Last week, while out on a walk, I watched a little frog make her (I assume) way across a pond. She was a feisty little thing, swimming like crazy as hard as she could, then pausing a while at a clump of pond weed or a log to catch her breath and regroup before swimming off again.
It struck me that her efforts were a good analogy for my own journey with coming-to-terms with not having children. I would battle through one set of emotions, then stop to rest and settle with the new mind-set for a while, only to discover some other trigger or unresolved issue, and off I’d go again to figure that out. Unlike my little froggy friend, my journey wasn’t a straight line across the pond and I often found I’d swum in a circle and needed to revisit an issue I thought I had under control.
Right now, today, I am well into the acceptance stage of my journey. I can be around small children and babies, and I’m not flooded with grief every time I get a pregnancy announcement (although I’m not yet to the point of being thrilled either.) I’m mostly at peace with the idea that motherhood won’t be a chapter in my personal history and I wrestle with some of my thoughts about the future and where I’ll end up.
Right now, I’m struggling with grandchildren. My husband has two grandchildren and it is a daily struggle to keep my emotions in balance. On the one hand, I don’t want to deny him the joy of being a grandfather. He’s good at it for one thing, and his grandchildren are mad for him. On the other hand, I find it very hard to share that joy. On the surface, I want to embrace this new adventure, but it’s hard, and I realize that tucked way down below the surface are some strong and well anchored feelings that I haven’t worked through yet. So, off I go again, swimming for the next patch of dry land.
Do you feel this way, too? Do you feel as if you keep rehashing the same problems, disguised as something else? What are you struggling with in your own journey right now?