The other day, those words (Great Trips, No Kids) was how I summed up in an email to a friend. I was trying to be light-hearted and breezy about it, because it is what it is. I wasn’t sure about putting a blog post on this topic, but I decided to do so for a few reasons. First, not many people read this blog, so I am not afraid about it ending up on Oprah or something subject to scrutiny from a larger audience. Second, I view it as highly inpolite for anyone to ask another person about their pregnancy status or why their family situation is what it is with regard to children. However, I am sure that loved ones who read this blog wonder but wouldn’t ask (as the people whom I love generally pass the politeness test, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t love them as much). Finally, I have felt this need to talk about it, but being a sensitive issue, it makes verbal communication incredibly difficult for me. So, the fall back for me is always writing.
I am of the age that every other week (and in some months, every other day) a friend or acquaintance of mine is giving birth. I spend a good portion of time every week trying to decide on baby gifts for family and friends. I am so happy for all of those friends and family members, because I know what wonderful parents they will be and it makes me very happy to think that with so much to dislike about the world, I can hope that there will always be a rising generation of people who have been taught about making this world a better place. But at the same time, I am not going to lie, sometimes there is a twinge of self-pity, feeling like the closest I may ever get to parenthood is successfully raising a well-adjusted, friendly dog (even if he doesn’t manage to ever emerge from his oral-fixation state, somewhat mimicking his human Mama).
To some people in my life, I think they might look facts like that we like to travel, we both work alot and care about our jobs, or the fact that I have a wonderful puppy that I treat like our child as excuses that I have to keep me from having a child. Some people may look at those things and then assume they must translate into a reality that I have little interest in motherhood. Particularly, I know that some people within my faith tradition might view things that way (Fortunately, I couldn’t at present be in a better congregation whose members never make judgments about the family situations of others). But I have to state unequivocally, that although I love the opportunity to travel , relax, and enjoy and learn about other parts of the world; have a job that I generally enjoy; and have a puppy who makes every day of my life better, I view none of the above as a substitute for the ability to be a mother. And on some days, I just feel sad that I haven’t yet had the chance to be a mother. Some days I feel so sad in fact, that I have to think about planning a trip, or working particularly hard, or playing extra hard with Knightley to try to mask those feelings born of a consciousness that I am getting older and I read an article last week about how by the age of thirty, women, on average, have lost ninety percent of their eggs.
I know that these feelings are not uniquely held by me and that other women feel this pain too because we do have this hormonal, instinctual drive to want to nurture. So, it is probably selfish of me to even allow myself to give in to this sort of self-pity. But as I said, on some days, as happy as I am for everyone else and their beautiful children, I secretly fear that I may never know those experiences myself.
P.S. – Nothing in this blog post is at all meant to detract from how excited I am to be an aunt when Melissa has the baby! She and Jordan are going to be fantastic parents, and since my sisters are my best friends, I just cannot wait.