Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Bitter Is So Last Year November 14, 2011

I’m done with bitter. I’ve tried it on, worn it for a while, and you know what? It doesn’t suit me. It makes me look old. And unfriendly. It makes me look like someone I wouldn’t want to be stuck in an elevator with, or seated next to on a long-haul flight. So, I’m done with it.

Maybe you know what I mean. Maybe you’ve been dragging your bitter around with you for a while, too. I don’t blame you. It’s completely understandable. I felt as if the universe had done me wrong. It wasn’t fair that I couldn’t have children. I didn’t deserve it. My list of woes could go on. But the thing is, I realized, that griping about the injustice of it all wasn’t going to change anything. And it wasn’t even making me feel better!

I first noticed this a while ago when I sat down to write a blog post. I can’t remember what the topic was, but I’d seen it or experienced it, and thought, “This is great material for a post.” But when I sat down to write it, I just didn’t want to. I was tired of hearing myself complain.

Pretty soon, I realized that I’m really not bitter anymore. And the final nail out of the coffin, if you will, was when I heard the Duggar news last week. I just rolled my eyes. No bitterness at all. In fact, I realized that there isn’t one single thing about her life that I would want. Not one.

I’m not saying I’m just going to put on a happy face from here on out. Can’t promise I won’t have a snide comment to make once in a while, but I’m not going to allow bitterness to give me wrinkles, and as I won’t have children to give me gray hair either, I figure I may as well go for the whole hot package.

And speaking of not being bitter, check out this article: Infertile and proud.


12 Responses to “Bitter Is So Last Year”

  1. Kate B Says:

    I’ve worked very hard the last couple of years at letting go of the bitterness. It’s not easy, but trying to focus on things that make me happy has helped a great deal. I try to focus on all that is good in my life and not so much on what is missing. It’s kind of my perpetual attempt to look at the glass as half-full.

  2. mccxxiii Says:

    There’s not one thing about Michelle Duggar’s life that I would want, but that has no bearing at all on the fact that I am super, super bitter and angry about the fact that my closest friend is pregnant when I can’t be, that I have to watch her go through the whole experience and pretend to be happy and supportive and interested when it really makes me stabby to even think about. And then I have to act all understanding and noble when she has the baby and stops being available to socialize and never talks about anything except diapers and day care.

    Sure, it would be nice to let go of the bitter, but so far it doesn’t seem to be letting go of me. Right now bitter is all I’ve got.

  3. Lynn Says:

    I have had a great two years in the last 7 of my infertility battle. The last few months have been a little challenging…. just when the 35+ crowd was done with diaper talk, the 30 crowd is starting. The last week was particularly rough= one pregnancy announcemnt too many. Some of my bitterness and anger resurfaced and I didn’t like it one bit. I told myself this morning that this week will be better as well as the weeks after that. Hopefully, just a temporary set-back. I don’t ever want to live in that space again.

  4. Nadine Says:

    I am still not done with bitter, I would like to be, but I’m not there yet. I feel that things are not as bad as they once were, but unfortunately it does not take much for my bitterness to show its ugly face.

  5. CiCi Says:

    Absolutely LOVE this post! It’s a hard struggle to let go of bitter but I agree…it no longer fits me either! It is ugly, and old, and depressing. I’m ready to move on, move forward, be happy with this life I already have. I’ve been working hard at it, and sure I have my set backs too (to be expected), but I can always change my clothes and put on a new stunning outfit that says “I’m happy, I’m blessed, I’m me and I don’t need children to make me better”.

    Thanks for encouraging the change!

