Pity, Party of One. Sorrow, Party of Many

8:29 AM Edit This 27 Comments »
Internet, it's been a hard week. I fear that the joy has been sucked out of my heart and fed to the wolves. I've been struggling mightily with my demons. Especially the ones about not having a child of my own. I love, love, and love all the Munchkins in my life. In fact, I know that I would give my own life for any one or all of them if necessary. There is no question about that.

Enter Munchkin Number 3. I got to be there when he was born. I get to hold and feed him whenever I want. I will get to parent him just as I participate in parenting all of Cowgirl's children. But ultimately, I have to give him back. Because he is not mine. And every time she says, "He's pretty cute for something we didn't want." I just die inside. Every time.

Enter Baby Z. Yesterday was his birthday. I called all three of their phones at different times in the day. They didn't answer. I'm sure that they were doing something very cool. They are very into rituals and milestones and I'm certain they were spending the day doing something very special as a family. But with all my being, I wanted to sing Happy Birthday to him. I even made a video and uploaded it to youtube and sent them the link of me doing just that, but I know they haven't watched it. It breaks every part of my heart that I didn't get to be a part of that day.

Enter my girlfriend's 16 year old. He ran away last Wednesday. I drove him to the mall two weeks ago when he called and asked. I spent the whole car ride talking to him about his life. I've been a significant part of his life for the last 3 years. When he can't or won't talk to his parents, he talks to me. I knew something was wrong and I tried my best to get it out of him, but then he was gone. We've all spent time cruising the streets, posting pleas on facebook to his friends and praying with all our might. And last night, his mother called and said she just wanted a big hug. So, we sat and hugged and cried and talked. And then in the middle of the night, I got her text that he was found. The relief I had was palpable. And I was reminded that what I felt was nothing compared to how she feels.

And yesterday, I commented on a blog that I have the ultimate respect for, on the topic of work and life balance. And was promptly told that since I didn't have any children, I wasn't a part of the discussion. I don't count. And I don't get to comment apparently. Because my life isn't worth what theirs is because I don't have children.

Do any of you with children have any idea what your off hand remarks make people like me feel? It hurts. It hurts mightily. And I don't even think I"m angry about it. I think my sorrow takes over before I can even GET angry. And then I find out that a very special blogger whom I love is going through something very terrible. So if you've got some love, please send it out to The Universe. Because today? It's not a good day.


Kelly Hogaboom said...

Thank you for writing such a raw and vulnerable post. I know what I read here is going to make me think just a tiny bit harder about the lives of those who don't have children, who want them.

I also wish any of my friends w/o kids were as tender-hearted toward my family. I can't think of any who are.

I've been loving your entries lately. I hope something wonderful happens to you today (or several wonderful things). I hope you feel better soon.

tubist said...

Hey Kate,

When we were beginning to have children someone made a comment in a group of adults and us about how fulfilling it is to raise children. One almost-50-something married woman (with no children) said lives can be fulfilled in other ways without children. Ever since then I have tried to be sensitive to those without children.

I too have been reading and liking your blog for many weeks. You and Ms. Darkstar are helping me to find my blogging voice. It's not quite there, but I think I'm starting to here it in other ways. You are inspiring in more ways than that too...

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

So hard. I hope things turn around, and as for the internets... the internet grants people anonymity and that can make people say all the things they'd never say to someone they know. It is so hard, but you HAVE to fins a way to ignore and forgive. For you, not for them. Screw them.

Malaise Inc said...

Anyone who would exclude you from a conversation just because you haven't had children yet is a sanctimonious twit with an exaggerated sense of privilege and is not worthy of your respect.

KT said...

I think that it is amazing that you are so involved with the kids in your life. Just because you don't have kids of your own doesn't mean that you don't have an amazing impact on their lives. Even if that teenager doesn't tell you, you can be sure that he values your relationship with him.

PLEASE don't let stupid people on the internet bring you down.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I find it absolutely despicable when people who have something determine that people who don't have that same something can't have valid opinions or insights. It's small-minded and it's those people who actually lose out. There's nothing worse than getting a group of people all in the same boat and relying solely on them for the end-all be-all to what matters in life.

I'm so sorry, Kate, and wish I could be there to offer you a hug, a few tears and maybe a few laughs (at the idiocy of the world around us). You have such a big heart and would make a really fantastic parent. And there is still yet time for you ... don't give up hope.

justsomethoughts... said...

i'm sorry you're going through that
and i'm sorry that people can be that insensitive

i've nothing else of value to say

Anonymous said...

That person with the kids who won't let you talk is rotten. A yucky person. Stop reading her blog!!

I'm sorry about all of this. I think kids are such an emotional issue all the time. For everyone.

justme said...

That is awful. i'm sorry, just plain and simple. anyone, who is a blogger and has a public venue for people to read and give opinions should be ashamed for doing that to someone.

I'm so sorry...as you know, i'm going through some of the same feelings. i know that it is hard, even though it is not the exact same situation.

Lemon Gloria said...

Oh, my gosh, Kate. Big hugs hugs to you. What a hard, hard time.

And I don't understand why your opinion wouldn't be welcome. It's narrow-minded and ugly to do that to someone.

Ink Spiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ink Spiller said...

Kate, my dear, you count and you count a lot more than many parents.

It's easy to have an opinion but it's hard (for some, sometimes many) to be civilized enough to have empathy and to see that a comment like that can hurt enormously. That requires a heart and a soul. Some people don't seem to have them.

