Motherhood is hard. It’s a 24 hour job with no breaks. It’s a life long contract it’s draining financially, emotionally and physically… or at least what I have seen of it. I’m not a mother, but from every angle I look at it this gig is tough.
Yet there’s nothing I want more… not even a Green Card. I’ve wanted to be a mum for as long as I can remember. Remco – that’s the name of my first doll – a baby boy to match the one my parents brought home from the hospital (we called the real one Andrew and a fine brother he turned out to be). I was two. After that came a little girl that cried tiny tears and had the most frightful blonde curly hair. She was from my Granny. I had a bald Cabbage Patch baby whose head smelt funny that Santa left me one Christmas morning, Finally, I had Rosemary. She was a big baby and I saved up for her all by myself from my weekly pocket money (I didn’t tell them but she was my favorite). I was nine. After that, my parents declared I was too old for dolls and a blanket ban on new babies was strictly imposed. I remember them all. I loved them dearly. I only wanted to play the mommy game when I was a kid, much to the frustration of my playmates. What I loved best was “helping” look after my younger cousins. I pushed Graeme to sleep in his pram when my arms still had to reach up to the handle. I couldn’t even see in to look at him. His mommy gave me the nod as he dosed off “mission accomplished”. I remember the wide eyed amazement I felt when I first saw my uncle cradling a new addition to the family. I just kept thinking she’s tiny. TINY. No, you don’t understand – really really small. Breast feeding made my head spin. I’m sure I must have creeped my aunt’s out. I didn’t intend to be rude but was fixed to the spot with fascination staring at them through the thick lenses I had to wear. Would have been a great look I bet. I EVEN remember the first time I was shown how to change a nappy. How delighted I was that I was allowed to share the help (trust me this is the one fascination I have truly gotten over… yeah).
I imagined I’d have three kids: A boy, a girl, a few years gap and then the baby of my family. I even had their names picked out since my teens.
I believed, I was born to be a mum, apparently I was wrong.
If you’ve read my blog at all, you’d know that’s not going to happen for me. The chances are I won’t be a mum… ever (I know, I know. people have told me before there’s always adoption. I love the way they sound so happy when they say it, though the thought of it makes me die a little more inside – I don’t want a baby. I want MY baby. Maybe my outlook will change with time. Here’s hoping)
I’m not telling you all this to talk about myself though. I don’t need sympathy or pity or tissues. I’m not sitting here crying my eyes out either. I just need you to understand. I know about wanting babies. I know about being broody. Yeah, they don’t turn that off when your reproductive system goes into meltdown. I understand. If you could give me nine months of carrying a child when the time is right for me, you can have the rest of my life. Seriously.
The key for me is “when the time is right.” My dream of having a child is not to have one at all cost. I want to be able to support my children. I want to bring them into a loving and stable environment. If you offered me the chance to carry life right now, I’d like to think I’d say no. I know it would tear me apart to pass that up but I hope to goodness I’d be strong enough for the baby’s sake. I’m in no place to look after a child. I’m embarrassed to admit it but I wouldn’t cope.
Don’t take this as me being anti-single parent because I’m not – there are many, many genuine reasons that either parent ends up raising an infant alone and I have nothing but respect and admiration for anyone in that position. I believe they should be given every support.
BUT … you’re 22 years old. You have two wonderful children already – a son who’s so smart, a daughter with the brightest blue eyes I’ve ever seen – each depending on you to show them how to fulfill all the potential they were given, each looking to you to nourish and protect them – watching you, learning by your example, with so much love to give you if you would only let them. They have no father figure, which I know means you have to be both for them. I know that kills you. You’ve been to the edge and I’ve heard you cry. Wished I could be right there to hold you and help you to make things a little better to ease the burden. I know the fierce love you have for them but I also see the struggle of coping with two young children on your own – the heartache of one living away from you .
I was devastated for you when you miscarried your third child. I was so mad that you didn’t call me, didn’t let me be there, never reached out to me until after the fact.
Now you’re pregnant. Congratulations.
I want to be happy for you. I want to be able to jump up and down and scream for joy to look forward to your new journey, to shopping for baby clothes and meeting your child.
But there is so much I don’t understand. I thought you were struggling with two? I thought you were focusing on getting your son back with you and not living at your mother’s? I thought you would have learned to be more careful… or did you plan this? Do you want it? Are you really happy?
What about the father? Is he happy… does he want a child? Will he be there for you and the three kids always? How long have you been together anyways? Is a few months long enough to decide to create a life together? From what I can see, he’s so young – I mean in some countries he’s still underage.
What am I missing? What pieces of the puzzle do I need to see things the way you do? Because, right now, I’m angry – angry and hurt. I mean if everything you’ve shared with me is true then I’m so scared by the prospect of another child that, to be honest, I feel like you showed amazing irresponsibility. If it’s not true then you’ve lied to me all this time?
What do you want from me? Someone to listen? You can have that. Someone to care? You know I do. Someone to jump into your arms and tell you this is the best news ever? I can’t do that. I’m sorry. I wish nothing but the best for you and your kids. Always have… and always will. For heaven’s sake I’m not saying you shouldn’t have the child. I would never wish the pain of giving up a child on anyone and I certainly couldn’t ask of you something I would find so utterly impossible any more than I would wish harm on an unborn child. After all, babies don’t choose the situations they are born into. They have to trust that someone else thought about that. Convince me you thought about it.
I have read so many sad stories recently. I’ve been looking, you know, for others with PCOS – someone who might know what I am going though. searching for information, trying to figure out how I can cope, what I should do to help myself – because I need to deal with this and, unlike you, I had no control over what’s happened to me. I mostly found women, couples struggling with infertility, waiting for years, hoping praying to be on the right side of a statistic, desperate for miracle. These people are in stable relationships. They have homes of their own. They have jobs – work for their living and endure terrible heartache. How is it fair that they find impossible something which you seem to take for granted? I find myself wondering if you walked a few miles in their position, would you still have such a casual attitude to the creation of life that you appear to have right now??
It infuriates me, but the truth is the world is not fair. The taxpayers money will be spent on supporting your third child, meanwhile the NHS is refusing other couples fertility treatment. I guess there’s only so much money to go round, huh?
So, there you have it – the honest ugly truth. I’m angry with you. I’m a little hurt. I’m disappointed. Most of all, I’m confused and I don’t want to go on feeling this way.
Please explain. Make me understand.
Love Ali xX
“Children begin by loving their parents ; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”
~ Oscar Wilde