Waiting at Christmas: Keeping the Bittnerness at Bay
Pregnancies are announced on Facebook every day it seems, and while I am truly happy and joyous for those people, each time there is a tiny piece that breaks off of your heart, a piece that says "Someone else. Not you. Again." You think this, and then you feel instantly guilty for your thoughts and feelings. It's natural, but it's not okay.
I had a friend tell me recently that she thought she might be pregnant, right after I told her, "If you are pregnant again, I will kill myself." Yeah, I felt like a HUGE JERK for like a week. I didn't mean to diminish her joy with my bitterness! She wasn't actually pregnant, so I had a chance to redeem myself, but I felt like a tool and proceeded to lecture myself a lot.
I don't want to be that person. These bitter feelings are so foreign and damaging. You tell yourself that you are a horrible person for bemoaning someone else's blessings. You swing from bitterness and jealously to guilt and back again. It's a terrible cycle. And it happens all the time. But again, it can depend on the DAY. Some days I don't care at all. Not a bit. Lay those babies on me! Maybe it has to do with the moon or something.
Friends and family are one thing. The people you see who don't seem to appreciate their kids are quite another. I regularly see people who seem to act like having a child is the worst thing that ever happened to them. Kids whose parents act like spending time with their children is the worst possible burden on their time, or parents that didn't plan for kids and don't want kids and neglect their kids and STILL keep having them and abusing them. I want to shake them and scream, "Do you know how lucky you are??"
I have a sweet beautiful friend who had a tubal pregnancy this year. This Christmas she gets to spend her holiday with a distant relative's pregnant girlfriend, who has multiple kids from multiple dads, is a terrible Mom and has no means of supporting them; a trainwreck all around. My friend's due date was December. I can't imagine how that will feel to her. We talk about drowning our sorrows in Friday Night Lights, wine and Kleenex.
Not that I'm comparing waiting on adoption to losing a child. It's not the same, but I feel that the sorrow bubbles up from the same hungry, empty spring inside of us that lingers on those bare place a kid should be.
Keeping the bitterness at bay is a struggle for me right now. There are exciting things going on in my life, but in those quiet moments, I'm reminded that we are still waiting for that wonderful gift of being parents. I wonder if we've made the right choices, going with adoption, going with our adoption agency. Should we have adopted older children? Were we selfish to want a baby? Will we EVER get picked? Should we have done International? Round and round, the swirling doubts are always around, no matter what I'm doing.
You have to hold it back, otherwise it can take over so easily. It's these times where I am so grateful that even when my heart beats melancholy and depressing, that I find my comfort in the one who was welcomed in a manager. For that, I have to wait no more. That should be enough to keep even the biggest bitterness at bay.
Photo Credit: jessicizer.