“Human beings are in some ways like bees,” Professor Haidt said. “We evolved to live in intensely social groups, and we don’t do as well when freed from hives...one thing that can make a lasting difference to your contentment is to work with others on a cause larger than yourself."Professor Haidt has a point. This email, which arrived earlier today, brought some happiness with it:
"Your book (Silent Sorority) was my voice. I was shocked to find women like me—-feeling what I feel, saying what I said and crying like I had cried. I had been so wrapped up in my lonely world—I didn't realize there were so many women out there like me! I belonged to a group—-it was uplifting and even empowering. After reading your book, I began to heal. And that is when happiness started to fill my mind, my spirit, my heart and my soul. I am healed? Not yet—-but I am closer than I have ever been! So, I look forward to your new blog—where we can share happiness in our lives instead of the sadness!"So, as I bid farewell to Coming2Terms it seemed fitting to leave as the last post one that I wrote six months ago in my first attempt to close the door and open a window: Barren Doesn't Mean Empty.
"I'm curious to know how you would respond to those who offer over-the-top pity. I know a woman who dramatically talks about our 'empty arms' and repeatedly says how her heart aches so deeply for us.She did a blog entry about us: 'I weep knowing how hard they have tried to have a baby and still have empty arms.' I can't pinpoint why, but her words turn my stomach inside out. Short of avoiding her, I'd like to know a good way to respond to such extreme comments while remaining poised. Often these comments are presented in person and as you may know, it's sure hard to think on your feet when you have to respond in the moment."I can so totally relate to that uncomfortable feeling. My response would likely be an extension of Barbara's answer ... "We're trying to move beyond sadness to acceptance. While I appreciate your deep sense of the loss involved it isn't helpful to be reminded of the pain."
"Women face enough pressures and challenges in a workplace that is still depressingly biased against a female's success. Add to that, the fact that the very thing many women I know find most rewarding (having kids) is now frowned upon."Having kids is now frowned upon? Mika, you must be seriously distracted to have missed out of the whole mommy movement. Just check out Mom's Rising or Mom 2.0 Summit or the Motherhood Project or Maria Shriver's latest report, A Woman's Nation Changes Everything. As Melanie Notkin points out in her editor's note on Savvy Auntie the report weirdly overlooked the fact that not all women are mothers:
"The study, meant to change the way government policy and businesses modernize with the new standing of women in the economy - a change I completely support - interchanges the word "woman" with "mother" so often it's as if all women are mothers."... << MORE >>
"I've been having a rough go of it lately and have been pretty messed up.It's kind of the kick off of the fun family/kid centric holiday season and I know it's always really hard for me. Something you wrote about in your book and talk about at times is an issue that I'm dealing with. How did you move beyond the resentment of people who do have children? I absolutely hate feeling this way. I'm even starting to resent my dr. and therapist, not good. I just see everyone with kids as having something I can't, won't. On some level, I understand it is the way it is supposed to be. On the other hand, I just want to isolate myself from all those with kids. So frustrating,and impossible too! Does it just fade away?"... << MORE >>
Constance? Earnest? Stalwart? Fred?
Editor's Note: You can read more of my latest Barren Not Beaten column at Fertility Authority.