Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Dealing With Our Scars June 14, 2012

By Quasi-Momma

How much time do you spend concealing “what is?”   As I begin my road toward healing, it’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

I have tiny scars on my chin from blemishes. I don’t like them, so every morning I dig into my arsenal of beauty products — foundation, concealer, powder, and the like — to make them appear like tinier, lighter versions of what they are.  This enables me to leave my house feeling a little less self-conscious.

The time I spend performing this ritual allows me to practice hiding my emotional scars as well. I take stock of how I’m feeling, rehearse my mask of calmness, and identify potential triggers that might set my heart reeling. It’s a routine I haven’t quite yet mastered. With relatively fresh wounds, it is difficult to maintain composure at times, especially in the face of cherub-like cheeks, rounded bellies, and all things that radiate motherhood. I am no Lady Gaga.  Yes, you CAN read my poker face.  I need more practice.

Last month as I was getting ready for an unavoidable family reunion and bracing myself for being around a pregnant relative, I wondered aloud to Hubs if it would just be easier to wear a little sign around my neck. It would be like a “Don’t Feed the Bears” sign, only mine would read, “Don’t ask me about [insert relative’s name here]’s pregnancy.”  He shook his head sympathetically, laughed and said with his best southern-boy charm, “That ain’t right.”  I agreed, and then offered to make him one too.

Joking aside, Hubs is correct. Indiscriminate expressions of hurt are not appropriate. Everyone has their own burdens, and our issues belong to us. We simply can’t expect everyone to sympathize with our plight. Not many people truly can. Selective concealment is a necessary evil.

This leads me to wonder how we can know when it is appropriate to reveal our emotional scars to the outside world. What yardstick is used to decide when we show them and to whom? How do we prepare ourselves for the reactions of those who just don’t “get it?”  Do your scars protect you?  Do they give you strength? Or do you no longer consider them as such?

Quasi-Momma is not quite a mom, but has always wanted to be.  In her blog, Quasi-momma, she explores her struggles with pregnancy loss and facing childlessness while grappling with the ups and downs of step family life.

 

Whiny Wednesday: Haters Gonna Hate May 23, 2012

According to Urban Dictionary, “Haters gonna hate” is:

“A phrase used to acknowledge individual superiority in the face of negative external accusations. Can be repeated twice for emphasis. Often accompanied by a strutting walk away from offending party.”

I’m adopting this attitude towards the rare negative commenters who find their way to this blog. I’m not talking about those who offer an alternative point-of-view or simply disagree with an idea I post; I’m referring to the random people who drop by once, pick and fight, and then never come back again.

In the interest of creating a positive and supportive community here, I’m now practicing my “haters gonna hate” strut and the judicial use of the “Unapprove” button. I may even adopt this attitude in the real world.

It’s Whiny Wednesday. What do you wish came with a “Delete” button?

 

M-Day Safe Haven May 11, 2012

I’ve been reading your comments this week and I can see that many of you are battening down the hatches in preparation for this weekend’s “festivities.” RESOLVE got onboard, too, and sent out an email, with some positive tips on coping with the day.

These are good tips, but the problem is they’re all positive and don’t include the option to stay in bed until Monday rolls around. And I say this with my tongue nowhere near my cheek.

I think the key to getting through this weekend is self-preservation, whatever that looks like for you. For me, this once would have meant staying home and avoiding any social interactions at all. This year, it will mean trying to have a pleasant, ordinary Sunday with perhaps a walk or bike ride. And while I’m now in a position to handle a casually cast “Happy Mother’s Day” from a stranger, I will still be avoiding restaurants and stores where I might get pulled into a Mother’s Day mêlée (like the time our local breakfast eatery was handing out flowers to all the mothers and I left empty-handed. Not nice.)

I’ve been really inspired lately by the way this community has rallied around one another and offered support to other members in need. You are an amazing group of women and I am so glad to have the chance to get to know you just a little.

Over on the private site, there’s a Mother’s Day Safe Haven forum that started up a couple of years ago. If this weekend starts to get the better of you, please consider heading over there for support or just to vent. You do have to make it through this weekend, but you don’t have to do it alone.

I’m sending good wishes out to you today and I’ll look forward to seeing you back here on Monday, when the mommy madness will be over and we can hopefully get back to our regularly scheduled programing.