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Family Chatter

By Mary Becelia

You don't have any children yet...though you desperately want them. You just happened to pick up a copy of Fredericksburg Parent and Family Magazine or perhaps you will browse through the articles and contests online for April. My guess is that YOU will not pick it up next month. In fact, you may very well avert your head from this magazine and all parenting publications that will likely have some version of "HONORING MOM THIS MONTH!" emblazoned on the cover. It is not that you have anything against motherhood or kids, but just that you so very, very badly want to join the club and are finding it so very, very hard to do so. This fact hurts...especially around Mother's Day.

I know how you feel because I've been there. A few years ago I was battling infertility... hoping, praying, wishing on a star for a baby and--I will admit it--bitterly resenting every glowing pregnant woman I saw. The ones with babies, or perhaps a baby and a preschooler hurt even more. Why did some have so much while I had...nothing? Celebrity bumps, stars giving birth at 46 and gushing about how it was "All Natural!" upset me, too. Basically anything and everything about babies and motherhood hurt during these years. There I stood with my nose pressed up against the glass, wanting so badly to be part of stroller brigade.

May, of course is the worst, when the whole world (or so it seems) celebrates mothers. I even upset my own mother one year, when I suggested we skip the Mother's Day celebration for her. The flowers, the brunches and, most heart-breaking of all, the cards scribbled on awkwardly folded construction paper and decorated with blurry hand prints and backwards writing; I tried to avoid it all, even while my mind replayed the images over and over.

Perhaps you are coping with things better than I did. I hope so, because it is not a whole lot of fun being so angry at the world. But if you are not coping well, that's ok, too. Own your pain, realize it is on the spectrum of normal (at least I hope so!), and know that you are not the only one. I don't know where you are in your quest to be a mom, but what I found to be most helpful is support. Online and in real-life, sharing my battles and frustrations with other women going through the same thing was really a life-saver. Only they, it seemed, understood the difficult road that an infertile woman must travel.

I wish you, all of you, every success as you build a family through adoption or fertility treatments. You will be surprised how many of us are out there: veterans of this difficult experience, though you might not know it to look at us. Know this much...you are not alone.

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