Saturday, November 29, 2008

A post after 1/4 bottle of wine and some rum

I haven't posted in a bit. I guess I'm all over the place. This blog should be a place where I can voice anything, right? Anything! I feel as if I wouldn't be this far along in my ttc journey WITHOUT this blog. And then here I am feeling strange and guilty about expressing hesitations.

I know that many of my readers have made very difficult decisions and are going through SO MUCH to have a child. So I guess it feels strange to post about not being sure whether this is the right decision for me. I want to say it has nothing to do with my desire to have children. God, no. But where I hesitate, ladies, is that I still haven't .... still...have...not....been able to convince myself that it's ok if it doesn't happen without a partner. I might admit that some recessive part of me thought that writing about it, planning it, would somehow make "him" appear. There is this part of me that is still in disbelief that I am alone at this point. Disbelief. And there's anger, too. I can't help it. I am still angry at my last boyfriend. Fuck.

I am reading a book by bell hooks called "all about love." She is a feminist writer who has written profoundly in this and other books about the absence of love in many of our lives. She is a major proponent of love being something you consciously decide to give, rather than something that you "fall into." God, maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot by reading these things, but it certainly makes me feel as if I have let a lot of opportunities pass me by. I feel a lot of regrets.

I have also been so wrapped up in work, and it has been so rewarding. I realize how rewarding my life is at the moment in so many ways. I think about how being alone works so well for me.

Here's what gets me, often. I have to admit that one of my major hesitations is leaving my child in daycare, something that would be unavoidable in my situation. I picture myself again and again taking my 6 week old child to some stranger for 8 hours a day and just wanting to die. I feel like I need to be in a situation where that's not my ONLY option. It hurts me to even think about it.

The thing about a blog is that we come to have a connection with our readers; I feel badly expressing my doubts because I know so many courageous women have taken the plunge and the last thing they need is some lady to say how scared she is about it. I think I will come 'round. Birthday number 38 on March 3 may be just the nudge I need.


Dora said...

There's no getting around the fact that this is a hard thing to do on your own. I'm hoping that I can arrange to work from home, but there's no guaranty that my company will agree.

I'm still VERY angry at my last boyfriend, too. But, I have to say, the further I get into this process the more I feel I dodged a bullet not having a child with him. I just got off the phone with my cousin who has a 12 year old son. She has been divorced for 3 years and her ex is continuing to try to poison the boy against his mother. My child will NEVER experience that.

Still, all that said, it tough stuff. We're here to listen. xoxo

Dora said...

Part of making the decision to become an SMC is grieving the idea of the family we always imagined. It hurts.

Jess said...

Jo, I totally relate to a lot of this. I too hoped that I would still fall in love and find HIM and have kids the old fashioned way. And for some time, doing it THIS way felt like a last resort...a second choice...a fall-back option. But what I've learned is that it IS a choice, not a default. I'm working with that choice (God knows I still struggle with it). The alternative of continuing to wait just wasn't working anymore for me.

Dora is right...a big part of this is mourning the loss of the good old dream...the 2.4 kids with the great guy and the great home and eternal bliss. But what I'm learning is that we really can create a new dream and, although it's DIFFERENT, it's not a bad choice!

Yup, I'm mad at the old boyfriend too. Actually, I'm mad at several of them. And I have regrets...maybe I didn't try hard enough to find him...maybe I was too picky...maybe I wasn't open enough to it...maybe my expectations were way off....why did I always pick the wrong men...etc. But creating a family without the husband doesn't put a death sentence on our love lives. You can STILL find the guy after the kid is born. In fact, I feel more ready to do so than I have in years...I feel better about myself and maybe even more open to love. Oh, who knows.

But yes, this is rough. It is normal to have doubts (I still do all the time) and don't feel guilty about it or not entitled to these feelings. And by all means, do not feel bad to blog about it! That's what your blog is for!

Thinking of you during these hard "thinking" times. Keep right on thinking...about the good and the bad...we'll be here.


Billy said...

This is your blog and you should be able to post anything you want. Why do you think having all those thoughts on whether or not you're ready and all that goes along with being an SMC is any less from someone who has decided and is currently trying!? Those thoughts are indeed heavy and not easy, and you should have all the room you need to explore them!

Starr Morgan said...

You are perfectly ok by having all those feelings. It is perfectly normal to have doubts, even people TTC for a long time and going through all kinds of procedures to become pregant have those doubts. I tried for over a year and had to have surgery. I have known for ever that becoming a mom is the most important thing to me, my career title is a national infant and toddler specialist and I still have doubts about whether or not I really am ready. It is normal to have doubts about something that has so many unknowns. You have no idea if you will be able to juggle work and parenting, if you'll know what to do, if you'll find good child care, if you will know what is wrong when he/she is crying. There are sooo many unknowns it is normal to feel unsure about it. I also like what Dora said, it is the loss of a dream and as you are making this enormous decision you also have to give yourself time to grieve the loss of that dream. We are all here to listen to your insecurities, unknowns, questions, and hesitations. In the end we can offer support but it really is truly your decision. No matter what that decision is you'll have people to help you through it!

Meg said...

It's your blog and you can put whatever you need to here.

I have those same doubts from time to time. I'm angry that I'm faced with making this choice to parent intentionally alone. I'm also so very grateful that I have the option to make that choice. It won't be easy but it's also no less difficult parenting with a partner - just different.

It's a brave and tough choice to move forward on this path. Even leaps of faith leave us with plenty of time on the way down to doubt.

When the grief over not being on a more traditional path gets too overwhelming I think about my 80 year old self. Which path will I regret more later in life? Having a child or waiting for the partner and missing my chance to be a mother?

Jellybean Mama said...

Yes, irritating ex-boyfriend, we all have at least one of those (especially the most recent one). You will always feel some resentment and disappointment, but focus on your goal instead of the whole 'mourning the dream' thing. Giving it up now will make the first few months with a baby a lot easier - you won't be playing 'If only'. I had a few of those thoughts and decided I had better things to think about, and I'm in a much better place for it.

I thought your concerns about daycare were interesting in this post, because that was my biggest fear, I think, when ttc.
I had a plan A, and a plan B, and a plan C. I still do. I got lucky and plan A worked out better than I could ever have hoped, but I STILL worry about it every single day.
What I reassure myself with is this - there are children out there that are suffering, or aren't loved, or don't have the basic things they need. My child may be taken care of by someone else during the day, but she knows I'm her mother, and she does not want or suffer, and I am lucky to have what I can have.