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Monday, November 3, 2008

Confusion

I really, really don't want to step on the toes of my dear friends who are parents. At the same time, I want to stick to the promise I've made to myself to blog what I'm feeling. Obviously I ultimately see things from my own perspective, so I welcome any comments that would show me another point of view.

I'm confused about a few things. Every now and again I get some comments from my mommy friends about how they're jealous that I get to travel. In fact, the most recent one was more like, "Let's not talk about how you went to New York last week." I don't know what to do with that. Here's what I find confusing. My friends know that as much as I love to travel, my heart's desire is motherhood. I have a lot of friends who talk about their kids 99% of the time, yet I never say to them, "Let's not talk about how you get to be a mommy." That would be taboo, right?

Yes, one reason I'm able to travel so much is because I don't yet have children. Chuck and I have made some wonderful memories over the past few years, and we've been amazed at the opportunities we've had to see parts of the country we never thought we'd see. We are so grateful for those times. Traveling doesn't erase the pain of recurrent miscarriage. It does, however, help us make happy memories in the midst of our grief.

This all boils down to a larger issue that bothers me. Let me preface this by saying that I've never been a mom before. I can try to imagine the struggles, the exhaustion, and the constant demands of having children, but really I don't know how that feels. That being said, it bothers me how many people out there talk about their children as if they are a tremendous burden and inconvenience. The notion that a person could sure do a lot of traveling and other fun stuff if they weren't tied down by some kids drives me batty. For one, most (ok, all) of the people I know with children weren't forced to have them. Second, who says that traveling and having kids are mutually exclusive? I'm sure traveling with kids is expensive and somewhat difficult, but lots of people do it.

I guess I'm tired of being looked at by some as the "lucky" girl who gets to have lots of time to herself, sleep in, and go on cool trips... all because she doesn't have kids. I love all of that stuff, but you should know that I use all of it to fill the void in my life that recurrent miscarriage has left.

I'd give it all up for the chance to have children. No regrets.

12 comments:

I Believe in Miracles said...

The grass is always greener. We've gotten that a lot from parents too. Especially those with 2.

And I think hubby is slowly realizing that life WILL change after kids. He thinks it can remain the same. :o)

I'm glad your writing what you're feeling.

Andrea said...

My parents traveled all the time with us. And they had 3 kids to take along on trips. Of course, we couldn't have done that without my dad getting free tickets and rental cars because he travels so much (60% of the month or more, he earned it!), but they would still save up money for us to travel every couple of years. It definitely doesn't have to be exclusive.

That is bizarre that people say things like that to you. I don't think there is any excuse for it no matter how tough being a parent can be sometimes.

Chuck said...

Stacey,

I appreciate your candor and perspective. It really is interesting to think what would happen if we stopped people mid-sentence and told them we were jealous of having children. I imagine there would be an awkward silence and a moment of realization when it occurred to them just what they were saying. And then more awkward silence every time we saw them after that. :)

And as wonderful as those trips have been, I too would gladly sacrifice them for our children.

Kevin and Beth Tanner said...

Keep sharing Stacey, don't hold back, your words are healing to so many of us!

Sunny said...

Absolutely keep sharing, Stacey! There are so many things that you say that I couldn't say any better. You will be reading some posts of mine soon that will express some of my feelings on these subjects - just wait! Aren't you excited? j/k! But, yes, I have many many many all too many and can I say many times gotten this same thing from people. I want to shake people and say, "don't you see that I am trying to fill my life with joys of some sort in the midst of this huge gaping whole in my life/heart that only a child could fill?" And don't even get me started on the "if you just relax..." or "when God's ready for you to have children, he'll make a way..." While I trust God to have my best at heart it doesn't negate the fact that I have a dream to leave a legacy of family and to create one with my Mr. Ugh! I get so irritated. Okay, enough of my ramblings. Sista girl. I feel your pain and I mean that in every sincerest form of that statement. (((HUGS)))

kirke said...

I hate when my friends comment on all the perks of my not having kids. I can't speak on your friends intentions, but when my friends do it, it always seems a little bit like pity.

I think you expressed this so well. I'm glad you posted on it.

sharonvw said...

Stacey, well said, you go girl!! I couldn't agree with you more!
I wish my mommy friends would understand, I'd give it all up in a heart beat just to never have to experience the utter devastation of a miscarriage or the sense of longing every time a I saw a mother hold her baby!

andrea_jennine said...

Glad you shared; I think it's important to communicate these things. (And I hope you get some comments from people on the other side of the fence, too, not just us fellow infertiles saying, "Yes! I feel that, too!")

When I get comments along those lines (which are mercifully few; I have unusually empathetic friends), I always think - and should probably say - "Yes, I'm grateful for the opportunities I have. But would you give up your children so that you could do those things?"

Andi said...

How frustrating. I admire and appreciate your openness.

Lori said...

To me, whenever I travel, I get sad thinking about how I'd like my children to see what I'm seeing. I'd love the opportunity to show them the world and view life and experiences through their eyes. So traveling isn't a perk for me but yet one more thing I feel like I'm missing out on.

TRS said...

Oh how horrible!
I don't really have an edit button... so I WOULD have said, "Okay we won't talk about my trip if we don't talk about you getting to be a mommy. That sounds fair."

Fortunately, my friends know me well enough that they would just look at me for a few seconds then burst out laughing.

My best friend has never once come to visit me in the 6 years I've lived in Denver. It's a 9 hour drive and I can see that it would be a PITA with two kids. But I go home to see my folks, and go out of my way to stop in her city to visit.
I told her recently, "You know, if you have never packed your pack-n-play you're not using it right! Kids ARE portable."

That pack-n-play has been their laundry hamper for the past 3 years. They first time they 'pack' it will be when they put it away for the first time.

Lauren said...

Hi, I don't even know how I found you. I just kept clicking on interesting-sounding titles in other people's blog rolls. :o)

I have really enjoyed reading your perspective on this sensitive issue. I am so incredibly blessed with children, but I have several friends struggling with infertility, and I always worry about saying the wrong thing to them. I *never* complain to them (about morning sickness, sleepness nights, or terrible twos), and make a truly concerted effort to talk to them about things other than my children, but I also worry about them feeling like I'm shielding them, like I'm afraid they can't handle it. I hurt so much for them, because they will be the most wonderful moms one day, but right now they're stuck in the hard part of the journey God has, for whatever reason, intended for them. I almost feel bad for seeing my own personal silver lining in their battle, but they definitely help me to view things like temper tantrums in the grocery store and not being able to see movies in the theater in perspective.

I'm sorry that people say things that are so hurtful. I'm sure that I've said things that have, completely unbeknownst to me, been hurtful to my friends too. Thanks for this blog - you're helping people on both sides of the issue.