To My Best Friend Who Just Had A Baby

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You, my best friend, had a baby on Friday! She’s tiny, gorgeous, and perfectly healthy. A new life born to do good, bad and everything in between. You are one more in a string of friends that have recently had babies. Everywhere I go, I am surrounded by adorable pictures of adorable kids doing adorable things.

Outside I coo and I make cute noises and I could just eat up every single one of them. I snuggle the few I’m allowed to see. They are each beautiful in their own unique ways.

Inside I cry, I rage, and I beat the hell out of myself for not doing this thing that is the epitome of womanhood. I can already feel you drifting away from me. It started with you telling me not to come see you at the hospital and then not to visit until you are “ready.”

I get it. You want some private time with the new love of your life. You want grandmom and grand-pop to come and snuggle her up and make her laugh. You want close family to come and adore this life you created and celebrate with you and your husband. The same husband who STILL did not build the crib for her (I seriously want to hit him for that). She’s been alive barely two days and already you are so in love you can’t imagine life without her. I get it. I really do.

But I miss you. I miss our long talks, and our laughter, and our friendship. I miss being able to call you up and get and give comfort. I miss our passion and our absolute faith in God. Did you know I’m struggling right now to know if what I believe is true? How could you? We barely see each other as both of us settled into our careers, me a Social Worker, and you one of the best damn middle school History teachers out there.

I miss all of my friends that have joined the Sisterhood of Motherhood. It is a club I am excluded from. And I am so happy you got in because you wanted this for so long. But I wish I was there too. I wish we could have our kids grow up together and marvel at all the small miracles like when they first roll over, or crawl, or walk, or say that first precious word. But the door has been firmly shut in my face by friend, after friend, after friend and even a few family members. It’s not that you shut the door unkindly. It is just a space I don’t belong and can’t understand because I am not a mother.

So congratulations my dear friend. I am so thrilled about the journey you and your husband are now on. I will miss you but should you need me, I will come running. After all, that is what best friends are for.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

At work I heard it. At the bank I heard it. Even just walking through the supermarket I heard it.

“Happy Mother’s Day”

Sweet and innocuous comment right? Just a stranger trying to be nice to another stranger in a world with ever lessening niceness. Well sorry my loves but I am here to tell you it is not nice to randomly walk up to someone and say Happy Mother’s Day unless you actually in fact know she’s a mother. And don’t just assume that because she is toting a little darling along that she is a mother. She could be a babysitter, a nanny, an auntie, etc.

I know some people will say I’m being ridiculous, after all it’s just a stranger trying to wish you well. Except, when I hear these words, I hurt. I hurt because I probably will never have children in the conventional way or maybe at all. I hurt for a few of my friends that have gone through infertility issues and have not been able to conceive. I hurt for the friends that have had still born babies or miscarriages. I hurt for other people, like me, who didn’t have the greatest relationship with their mother.

To all of you out there who are moms I praise and bless and pray for you. You have literally brought life into the world and (hopefully) you are molding and shaping a human being into a decent person. I acknowledge Dads are important too as I learned a lot from my father. But there is something about the bond between a mother and child that is sacred and sacrosanct. Even if you have a terrible relationship it is something that is biologically ingrained into us to seek after and something we want.

So please, I beg of you, unless you are 100% positive that the person standing near you in indeed a Mama Bear, please don’t just arbitrarily assume that they are a mother just because they are a girl.

 

My Word For The Year Is…

I know it’s been awhile but vacation, holiday parties, gatherings, traveling and eventually getting back to work all kind of got in the way of my writing. So for you happy few that read this, I am glad to be back.

For the past few years I have been attending an incredible New Year’s Day Yoga Class that helps start my year off right. Jill Blumenstock is the teacher and she is AMAZING!! We start off meditating for 30 minutes on what we want our upcoming year to be like and things we would like to accomplish. Jill helps to guide the meditation and keep us focused. Then we try to narrow down all those intentions to a single word or two.  Then we do 45 minutes of Yoga followed by 30 minutes of deep relaxation. You leave there feeling strong and refreshed and totally peaceful (at least until you get home LOL).

So I thought my word for the year was going to be brave. I really wanted to be braver this year and learn how to stop letting people walk all over me. Instead the word that came to me was Decisive.

I am probably the least decisive person you will ever meet. I struggle with ordering food out at a restaurant and usually wind up regretting what I ordered (total diner’s envy). I make major decisions on our finances with my husband which I think is just good marital compromising and good form so to speak. We’ll have been married this year for nine years so I’d say it’s working. I hate being the deciding vote or deciding voice for literally almost everything because I know somehow I will be disappointing at least some people. So to have this word pop up as my word for the year was surprising but it definitely feels right.

I am in the midst of some major life decisions that basically once I make a choice, cannot be undone. If I take one path, another will close forever to me. So I’ve pretty much wasted the last 5 years frozen in terror of making a choice. But not making a choice I guess became a choice.

