Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On Morbid Curiosity

The babies are coming. One will be here in a matter of days, the other still needs another week in the oven. I’m actually kind of looking forward to the babies of two of my friends. One is getting the boy she was hoping for to add to her two girls, the other struggled for years with infertility and has had a *knock wood* very healthy pregnancy, but I'm also excited because they’re both extremely honest, prolific bloggers. I enjoy reading their words because they know that (a) there is value in documenting the good, as well as the bad, in parenting and (b) it’s a way for me to learn more about it. I enjoy learning about parenting the same way I enjoy learning about science or something—it’s nothing I want to practice, but it’s sure nice to know if the topic comes up.

I don’t know why I enjoy reading these types of blogs. I also enjoy trolling on the Clucky and “trying to conceive” LiveJournal communities... it’s really intriguing to me that I can be so interested in the experiences of others and yet completely turned off (and often creeped out) by the experience for myself. I blame my obsession with psychology for this, and my belief that baby rabies are a biological phenomenon and just because your body wants a baby doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right time or that there IS a “right time”. I find myself fascinated and a little heartbroken for the woman who try try try, becoming obsessed to unhealthy levels. I’m mesmerized by the girls in their teens and early 20s who are freaking out because their boyfriends don’t want babies RIGHT NOW. To me it's shocking because it’s so the opposite of what I feel.

I think it used to be a masochistic act, because going to these sites used to make me feel deficient in some ways, wondering what was wrong with me that I didn't want what everyone else seemed to want, but now they make me feel powerful. I feel in control of my body and of my life, and I feel secure in knowing what I want and that this is the right path. I’m moved and captivated by the stories of these women because I think it helps me learn about “the other side”, what they’re thinking and feeling, especially since so many of my friends seem to be crossing that threshold. And while I have plenty of strong, likeminded women and couples surrounding me, I feel that having this extra bit of empathy might give me a chance to keep some of the new parents in my life as friends, even if our relationship is relegated to LiveJournal comments and the occasional e-mail.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I totally get this. Several of the blogs I read are by moms, and one is by a mom with seven kids... I also watch "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" and those shows about the Duggars (the Arkansas family with seventeen-and-counting kids). It's sort of morbid fascination -- not lives that I ever want to lead, but interesting because of that, maybe. The three main blogs by moms that I read are by women who are funny, excellent writers, and who seem to share my political/social outlook on life, so I am actually entertained by them. But there are also two blogs that I check in on regularly by two hyper-religious moms-of-many that I find interesting. My husband doesn't get it; I'm not sure I always do, either, but there it is.