Hair stylists are much more than someone who just cuts your hair. Often times we play the psuedo-therapist. We hear all about your life, family, problems and much more. The problem is when the questions then turn on us. For the most part I try to keep my personal life out of conversations when I am with a client. I ask them questions about themselves and try to learn more about them while keeping myself out of the line of fire. But there is one questions that I can’t seem to avoid. “So do you have kids?”
It must be because people see my wedding ring while they are watching me cut their hair, but that is almost always the first question I get. Now you all know that I have no problem sharing my reproductive woes, hell if you meet me on the street and we strike up a conversation there is a good chance you will hear all about my uterus and it’s inability to procreate. But with this new job I’m trying to give myself a clean slate and of course trying to avoid my clients thinking I’m some psychotic girl who talks about her reproductive organs to strangers, because let’s face it, I want them to keep coming to me so I can make money.
No one at my job knows about our issues, this is the first time in almost 2 years that this has been the case. I haven’t brought up kids, adoption, or anything of the sort to anyone I work with. But that damn questions feels like a punch in the gut every single time. I try to keep it simple by saying “No” or “Not yet”. If they press on I tell them we are thinking about it as if it hasn’t been all of thought about every minute of every day for the last 2 years. They usually ask how long I’ve been married, I tell them and they say something along the lines of “Oh you still have plenty of time” or “Enjoy it while it lasts!”. At this point I have to resist the urge to cut a few special designs of my own making on the back of their scalp.
Again, they don’t know what we’ve gone through, or just how broken of a person I really am. So it isn’t fair to be upset by these comments. It’s more about how I feel like I’m denying that my babies were ever a part of me. I hate acting like they never existed. They did. They are so deeply engraved on my heart that at times I feel as though it is going to burst from missing them so much. I also worry that when we do finally bring a baby into our home that I won’t have enough room in my heart for them. What if part of me will be forever in mourning for the babes that I never got a chance to know? I just hate this. It’s not fair that I don’t get to brag about my babies but instead I hide them away so that I don’t make things “awkward” for people.
National Infertility Awareness Week is coming up April 21st-27th and I for one plan on making a statement about it. Keiko over at The Infertility Voice made some awesome Facebook cover photos to show that infertility is a much bigger problem than most people realize. I will be posting one as well as coming clean about what we have been through. Most of my friends probably know as when we did the fundraiser to help with our adoption we were very honest about everything, however I want to stand up and stop hiding this part of me away. I know there are so many women (and men) out there that are struggling but too afraid to reach out. Instead we remain silent while secretly crying over every pregnancy announcement on Facebook. If I can get even 1 of my fertile friends to maybe second guess posting an ultrasound picture or refrain from posting how hard pregnancy is for them then I will feel as though I accomplished something.
In the mean time, unfortunately, I will have to keep up the facade of “thinking about” starting a family at work. I’m not ready for my co-workers to know about this, especially since I’m still not out of my 90 day probation period and the last thing I need is for them to feel like I’m going to be leaving for maternity leave soon (which is entirely possible). I’ll tell them, but not until our home study is done and I feel a little more secure in my position.
So does anyone have any helpful hints on how I can refrain from balding my clients? Maybe I need anger management classes…