Bundles of Other People’s Joy

May 8, 2012 by

On Sunday in Chicago, I attended the baby shower of my dear friend and former roommate, Ashley.

She’s not the first of my girlfriends to have a baby, not even the first of my former roommates to be in the family way. But when she called to tell me the news, she was the first expectant mother I ever felt jealous of.

Wesley, Audrey, Tristan, and Riggs (Easter 2012)

Let me clarify something — I’m not interested in having kids any time soon, and neither is Miles. We just got married, just moved across the country, and both just started new jobs. I’m traveling almost every other week, and sometimes Miles is so swamped he can’t even drive me to the airport. Now is not the time, but it’s not just because of all the upheaval.

And it’s not because I don’t think we’ll be good parents (I think we’ll rock at it). And it’s not because I think we should be married longer (I never thought I’d have a child immediately upon getting married, but then I never thought I’d get engaged after only six months, either.)

And it’s not because we can’t afford a baby (we can’t, but from what I understand you never really feel financially prepared).

And its not because I’m afraid of pregnancy or labor (though both were on par in my mind with shipwrecks and walking across the desert, disinterest-wise, until recently).

I’m slightly jealous of Ashley’s adorable bump and Christina’s gorgeous baby and Claudia’s two precious bambinos and my three cousins’ three two-month-old babies, but I’m not on board with motherhood just yet. And it’s because I’m not ready to be replaced as the youngest version of myself.

Shower time!

When I was younger, I asked my mother how I’d ever know I was ready to have a child. At that time, in my early 20s, I couldn’t imagine ever wanting the responsibility. She told me that one day, I would feel a desire to start a family that would override my desire to be the most important person I knew. I believe I have taken the first step toward this eventuality by marrying Miles, and learning how to love and prioritize someone as much as myself. But there is no need to have everything all at once. It seems like only yesterday, Ashley and I were giggling while getting dressed for dates, comparing war stories over brunch, nursing colds or hangovers with noodles on the couch and watching marathons of terrible TV. I feel like I’m still coming to terms with those days being newly finished; I’m only just now okay with the fact that I can’t go back to being 24 in Chicago. But I’m not yet ready to start another human being down the path that leads to heartache and loss and bewilderment and disorienting joy. I barely understand all that stuff myself, and I probably never will, but I’m certainly not in a position to advise and guide anyone else yet. I don’t even want an intern in my life at this point.

The Glowing Mommy-to-Be

For now, I’ll concentrate on being Awesome Aunt Chelsea, who is certainly a much more together role model than she was even a few years ago. And I’ll suppress but not deny those pangs of mommy jealousy, because I know they’re pointing to a happiness I do want, but whose time is not yet come.

Bumps are Awesome!

Hey, you!

 

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3 Comments

  1. Jean

    Good thoughts, sound reasoning , and one day you’ll know it’s time.

  2. Ashley

    It meant so much to see you. I can’t believe the next time you’re in town you’ll be able to MEET the little guy! I miss you so much.

  3. Breanna McNabb

    Looks like the party was fun. Your thinking is dead on, it’s good to be in the right frame of mind and you’ll know when your ready. Great read- thanks.

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