Thursday, August 13, 2009

Survival Skills

Over the years... I've come to realize that it can be incredibly difficult to be a younger couple in a church with no children. When you are a couple that WANTS children - it is much more difficult... but if you don't want them - it's just annoying. One night after a small group meeting, one of our friends sent me a blog post from Stuff Christians Like that is so incredibly true - it actually made me laugh.

I'm going to quote it here, and then tell you all of these that have happened to me over the years...

Surviving Church as a MCWOK: Married Couple Without Kids

1. If you’ve been told “It will happen someday.” = +2 points (+10 bonus points if the person touches your face while speaking these words.)

Oh, I can't even count the number of times this has been said to me... in my head I'm usually thinking "yeah, and I'll pass away someday too..." depending on my hormones at the time.

2. If you’ve ever been told to “Just relax,” or “It will happen when you stop trying,” which is not physically possible. = +2 points

This comment usually goes hand in hand with the insinuation that you don't pray hard enough... but yes... I've heard this one in just about every aspect of my life - not just at church.

3. If you’ve ever been asked to “volunteer” in the nursery on Mother’s Day so the scheduled worker can enjoy the service. = +3 points

Countless times - and it always shocks me. It shouldn't, but just about everyone at our church knows about the fertility treatments and all of that business... but they still spring this on me. Even this weekend... I'll be working the nursery so that the "parents" can attend a meeting about our children's ministry.

4. If friends with kids invite you over and you wind up babysitting their kids the whole time. = +1 point

This has happened, but at the same time - I tend to gravitate toward younger kids... so I don't know that this would be any one's fault. It just is.

5. If friends offer to let you spend time with their kids for some “family time” or to get your “kid fix.” = +2 points

Of course this has happened - or my personal favorite "to try out life with kids." Yes, I've spent plenty of time with kids... and NO, I don't want to go from having no kids to "testing" out elementary aged ones. I'd like to enter into it with the infant and work up to that.

6. If people offer to give you their kids if you want some so badly. = +3 points

People will say to me all the time that if I want them so badly - I could take theirs home and try them out for a while. Honestly, I don't want to deal with their kids issues... I want to create my own kid with issues of their own!

7. If you can’t attend a church potluck without being asked about your sex life and/or personal doctor visits. = +3 points

This hasn't happened as much in a long time - because most people that want to know such things read this blog and know without having to ask... which is better. I'd much rather you read it on your own than have me try to explain it to you at a church event.

8. If friends tell you that spending time with their misbehaving kids will change your mind about wanting your own. = +1 point

Again, I want to tell them that I'd like to mess up my own kids!

9. If you find you’d rather skip the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/Sermon series on the family services at church. = +2 points


10. If the term “family” at your church always refers to Mom+Dad+Kids. = +2 points

Every week when I look at the program... this crosses my mind. There are always photos of families with kids... and then the older grandparent type couples without kids... but never is there a photo of a young couple without kids.

11. If it is suggested that if you prayed hard enough or had enough faith, you’d have children. = +3 points

I guess it's wrong that this always makes me want to reach out and put a choke hold on their neck... but it has happened.

12. If you’ve ever been told that you are so “lucky” because you can go on vacations, go see movies at the theater, or sleep late. = +3 points

Riiiiight... lucky... the thing is, we don't do any of those things...

13. If you’ve been told that you should really enjoy your road trip because “at least you don’t have kids to entertain in the car.” = +1 point

Ok, for starters - every single one of those people that say that have one of those DVD players in the car... so how much actual active entertaining are they doing?! To me, part of the fun of a road trip is to teach kids the games and things that entertained you BEFORE the DVD players came into the world. Can I get an Amen for "The Alphabet Game", "I Spy" or "The License Plate Game"??

14. If you’ve heard countless stories of people who have adopted babies and then miraculously gotten pregnant. = +2 points for every occasion

Yeah, been there... heard that story. Amazingly enough, that is exactly what happened with John's parents... but that was a different time and adoption isn't as easy as people might think. We are certainly open to adoption - I think that is an incredible gift that someone can give a couple that wants to raise a child... I can't imagine anything more loving and selfless than giving the gift of life to someone and loving them enough to give them a better life.

15. If you’ve been asked “Why don’t you just adopt?” (As if the decision is as easy as picking out a new toothbrush.) = +3 points

Yep... and we've considered it, but would like to exhaust our natural options first... thankyouverymuch.

16. If it is assumed that you will work VBS every year because you “love being with kids so much” and probably have nothing else going on. = +1 point for every year you have worked VBS

Thank goodness for having a job... because my time off of work is very valuable... and I wouldn't consider taking 1/2 of my annual vacation time to spend doing VBS... I'd be more likely to use 1/2 of my vacation time for the year doing a mission trip.

