Sunday, March 8, 2009

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

If you go out in public--especially to places that are "kid friendly"--it's inevitable that you will see babies, toddlers, and pregnant women. It's also not surprising that, at nearly 38 years of age, the vast majority of my friends and acquaintances already have children.

Separate and apart from our current situation, I just genuinely know LOTS and LOTS of people who have had babies in the past two or three years. Truly. A few months ago, a friend and I made a list of law school classmates who had had babies in the past two years.Every one of those women was a first-time mom. The list topped 15 at that time, and I have learned of a few other people since that time who have babies under age 2. That doesn't even include coworkers, friends of mine who aren't lawyers, my sister, and members of my own extended family. I would say that I am on a first-name basis with roughly 30 women who've given birth in the past three years. . . . some of them twice during that time frame. (Either twins or two children in the past three years.)

Add to this fact the seemingly inescapable phenomenon that someone struggling to get pregnant is bound to notice more babies and pregnant women, and it seems that everyone around me has what I want and cannot have. Anything is like this, I do realize. As one example, when I was on the waiting list to buy a Toyota Prius a few years back, it seemed like every fourth car on the road was a Prius. LOL

I am very thankful that I have not yet reached a point where I cannot be happy for other people who have babies. We had dinner last night with a good friend of mine who has a 7-week-old son who came along. Today I bumped into a friend from law school at a car dealership with her 5-month-old daughter, and it was a lot of fun to hold the baby and make her laugh. I do fear, though, that if we continue to struggle--and especially if we are never successful in our conception efforts, with or without intervention--that I will eventually reach that point of bitterness even toward people who I know are good and loving parents. . . . simply because they have something I don't have.

At some points today during a visit to the local botanical garden with my best friend KC (single, also childless, a year younger than I), I felt like Tina Fey's character in the movie Baby Mama. It seemed that everywhere I went, babies (& toddlers) were looking at me.

KC pointed out--correctly, I might add--that, for whatever reason, little ones have always noticed me. She's right; this isn't new. Not sure what it is about my looks or personality, but small children and babies have been drawn to me as long as I can remember, even when I was a teenager. Surely since long before I thought of having a child of my own as anything more than a "someday" proposition.

I don't want to be "that woman." The one who has no kids and doesn't even want to be around kids. I love children. I've spent the past six-and-a-half years volunteering with children in foster care, and I'd like to volunteer more of my time to children in need in the future.

Aside from wanting to volunteer with kids and to be able to enjoy my nephew and friends' children, I want to be a mother, and I think I'd be a good one. I have so much in my life. Loving family, good friends, a terrific husband, a wonderful dog whom I love, higher education, a good job, and financial security.

Yet with all I have. . . . I fear that my life will be incomplete if I cannot add being a mother to that list. At times I feel a bit selfish--maybe I should just be contented with the many good things I do have?--but I don't think there is a substitute for being a mother to one's own child.

1 comment:

  1. I hope and pray you don't get to the point where you are jealous. It really stinks.

    You will be a mother someday soon and I can't wait to read all about it!


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