As ever, I do not accept any advice or judgement (of me or others) on this topic. All relevant posts on this topic are under The Baby Thing tag.
It came to my attention recently that I have made it quite tricky for my loved ones to share what is the most exciting news of their entire lives with me.
I had asked someone not to ‘spring it on me’ when I had a feeling they might have news to share. They didn’t at that time, but then when they did, they had no idea how to tell me their news without ‘springing it on me’!
I hadn’t been clear so I thought I might try to elaborate.
The people in my life don’t have to do any of these things! But I just wanted to share a little more about where I’m at as I continue to navigate this part of my life.
Text is best. Or one-on-one chats. Surprise announcements made to a group of people are the hardest. Particularly if I then have a few hours of socialising to do after the announcement.
I am mindful that pregnancy announcements are amongst the biggest milestones the majority of people will have in their lives. I think people should be able to share their news in the way they want to. But I am incredibly grateful for the friends who have text me separately to let me know their happy news. I will ALWAYS be over the moon for you but I will grieve privately later in the day. If I have a day of socialising to get through before I can take myself away to cry over my own situation, I will manage but it is much harder.
An example of a friend telling me their news that I really appreciated was, being text as normal asking what kind of day I was having. They then said that they and their partner had some news to share. I obviously knew what it was and was overjoyed. Then they asked if I was okay for them to put it in a WhatsApp group I was a part of. Of course I was, and again it was their news to share. But the thoughtfulness made a huge difference to how well I was able to digest the news. I appreciated the chance to get the news when I was by myself incase my feelings about my own situation overshadowed my feelings of happiness for them.
It is something I will never be able to relate to and the announcement means that my friend’s life is about to change forever, and there is a feeling that I am being left behind all over again. The majority of people in my life are parents and they have a shared experience that I will never be able to fully be a part of.
Somehow easier if I’ve had a labour announcement.
Visiting the Maternity Ward
I’ve only done this once and I am glad I was able to make myself do it. But it was not easy. People tend to think I was hesitant to go because of my M.E making any outing very tricky but it wasn’t that at all. I didn’t want to be around pregnant women or new mothers and their newborns.
Just nope. I love you dearly but I won’t be attending. I’ve been to one, right at the beginning of realising I wouldn’t be a mother, but I don’t think I’d manage it now that my future is definitely child-free.
Children’s Birthday Parties
Having the experience of being the only couple without children at a children’s birthday party is not something I want to repeat anytime soon. Please don’t compare me to other people who don’t have children yet are able to attend children’s parties. We are all different and all cope with our childlesness differently. As an auntie, I am able to go to close family parties for little ones.
Catch-ups at children’s play areas
Much like birthday parties, being the only child-free adult in an area full of parents and children is not pleasant when parenthood is something you always wanted.