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Avoidance

October 21, 2009

At work.  I was just in the hallway and saw coworker-who-recently-had-a-baby and coworker-who-is-very-pregnant walking together down the hall. These two don’t work together directly. I know what they have in common (pregnancy, babies) and what they talk about.

I didn’t feel like hearing it.

So I smiled and waved, then hopped in the elevator. And, umm, I didn’t hold the elevator door. (But I don’t *know* that they wanted to take the elevator anyway. They may have been, say, walking to the bathroom. Or just taking a stroll through the hallway. And there are plenty of elevators in our office anyway. Right? Right? )

It is part of a trend of avoidance. Coworker-who-recently-had-a-baby used to sit in the cube next to me. It was tough, because she announced her pregnancy just as I was realizing I was dealing with infertility.  The whole office moved cubes, and she no longer sits near me. I don’t chat with her very much anymore.  I think she might wonder why I do not ask her more about her baby — I am, after all, the girl who used to love to share pictures of her baby nephew. Now I am the person who puts her headphones on if baby chatter starts.

I am kind of baby-ed out with friends. I’d rather avoid it at work.

The pregnant coworker had a surprise shower two days ago. I did not go and did not contribute. (Though to be honest, many of my coworkers also did not. Pregnant woman works on a different floor in a different department, so we don’t really know her anyway.)

I feel a little guilty about all of this, though. It’s a thin line between my own self-preservation and rudeness. Not sure if I am balancing on it properly…

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8 comments

  1. I remember that work was my safe haven. I loved going there and forgetting about IF. It would really stink when I would hear pg annoucements either with co-workers or friends that emailed me there. I think it is ok to have a safe haven and to practice self preservation.


  2. I know I worry about that difficult balance too. We can’t be best friends with everyone, and as long as we’re not unkind, I think we’re okay. I now force myself to pray for people right in the moment when I am jealous of their pregnancy. It kind of helps to take the focus off of myself and I find that I move on. That’s when it’s on face.book though. In person might be tougher.


  3. I definitely understand wanting to avoid dealing with pg/baby talk at work. Don’t feel bad just smiling politely and going about your work.


  4. I wish I had a good answer. We all know how difficult it is to walk that line. Just do the best you can.


  5. I think you are doing the right thing in many ways… As long as you are not being rude and you say the polite/nice things, etc…you’re okay. I think it’s unfair to ask us IF’ers to be over zealous or jumping for joy when someone else is having or has had a baby. It’s like showing a starving man food and saying “Look what I have and you can’t have any.” bit….in a way..us IF’ers are starving. hmmmm…I like that analogy. If it helps…remember you are not alone..you have God and all of us blog friends who have been there. 🙂


  6. it’s hard figuring out where the self preservation is perceived wrongly by others.. i’m always going through that too.

    my brother in law and his wife just found out the sex of their baby and planned this huge announcement at a dinner for my husband’s bday with his parents. we asked them if they could tell his parents at a different time, but they already “planned it all” – so i didn’t go.

    i think sometimes you just have to do what is best for you to get you through… you know we are all there with you!


  7. My understanding is that single men have ten seconds’ patience for baby talk (with rare exceptions). So the coworkers learn to keep it professional around them. No reason they can’t do the same with you if you happen not to be interested. Not everybody wants to hear it. In fact, there are lots of topics that only SOME coworkers want to hear about – cat antics, shopping, office gossip, dating escapades. If we’re sane, we all choose our audiences so we’re not cornering people who want to escape. I have never been pregnant, but I am confident that expectant/new mothers can practice this skill also.


  8. Ugh. I am so with you. I just found out about a pregnant co-worker this morning. It’s so depressing to me to think about watching her belly grow all year long. 😦



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