Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Guest Post: Why Not Me? July 26, 2012

By Quasi-Momma

As I try to accept being childless not by choice, there are moments when I am overcome with small torrents of grief and anger.  It usually is precipitated by the thought of someone who is currently pregnant followed by a white hot flash.  For a brief moment, I’m rocked by different waves of emotion:  there’s longing and sadness (of course), but there’s also a very strong feeling of indignation.

It doesn’t seem to matter who I am thinking about either – it could be a person who has been nothing but horrible to me, someone who has suffered losses like I have, or someone I barely know – the intensity of the feeling, the longing, and the burning is the same.

The indignation confuses me.  The very strong sense of “why them and not me?” throws me for a loop.   Why the person who has treated me unkindly, the person who already has been blessed, or the person who manipulates and abuses her children?   I could float away for days on a sea of anger that arises from such thoughts.

I know that I have the right to feel anger about my situation, but at some point it seems like a futile exercise.  It certainly isn’t going to change my situation.  It just overtakes me for a minute, leaving me feeling a little more depleted once it passes.

In an attempt to make sense of confusing situations, I like to listen to podcasts while I work.  However, there are very few out there that deal with CNBC or pregnancy loss.  So one day, I ended up settling on a Christian podcast relating to grief from child loss.  The podcast was an interview with singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. The couple had lost one of their adopted daughters when she was run over in their driveway.   It was very hard to listen to them lovingly describe the joy she brought to them and the pain, confusion, and guilt the family dealt with after her death.

At one point, the subject of feeling angry about their loss came up.  Did they ever wonder why this happened to them? To which they calmly replied, “Why not us?”   I was floored by this response.  In it was a level of humility, grace and acceptance that I had never witnessed before.

The question of “Why NOT me?” is an interesting one (and a bit of a difficult one) to consider when unresolved feelings rear their ugly heads.  What is it that I possess that enables me to endure this versus someone else?  How can I take this and make this something for the better?  What does this serve: not only for me, but for others?

I’ve been exploring the idea of the importance of purpose in life.  Until recently, I thought that my purpose would be fulfilled in motherhood.    Now, I know it must be something different.   I think that all this anger, burning, and pain must be used as a catalyst to keep pushing me to explore until my actual purpose is found.

What about you, ladies?  How does “Why NOT me?” impact you?

Quasi-Momma is living a childless, but not childfree, life as a stepmom.  Her blog, Quasi-Momma, is a collection of her reflections on pregnancy loss, childlessness not by choice, and not-so-blended family life sprinkled with a little gratitude and lot of heart.  

 

Whiny Wednesday: Parenting Radar February 15, 2012

I’m whining at myself today and the bad attitude I’ve developed towards parents, or more precisely, towards parenting.

Listening to the radio on Sunday morning, I heard an interview with a author who’d written a book about parenting in France. She was saying how “amazed” she was to see French children sitting quietly at the dining room table, eating what was put in front of them, and entertaining themselves for hours with a simple toy.

In a second, my mind flashed through all the times I’d witnessed “bad American parents” and their out-of-control offspring, and before I knew it I was off, stomping around the house spitting vitriol at the radio and the poor unsuspecting author (who, fortunately couldn’t hear me.)

But my husband heard me, and gave me one of his, “Oh, no, where can I hide before she turns on me” looks. It was enough to cool my jets, stop for a while and listen quietly to what the (very nice) author had to say.

I apologized to my husband, and skulked off to have a talk with myself and try to figure out where this ire comes from, when it comes. It doesn’t come often, not any more, but it does come, boy, does it come with a vengeance.

I don’t hate parents (I’ve had two of my own and they were great) and I don’t resent parents, I don’t think, but this anger is hiding inside me somewhere, and when it bubbles up, it scares the heck out of me…not to  mention my poor husband.

Anyway, it’s Whiny Wednesday today, so now’s a good time to let your anger out to play for a while.