*Yes, I promise that I’ll stop talking about my kids. Hopefully soon. But 3 months since having a baby, and 2 weeks since returning to work, kids are what’s on my mind*
I have an aquaintance who is all into childbirth. She’s a doula. She’s on birthing message boards. She feels comfortable giving (sometimes unsolicited) advice to any pregnant woman who will listen. And, to prove her devotion, she’s got a whole bunch of kids. In the interest of this staying a LITTLE anonymous, I won’t say how many…but it’s a bunch…you’d need a special car. And word on the street is that she’s pregnant again. (I have no problem with people having a lot of kids. Hell, there are people I work with who think *I* have a lot of kids. If you can provide for them and love them, then go ahead and make babies!). I don’t know her well, I see her MAYBE once a month, but sometimes I wonder if she’s more into the process of pregnancy and childbirth than she is actually being a parent. It’s not a dig at her parenting, she could be a fantastic parent, but this is the image that I perceive. Anyway, this post really isn’t about her.
I was recently browsing through a message board that I followed when I was pregnant, trying to catch up with my old board-mates, and I started reading posts by women who were just finding out they were pregnant. In the past, I’d always had “belly-envy” right after I had a baby. Extreme jealousy that I was finished with the journey and these women were just beginning. It’s exciting to find out that you’re pregnant and have so many possibilities ahead of you. But this time there was just….nothing. I’m happy for these women, and I remember that time fondly, but I’m just sort of over it.
At some point in the recent past, there was a shift in my psyche. I’ve reached a place in my life where I’d rather be a mother to children on the outside of my body. I really like being a mom to my kids. My kids talk back and bounce off walls and try me every day with their emerging personalities….and I love it. My job now is to guide them to become their own people. I’m happy with my little tribe.
I liked being pregnant. Actually, I LOVED being pregnant. I felt good. I had a maternity wardrobe with just enough funk. I got a kick out of amusing people with how un-pregnant I acted. Yes, I even enjoyed people rubbing my belly. But, by the third time around, I didn’t need to talk about it. My life didn’t revolve around childbirth. Maybe that should have been my first clue that something was changing. It would probably be different if I was a doula or a midwife of something else that involved birth. My job has little to do with medicine or babies or reproduction (nothing, actually). I’ve got other stuff going on in my life. I’m just ready to move on.
I’m happy to no longer be a vessel. From now on, I’ll be a touchstone.