This past weekend I had a little reunion with my college best friends/roommates. One of them recently had a baby (recent as in a week ago), so while we were getting together we arranged to stop by and see her. When we stopped by her house, my friend’s Mom was also there since she had come in for the birth of her new granddaughter to help out.
As I watched her Mom there, moving around, helping out and telling stories about the day her daughter delivered, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of something. It wasn’t jealousy and it wasn’t anger, but it was something. A strange feeling. A feeling of knowing deep down that someday if Husband and I have children, it won’t be the same way for me. Mom won’t be able to just come and stay for awhile by herself. She won’t be driving herself to see me at the hospital. I don’t think she’ll be able to carry a baby or get up to help with things by herself. Little things. Little things that are not on my radar right now but someday they will be.
I know having children works differently for everyone. Some people have parents who are very involved and others are not. I come from a long line of women whose moms came and assisted once their babies were born. But for Sister K and me, I am not sure if this will be the case. I am not sure how it will work. I know it bothers Mom because she has mentioned it to me hypothetically before. We are a ways off from it being a real life issue, so I blow it off when she talks about it. But yesterday as I sat in my friend’s house looking at her Mom and her baby I couldn’t help but feel it. Almost like a twinge of loss. Mourning the loss of something that hasn’t even happened yet- the loss of a vision of Mom helping me take care of a baby someday that always sat in my mind. Now I am trying to dispel this dream from my mind as I embrace the new reality I have been given. I know it’s impossible to prepare for but I feel as though maybe in thinking about it now if that day comes I will be more ready for it.
Have you ever dealt with the reality of an idea you had for the future changing? Have you ever felt the same twinge in life when you are around other people? Does my twinge even make sense?
Your twinge does make sense and I understand where you are coming from. Even though your mother may not be able to help out in the traditional sense, maybe she will be able to help out in other ways.
If and when you decide to have kids, maybe your kids will have a better sense of people with “disabilities” (sorry, as an M.S. person myself I hate using that word) and have a stronger compassion seeing what their “grandmother” has gone through.
What you’re feeling is very natural and I totally understand where you are coming from. But I’m sure she will be able to help out in other ways that you never thought possible. Keep your head up my friend! 🙂
Aw, I am sorry that was a tough blow to ‘ideals’ you had about raising kids… But I get the feeling that when your children grow up knowing your mother, they will learn a whole other side of the person she is. She will be able to care for them in her own way and they will learn different things from her–maybe even understanding and things they wouldn’t pay attention to if it weren’t someone is that special role of grandmother. They will probably learn a lot more compassion too. There isn’t any way to know what the future will bring but it will bring a new sort of understanding and acceptance of what is realistic for both your mom and children.
I love this. Thank you for posting it. It brings up so many points about unknowns in the future that I need to remember. It’s just hard to think about but I need to focus on the positive qualities that will still exist and be there in the relationship. Thank you for your thoughtful comments on this tough topic for me!