There's nothing really new that's going on to add to the current hecticness that is my life, but I've been trying to be more "present" in all areas: At home, at work, with my women's group, with my friends and family, etc. And let's face it, that means I've been spending a lot less time on the computer when I'm not at work. I even missed a critical FB update the other day that one of my BFFs is going to Africa in a couple of weeks! Jeez! Clearly not being online every waking moment is causing me to miss out on quite a bit.
So, there's something I've been wanting to tell you, but I've been a little heistant. (SPOILER: I'm not pregnant.) It's hard to put into words all the crazy feelings and thoughts that have been going through my head since Hubs and I made the decision to stop TTC. We've obviously both been doing a lot of thinking and a lot of talking about our life and family-building options the past several months. We've talked at length about adoption, IVF, and living childfree, and all these thoughts still swirl around in my head. I mentioned in a previous post that I was reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed; well, there was this one section that I felt really spoke to me. Before you read the rest of this post, and if you haven't already read the book, please take a minute to read an excerpt from that section here. It goes on for a bit longer in the book (if I recall correctly), but you get the gist.
About 3/4 of the way through that section I literally burst into tears and had to put the book down. I had goosebumps. I was shaking. I wanted to tell everyone who would listen about the Auntie Brigade. I wanted to seek out other "members" of the Auntie Brigade and hear about what they were doing with their lives. I wanted to find tips on how to be a better aunt to my nieces and nephews and what I could do to help my overwhelmed family members with their kids. I had this brand-new image of what my life could be like if I never had children of my own, and for the first time that image didn't look dreary or depressing. Quite the opposite - It looked exciting, fulfilling, and full of opportunity! I almost don't want to admit this, but to be completely honest with you (and myself) I don't remember ever being as excited about the prospect of being a mother as I've lately been about the prospect of being an aunt.
What does this all mean? I don't quite know. Maybe I was PMSed when I read that section and was just incredibly touched by Gilbert's words. I've never heard anyone talk even remotely as highly of childless women as she did. Ever. Or maybe deep down somewhere inside of me, some part of me knows that I could be incredibly happy not being a mom. Maybe even happier than I would be if I were a mom. Right now, and for the past few weeks, I feel like the latter could be the case. I'm not ready to make any decisions yet, or maybe ever, actually. For lots of reasons, I would probably never try to prevent a pregnancy from happening (well, with the exception of months like this one where I was using a medication that could cause serious birth defects). But I'm also not sure I ever again want to voluntarily put myself through the kind of heartache I felt when I was TTC.
I realize that I say the words "for now" a lot, and I'm using them again here. For now, this is how I feel: I'm enjoying the unencumbered freedom of not having children. I'm enjoying my nice, quiet household and the knowledge that I have a beautiful relationship with children whom I love and who love me back. I'm excited about the prospect of (one day) being able to travel the world and afford a nicer house. I like being in a position where Hubs and I could up and move to the other side of the country (or, hell, the other side of the world) if we felt so inclined. I love spending time with my nieces and nephews, and I love being able to go home to my relatively un-demanding little Atticus after they've worn me out.
It's been almost six months since we decided to stop TTC and that decision continues to be a relief to me. I'm still a little pissed that IF robbed me of the option of having kids. I often still get jealous of pregnant bellies and yes, I still avoid pregnant friends. (Although I'm starting to notice that part of the reason I avoid them is because we don't have very much in common anymore.) And sometimes I still get sad about certain aspects of motherhood that I'm missing out on and may never have. These are the reasons I'm not making any serious decisions except to say that Hubs and I aren't making plans for adoption or IVF, and we're certainly not going back to TTC naturally any time soon. I might decide in five years, or in three months, or even tomorrow that my desire to be a mother is too strong not to become one come hell or high water, but right now... I am happy.