17. If people assume that you sleep until noon every day. = +2 points

Yeah - not since 1998! I feel completely robbed if I get up after 8 on a weekend... I mean seriously weekends go fast enough... I almost hate napping for that reason, but then again at this point - I can't stop my body from falling asleep when it needs to.

18. If you tell people you are a homemaker and the first question they ask is “How many kids do you have?” = +1 point

Ahhhh... one that hasn't happened - because I've never been a homemaker. I have however had the "how many kids do you have?" question be the very first thing that is asked when meeting me... which I think is completely odd and way too personal.

19. If it has ever been suggested that you aren’t as “blessed” as others just because you don’t have children. = +3 points

I don't know that anyone has ever come out and said that - but I have felt that way...

20. If you have had people tell you about dreams and visions they’ve had of your future children. = +2 points for dreams; +3 points for visions

Yes, my cleaning lady has done it too.

21. If your “personal prayer request” about trying to have a baby gets printed on paper and put in the hands of every person in attendance at your church that day. = +10 points

This hasn't happened... but we don't do printed prayer requests. I think if I were a more private person - this might be offensive... but I put my personal prayer requests out on the internet all the time... so this one wouldn't bother me in the least.

22. If friends with kids eventually stop wanting to hang out with you because you’ve declined going with them to play dates a few too many times and you find out they would rather hang out with the new couple with young kids because they “understand what it’s like.” = +3 points

I'm not sure if this has happened... but we do get excluded from parties and things because of lack of children. It all correlates to the type of relationship you have with the parents though... there are people that think to include us because we have a relationship with the children, but others don't even think about it.

23. You can’t hold someone else’s baby at church without hearing “When are you going to get one of those?” or “That looks really good on you!” = +1 point

If I had a dollar for all the times... I could afford IVF already.

24. You’ve been told that you HAVE to watch the movie Facing the Giants. (Because, you know, it’s not just about facing “giants” in football…) = +2 points; +3 points if they tell you that the coach’s wife has a baby at the end

I have seen the movie, but no one has told me to watch it for that reason. I think that would invoke one of my classic looks of disgust - most people can read every thought and emotion that passes through my head... so they'd know that their comment was not well received.

25. Someone has ever asked you about your fertility during Meet & Greet time at a Sunday morning service. = +1 point; +2 points if yelled across more than 2 rows of people

Updates on doctors appointments and the like... yes... but that's okay. Sometimes, it's just nice to know they care. It's just shocking when those very people turn around and ask you do to #3!

Your Score:
0-30 That’s okay, you’re still young. Just keep trying!
31-60 You’re not quite there yet. Have you considered other options?
61+ You’re an overachiever! The world would benefit greatly if you procreated!

I do hope that you found that a little humorous - because I certainly was able to laugh about it. Some days are better than others, but overall I think sometimes people just lack the proper "edit" feature on their thoughts and words.


  1. No 15. is the WORST. I makes me feel rage in the worst way ever.

    I love you.

  2. Oh my - this is the most perfect questionnaire! It certainly made me giggle, but also cringe a lot....I guess the perfectionist in me should be glad I got such a high score!!!!

  3. I thankfully was able to get "lost" at my giant church before BB, so I was able to miss a lot of those hurts. Some of them, though, I do remember and it is still painful to think about those days. You continue to be in my prayers.

  4. Ya know...while this strikes an obvious nerve for those struggling with TTC, if you are childless PERIOD, you're a target.

    Which makes me think, man, if/when God decides to bless us with a child, I PRAY I never take my child for granted. Questions like this make me feel that people do just that; like a child is a given. If you are married, you'll have one. NOT!!! I'm sure people don't mean to be INCONSIDERATE, but sometimes it seems like they certainly don't try to be CONSIDERATE.

  5. One of the reasons we left the Young Married Adult Sunday School department in favor of a "mixed" group at our church was because of the constant uncomfortableness and pressure of not having any kids. We got tired of the questions and comments. I agree, #15 is the worst. (Not that there's anything wrong with adoption...quite the contrary...someone who desperately wants to get pregnant just doesn't want to hear that.)

    Anyway, moving to a different department ended up being a HUGE blessing, so good came out of it!

  6. Oooh...number 19 makes me so angry. A couple we thought were good friends (who were totally aware of our situation) sent us a Christmas card covered with photos of their new baby, along with the ever-so-thoughtfully-chosen note, "Children are a gift from God." I bawled when I opened it. (Christmas - hard anyway, you know?) C actually called them about it, and told them that it is not okay to send stuff like that to us. I wish people would think before they do stupid things!!

  7. I didn't really have to deal with very much of that when we were TTC. With our first we were new to the church (actually church hopping) so we didn't get very much of that at all. I think maybe people thought we were newlyweds.

    With our second, occasionally someone would ask when we were having another. But we only tried for a year and a half.

    I guess that is one of the benefits of being painfully shy, people think you are stand-off-ish and are less likely to ask painful questions.


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