Friday, June 30, 2017

Thoughts from Someone who Isn't a Mom Yet



Dave and I are four years into marriage and we still don't have kids. Yes, I know you know that. I'm okay with that too...it just seems like a lot of other people aren't okay with that, and they are getting vocal about it.

I've always heard of people saying you should be aware of comments you make around people who are infertile or who have miscarriages but what about those of us who aren't moms yet because we aren't at that stage in life yet? It honestly never used to bother me but this year it has. People have said the oddest things and seem to constantly be inquiring about when we are going to start a family. That's always such a weird question to be asked. What do I say, "Um ... Let me go home and work on that one...?"

Another thing I have really really struggled with lately is hearing Mom's and what they say about being parents. It really is horrible. And for me, not being a Mom yet and hearing those things, just makes me never want to have kids. Here are a few of the things I have heard:

"The newborn stage is absolute hell!"

"I would never wish this on my worst enemy!"

"I'm always so tired! And if you aren't a Mom you just won't understand" (insert major eye roll there, I do empathize but it was your choice to have kids...just saying....)

"You and Dave have been married four years. Do you even want kids?"

"The longer you wait the more selfish you will just be!"

"It is God's plan for a married couple to have kids." (This is where I inwardly glare into your soul...)

"Oh my word! My labor and delivery was horrible" Followed by a horrible account of what happened to them during delivery and how their body has never been the same. And don't get me started on everyone who blogs details of their private parts during birth. I thought privates were just that ... a private matter. If you choose to blog your birth you definitely have the right to do that but I am just making the choice to not read those anymore because it really is terrifying to me. I've seen a live birth, and I know every birth is unique, but the one I saw was beautiful and miraculous and amazing.

And lastly, the horrible dramatic comments always ends with this: "But they really are such a joy." Which to me, is just the rudest thing ever. What if someone talked about you that way and then topped it off with what a joy you were. I'd be crying buckets!

Some of the people who have said these things to me, in the same conversation, have asked me if we plan to have kids. Yes, you read that correctly. Last weekend when that happened I just flat out said that I do want kids, but after hearing the awful things they just said I wouldn't do that to myself and would rather just travel with Dave and not have kids.

So, here is my question - why do Moms say such horrible things? I am sure parenting is hard. I am sure labor and delivery is hard. But why do we use such dramatic terms that are life draining instead of life giving? Do new Moms ever consider the effect that their words will have on other people listening? What if Dave and I did struggle with infertility? What if we did have a miscarriage? I can't even imagine the pain that I would feel hearing those things. But to be honest, it still is painful.

A lot of those things, as 'honest' as they might be, aren't from God. They are a lie from the enemy and a very discouraging word for someone like me who is considering a family. I was wrestling with things I have heard this past weekend from some Moms and the verse that God brought to my mind was Proverbs 10:27 where He says, 'The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it." I'm not saying parenting isn't hard but a brand new miraculous life and a brand new Mom should be praised and spoken highly of. My sister speaks highly of parenting and she had major challenges at first. She speaks highly of her children and I know they are lots of work. I don't ever think I've heard her once complain. My sister-in-law labored at home for 36 hours and I have never ever heard her complain about the delivery of her son. My friend in Morocco just gave birth and she has a super challenging situation, and while difficulties are present, she chooses to focus on the positive.

So Mom's, I get you need to share your burdens. I'm all for that! I'm also all for listening to my friends and helping them carry burdens. I want to be an encouraging friend and help you parent where I can. But before you spew out lots of words, please consider them. Would your words encourage someone into motherhood or discourage them? Because truthfully, if it is as awful as you all tell me it is, I'll just keep on traveling with Dave and do missions. But deep down I know it's a beautiful thing. So when the time is right we pray God will give us a family. But until then, may I just politely say, mind your own business.

5 comments :

  1. Oh.My.Word. These are the exact things I've ranted to Caleb about time and again. The major complaining and then "they are such a joy/it is all worth it" gets me the most. Honestly, I am freaked out about motherhood primarily because of all the awful things/how hard/how tired comments I always hear. But then I think of my mom, who I can't once remember complaining about her kids and think maybe it's not all that bad. :-P Pretty sure if you enjoy life now, you'll enjoy it when you have kids!

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  2. This has given me a lot to think about. I think it's AWFUL that people have made comments to you like that. Gracie was born right before our 4th anniversary, and I got some of those too. I try so hard to be very mindful of what I say to people who aren't parents or are pregnant.

    As far as moms talking about how hard it is--I have some thoughts. First of all, I completely understand why you don't want to hear moms complain. I remember my coworkers constantly whining about their kids when I was pregnant, and one day was so bad I cried in the bathroom because I was so upset by it. I don't think moms should complain TO you or anyone else who doesn't have kids. As a mom, I tend to see other moms only say glowing things about their kids and motherhood in general. When I was deep in post partum depression with a husband working two jobs and no one to help me, those sorts of things only drove me deeper down. Not that I WANTED anyone to struggle, I just needed to know I wasn't alone. Hearing fellow moms tell me they had dark times as a mom too was a balm to my soul. It gave me the sympathy and camaraderie I desperately needed. I didn't feel as isolated. People tend to put on such a face that for me, it can be hard to remember we all struggle. I know that sounds silly, but honest moments can be helpful and remind me that we're all in this together.

    When it comes to blogging, I think there's a fine line. I know I've written about hard days I've had as a mom, and some things I probably shouldn't have written. I'm learning as I go. I hope I'm not one of those moms who has scared you. It's absolutely the last thing I would ever want to do. I've been convicted a lot over the past year of things I've said about being a mom, and I'm trying to find that delicate balance of protecting and respecting Gracie, not embarrassing her, and yet being honest about things when I need to. But I don't think anyone should ever tell you the newborn days are hell, birth is awful, etc. it's such a subjective thing! I know people who have thrived during those stages. I'm so sorry for all the negative things people have told you. You will be a fantastic mom someday if you have a family, and I have no doubt you thrive and love it.

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  3. You hit the nail on the head! Love this. ❤

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  4. Michelle has some good points. There is a fine line between complaining about motherhood and just honestly sharing some of the struggles of it. Some of the best things require effort and can be hard. But I am totally with you on how terrifying birth stories can be! Before I gave birth I had to just not read them because I got so stressed out!

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  5. One thing I've always appreciated about my own mom is that she's always made it very obvious just how much fun she has always had being our mom--and she'll also tell funny stories of terrible tantrums and bad days that weren't funny at the time...and I remember distinctly how scary it was when I was 15 and she was on strict bedrest for two months while pregnant with my baby sister. No matter that we haven't always been the "easiest" set of seven rascals to raise, she has always let us know that we are a joy and a blessing to her, that being our mom was exactly what she always wanted and that she has had a LOT of fun being a mom for the past 25 years. That's the kind of mom that encourages me about motherhood someday. :)

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