This weekend has brought many answers and clarity that I’ve waited for a while to bring. My best friend had some interviews this weekend in my area, and was coming up for the weekend. She brought her baby (who I’ll call JP) along, and needed someone to watch him while she was in the interviews.
When she told me she was coming up for the weekend – I was SO excited. I was thinking girls weekend in the city. I was thinking wine bars, and Taste’s and live music, and staying up until 2 am catching up. Then the day before she came, she told me she was bring JP along too. I must say, i was a bit disheartened. I was in need of a girls weekend. But that’s okay. I was in the room when JP was being born, I went to see him when he was a month old, now that he is 6 months old, it was nice to see him again! I agreed to watch him during the day — it was the first time I’ve actually played “mom”. I haven’t babysat since I was 10, and I’m never really around children because we move so much. So part of me was a bit excited. My husband though, was nervous that I was going to be a train wreck, and go straight to the bank and take out a loan for IVF after holding JP all day. To my surprise, it was not so much the case.
My friend got off the plane a changed women. There was no girly chit-chat. There was no “How have things been?!”. it was business. it was baby. it was sad.
It seemed as though, since she was the one with the baby, that trumped anything that came out of my mouth. All my ideas were second, because she was a mom, and therefor anything we did must be JP friendly too. The entire ride from the airport to the house was all about JP, and the woes in her life.
I stayed home from work that day, so she could go to her interviews and I watched JP. Her husband called me and asked if I was getting baby fever yet (kind of cruel to ask, if you ask me), and oddly enough — I wasn’t. That baby was a lot of work, but so are a lot of things, my husband for instance – but I still love him! I had absolutely no feelings of attachment to this child. I even strapped him into one of those baby-wearing shenanigans so I could have both my hands free while I got caught up on e-mails, house chores ect. We even took a nap together (babies are seriously exhausting) and I thought that I might feel that bond — because who wouldn’t with a precious little infant napping on your chest while you drift off? Me. Not a single feeling of joy. What in the hell is wrong with me? He was adorable, and I played with him, I fed him, sang to him, changed him, and at the end of the day, I still felt nothing. I tried making myself believe he was mine for the day, so that I could truly feel what it would be like – and all I felt was tired and more alone than I had ever been. I felt like I missed my husband more, because I gave all this attention to this child. I missed my dogs, since they were in the backyard all day. I missed my quite-coffee-pinterest time — by mostly I missed my husband.
JP’s mom came home, and we went out to dinner, and I was surprised how unenjoyable it was. she didn’t talk much. She took a LOT of pictures of JP while at dinner, and spent the rest of the night sucked into facebook. What happened? Is this modern-day parenting?
Then the next day, she asks me what I planned on doing with my ‘situation’. I tried explaining that I believe my biological clock has passed. That the times trying for a baby, made my life a living hell, and if something isn’t broke — then why fix it? I told her that nothing felt missing in my life, and that we were actually very happy with our lives. We enjoy the dogs, and moving and traveling, and coffee, and uninterrupted adult time. We enjoy smelling the cool fall air in the morning, and decided to drive to the Mississippi and rent a cabin for a night. I told her “I think we are just going to keep on keeping on, you know?”
No. She didn’t. She told me “There is always adoption”. HEY, all my infertility friends, did you know that if you can’t have your own children, you could adopt?! Why do people bring that up, as if we never considered having children any other way that vaginally? What they don’t consider is the heartbreak of the process along with the expenses and time needed and invested into it. She didn’t understand that we were fine. I told her in a couple years (like 10), if we feel the need to have children, then we would consider that, but right now, we are doing okay.
She kept trying to find a solution for me to have children, as if, it couldn’t be possible for me to be okay, with just the two of us. Can’t it?
My friend had changed. She seemed angry and pissed off at the world. She had distanced herself from real life, and only communicates through facebook. Nothing seemed good enough for her, and it acts like the world owes her.
It’s not that I don’t like children. It’s not one of ‘those’ situations. I want to volunteer at orphanages, and work directly with children — it’s just that that maternal/parenting instinct is gone…..
So why do I feel so guilty for feeling so okay?