Remember Confessional Fridays? I kinda miss those. 😉
Recently Courtney had a great post about ten things she has learned about herself since becoming a mother. As I was reading the post I was struck by how proud she seemed of these self-discoveries.
Then I realized that really, I was projecting my own feelings on to her post. Actually, I would be proud to list those ten things, or at least most of them (whole milk I can do without 😉 ).
As I thought more about her post I recognized that if I were to write something similar, I would not feel so glowingly about what I’ve learned about myself as a mother. In fact, about some of it, I’d be ashamed. (Courtney hates putting her son to bed because she can’t bear to be without him while most nights I count the minutes until I can walk out of my daughter’s room and have some precious moments to myself.)
And as I pondered that upsetting thought, I acknowledged there was more I was ashamed of. I’m ashamed of how I’ve handled this past year of trying. I read the blogs of so many women who are incredible examples of how gracefully people can handle struggles much more monumental than my own. Some do so with humor, some with snark, many with honest reflection, some reach out and provide gracious support, some become spokespeople for our cause and others navigate the stormy waters with impressive perspective. People wade through years, sometimes decades of continual disappointment and loss and their posts rarely read as so full of despair as mine are and I haven’t even hit the 12 month mark. Frankly I’ve managed this past year with a piss poor attitude of almost constant negativity. If my run-ins this summer taught me anything, they taught me that.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m not getting pregnant because I don’t want it enough, if the ten things I learned about myself through motherhood are not all what I wanted them to be, and so maybe I shouldn’t even have another child. Maybe I don’t even deserve one. Certainly I don’t deserve one as much as so many mothers suffering from IF who cannot have another child, who have fully embraced motherhood with all its challenges and would feel truly whole with another baby in their arms.
I’m sure this all sounds incredibly negative. I promise I’m not trying to throw some more sad sack shit around with this. These are real thoughts I’m having, thoughts I feel are valid. I’ve struggled with these issues this entire year. The fact that I waited so long to start acupuncture, that I never really abstained from Diet Coke, that I got drunk at special occasions, that I didn’t take my Royal Jelly or wheat grass, that I didn’t all the dozens of things I could have done to up my chances. I did all that and more the first time. This time I just… didn’t.
Why was that? Do I not care enough this time around? Was my ambivalence a symptom of not caring? Did the things I learned about myself when I became a mother make me realize that I not the person I thought I was? Actually, I know that answer to be yes. So maybe this other person, the one I’ve only recently come to know, doesn’t want another child as much as the person I thought was did. And maybe that is why I’m not having another baby.
Probably I’m just projecting. Or internalizing. Or something that psychiatrists say. Maybe I’m just trying to make sense of something that can never make any sense. All I know is it all feels so murky and complicated. And not being able to have another baby has brought up unresolved issues about who I am and the mother I’ve become, issues I was able to ignore when I wasn’t trying to have another child.
It’s not that I don’t like the person that I am. It’s not that I don’t appreciate who I’ve become. It’s not that I think I’m a bad mother; I am proud of many things I do as a mom. Me as a mother is just not what I expected. And I’m still dealing with that. And wanting to have another child brings it into such stark relief, I can’t ignore it any longer. I guess I’m just coming to terms.
Maybe I should write my ten things. Maybe I wouldn’t be so upset or ashamed about what I felt if I actually got it down. Perhaps the outline of that post in my head doesn’t do the reality of it justice.
I guess I’ll have to just write the post, and see what I see.