On a semi-regular, if not daily basis, I find myself scrolling through the checklist above in my head …as if somehow by thinking about and/or stating only the negative attributes that children bring to a couple’s life eases the harsh reality that I, indeed, did not get to decide that I wanted a life without children but rather, the decision was made for me.
And mostly, this tactic works. Mostly, I am happy. Mostly we are happy. Mostly I love our life and I love our freedom. But once in a while emotion punches logic straight in the mouth, calls it a fool and wrecks havoc on my otherwise orderly anti-kid thoughts.
At this point in my process of acceptance, 4+ years after we decided we wanted to have a kid, the emotion is less one of sadness and more of just flat disappointment. And this disappointment makes itself abundantly clear when in the presence of a small child or maybe hearing the news of another pregnancy and in some cases, the news of an unwanted pregnancy. Seeing mothers take what they have for granted when so many other women would give their left arm to have it, is disappointing.
You know when you save and save and save for something and by the time you finally can afford to buy it, it means so much more to you than say, something that was just handed to you? You hold it dear, cherish it and take better care of it. It’s along those lines.
I guess my daily “I’m so glad we never had kids” statements are a way to somehow trick my psyche into believing that it was my choice, that it is my choice.
We sat in the sun in the backyard and pulled flowers off of Delilah’s little feet every 20 seconds when she stepped on one. We watched her walk in circles around the picnic blanket we were sitting on. We answered all of her “what is da?” questions with excitement and willingness and eventually went inside, making our way into Delilah’s room. Three girls in one room naturally led to a few outfit changes, which Delilah was fully on board for.
I started “styling” Delilah, asking my mom for specifics and wondering what shoes she had with her when mom pulled out this little leather patchwork purse that was hers when she was a child and then gave to me when I was a little girl to play with. When she pulled it out and handed it to Delilah I had an inner impulse to grab it like a child and say “That’s mine!” …which obviously, I did not release. Out of nowhere emotion punched me in the mouth and memories of my mom saying that she would save it for my little girl to play with in the future washed over me. The disappointment of the reality set in: I don’t have a little girl and I never will. But I kept it all to myself in fear of making my mom cry …and in fear of crying myself. I was okay.
Here I thought I was okay. Here I thought I had accepted my life situation and moved on. I have very much realized I am more than just “infertile” …haven’t I? I surely have more to offer the world than children alone. But obviously I am still very much on the journey of acceptance and not on the other side of it …yet. And the question begs, Will I ever be on the other side of it? I thought I had come so far, yet it returns.
On most days, my tough, nothing gets to me attitude prevails & my checklist is on hand to back me up but this particular day I came home just a little quieter. Shoulders a little lower. Knowing again that I am not part of the “mommy world” is disappointing, on many levels, but it won’t keep me from spending time with these two cuties any less. At least I have this time with my niece to maybe make up for something else that’s lost.
I’ll be 35 this year. I thought I’d have at least 2 kids in tow by now. Obviously we have thoughts and dreams of how our life is going to turn out & are rudely awakened in adulthood when it’s not all tiaras and fairytales. But also, what did we know when we dreamed those dreams for our future selves? How much do we know about life when we are 9 or 13 or even 23? Nothing really. Nothing in comparison to how life really is …to how our lives really unfold and reveal themselves. Sure many people grow up and do what they’re “supposed to do” and from the outside it all looks like it’s going exactly as planned but rarely do I see truly happy people as a result of succombing to societal pressures.
My husband and I are happy. We have made a relatively stress-free life for ourselves and we enjoy it thoroughly. We like it this way. We didn’t follow any rules or stick to any “supposed to’s” that didn’t fit into what we thought was smart for us. And I’m okay with not following the rules because there are no set rules, this is OUR life.
But still …no matter how logical it all seems to be okay with NOT having kids, I can’t control the emotions that sometimes arise from the idea that I’ll never get to see this on a regular basis. And that’s disappointing.
* I know this isn’t a great Happy Friday post but I get so many emails from women going through similar situations that I thought I’d take a minute to update where I am in the process of acceptance. This if for those of you dealing with the same life situation at the moment. You will find peace with it someday …at least parts of it, on some days. Advice: keep very busy with something else you are passionate about. Your life will fall into place.