I love children again. I find myself cooing at babies, talking to little kids in restaurants, and enjoying interacting with other people’s children. Hurray! I’m back!
It wasn’t always this way. When it first became apparent that children weren’t going to be in my future, I went through a period of not liking other people’s children at all. I didn’t appreciate the joy of children—in fact the sound of children’s laughter didn’t make me smile; it about ripped my heart out. I didn’t want to interact with children and so I made a point of avoiding places where children congregate.
The trouble was, I didn’t like the me that didn’t like children. She wasn’t who I was. She was grouchy and bitter, the kind of woman who gives childless women a bad name! But I couldn’t help myself.
Now that I’m back, I realize my anti-kid-ness was a defense mechanism, my psyche’s way of protecting me while I got on with my healing process. Children reminded me of what I didn’t have, and it hurt to be around them. So I stayed away.
During this whole process of coming-to-terms with my infertility, I’ll admit to many unpleasant emotions and thoughts I wouldn’t want to share with anyone. But that doesn’t make me bitter, it doesn’t make me dark, and it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. It’s just part of the process of protecting ourselves until the hurt starts to subside.
Have you noticed changes in yourself as time passes? If your old self was lost for a while, have you seen glimpses of her return?
The Life Without Baby Holiday Companion is out tomorrow. In case you can’t wait, you can pre-order yours here.