My partner and I struggled with infertility for five years before becoming parents via adoption. We have a beautiful baby girl, now in the toddler stage, who has been with us since her third day of life. While we have technically crossed over to the parenting side, and are thankful for our ability to have our daughter in our lives, there are moments when I feel guilty for having a kid after struggling with infertility.
Technically my partner and I are still are struggling with infertility, we've just turned to adoption and, at this very moment, are waiting for another call that will expand our family even further. Before our daughter came into our lives, though, Mother's Day was the hardest day of the year. This Mother's Day, however, was my second as a mom, and while it was certainly different than the previous Mother's Days, I still couldn't shake that overwhelming feeling of complete sadness. My thoughts were with my friends (and even strangers) who are still desperately wishing they could celebrate the holiday as a mom, so while I was thankful I could, I was heartbroken they could not.
That's when the guilt hit. I don't think any of my friends who aren't moms yet would want me to feel any guilt. In fact I've always felt guilt was a little self-indulgent. Still, I did feel guilty posting a photo on Instagram that day, and I often have a hard time not feeling bad that I'm no longer in that heartbreaking club of women who want to be mothers, but just aren't yet.
My solution to the guilt is to try to be constantly and continually grateful that I am a mom. I never want to take parenthood for granted, and that is the way I try to honor my friends and family who are still trying to become parents.
When I'm Talking To Friends Who Are Still Struggling
I know that not a single one of my friends who are still struggling with infertility would want me to feel guilty for having a family now, but it's still hard not to feel a little guilty talking about being a mom with friends who can't be mothers yet.
When I'm Thinking About Friends Who Are Still Struggling
Honestly, even thinking about my friends who are still struggling to become moms sometimes makes me feel guilty. More often it just breaks my heart, because I know that becoming a mom can be such a primal desire for some (though, not all) women and, unfortunately, not every woman who wants to become a mom will eventually get to. That breaks my heart.
When I'm Posting About Motherhood On Social Media
Posting on Facebook and Instagram about my family is a particularly complicated task for me, mostly because I remember what it felt like to see everyone else build their families, seemingly right in front of my eyes, when I couldn't do the same.
Sure, dealign with a pregnancy or baby announcement via social media is a little easier than having to deal in real life, simply because I could confront my emotions in private before having to face anyone, but social media isn't easy when you're struggling with infertility.
When I'm Celebrating Holidays
Holidays, like Mother's Day, always make me think about my friends who are struggling with infertility. I know that feeling and, well, it's not pleasant to see everyone celebrating with their families while you're waiting to grow yours. I remember avoiding social media on holidays so I wouldn't feel sad and jealous.
When I Complain About My Kid
I really try very, very hard not to complain about my kid. I really don't ever want to take for granted the fact that I have her, that she is my daughter, and that she made me a mom.
That said, there are days when my beloved kid is a nightmare, and it's hard not to state the fact that she didn't sleep last night and has spent the day having tantrums about who even knows what. I do my absolute best not to mention a peep of that to my friends who are still wishing to be moms, though, and even through the difficulties I remind myself of how truly lucky I am to have my tantrum-throwing toddler.
When I Brag About My Kid
I also try not to brag about my kid, but if you ask me a single question about her, I'll have a hard time not responding with 15 amazing things she did this week. I try to remember, though, that this is part of not taking my daughter for granted. I'm just utterly and completely in awe of her the majority of every day.
When I Complain About Parenting
I vividly remember the time someone jokingly said they were ready to give their kids up for adoption when my partner and I were in the throes of fertility testing (which they knew about). It was like getting punched in the gut and the face at the same time. I never want to give anyone that feeling by complaining about the thing they so want to be.
When It Feels Like Everyone Else Has Kids
Sort of like when you're the only single person in a whole bunch of couples, when everyone else has kids and there's one couple left out, I can't help but feel terrible.