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Babies, Babies, Everywhere

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snoopy dance
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mary35

Babies, Babies, Everywhere

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snoopy dance
I was recently reading One Day by David Nichols, and a passage really resonated with me:

There are conversations Emma no longer wants to have and they all concern babies.  The first few were novel enough, and yes, there was something intriguing, funny and touching about seeing your friends' features blended and fused in miniature like that.  And of course there is always joy in witnessing the joy of others.

But not that much joy, and this year it seems that every time she leaves the house some new infant is being jammed in her face.  She feels the same dread as when someone produces a brick-sized pile of their holiday snaps: great that you had a nice time, but what's it got to do with me?  To this end, Emma has a fascinated-face that she puts on when a friend tells her about the miseries of labour, what drugs were used, whether they caved and went for the epidural, the agony, the joy.

But there's nothing transferable about the miracle of childbirth, or parenthood in general.


It may not be popular to admit, but sometimes I really get tired of all the baby talk.  Recently, there seems to be a baby boom.  My coworkers and friends are becoming parents and yes, even grandparents, and while I think it is certainly polite to inquire in general how things are going, I’ve become exhausted with all the gory details: Epidurals, episiotomies, labor, cervixes and uteri, hemorrhoids, etc.  I never feel that I can really take part in these conversations, and I know that people don’t even stop to consider for a moment that they’re excluding others.  I’ve just found myself thinking, “Really? We’re on this topic again?” Everyone gets to chime in with their labor experiences.
 
Worse yet are the “Just you waits” or “When are you going to starts,” and it quite frankly annoys me that everyone thinks everyone else should be having a baby or at the very least should want a baby.  I met up with a college friend this summer whom had actually become a Christmas card friend.  In other words, we had been pretty much reduced to sending the form letter Christmas card, in exchange for the Christmas card with only a signature inside.  I was wary of seeing her again because she built her house at the corner of marriage/baby street, which is fine, as long as one also accepts that there are other lifestyle options.  She spent our lunch complaining about her kids (while they were sitting at the table with us) the entire time, then proceeded to ask (right in front of the boyfriend) when we were going to have kids, or wouldn’t we like to have kids, or something to that effect.  I forget the specific question, but I suddenly remembered why we had lost contact, and I don’t need to see her again.
 
I respect the choice to have kids, and I think it’s one of the most joyful and difficult endeavors in life.  Rewarding and neverending, which may also sound negative, but what I mean is that your child, regardless of age, is always your child.  I admire people greatly who make sacrifices to have children, treat them well, and raise them well. Some people assume it’s a given for everyone.  I’m sure I can’t even tap into the pain of people who desperately want children who can’t have them . . .  I’m not even saying never for myself, although I realize time is running out.  I think I just need to vent about the people who act as though there’s an exclusive club I’m not a member of.  I don’t like the implication that my life if much less busy and less important due to lack of children.  I’m tired of listening to the labor horror stories.
 
Thankfully, my closest friends, and even my family (traditional as they are) are not hounding me about “When are you having kids?” “Don’t you want to have kids?” or “Aren’t your eggs spoiling/past their sell date?”  Those are the people I’ve kept in my life, and thankfully, the people who have kept me in theirs.
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