Cello Mama said...

Sending a big hug to you, Kate, and some love out into The Universe on your behalf.

I have some idea how those comments make you feel - since we struggled with infertility for awhile. In my case, I had therapies to try. Your path right now seems a bit tougher, but The Universe may yet surprise you happily.

I will pray every day that it does, until it does.

Sparkling Red said...

Man, people can be such thoughtless jerks. I wish I could think of something more articulate to say, but that's really what it boils down to. Stupid, close-minded jerks. I'm sorry that someone had to bring you down like that during such a hard week. (((HUGS)))

Summer said...

Oh. My. God. That's a very unfair statement to make to someone who doesn't have kids. You are more involved with children and teens than most parents. Kate, you will make such a great mom. You really will.

I think people, in general, like to get all hoity toity about a stage they are at in life. I've had people say the same thing to me when I've commented about teens. My kids may be young, but I have been exposed to a gazillion teenagers-- so I am entitled to an opinion.

G said...

Honestly, I don't mind if people who don't have children comment about children.

I have two of my own (9 & 17 1/2) and I welcome any kind of input/advice/pearls of wisdom/insults, etc. etc. etc.

Furthermore, just because you don't have children doesn't mean you can't talk about issues like balance work and life. Honestly, sometimes I envy people who don't have children. Even though they don't have the same kind of stress issues balancing work and life that people with children have, they still have stress issues just the same.

Just milder and better. :D

So keeping doing what you're doing, and if someone tells you otherwise, tell them to F off.

kilax said...

How awful that someone said that. :( It's obvious that while you don't have kids you have an amazing heart :)

Can do mom said...

Hi Kate,

I'm a new follower and was moved by your latest post. I'm sorry for your hurt and grief and the cruelty of unthinking people.

I'm a part of a dinner party group and I clearly remember the hurt and tears of a dear, dear friend after a dinner party years ago. One of us had just given birth and we ladies spent the evening sharing birthing experiences. We assumed that because she and her husband had adopted two beautiful children that she would not be bothered by such talk and we were so very wrong. Sadly, even people who are dear friends can be capable of thoughtlessly hurting each other.

I pray that you will find peace and that God will ease your pain.

Shelley said...

Aw sweetie, I'm sorry you are suffering. I loved having my babies so much and I really hope that you get to have that experience too. Did I tell you that my best friend had her one and only child at 41? She had pretty much given up the idea that she would have a baby, but FINALLY her husband changed his mind...so you never know. Keep the hope alive.

Holly said...

Having waiting until later in life to have my daughter I do understand the pain and just plain WTF you feel when someone makes a stupid-ass response such as the person who said you don't understand work/life balance. That is complete bullshit.

I wish I could be there to give you a big hug. You are an awesome, fantastic human being with lots of heart & love to give to others.

carrster said...

Oh Poop-knuckles, Kate. That sucks, but your post does provide a good reminder to everyone to watch what you say - People need to keep themselves in check (unless they're just a-holes). I am sending lots of love to the Universe & am also asking the Universe to return it to you. You are awesome. You never know what the future will hold. I hope it is ridiculous amounts of happiness.

AND I GET TO SEE YOU SOON! (email me again when you're going to be here!!)

Pearl said...

People who make those kinds of comments are thoughtless, off-handedly cruel. Remember that the next time this person speaks.

A raw and honest post. I hope you feel better today...


The Pollinatrix said...

Wow. This is intense. I'm not sure I even know how to comment. I just wish I could give you a big hug.

artemisia said...

You are such a thoughtful, considerate friend.

I am so sorry you feel so badly. I wish I could give you a hug. Clearly, I need to make a trip out your way!

I can't believe someone said outright that you couldn't be a part of that life/work balance discussion because you don't have children. Holy cow.

I (feel like I get that attitude from nearly all of my co-workers, that how can my life be busy and chaotic and worthwhile seeing as how I don't have children? Whenever there is some off-hours work events, it is assumed I can be available because I don't have children. Gah.

I try to be understanding, but dude, just because you are a parent does not mean you are more than me.

A life without children can still be fulfilling. However, a life without children when that is not the life you have chosen for yourself would be difficult to call fulfilling. It would take a total shift in perspective. Maybe you will make that shift someday, maybe your won't.

E said...

Look you people without kids are the wonderful adults in our kids lives. We need you. They need you.
Of course you have a role to play. And it is an important one too. Look I don't understand electricity really, but I know how to turn on the lights. Whoever said you couldn't comment because you don't have kids was a little stupid. She didn't have much imagination and that always makes people a little mean.
But the thing is what she said has no bearing on what you know. Or what I know for that matter and that is that the childless woman who acts as an auntie in my kid's lives is the responsible loving adult they will turn to when they are too blinded to come to us. I treasure her. So do they.
I picked her for just this role and she has played it many times...cheering at the horse show, putting up the teenagers who were having sex in her NY apartment, (leaving condoms in the bathroom), and listening to their tales of woe.
She is beloved. her role is crucial. So is yours.
We all make choices. I have kids but you have other stuff I don't as a result of not having them. One of those things is that probably no kid will ever blame you for ruining their lives and you get to hold up someone else's and remind that their human parents love them which will save all of their lives one day. I promise....much love from VT

Kristen said...

I'm sorry people suck. Do you hear that assholes of the world? I'm apologizing for you.
You're welcome. Jerks.

Anonymous said...

Well I want to kick that person and give you a hug. Can I do that?