This morning (followed by an entire day...) I stumbled upon a whole new realm of mommy guilt, I've not much considered before. The reason ... I'm a mom.
Well, duh, right? Several of my great coworkers and friends are moms. One of them is pregnant with her second, and just found out she is having a boy. She is emotionally and mentally working through the algebra - trying to add up what feel like numbers (a girl) and letters (a boy) - that will equal her family in the coming months.
Unbeknownst to me, one of our other coworkers has been trying to start her own family over the last year. As many, many people know there are so many ups and downs in that journey. I've seen, listened to, and cheered for many people traveling that road that finally ended in beautiful, bouncing babies. But- I've never done this cheerleading from the other side of the field.
You know, the one full of beautiful, bouncing babies.
Long story short- this coworker popped into my office for some refuge from the baby algebra this morning and shared her story, and that she wouldn't care what numbers, letters, or symbols it involved, as long as the equation ended with a baby in her arms. All day, this weighed on me and my emotions. I can't begin to imagine how hard it is to feel something so out of your reach and control. I know that it is the best thing you will ever experience and that you would never give it up from the second you know you've got it. I am hopeful that she will soon know how wonderful motherhood is.
Yet, I also understand the fear that even a mom who has been there, done that feels when she knows there is something new and different happening to the family she already has. The fear of how it will change what she has worked hard for, and the mixed feelings about your own ability to make it work and do it all right.
After school, several of us (most of whom are mommas+ someone who really wants to be among others) were chatting, and it of course turned to how the pregnancy was going, deliveries, babies, and kids in general. She, I think made herself stay through the conversation, then quietly walked away after the topic changed. I couldn't help but think that it must be so hard to be surrounded by momma after momma everywhere.
I am so thankful to have my beautiful boy and know I will happily welcome another baby (or 2) into our family in the future. I will never be the person I was before that little boy came into my life, my life will never be the same. And I wouldn't have it any other way. But I can't help feeling guilty because there are people whose lives haven't been touched with that gift yet. This really is a whole new realm of mommy guilt, that I'm not sure I will be able to shake until a few more babies have entered the world. Most importantly her world.
those eyes and that smile make it all worth it