I should warn you, if you are expecting a funny maybe entertaining story about flying, you will be disappointed. Not really what this blog is about. But I welcome you to read on anyways…In my last blog I shared my latest dilemma. I was offered a nanny job from a friend who has a newborn. The pros and cons list helped a little. After chatting with PC (hubby) again about this job, we decided I am going to pass on this opportunity. PC assured me he would support my decision either way. He could understand why I was even considering it in the first place. Ok, with that dilemma addressed we move on to the next one. The decision to turn this job down has granted me a plane ticket straight to crazy-ville again. Plenty of layovers, I’m certainly not sitting in coach, lots of turbulence, no free snacks/drinks, my neighbor needs a tic-tac, with no return flight in sight. (Well that escalated quickly…) So why am I so sad about saying no? I thought when I made this decision I would feel some sort of relief. No longer having to be on the fence about it. I was wrong. So here is yet another one of my lists (in no particular order)…
Reason !) Guilt. Thinking of myself first is not a quality I usually own. Although I have always been the friend who encourages people to stand up for themselves. I can’t seem to practice what I preach very often. Until recently that is… And by recently I mean the past year or two. I believe I have touched on this in previous blogs. I have distanced myself from practically my whole biological family. I can’t say my current health issues were the reason but I’m sure they were a part of it. I still enjoy spending time with PC’s family. Amazing people! Anyhow, I am now trying very hard to at least think of myself first when it comes to things that might affect me emotionally as a result of the IF. That’s where the guilt comes in for the nanny job. I feel bad for my friend and his wife because now they have to start looking outside the friend/family zone. That makes me sad. I feel guilty that I, the one who thrives and lives for child care in any form, will not do it because it will cause ME pain/stress. I know I could do a great job and that would help my current low self-esteem issues. Which brings me to my next reason.
Reason 2) Some say when you are struggling with depression/self esteem…etc, doing things that usually make you happy can help. Hobbies or trying something new can also be helpful. Well I started a small business making jewelry. It’s been semi-successful. I am able to be creative and keep my mind busy. I turn up the radio, get my supplies out and pray I can end up with a piece I am happy with. The only time this makes me happy is when I am sitting at my work station creating a piece or when I make a sale. That’s not enough happy for me. Again, this business is only semi-successful at the moment. TAKING CARE OF CHILDREN USED TO MAKE ME HAPPY! This is truly my calling and now I can’t do it. Next reason…
Reason 3) I can’t be me??? Not only can I not have my own children but the one thing I am really good at and love the most I can’t do either!!! You have GOT to be kidding me! This is just not fair!! I know NONE of this is easy for any of us but maybe if I still had a career or something as meaningful to me to focus on, I would have less “bad days”. I am not suggesting that this infertility is any less difficult for women in any other field of work! I just feel like maybe I would. Maybe I would even leave the house more often. I feel like I have to completely change who I am because of this IF. Change who I am? If I were making changes for the better I’m sure I could get on board with it. This doesn’t feel like it’s for the better. Maybe after enough time passes this gets easier and I can get back into child care but I just don’t see that “lighted tunnel” anywhere in the near future, if ever. Where is Aladdin’s genie when I need him. “Poof, what do you need. Poof, what do you need. Poof, what to do you”?
Reason 4) Regret. I don’t usually regret much about my life. For the most part I can eventually find a lesson in most situations. In hind sight, there is one regret I can’t forget. Years ago I worked at a children’s shelter. It was a home for children (0-12 yrs old) who had been taken out of their homes but had nowhere to go while waiting for a foster or adoptive home. It was my favorite job ever! I wasn’t teaching reading or math but I taught many basic skills most children already have. Trust, proper behavior, and more. I think I also touched on this in a previous blog. Anyhow, there was this toddler. She was a year and a half old. I was her intake, meaning I am the one who literally carried her out of the cop car and went on to take all the next steps required for accepting new kiddos. I offered her food/drink, bagged her things she had brought from home (they were only bagged until washed and sanitized for the sake of others in the home), gave her a bath and charted every single mark on her little body before showing her her new room and tucking her into bed. My chart was full! I refuse to go into detail but this sweetie had already lived an unimaginable life of abuse and neglect. We grew pretty close. I think she was attached to me because I was the first face she saw at the shelter and probably the first adult to nurture her in any way without harming her. She was with us for about 7 months. Her broken arm healed well and she seemed to be thriving and even hitting a few milestones. One day her case worker called and told me to pack her up, she was going home! Her mother took the ONE anger management class and that is all she was required to do in order to get her daughter back. My heart sunk as if she was my blood child and they were sending her into the most vicious lion’s den on the planet. I had never gotten this attached to another kid in the shelter and never thought I would. I went straight to my supervisor’s office and said I quit. I told her I understand that it would be a conflict of interests if I worked there and adopted this kid. So I quit. My supervisor said she saw this coming and she would get the paperwork started but I didn’t need to quit. Fast forward a week…I am in my supervisor’s office to fill out paperwork for fostering (a step I had to take before filing for adoption). With pen in hand and half a nanosecond before signing my name, the phone rang. The case worker found a foster home for this girl. A married couple living on a ranch, with horses, cows, chicken, substantial income and 3 other children they had adopted after struggling with infertility themselves. Now I had a choice to make. Let this seemingly “more qualified than I” couple take her or put my Hancock on the paper in my hands. PC and I were not married yet, still lived with his parents while he was working on his degree and had much less than a “substantial income” to say the least.. I let her go. Although I was relieved because I knew she wasn’t going back to that hell hole (and that was the most important thing to me at the time) I was sad. My heart told me I was doing the right thing. She deserved a good home and life. We were in no position to give her that. Love, care and nurturing doesn’t pay the bills, buy clothes or feed her. I personally know how hard that is on a child. Now I’m not so sure I did do the right thing. Today she is almost 16 years old. I often wonder how she is doing. I can’t help but think if I had taken her my heart would be less broken now. I could be happy with just one child. Maybe I would grateful for what I have. Am I being punished for not adopting this girl? Did I pass up my only chance to have a child? If so, why was that my only chance. Why would I get the opportunity to have an amazing little girl when I was no where near ready to be a parent and now that I am, I can’t??? We actually waited (unlike way too many parents I have known) for some stability in our lives before TTC, ya know, the way it should be! Now we have careers, more income, stable home, stable marriage and more. This just adds to my confusion about the infertility. Again I am brought back to the “Why does SHE get a baby and I don’t?” feeling.
My hope is that some day I finally get a coach seat on this plane back to happy-ville. I don’t even care anymore about the layovers, snacks, or other passengers. I will somehow find the power to overcome this sadness, someday. Sometimes “some day” doesn’t feel like enough. Does “someday” even exist in these circumstance?
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging” -Joseph Campbell
Virtual blessings to all of you!