It’s the week that most childless women dread the most, the week many of us call “hell week”…the week leading up to Mother’s Day. For years I joined in with the collective pity party of the non-moms, and while there’s a solidarity, an us-against-the-fertile-world feeling there’s not any real comfort in it, and honestly, it’s never made me feel better about the day
Mother’s Day is not really what I want to address in this post though. I’ve had to come to some very harsh realizations lately based on some circumstances and relational issues. So, when I say what I say below please note I’m talking more to myself than anyone out there. I just hope that, maybe, as an infertility/childless veteran I can spare someone the same pitfalls I’ve experienced.
Are you ready? Are you sure? Here comes the sage advice from nearly 20 years of chidlessness….
Just get over it.
Is that a collective gasp I hear throughout the childless blogosphere? Will I wake up to comments of outrage in my inbox in the morning? Maybe, but hear me out. Again, this is me having a word of prayer with myself.
How many more years are you going to spend pining away for that child you’ll most likely never have? How many more times will you let that non-existent child keep you from happiness? God gave you one life to live, and while you’d like to march right up to His throne, stomp your foot, and demand an explanation for why He didn’t give you children that’s not going to happen. So, the best thing you can do is trust His sovereignty and hand him all the mess and pain and tell Him he can have it. (Disclaimer) If you don’t believe in God then give it back to the universe, mother nature, or whatever entity you believe controls everything. If you believe in nothing then it’s all a moot point anyway, and so you better get over it and live this life to the fullest, right, because when it’s over it’s over.
Really, what good are you doing to yourself by dragging it with you like the proverbial ball or chain? Quit waking up in the morning and putting on your garment of pain and self pity. Honestly, it’s not attractive. It’s a heavy, moth-eaten old garment of mourning. It’s made of scratchy wool; it stinks; it weighs you down so get rid of it. You’ve grieved long enough. Even in the olden days the period of grief when a loved one died was usually one year. While your grief is different it’s still grief. You’ve been mired down in it for years, and it’s time to snap out of it. Get help to snap out of it if you need it.
I’ve come to another big realization…your family/friends don’t understand. They really don’t, and that’s why they sometimes/many times they come off as aloof and uncaring. They don’t know how you feel (unless they’ve been there themselves), and what they want is you and not this constant grief and sadness you emit. This is particularly true with your spouse. If you’re relatively new to this path your spouse may be very understanding. They may go out of their way to do things to make you happy. You know the worst thing you can do when they’re trying to make you happy? Not be happy. I’m sure your spouse is wonderful, but after years and years of trying to pick you up out of the mire they will eventually run out of emotional resources to continue. They are dealing with this too, and you are doing them no favors by constantly wanting them to wallow in the mire with you. Heck, some of them will eventually pack their bags and leave… if not physically then emotionally and intimately. Don’t let that happen to you.
I wish I could say that there is some magical formula to make this happen. There’s not. It’s really making up your mind and determining in your heart that it’s time. This may be a place you come to on your own, or like me, circumstances may drive you there. I do, however, have a few ideas on changing your mindset.
- Appreciate each day. Wake up and instead of putting on that horrible garment of pain put on some light comfortable garments of gratitude and think about what’s good in your life. Even if you’re not where you’d like to be there is something good going on in your life. Think about that instead of the negative things.
- Appreciate what childlessness gives you. If I’d had children when I wanted to I’d be dealing with teenage angst and college tuition bills. I will never have to deal with either. I have more disposable income, and I am free to change the direction of my career or even my address without the added stress of, “How will this affect the children?” Face it, I have more freedom even if I would’ve given up that freedom gladly for children. I might as well enjoy the freedom because I have it.
- Plan a kick-butt vacation even if it’s a mini-one like we did last weekend. We spent two nights in a B&B and did a bike trip down the Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus, Virginia. It didn’t cost too much, and we made some awesome memories. Even if you can’t afford a couple of days take a short day trip near your own backyard. As Ellie in up said, “Adventure is out there!” You just have to get your depressed, lazy butt up off the couch and find it.
- Start dreaming again. This is something I am actively having to work on. It doesn’t come easy for me because my dreams stopped when I realized that children weren’t coming. It was easier not to dream anymore and avoid any further pain. What I am realizing is that by not dreaming I was causing myself more pain in the long run.
Again, this is a very blunt and direct post and a trip to the woodshed for myself, but sometimes instead of patting each other on the back and saying “there, there” sometimes we need to give each other and ourselves a swift kick in the bum.
So, consider this the swift kick we all need.