Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Marking Time January 23, 2012

Just recently, I seem to have lost my ability to keep track of time. I was always so good at remembering things like how many years ago we visited such-and-such a place, or where we spent Christmas four years ago. But the last several years of my life have suddenly blurred into one big event. I can no longer accurately mark time.

Last week I had lunch with a good friend who inadvertently brought my lack of time tracking to my attention. Over lunch, we were talking about her daughter and we both expressed our shock that she is already in 5th grade. How the years fly! We talked about another friend who has since moved away and how vividly we remember going to see her new baby so many years ago. I realized that I have no idea how old this little boy is now. I imagine that he’s probably somewhere between 7 and 10, but I can guarantee that my friend knows exactly how old this little boy is. I have lost track of that time.

Walking home after lunch, it dawned on me that my time amnesia might have a lot to do with not having children. My friend is reminded on a daily basis of how old her children are. She marks the passing of time with birthday parties, school grades, and childhood milestones. She knows how long ago something happened, because she knows how old her kids were, or what grade they were in at the time. I don’t have that marker and so I have to try to fill in the gaps with other events, or news headlines to mark time in my memory.

Without children to mark time and propel my life forward, I can see how easy it could be to drift through the years. Children create milestones and new direction and, while I’m not in any danger of falling into a rut yet, I can see how easily my life could lose direction.

Maybe I’ve just hit by a patch of melancholy again, so does anyone else see this? Do any of you feel as if your life is drifting by?

 

Whiny Wednesday: Taking Liberties January 18, 2012

Recently, my friend calling me, fuming.

She’d been “volunteered” to co-host a baby shower for a woman she knows. Note that I didn’t say a “for a friend.” This woman is the wife of her partner’s colleague. Their relationship is such that she’s only heard about the pregnancy through the grapevine, and not even from the woman herself.

The kicker? The other two “volunteer” co-hosts are both women who don’t have children.

Maybe my friend should be flattered that her organizational skills are so valued, but she doesn’t feel that way. She feels it’s assumed she has time to put together a party because she doesn’t have kids (even though she’s a busy business owner.)

I’m wondering if that person is also thinking that these married, childless women are going to be paid back some time soon with showers of their own. I can’t speak for the other two women, but that’s not the case with my friend, and organizing a celebration for someone else’s baby is not something she’s currently glad to do.

It’s Whiny Wednesday. You can whine on behalf of a put-upon friend if you’d like, or feel free to whine for yourself.

 

Whiny Wednesday November 23, 2011

Good morning and a happy Whiny Wednesday to you.

Are you gearing up to hit the roads or airport today? Good luck. Do you have to face one last dash to the grocery store for the vital ingredient you forget? Take a book to read in line. Are you facing a day of chopping, mixing, and prepping ready for the feeding of the 5,000 tomorrow? Don’t forget to get your self some downtime, too. And if you happen to be spending Thanksgiving alone, come on over and hang out here for a while, if you’d like.

I’m heading north tomorrow, meeting my oldest friend from England in San Francisco and spending a week with her. As she has no concept of Thanksgiving, I am off the hook for turkey and pumpkin pie. Instead, I plan to enjoy some time with someone who’s known me for longer than almost anyone else I know. Can’t wait.

In the meantime, feel free to get out your whines here today and have a very happy Thanks giving tomorrow.

 

 

Energy to Share October 10, 2011

This weekend I put up my Halloween decorations for the first time in maybe five years. My neighbor (who lives in the house behind us) was so excited that she came out to help.

My neighbor and I function on a similar spiritual wavelength and the reason for her excitement has less to do with skull lights and flashing corpses and more to do with her understanding of the significance of me pulling things out of storage and making an effort. She knows much of my story and she’s watched me pull back from the things that used to bring me joy­­–hosting dinner parties, nurturing my vegetable garden, and celebrating the holidays with others. Last year, Mr. Fab and I barely celebrated Christmas at all. My neighbor understands that decorating for Halloween is a sign I’m on the mend.

And I think she’s right. When you’re trying to heal, trying to sort out a mess and get back on track, it’s hard to put energy into anyone or anything but yourself. Getting into the holiday spirit requires a lot of energy to be poured out in other directions. I haven’t had that energy to spare for a long time, but this year, I think it’s back. And I’m glad. I’ve missed it.

For the first time in a long time, I’m really looking forward to the holidays. My friend from England will be here for Thanksgiving and my mum will be here for Christmas. I’m planning what to cook, and I’m getting a tree. But most of all I’m looking forward to sharing the holiday festivities with other people, and pouring positive energy out, instead of turning my energy in on myself.