It’s All About Me!

When my dad passed away, I was accused of making everything “all about me”. When one of my closest friends fell pregnant and I got upset (because she was pregnant and I wasn’t), I was again accused of making everything about me. My son is possibly starting school in the new year, and while of course I want to make sure he is ready both emotionally and educationally, I’m just as worried about how ready I am. Today my BFF finds out if she’s having a boy or a girl, and I am still making everything all about me!

I think it’s normal. I think it’s inherent. I think it’s human. The key is in how you express it.

Of course my dad’s death was all about me. For me. I was mourning the relationship I had lost, the relationship my son had lost and would never truly experience. I was grieving for the massive gap that was left in my life. As were we all. It didn’t mean we thought we were grieving more or harder than anyone else, but losing someone makes us automatically takes stock of what we have lost.

As for my friend getting pregnant, of course I was happy for her. THRILLED for her! They were told they’d never have children, yet they’d managed to conceive twice without really trying! My grief was over my inability to conceive. Which yes, makes it all about me. But I didn’t throw a tantrum and cause a scene. I quietly mourned on the inside, thinking about what I was missing out on. Then cried to someone else. It is not my friend’s responsibility to bear the burden of my self-misery.

I’m not ready for my son to go to school. I’m not ready for him to be grown up, have homework, be taken off campus for swimming lessons or excursions. I’m not ready for him to be away from me 5 days a week, even though he’s already in kindy 4 days a week. I’m not ready to admit we’re through the baby/toddler stage of parenting and have a school-aged child in our home. But I need to put all that aside and do what is best for him. His starting school is not about me.

Lastly, I’ve managed to make my friend finding out the sex of her unborn bub today all about me because again, it’s an experience I am not having any time in the near future. It’s another reminder of what I wanted and don’t have. Another reminder that everyone around me is getting what I want. She wants a girl. I just want a baby. But it’s not about me. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to want a girl? She has a boy, she has a close relationship with her mum and her sister, it’s normal to want a girl. And when trying to conceive hasn’t been an issue, that’s one thing you don’t have to think about or worry about.

I don’t say this because I’m proud of my feelings. I’m not trying to justify them. I’m not trying to say it’s ok to feel like this. I don’t write this because I want people to tell me it’s normal. Maybe this is not normal. Not inherent. Not human. Maybe I’m just a spoiled selfish cow. Maybe this is why I’m not getting what I want, because I am too busy being miserable in everyone else happiness that I don’t deserve my own. Maybe it’s not enough to be happy for them, I need to be happy with them. Because really, if you can be happy for others, and happy with what you have, then it is always enough. It is always exactly what you need.

When We’re Young

When we’re young, we panic that if we have sex we’ll get pregnant.

Pregnant Teenager: “But I only did it once!”
Parent: “It only takes one time!”

We go all out to ensure we don’t fall pregnant, that we don’t “ruin our lives”. Even in our 20s, when we are partying it up, finding our way in the world, a pregnancy could be the beginning of the end.

Then we start to think about it a bit more. We meet a nice boy (or girl) and start thinking about how many we’d like to have. Me? I wanted five. Yes, F.I.V.E! My husband is one of five, which is as close to having five as I am going to get!

We get married, and the first question is, “When are you going to have a baby?” I’m not kidding, when I was pregnant, I was asked if we would have more, and if so, when? Then when you’re pregnant, people say, “What are you hoping for, a boy or a girl?” Then you have your first, and everyone wants to know if/when you’ll have your second and if you’re hoping for the opposite sex of the first one. You’d think we’d moved out of the 50s, where the ideal family was husband, wife, son, daughter (preferably about 2 years later). We haven’t.

I’m not sure what makes me more upset, people who ask what sex baby you want, or people who have an answer for that. I follow too many blogs, too many twitterers, and have too many friends who have daily health struggles with their children to give a shit what sex the baby is! I know, MOST people have the sense to say, “Oh I just want it to be healthy” and I know they do mean that…to an extent. But deep down they probably are hoping for one over the other. One thing I know, those people have zero history of fertility problems.

The irony is that we spend so much of our younger (and, for women, probably more fertile) years, trying not to get pregnant, only to find out when we think we are ready, that it is so much harder than just having sex once. Clearly this is something they tell teenagers to scare them off sex. Having babies young would not be the worst thing in the world. That’s probably not fantastic advice, but the older you get the quicker time seems to run out.

I am so thankful for my healthy little boy. And you could tell me I was pregnant with twin boys right now and as long as they were healthy, I’d be over the moon. It shouldn’t matter how many children you have, it shouldn’t matter if they’re boys or girls, what should matter is that they are loved, they are healthy, and they are raised to be happy, respectful people.  Now I am working on truly believing it doesn’t matter how many we have.

 

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a Stay At Home Mum for #IBOT

It’s Not Fair

We’ve moved into the parenting phrase of constantly hearing “that’s not fair”. I didn’t realise this phase started as young as 4! If he has to eat his meat before he can watch TV, “it’s not fair”. If we tell him he can only watch 1 Octonauts and not 2 before bed, “it’s not fair”. If he has to go to school today because mummy has to work…you guessed it, “It’s not fair!” (That one I actually agree with him on!)

On more than one occasion I’ve caught myself saying, “Well, Nick, sometimes life isn’t fair.” And I think to myself, “This kid has no idea what “not fair” means!” But it’s all about perspective, isn’t it? In his little world, the fact he has to go to bed instead of watch TV is an incredible injustice. For me, the fact that 4 of the women I’m closest to in this whole world are all pregnant (3 of who fell within 2 months, the other within 6) and I, still 2+ years later, am not is completely unfair.

I think perhaps I don’t have a very good grasp on what’s fair or not, either. Not having another baby is so far down the list of “Terrible Things That Could Happen To Me” that really, “fair” has nothing to do with it. Trish is fighting cancer, Tiff spends more time in hospital than not with the gorgeous Ivy. There are more bloggers than I can poke a stick at who have lost children. All of those are a million times over, more unfair than me not having a second child.

My husband, son and I are all fit, healthy and active. That is more than fair.
We live a pretty charmed life, we rarely want for anything. That is more than fair.
We have good family and friends. So many people don’t. Again, more than fair.

But today, I can’t help it. I feel like it’s not fair. It’s not fair that I have to try and convince myself I’m ok with only one child. It’s not fair that I am made to feel selfish or ungrateful for wanting another child. It’s not fair that I have to watch everyone around me get pregnant while I can’t/don’t. It’s not fair that I feel like I have failed my son because he doesn’t have a sibling to terrorize play with. It’s also unfair that the damn time clock keeps ticking away, faster and louder. When did I get so close to running out of time? Nine and a half years ago, when I met my husband, we had plenty of time. It’s not fair that this infertility makes me question everything relationship I have, or makes me scared of losing relationships. It’s mostly not fair that I can’t just get to the damn point where I am satisfied and content to be a family of three. That I’m not to that point of being able to accept there are no more babies for us. And so for now, we keep fighting the battle. But I don’t know how much more fight is left in me.