Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ask Lola. Guilty for Being Fertile.

Anonymous said...

I'm just going to jump right in with this one... Having had such difficulties with fertility, does it upset you when a Mom, who hasn't struggled in such a way, talks about being "so done" with having kids or if they aren't completely excited about a pregnancy? I did not struggle with fertility and as a matter of fact, got my own "miracle" babies while using various and multiple birth control methods. I thank the Lord everyday for these little spirits that have been put in my care, and I know they are meant to be here with me, but I honestly have to say that with my second child and with my fifth child, finding out I was preggo was initially VERY upsetting to me. I feel bad about it sometimes, but I would love to hear your feelings on this broad topic. Sorry this is so long!

P.S. (yes... another question on its way!)I love your blog! You are such an amazing Writer, Mommy, Woman! I have a pretty boring blog and am curious with how you come up with interesting topics and if you create your posts (revising, editing, etc...) before you actually post them or if you are just THAT GOOD and simply write and post?

Dear Anonymous,

I am so glad that you asked this! I think this answer has three parts (surprise, surprise).

Part I
I think that “knowing your audience” is always a good thing. You know, most women who have lots of children also have a whole gaggle of pregnant friends or friends who have large bustling families as well…and I would recommend talking (and even griping) to THEM about the trials and challenges of difficult pregnancies and raising what feels like a zoo full of children at times. They will understand, and they might even have some great words of advice or comfort for you. Having the same “vent session” with someone who is baby-challenged would likely be less productive on either end as she has nothing to offer by way of advice, and she will also probably have a hard time relating to you since she would give just about anything to be in your shoes (no matter how messy, frumpy, or formula-stained those shoes may be).

But I personally have never held a grudge against someone for saying something about how crazy it is to have lots of kids OR how awful they think pregnancy is. I may struggle for a moment (or even a day or so) to try to understand why they would choose to “unload” onto to me instead of choosing a better audience, but I know that we’re all human. I’m sure I say or do something wrong nearly every day. This is why it’s so important (especially as women) that we give each other space to live, and grow, and struggle without harshly judging every move they make. Which leads me to…

Part II
We all have the right to our own growing processes. If I resented and judged every woman who took her kids for granted, I’d also have to turn that verdict onto myself. I’m not gonna lie, there were days (right smack in the midst of infertility struggles) when Kort was running me POSITIVELY up the wall and I would throw my hands up, look at hubs, and exclaim “Maybe it’s for the best that we only have ONE!!!!!” So if I, someone who has struggled painfully with infertility, can get fed up, and tired, and lose perspective – then who am I to judge anyone else? There have definitely been times when the lash of a thoughtless comment has cut pretty deep, but I’m a firm believer that we get to choose whether or not we “allow” ourselves to be offended or hurt. And sometimes I’ve been caught off guard and had to go lick my wounds, but that’s my issue, not theirs. I really hope that I have not become the kind of person whose friends feel that they need to walk around on eggshells for! (Ew, please no…please not ever.)

Part III
Please don’t feel guilty! As mothers, we have enough of that coming from all angles. I think that mothers (hands down) are the hardest on themselves out of any other group of people on the planet. Now that I’m pregnant, and REALLY not feeling very well, I can MUCH better understand the plight of women with large families! I have no idea how on earth I would chase a toddler, pick up a preschooler, help my 6th grader with a science fair project, and attend a soccer game, a ballet recital, and cook/clean up dinner ALL WHILE FEELING AS AWFULLY SICK AND WEAK AS I CURRENTLY DO! I can understand thinking “I have so much on my plate right now, I CANNOT have another baby!” I really can. Maybe because I’m already thinking it most days! It’s hard when our bodies are sick around the clock. It’s hard when we have to face the fact that life and the calling of motherhood don’t suddenly stop because we (and our growing babies) suddenly develop an intimate relationship with the toilet bowl.

I remember saying to my (clearly fertile) sister-in-law (when I suspected she was feeling a bit guilty for being able to spontaneously produce beautiful babies while I could not) “Geez! I’m just glad that SOMONE can have them!” And I meant it. Making women feel guilty for making beautiful babies? What is the world coming to if we are making women feel guilty for something as wonderful as that!

It IS still a little hard (okay, a lot hard) to see women who are literally unfit to have children – whether they are plagued by drug addiction, or in a dangerously abusive relationship, etc. – keep popping them out (and then ignoring/abusing them). I’ll admit that it’s still difficult for me, and it probably always will be, but I certainly don’t dwell on it (as that would likely drive me to be insane).

I hope this helps!

As for the “P.S.”:

Thank you!
That is so nice.

I just spew information out all over my keyboard and then I read through it and make corrections where something doesn’t flow, and fix spelling, and grammatical issues. I am in no way, shape or form “THAT GOOD.” (And, as I’m sure you can also see, I make up a lot of my own grammatical usage rules. He he…I like things to “look” a certain way regardless of whether it is technically correct or not.) Then, I read it to the hubs, make a few more corrections, and hit publish! A post this length takes about 30 minutes from start to finish… if that gives you any sort of an idea. To be fair, this blog may or may not have a little extra flavor due to the fact that I am something of an opinionated jerk… so, maybe being a “sweet, awesome you” isn’t such a bad thing!

I get my topics from things that irk me in life. (For instance, Elizabeth Gilbert’s interview on “the Bonnie Hunt Show” really irked me… come to think of it, the word “irk” is obnoxious and sort of “irks” me too! – But that is neither here nor there). When someone says (as though it is a FACT) that a woman would be healthier and happier if she waited till 35 to get married and start having kids, I sort of go, “Oh really? I hardly think so.” and then I sound off, being as honest and fair as I can. (And truth be told, it’s entirely possible that I am far more honest than I am ever fair, but I’m working on it.)


Nisa said...

Oh man! Never ever ever feel guilty! Heavenly Father sent those babies to you, so feel very, very grateful! I struggle with getting pregnant, but my mom had five kids and I remember growing up in that zoo. I still want it, but I understand both sides the infertility and the not so much. I think it's best to just remember what Lola has said about the growing process. We're each here to learn and grow and we shouldn't compare our lives to others. He's given us the life we're supposed to live. No guilt! (I know... Easier said than done, but, seriously, no guilt!)

Anonymous said...

Great thoughts Lola. Here's a quick easy question for you. Is Lola a pen name for your bloggity blog or do you go by Lola in real life? By anyone and everyone or just by family and BFFs?

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