Friday, May 10, 2013

What To Expect When You're Not Expecting

What to Expect When You're Not Expecting (and Never Will)

  1. awkward silence after they ask "how many kids do you have?" (Or other questions where children are assumed to exist in your household)
  2. swallowed tears after they ask "so when are you two having kids?"
  3. or swallowed anger or a sharp retort bursting out of your lips at the same question
  4. the rush of mooshiness (you know that's a word) on seeing a newborn and being glad that the emotion is no longer *really* bittersweet
  5. your pets will become as adored as if they were your flesh and blood children
  6. being able to travel whenever you want - at least until the pets come along...
  7. that one Sunday in the year that is super awkward because you chose to be childless.

Yeah, you heard it right. Chose. 

I did try to get pregnant for a while, but when it got down to fertility drugs and the concept of triplets, well that's when I bailed. The concept of being responsible for one child terrified me. So three?

For a time I tried to get healthier to better my chances of getting pregnant naturally ...

We got older and the window started closing. We were content where we were, despite my occasional maternal urge.

Part of me was relieved: I was convinced I would make a terrible mother and didn't think I could handle it.

Once a year, I'm reminded of that series of decisions. Those decisions were the right ones and I am happy where I am now -- and to be honest, giving thanks that I don't have to figure out where money for college will come from.

But once a year, it feels like the world is telling me I made a bad decision, that I have epically failed my husband, our families, and even God.

Even at my church, where we bend over backwards to include mentors, teachers and mother figures on this Sunday -- and I thank God mothers aren't asked to stand -- it still feels weird to take a flower home unless it's going directly to my mother-in-law. 

I am not a failure. But I have to say, I'm getting pretty tired of being defined by what I do not have on this one day a year.

PS. My husband pointed out on reading this that it was a "we" decision not an "I". Isn't he awesome?

Tentatively linking up with Jennifer Fulwiler's:
7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

and linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory

4 comments:

  1. All I can say is I have three kids and the thought of having three at a time is terrifying at best. Some can handle it--I'd have made the same decision the two of you did.

    As far as blessings, we can all be thankful that you have more time for your art and writing, because we're all beneficiaries of it. You put a lot of love into both and we all know it. So thank you.

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  2. I never did fertility drugs either, for much the same reasons as you. Nice to see I'm not alone. :)

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  3. Mary, I think that's why I wrote it. There's a blog or two circling out there about women who weren't able to have a child but wanted one -- and I know this is a variation on the theme, but an important one.

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  4. Oh Lar, I'm crying so seeing the keys is difficult I think the most important thing is not whether one has children but whether one is loved and I know that you are deeply loved by Dan, his family your church family and us here in Oz. But I understand that once a year pain that you and others share. Love you heaps MUM

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