- awkward silence after they ask "how many kids do you have?" (Or other questions where children are assumed to exist in your household)
- swallowed tears after they ask "so when are you two having kids?"
- or swallowed anger or a sharp retort bursting out of your lips at the same question
- 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
- your pets will become as adored as if they were your flesh and blood children
- being able to travel whenever you want - at least until the pets come along...
- 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?
PPS. Gorgeous prayer for those of you who are childless for whatever reason (whether you chose to or not)
Tentatively linking up with Jennifer Fulwiler's:
and linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory