Wednesday, June 9, 2010

If You Know, You Know

I am completely aware that this post is not meant for everyone, so feel free to just stop reading if you're a little sick of me talking about babies (at least 90% of you.) But that's what I'm feeling at the moment and that's what I'm going to write about. There's your get out of jail free card.

Also, you should know that I'm actually in a good place this week emotionally. A place I can't confidently say I've been over the past few weeks, but I'm here now - I feel healthy and relatively stable - and that feels good and it feels like relief and it feels like hope.

So this is where I am now: August marks the one year "anniversary" of when Dave and I decided to try to get pregnant. In the scheme of things, one year isn't much, and I know that. But what one year means to me is that some hovering date I was given by my doctor is just about here and we are encouraged to "investigate" any issues Dave and I may have because pregnancy hasn't happened yet. So, seeing that close approaching is scary and it's sort of overwhelming my life.

But before all of that is today. And today I have seen about 7000 examples of super sappy mommy talk. If you want babies - YOU KNOW what I'm talking about. There are several types of sappy mommy talk. There are the really annoying examples. Mom's who are really into letting everyone know how their lives are so much better because of their children, their kids are the sweetest and the cutest and the most snuggly and even when they're in trouble it's really no trouble because life is beautiful with their babies in their arms. It hurts me to hear those comments. Maybe you just happened to get pregnant during the same month I decided to try to get pregnant, and maybe you didn't realize that your brand new soft and perfect baby is just a reminder to me that maybe something is wrong with me.

Another example of sappy mommy talk: cute stories. These are honest and a much sneakier way of making those of us without kids feel badly. Moms don't mean to do it. I don't even want them to stop doing it. I really like hearing stories about how kids figured out how to shoot beads out of their nose, or how they ate an entire box of Oreo cookies while mama was in the shower, or how they somehow misunderstood the meaning of a word that turned into something really embarrassing in public. I really love hearing that stuff. Just not today.

But the very worst kind of mommy talk, for me, is the mom who just wants to complain about her children all day every day. How much she doesn't get a break. How the kids don't listen or how getting in the car is so much harder with kids. I understand that it's not okay to say to someone, "fine - if you don't want your kid, give it to me." That doesn't normally work out. We have all either experienced first hand, or heard MANY TIMES PLEASE DON'T SAY IT TO ME AGAIN that raising children is really hard work. Think about it... is there ever a moment in life that telling someone who has yet to experience something is just as eye-opening as someone actually experiencing something? We're not going to get that it's hard until we do it. You know that more than we do. So why keep telling us? Maybe you didn't mean to have kids and you were thrown into motherhood. Maybe your children really, honestly are hard work. Maybe I understand more than you know that not taking care of yourself before you take care of others is hard on a soul. Obviously I know that ranting sometimes feels really good at the moment, but I also know that it doesn't accomplish a thing. But I'm still totally going to publish this blog post.

I don't want to be that girl who nobody can be around because they're not sure what's allowed or what's totally off limits and may make her cry or make her super uncomfortable. I really am NOT that girl most of the time, I hope. Can someone vouch for me? I don't want you to be afraid to talk to me. Because 98% of the time, I want to hear about your kid and about your life and about your honest feelings. But sometimes... like today... everything baby or child related that I see or hear makes me sad or angry or jealous. Even if I'm in an otherwise healthy emotional state.


Angie Fenton said...

First off, I just want to say how much I LOVE reading your blogs! They are inspiring, informative, beautiful and today especially very REAL. I was reminded of the movie "Hook" when I was reading your post. It's the scene when Moira throws Peter's cell phone out the window and says, "I hated the deal, but I'm sorry you feel so badly about it. Your children love you, they want to play with you. How long do you think that lasts? Soon Jack may not even want you to come to his games. We have a few special years with our children, when they're the ones that want us around. After that you're going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It's so fast Peter. It's a few years, and it's over. And you are not being careful. And you are missing it." I looked up that quote as to make sure I didn't misquote it. It's such a pivotal point of the movie, every parent needs to sit down and watch that movie again and appreciate the joy and fascination of being a child. Sit down and play with them, enjoy every moment because once the moment is gone, you don't get it back again.

Melody said...

Hey Steph--I totally get this. I am definitely NOT trying to have a baby, but my mom tried for like 5 years (and sadly lost some of my possible siblings along the way) and it's something that I feel really built her personality. Eventually she ended up with three slightly troublesome children, but she was married to my dad for 7 years before they had any. She is really different from most mothers--she isn't much of a hugger or anything, but she shows love in totally genuine and real ways. She got pregnant with me when they were in the process of applying for an adoption and they were already foster parents. She was 30. Even though she rarely says I love you and she almost never hugs, she is really a totally devoted and supportive mother. She treats me and my brothers like we are valuable individuals, and it is her honor and responsibility to make sure we succeed. It makes me feel like I have to do really well in life to be worthy of being her child.

Also, it isn't just that she tried for 7 years.. it's that she had 7 precious years alone with my father. He died when I was 14, so 1/3 of their marriage was totally childless.

While I desperately hope nothing like that happens to you, I really value that time for my mom. My parents were awesome. They traveled all over the country, grew a huge garden, remodeled a house, and helped direct a youth group. None of that would have been possible if they were parenting and working full-time.

So, while I totally hope you can have a kid soon if that is what you want, I hope you really value this time with your husband. I know you married young, but you still have a lot of years ahead of you. And sure, a child would stir things up a bit, but until that happens, treasure all your time together. Without kids.

Because kids change everything. Maybe that's good, but it is definitely a sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Right on, girl. I hear ya. I hate it when new parents who know that we have been trying for going on 3 years say stuff like "If you just stop thinking about getting pregnant, then you will." What an idiotic thing to say! And how are you just supposed to stop dead in your tracks thinking about something that you have been dreaming about for so long. Sounds like I'm ranting, too ;) If you ever feel like venting about the process, call me. We can vent together. - Nicole Gray

The Hagens said...

I hear your heart, Steph. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you guys while you wait on His timing in this. Asking for HIS peace to fill your hearts, especially on the hard days. Love you!