The Awkwardness of Being the Only Person Without a Kid
For now, I guess I’ll just have to continue being the odd man out until I finally become a parent myself
There’s nothing more awkward than being the odd man (or woman) out, especially when it comes to the workplace.
I’ve always thought of the workplace as an adult version of a high school cafeteria. You’ve got the popular kids, the smart kids, the wallflowers, etc. However, when it comes to work, we can’t choose who we work with. And because of that, we have to endure a decent amount of small talk throughout the work day.
If you’re in an office environment, some would refer to this type of small talk as “water cooler talk”, but ever since the pandemic, water cooler talk now happens over video calls, which — for those of you who know — can be extremely uncomfortable at times.
When we’re constantly on video calls, being our fully authentic self can be a bit tricky due to the lack of face to face interaction. And some of us like to keep our work life and personal life completely separate from each other, so small talk becomes even smaller. However, after the past few years of living through a pandemic, there’s been a tremendous amount of overlap between our work life and home life that’s somewhat inevitable.
We’ve gotten a better glimpse into the lives of our colleagues and even the lives of our clients (for those of us who work in a sales-related field) since the pandemic hit. And if there’s one thing that I’ve learned about people during this time, it’s that those who are parents — especially new parents — absolutely love talking about their kids so much to the point where they can’t help but talk about them during those moments of small talk.
Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing about colleagues’ kids and I do love kids myself. I even still babysit to this day despite being married, nearly in my mid-thirties, and actively thinking of starting a family. However, it’s a little difficult to relate to being a parent when you aren’t yet a parent yourself. And I’m sure it’s even more painful to relate if you’re someone who’s having a hard time conceiving, can’t conceive, or doesn’t want kids at all.