Bitterness and Baby Showers

rainThere is a saying that I’ve been seeing pop up on cards and other such things for the past few years. “You know you’re getting old when your friends start having babies on purpose”- and man, for my life right now, truer words have never been written. Lots of friends announcing pregnancies, popping out babies left and right- and ohhhh the baby showers. Showers of babies all over the place!

While I am elated for all of my friends bringing forth their own spawn onto this earth, and I love to shop for babies as long as it doesn’t mean one of them has to occupy my OWN uterus to do so- but I haven’t really wanted to attend baby showers. I know that sounds terrible, and I have actually felt terrible about it- especially when I’m so happy for all of the mommy and daddies to be- but all of the happiness in the world can’t help to stifle the feeling that I just didn’t want to go.

Why? Why and how? Why was I feeling this way, and how could I be if I was legitimately excited my my friends’ growing families? I have two great little boys. I have great friends. I have so many great memories already made in just a few short years- but still, I felt… bad. I felt repelled from RSVPing yes, like I shouldn’t. Like I just didn’t want to go because I thought I would be miserable there, but I couldn’t really put my finger on why. Or I just didn’t want to.

When I sat down and really explored why I was feeling so negative about attending a friend’s baby shower, I had to accept some very ugly realities. What I was feeling was not a desire not to attend; it had nothing to do with my friends at all. It was bitterness. Bitterness about my pregnancies, and how I still harbored some pain over the fact that I didn’t have very many people who cared enough to come to my baby shower, when these friends had huge groups of people rallying around them. Not that they didn’t deserve it, they absolutely did, but didn’t I?

Of course, I sucked up these not-so pleasant feelings, went to the shower, and had a GREAT time, but I still couldn’t help but feel a little tinge of jealousy watching my friend be surrounded by people who loved her and were happy for her.

I used to get insanely jealous of friends who were having little girls. I used to hope that showerpeople who wanted girls would have boys. Even though I loved my boys and wouldn’t change them into girls even if I were given the chance. Even though I was happy- I was still jealous and bitter because I didn’t have the fondest memories of these times that these friends were so happy during- which made me feel even worse because I knew I should have just been happy with the great life I had made, even if I didn’t get what I wanted.

I don’t write this because I’m proud of it; I actually think it’s slightly embarrassing- but TOTALLY NORMAL. We as humans look back on the past and feel bitterness because we only wanted the best for our life and don’t think it was all we hoped it would be. Especially when we have children- we want them to have it even better, so it’s easy to see a pregnant friend, or even a friend’s child get more attention than we or our own did- and that hurts. Don’t feel bad about it. These feelings don’t come from hatred, they come from love for your own children and there’s nothing bad about that. It only becomes bad if we let these feelings hold us or our children back. If we harbor on it.

The feelings that come along with parenthood can be scary, confusing, amazing, overwhelming, stressful, elating- you name it, you’ll feel it, sometimes all in a 24 hour period. And not just about baby showers, but about EVERYTHING. Holidays, presents, activities, school work, how EASY some parents claim the whole thing is while you’re struggling not to lose your damn mind on a daily basis. It’s not easy or simple- but it IS easy to feel like you aren’t supposed to be feeling the things you’re feeling. Whew! That’s a lot of feels, y’all!
The best way to tackle it is to accept that you are feeling that way, understand that it is okay, human, and natural… and then kick that shit behind you like a dog after taking a crap.

Posted on November 4, 2013 by Holdin' Holden 2 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • It’s normal, I imagine.

    Mine are 15 and 7 now, and what I deal with is my mom has little or no interest in her grandkids, and I’m pretty sure she couldn’t provide you my 7 year old’s middle name or birth date if her life depended on it. She might do slightly better with my 15 year old, but I still have reservations about that one.

    She’s one of those ‘all about her’ people- always has been always will be.

  • When my daughter was little I used to feel jealous… of her. I was jealous whenever I saw how much my mother cared and doted on her. I didn’t have a great childhood. Did it bug me then? Yep. Does it bug me now? Heck no! The first step to working through this crap is to recognize it. It’s normal for you to feel this way, you’re right about that. I’m glad to hear that you went to the parties and had a good time. That’s really all you can do- well, that and vent of course. So vent away!