2 down, 1 to go

As I get progressively more pregnant, am also getting more aggressive in my stressing about being a good parent. I probably don’t need to say this, but let’s go ahead and establish that I have a LOT of social anxiety issues. I worry that people don’t like me pretty frequently. (Side note: Invisibilia podcasts are making me even more introspective and inquisitive than I used to be- but also making me feel more “normal!”) That said, my inability to interact with others comfortably is even more pronounced as it relates to pregnancy and/or parenting. Of the people with whom I spend time socially, the majority have had trouble getting or staying pregnant. Like, a lot of trouble. Because of that, I have tried to be very careful to avoid talking about my pregnancy. It obviously comes up, and because I don’t hang out with assholes, they ask me about it, but I try not to go too far into how amazingly easy it has been for me. (In case you’re wondering, I do very much appreciate that my whole life has been, and continues to be, incredibly easy and fantastic and wonderful, even though I bitch and moan sometimes.) Now, though, I’m in my third trimester. I am visibly with child. I have absolutely no nursery furniture (don’t judge, I’ll get some!), but I have started nesting.

Nesting, for me, is more mental/emotional than physical. Obviously I have thought about boring stuff like where my daughter will sleep and what clothes she will wear. More pressing, though, is how she will be. I am, and she will be, lucky to know several smart, powerful, awe-inspiring people. I feel like I need to tell these people, “I want you to influence my daughter.” I want her to be confident, and to take risks, and to fight for equality (for herself and others), and to be kind and considerate and active and curious and….so many things. And while there are a plethora of people in my life already whom I view as future mentors (for me and her!), some of them are the same people who have been through hell to become parents. How do you talk to someone who is fighting to adopt their child about how much you hope to emulate them when your own child just *poof* appears with little to no effort from you? (not to downplay my terror of childbirth, I just try not to dwell on that step!) How do you tell someone who has just lost another pregnancy that you hope to be able to parent like they do? And how am I supposed to invite these people to baby showers knowing that they are probably forced to face their own losses every day as it is, without me making it bigger?

I know that the people I consider my friends are happy for me. I know that they will be supportive of me and my family. I know that they can tell me if they aren’t comfortable being involved. But I don’t feel like they should have to. I feel like I spend enough of my life watching people forced to speak up when they shouldn’t have to. I don’t want to put my friends in that situation. I hope they know that I do, in fact, care very much about how they are feeling. Just as much as I know they care when they ask me.

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