. So I think I like her a little. Though "ouch" on the old bit.

    (Also, I can't decide to stop colouring my hair now - I started going grey in my late 20s/early 30s!)

  5. I started going grey early and stopped coloring my hair last year, it is so liberating. It was a big step. No more toxic stuff and no more regular waste of time and money at the hair dresser (maybe if there were silent hair salons I would have kept coloring my hair a few more years). And no more weird looking roots. Granted, nobody mistakes me for a student on campus anymore, but who cares.

    You didn't only get old but pretty wise too. I love the quote "I really know and feel that because what my colleague got, I didn't loose anything." Here it is a picture perfect little kid, but it can be applied to so many other things.

    1. dear Lara, congratulations for the courage for stopping coloring your hair!

  6. I stopped colouring my hair about two years ago too. As Lara said above, I don't miss all the time & expense, and it actually doesn't look that bad, I think. One of my friends calls her grey hairs "wisdom highlights," lol. ;)