My career is going nowhere. I help kids and families and I know that is my calling in life. I absolutely without any doubt know I am in the right area of work. But this job I am in is literally draining the life out of me. I have been severely depressed as of late (which also may have had something to do with not writing) and I know my job is the cause of it. I know it’s time to move on but with the economy being the way it is, the benefits I have, it’s hard to move on. We have an idiot in charge of our country who is just making it worse because he’s acting like an overgrown toddler having a tantrum. But I digress…

If I stay in my job and don’t go to school, I will not really have any other great options available to me. If I do go to school I will eventually have to quit my job to do all my internship hours. I will not be able to work. My husband is not currently working so this is a major problem not to mention that I carry the health insurance through my job.

Then we have the issue of children. I am going to be 37 this year. I have major lady issues and if I want to have a baby I have to undergo some major changes to my medication regime. Which is scary for my mental health. I am surrounded by pregnant women and I want to have a child too but I’m not sure if it’s just because I want to fit in with my friends who are all leaving me and my husband because we are not parents, or if I could genuinely handle a child right now financially or emotionally.

So my options are to not have a baby and close that chapter of my life. I can consider adoption (which is very expensive) or being a foster care parent. I am still exploring this avenue but I’m not sure.  I don’t know if I could give a child back after caring for them. I also would have to have surgery to take care of the lady problems permanently and I’m not sure I’m ready to do that either.

At this point I am still in the information gathering stage. I have appointments with doctors and specialists. I am going to talk to adoption agencies and also the foster care system to see what that looks like.

So whatever the resolutions or decisions you make this year I pray that they bring you peace and happiness. I’m hoping for the same for myself.

 

 

 

 

So Much To Say…So Little Time to Say It

I have been absent from this blog for a bit. I’ve finally realized I am never going to be a daily blogger. I would like to, but life at this point does not allow it. I have so much I want to say but so little time to say it.

I have made some decisions regarding my life and I’m still reeling from those decisions. I completed my grad school application for Social Work. All I had to do was make the payment and I would most likely have been accepted. But….I couldn’t do it. I tried, I stared, I cried, I argued with myself, but in the end I did not complete the payment. After much thought, reflection, a talk with my pastor, my husband, and a few close friends I trust my life with, I have decided that I am going to try to become a mother.

I……….AM…………TERRIFIED………….

I was miserable the day I made the decision even though I knew it was the right one. When I thought about grad school all I felt was anxiety, fear, and more fear. There was no peace about the decision, mainly due to being worried about affording it and also moving around my work schedule to accommodate all the work I would have to do. When I talked to the people closest to me and they all agreed I would completely regret not becoming a mother, I knew this was the right choice. I felt it deep in my soul. This doesn’t mean I was thrilled. Going to grad school has been a major dream for me for the last 5 years. But motherhood has been a dream basically my whole life.

I met with my therapist and we talked about it. I admitted that I was afraid I was going to lose my identity and just become so and so’s mother. Not even a name anymore, just “that kid’s mom.” I told her I was afraid I would never have time to do anything I love again and that I would never get back to school. I’m afraid I will turn out like my mother and be an abusive, miserable, life-ruining mother. I’m afraid we will become homeless because we won’t be able to afford a kid and all that comes with one. My cousin in pregnant with twins. What if that happens to me? How will we manage in this house?

Work has become hell on earth and I have multiple families that are so rude, so entitled, and so abusive to me I have taken days off of work to recover. We are now required to do something called “The Magic Seven” which I refer to as Seven Levels of Hell. Basically you have to visit with each child twice a month and call their parents every week you don’t see them, then call at least three other providers working with the child. So with my current careload of 16 children that is 32 visits, 32 calls to parents, and 42 calls to various other people connected to each child. Also every child must be seen by the 15th of the month at least once. While that may not seem too bad, keep in mind we are not supposed to work weekends (although with the time limits we get I always do), all notes must be in within 48 hours, treatment plan meetings take about 2-3 hours each then putting plans in takes another 2-3 hours. Parents like to cancel, not pick up the phone, or monopolize you for about an hour as they relay all the struggles their little darling is putting them through. You have to squeeze in supervision, team meetings, and one day a month a staff meeting during which you are not to do any work. Do you see my issue?!

I love kids, I love social work, but some days it’s too much. There are never enough resources for the kids I work with. The parents are NEVER satisfied. Success is infrequent and small at best. And yet I want to bring a kid into this whole messy, rude, crazy world. What am I thinking?!

Oh and as for the challenge at the gym. I have given up trying to win. I have achieved my own personal goals. I lowered my blood sugar levels and my A1C. I can now wear one of my bras without an extender! My jeans are fitting a little better. I am actually starting to love myself through this. So yeah I’m not going to win but I feel like a winner anyway!