  6. IrisD Says:

    Great post. I don’t know where I am on the bitterness scale. I didn’t bat an eye at the announcement of the 20th pregnancy or the Duggars. My close friends growing up, except for 2, have children, and now a younger crowd of friends is contemplating motherhood. But during the last pregnancy announcement I received, that of a dear, close and truly beautiful person and friend, when I actually talked to her by phone, I was not overwrought with sadness or bitterness. I wasn’t jumping for joy, but I was fine with the news. Yesterday, I saw an old friend who had once been my best friend and in her devotion to her new role as mother has recently really irked me in all the wrong ways. She came over with her beautiful daughter, and we actually had a conversation that was not entirely centered on kids. I do still feel angry and resentful when those with children make comments that reflect a perception that parenthood is the be all, end all, in life. In those moments, I’m ashamed to say, I have a middle finger that is just really eager to stand out amongst its peers.

  7. Mali Says:

    Oh good for you. I think I,m done with bitter too. Though I still reserve the right to gripe about how society sees us and treats us as “no kids” people!

  8. Angela Says:

    Great post! It does take time to get over bitterness, for sure. Just like the grieving process, you can’t cut out the middle and jump to the end where you’re better (dangit!!) I’m trying to be done with it, sometimes it pops up unbidden, of course. I also recently figured out that while TTC I had been living my life very conservatively, whereas normally I love adventure, doing new things and taking some risks. I had given up on doing many things I wanted to do, given up on “Being Me” and I guess had been trying to be “the mother person” that I thought was called for. Turns out, it’s not called for, and I am still called to be MYSELF. Getting rid of the bitterness has opened up room in my life that I am beginning to fill with things I used to love but gave up.

    Also, to mccxxiii – I know how you feel, girl! My best friend and I got pregnant at the same time and had the same due date. I had an ectopic pregnancy, and she, of course, was fine. I suffered very much, trying to be a good friend, I even attended her baby shower and was the first to visit when she got home from the hospital. I think I must have been in shock, because looking back I’m not sure how I was able to get through that. Her little girl is now 16 mos. She gradually stopped calling me. I’ve made efforts to stop by her house, the last time was four months ago and I haven’t heard from her since. I’m trying not to be bitter about that either, but am I the only one who can pick up a phone?

  9. Julie Says:

    Great post! I think we have all wasted a lot of time being bitter. I know I have and I’m proud to say that I’m no longer constantly bitter. I still have moments when bitterness starts to pop back up, but for the most part I’m over it and trying to be happy with my life as it is.

  10. stinkb0mb Says:

    i’m *trying* to get over the bitter because i don’t like who it has turned me into, i feel at times, like my insides are actually turning black from being so angry about our situation and i don’t like that and i want it to stop.

    can you bottle however you let go of your bitter, i’m sure there would be plenty of us who would love to buy it.


  11. mina Says:

    I love Angela’s comment especially. So far i have seen the “bitter” as part of the grieving process or actually rather something to be ignored to get “successfully” through the grieving, or as an obstacle of getting through it. It’s very helpful to see it as a second process in its own right with a different tempo!!!
    For everybody with mom friends, i’ve kind of been through this, being 39 years old and most friends started to have babies some 5 years ago: Some patience helps. Most people disappear into a kind of “baby world” when the first child arrives. After 3 -4 years and/or the 2nd child, my friends all kind of re-emerged and by then were actually happy to spend a night out with me while their husband looked after the kids :-). The baby talk doesn’t stop entirely, but it’s their world now and i realize that if i am friends with those women, i want to be interested in theyr world – as long of course, as they are also interested in mine, and as long as i find them interesting people, who have other interesting topics to talk about as well. But i don’t see it as a point of bitter/envy anymore; if someone has nothing else to talk about but their kid, well she has just become boring. In a friendship, it’s of course also my part to share things that interest the other person. Luckily, many friendships date back to university times and the women kept on working at least part-time, so we still share professional interests.

  12. Andi Says:

    I think sometimes I wish I was bitter, because then I might be further along the process; I’m just still shattered. I know it will get better with time, keeping in mind that people are thoughtless not malicious, and that there are other things in life I will experience and enjoy just as much as a twosome instead of as a big family.

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