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How to Cope While TTC (Or Not!)

August 19th, 2013 | 3 min. read

By Gay Parenting Team


There are certain times of year that LGBTQ singles or couples may be more aware of their family status, especially if they're considering a future with children. Holidays can be difficult, if your nosy aunt keeps asking, "When are you going to have kids?" after dinner. Back to school time may also bring this topic to mind. Not only is this time rich with a feeling of new beginnings, but seeing friends post social media photos with their little ones getting on the bus for the first time can leave you asking, "When will it be my time to build my family?" Read more to hear how some Gay Parent To Be cope with back to school while TTC, or thinking about building a family.

Like many women in their mid-30s, Rachel struggles with becoming a parent. She’s waiting for the right partner, juggling a career and grad school, and worried about finances. A lesbian, she’ll need to use IVF, insemination or adoption to have a child.

Those issues weigh heavily on her, every day. But they’re compounded each year at this time. It’s back-to-school season, and reminders that her peers are already parents of school-age children pop up everywhere.

Back-to-School can be a hard time for lesbian or gay parents trying to conceive

“It’s hardest seeing friends my age with 5- and 6-year-olds,” Rachel says. “Going to school is a milestone in their lives. My college roommate posted 11 pictures on Facebook the first day of first grade. She should – it’s big. But it’s a huge smack in the face of what people my age are doing. I’m like, ‘Whoa! That’s what I should be doing too. I’m really behind the clock.’”

A variety of emotions wash over Rachel when she is reminded that her peers’ children are growing up. She gets frustrated. She cries. But, she says, “there’s also the realization that everyone has their own path.”

Most of her friends with going-off-to-school kids are straight. Only one woman in her LGBT circle has had a baby. So, Rachel says, “I’m realizing that the paths for straight people and lesbians are different, in terms of timing.”

Fortunately, she notes, “I’ve always been very open to alternative paths of adoption.” So when she got the news recently that she has PCOS – making pregnancy more difficult – she saw it as “a setback, but not the end.”

Rachel says, “I didn’t think I’d be in this place at 35, but here I am. I have to make the best of my situation. I know I will become a parent. I just don’t know how right now. I read blogs, books and everything else you can imagine about adoption, artificial insemination and issues related to parenting. Hearing about other people’s kids is hard. This has been a long journey, and I know it will continue to be. But I also know it’s not an option for me to not be a mom someday. I’ll get there.”

LGBTQ Parents' Feelings while TTC

Rachel is not alone. A reader who requested anonymity says, “My partner and I feel that any child-oriented milestone – holidays, birthdays, back to school – is a time for wondering if we will ever experience this with our own kids. We’ve been trying to conceive for two years. You’d think that each time we wait for the 14-day window it would become easier. But it doesn’t.”

Yet this woman does not view back-to-school advertising as insensitive to anyone without children. “It’s part of society,” she acknowledges. “It happens every year.”

She would love to be part of the back-to-school activity. Instead, she takes the perspective of “sharing in the excitement about education. That’s important for everyone.”

At the same time, she remains excited at the prospect that one day she too will spend August buying supplies, getting clothes, and waving goodbye as her child’s school bus pulls away for the first time.

If you're wondering about your own potential paths to parenthood, read more here about adoption, insemination, or even surrogacy - your future family is within reach! 

Gay Parenting Team

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