Sunday, February 04, 2007

Stuck in the middle with you


As I've mentioned before, I belong to a smallish, close-knit message board. I consider the women on the board to be good friends, and since we talk online, I usually talk to them a lot more than I talk to my geographically-present friends. We all met on a wedding planning board, so most of us were married within a few years of each other. I was, I think, fourth-to-last or fifth-to-last to get married. A lot of the girls are a few years older than me, and some are almost five years older than I am. Many of them already have kids, and several have little bitty kids, born in the last two years. Now, four (four!!) of them are pregnant. I am utterly thrilled for all of them, and I'm loving every minute of celebrating their pregnancies and looking forward to welcoming their babies into our quirky extended family group.

But I'm also sort of sad, because by the time MB and I are ready to have children, most of my online friends' kids will be in Kindergarten. I fear that no one will be left to be my "pregnancy buddy," that everyone will be totally over diapers and teething and first steps, and that I'll be left behind, yelling "Hey, wait for me!" just like I am now. All the bloggers I read who have babies and small children will be leaps and bounds away from me, and I'll be running to catch up, always. While I'm not exactly jealous of my friends who are buying houses and having babies and bonding through motherhood, it does make me feel like the last kid left on the playground sometimes, yelling after them to wait, to come back and go down the tallest slide with me one last time.


And then, there's the other side of my friend-sphere. My "real-life" friends, the ones I live near and hang out with frequently. About half of the people in my somewhat largeish group of close friends are married. Of the married folk, one couple is actively seeking to expand their family, and one couple is thinking about doing so soon. The rest are adamantly no-kids-please. The singles are not in any hurry to become un-single, and also have no plans (that I know of) to have kids. So among my friends, I'm one of the weird ones, because I actually think about and talk about and read about and want babies. Not all the time, mind you. I'm not baby crazy, and I don't go on about it all the time (at least, I don't think so). I can't gush about babies to my friends, because it's somewhat clear they think it's boring or weird or at least uninteresting. They smile those "isn't she cute" smiles and say things like, "You and your mommy blogs" and I wonder if they'll find me boring and trite and as dismissible in their eyes as the other "mommy bloggers" when I have kids. I hope not, and I don't really think so, but who knows? I wonder sometimes if they look at me like I look at my online friends. To them, am I the one running off toward a different kind of reality, leaving them behind? Am I always going to be stuck in the middle, left behind and yet running ahead?

18 comments:

  1. I've known you since kindergarten. Whatever I may think of the mommy-bloggers, and however much your obsession with your cat raises my concerns about how you'll be with your children, I cannot see myself getting tired of you.

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  2. Being that I'm not even close to marriage yet, having kids is a speck in the distance for me - but I'll still read your blog anyway. ;) Can't get rid of a gal that easily..

    (And I still think your mates will be interested in what you have to say when the time comes. Don't despair!)

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  3. it doesn't really count as running ahead if you're going somewhere many of us don't plan to follow, technically speaking.

    and just think of all the vicarious baby swag you're gonna get, like darth vader or gir onesies.

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  4. Aw...thanks, you guys!

    Also, "vicarious swag" has got to be one of the more hilarious phrases I've heard (even though I'm not entirely sure what a "gir onesie" is).

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  5. The Rock Star and I have thought a lot about how to balance out being parents and still remaining cool, individual people who can talk about things that do not come out of one end or the other of our child. It's probably hard, as you spend most of your waking moments for the first year or so occupied by it. But I'm sure everyone who loves you will be more than happy to listen to your "mommy-blogging" whether they've reached a baby-stage or not. :)

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  6. I read pretty near daily, I'm not going anywhere. Although I fall into the married no kids category as well, I too am addicted to several "mommy blogs". I can't help it! I like them!

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  7. I know how you feel. My kids are older and I've almost (not quite) forgotten how it is to have little tiny babies. I feel really out of touch sometimes.

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  8. I promise I will be so freaking excited and involved when you decide to reproduce I could just scream. Even if the childfolk are school aged freaks at that point. The idea of gooshing over pregnancy and a tiny lovely baby while my kids are mouthing off (cod knows they will) is beautiful.

    With any luck I'll even be local. :)

    Anyone who becomes dismissive of you if you turn mommy blog-esque (what a horrible horrible thing to be! oh me!) isn't really worth the time in the first place.

    Generally friendships survive the changes in life. Sometimes they don't Just like marriage isn't a death sentence to friendships kids doesn't have to be either. Unless the other party sucks.

    In which case I'll cut them. xoxo

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  9. As much as I enjoy reading the blogs of "mommies", I still resent the disparaging tone with which they're referred. To me it just means that mothers aren't respected and neither are the the things they do or think about. Whenver you become a mom, you'll be where you are because that's where you're supposed to be. Those ahead of you will offer advice. If you were all on the same page, you couldn't turn to anyone for help.

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  10. That's a really, really good point, wordgirl, about not having anyone to look to for advice if we were all in the exact same place. I don't know that I've ever looked at it like that before.

    And I couldn't agree more about the unfortunate and unfair disparaging of "mommy blogs." I read the ones I do for the same reasons I read the blogs of people without children--I like the way they write, I enjoy their perspectives on life, and usually they make me laugh.

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  11. I agree with all so far. I don't like the term "mommy blog" because it's reductive. These blogs are not all about parenting--they're about the unique perspective and style of an individual who I've come to enjoy.

    I, too, am a late bloomer in the childbearing arena and my situation is just like yours. My real life friends aren't going there and my online friends already have.

    But I plan to be much less frightened than I would otherwise be, because all these freakishly awesome ladies have gone ahead of me and will reassure me when the time comes that this is normsl (or at least, not outside the outside range of normal). And they help me remember that no matter how many I pop out, I'll always be me.

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  12. It's entirely possible that I just haven't read the right blogs written by mothers.

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  13. for the record, a gir onesie would be a onesie (i'm sure you're familiar with those) with gir on it. gir is a very cute if somewhat warped and stupid robot in a dog suit from the cartoon invader zim.

    in light of MB's away message i really wanted to get the future badger the one with darth vader on it that said "who's your daddy", but i missed out by waiting until 1/2 off clearance, since i felt it smart to get the best possible deal on clothes for someone who doesn't exist yet.

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  14. {Sigh} Alas, the entire world is pregnant.

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  15. When the egg is ready, the sperm will come.

    Live the moment. I love that you found my daughter's blog and then adopted me too.

    And I love that you have such a diverse group of friends and connections. We've got your back, baby!

    Hugs, a Grandmommy Blogger

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  16. Evilducky7712:08 PM

    I sometimes feel abnormal for not wanting kids. And sometimes I wonder if there is a part of the Human Experience I will be missing out on if I don't have them. I also wonder how it will feel when the majority of my married friends start having them and doing Mommy type things together.

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  17. Among our group of friends, you'll probably be in the majority! ;)

    Also, even when I have kids I seriously doubt I'll want to do all Mommy stuff, all the time. There will definitely still be time for girls' nights!

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  18. When I was your age (oh my god I am Grandma Moses all of a sudden) none of my married friends wanted kids either. Now? Many of them do want them, and have them. Things change, choices change. As one of those who still doesn't have kids and doesn't want to, I have had days where I feel scared that my mom-friends will go off into their world and not include me. It's happened with some, and not with others. That fear of being left out, left behind, left, is universal I think. No matter what your perspective is.

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