Monday, April 28, 2014

As Baby Fix-It has just crossed the 18 month marker, I am struck with a sense of falling behind. It's imaginary, and pointless, and serves little purpose. But I still feel behind. I thought I'd be pregnant by now. I thought we would be further along in so many ways.

For so long, we are all on the same track. You go through school, you advance at a steady pace, you move forward. Then you finish college and everything goes haywire. At least that's how I felt. Get a job, continue with more schooling, find onself while backpacking in Europe, plan a wedding, stay single, move to a new city. Or do none of the above. As friends started to choose a path, I started to evaluate my worth. "She's already engaged?" Crap. "He's a VP?" Seriously.


And yet, when I step back, I can't argue that I have failed to achieve anything I've wanted for myself. But a voice inside keeps saying that I'm falling behind. 

They say that people are more preoccupied with themselves than they are with you. That might be true. But when I see a mom with a 3 year old at the playground I wonder if she has a baby at home. Or if she's pregnant. Or if she hopes to be pregnant. Or if she only wants one child. So, while I try to figure out everyone else, I assume people are asking themselves the same things about me. Then I ask myself the million dollar question, "Why do I care?" I could talk about social approval, or fitting in, but really it's about the track. We are not on a track anymore. We are not graduating to the next grade. An A on the English paper doesn't exist. Some of us will get married late in our 30s. Some of us will only have one child. Some of us will have 5 babies. Some of us will be career driven, and others will stay at home. Some of us will go back for a doctorate degree once our children are school age. Some of us will switch our paths over and over.

While I field the sense of falling behind and try to answer, "So when are you having another baby?", I try to ignore the sting. I've mastered the kindly polite, "I'm ready whenever it happens" while saying a silent prayer: please let it happen. I know people aren't trying to be rude. Or judgmental. They're genuinely curious. I suffer from the same affliction. I'm saying I get it.

That sense of falling behind is a tough one though. I'm slowly learning to accept that my track is now my own. It's not perfect, or timed as I'd like. There are bends in the road where I can't see what's coming next. Enjoy when the path is clear and easy. Have hope when all you can do is move forward.


5 comments:

  1. I find this fascinating. I have felt zero "pressure" to produce, let alone talk about a second baby. The only person who has asked is a closer friend in our play group. The thought has slowly crept into my mind in the past month or so. I know you had a much different timeline in mind and I hope that pressure is lifted very soon.

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    1. That is interesting! I think part of it is self-imposed in that I've been very open about wanting a big family. So doing the math - first kid is 18mos, B and I are in our 30s, if not now, when? Right? I have invited the conversation. And I'm not complaining either. It's just a feeling.

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  2. I so love reading this post as to me what you have with a career, house, and child are all the things that I do not have and am always assuming people are wondering and judging me for. It is always good to hear that those on the side of what you think you should be doing feel the same!

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    1. It's such a trap, isn't it? The comparing. Keep doing what you're doing! You are on your own path! (So I remind myself...)

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  3. My son is 16 months and I have the opposite feeling. When I hear people are pregnant with kids the same age it sort of makes me anxious. We want to wait until he is around 4 to have another baby. A lot of it is because of your expectations for your selves most likely. While it may seem everyone else is having second babies a lot of people are choosing to wait or sometimes choosing to be one and done.

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A Therapist and an Engineer take on Marriage, Home Ownership, and Parenthood. One project at a time.

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