Is it possible to be jealous of something you don't really want? Because that's the emotion that I'm dealing with as I wait with bated breath for one of my best friends to go into labor with her first little girl.
Most days its easy to be childfree. Today's not one of those days. The twinges and the baby rabies have calmed considerably in the last few weeks to being pretty much gone, but tonight they're here hardcore and more upsetting than it's ever been.
I'm going through all the names I've been called. Cold, selfish, you name it, and feeling a little broken down because of it. I'm sort of wishing I wanted parenthood as a part of my life and tonight I'm feeling angry and even a little resentful that it's not something I want. It's got me feeling a little defective and it's hard to face that.
Ironically, this is coming after having a rant-filled conversation about how little I can tolerate children just hours ago after being surrounded by kids downtown during a "family fun fair". It's not the kids I want. Again, it's the kodak moments.
I want the emotion that she's going to feel when she gets to hold her daughter for the first time. I want to know that love and I'm curious about the change people say takes place when they become parents. And yeah, I *am* curious if having kids would make me change how I feel about kids in general. It's also something that I'm completely uncomfortable banking on because right now, as a rule, spending time with kids is about the LAST thing I want to do.
but right now, while she's waiting for her daughter to be born any day now, she's feeling emotions that I won't ever know. Her life is about to change in ways I never want to experience and in ways I wish I could experience. And she's just days away from holding a child that she grew in her body that's a perfect little piece of her and her husband, and I don't care what people say, that's pretty fucking amazing.
This year I'll be 34, and the finality of the decision to remain childfree is starting to really get to me. I know I'm going to be one of those women who wonders "what if", but I don't think that's the same as regret. I don't regret that I deviated from the journalism career path in favor of marketing, though I wonder often what would have happened if I'd stuck with college the first time and focused on my writing. I don't regret not kissing the boy I really liked at an office party in '97, but occasionally I look at Facebook and wonder what my life would've been like if we'd both acted on the crush we had on each other but were too shy to acknowledge, and I don't regret not studying abroad though I wonder how a year or two in Spain might have changed my life.
I think that's the difference. We can wonder what our lives would be like and we can be jealous of others' experiences, but it's possible to do that while still being content in our own lives… even if it means a night or two of being really sad and conflicted. If we're true to ourselves, it'll work itself out.