Life would be so much easier if I could avoid all things baby. If I could avoid all pregnant co-workers, neighbors, and family members. If the grocery store didn’t have those stupid preggo-only parking signs and babies in grocery carts being pushed around every corner. If I never went anywhere I might run into a young family. Anything that might induce baby-craziness, that particular brand of insanity that makes me simultaneously love and hate other people’s babies, pregnancies, and walking, talking kids.
Oh, did I mention that I actually work with babies and young children every day. And their moms, sometimes pregnant with their 3rd or 4th or 5th child that they can’t afford to feed. Yeah. Oh, and babies who are in foster care because their mothers took a shitload of drugs while pregnant. So that’s great.
And yet, I seem to manage this rather well. Call it self-preservation, thick skin, or a general sense of numbness, but I get through it. Some days more easily than others. Maybe because I try to distance myself when I can. I can’t help it if a little one toddles over to me and plops down in my lap. But with the teeny tiny babies, I mostly guide mom or dad or grandma while I sit back, never getting too close to that button of a nose or those wide eyes or, god help me, that smell.
The bad days are the ones when I get asked, “Do you have kids?” “Don’t you want them?” Or worst of all, “You’ll be such a good mom.” Even my sister pulled this one on me, and added that I’d be a better mom than she is. Really?? I’m not sure it’s a competition, and if it is, it’s not a fair one. By the time we have our first child, I’ll be more than 10 years older than my sister was when she had my niece. I’m not saying that age is a factor in how good a parent you are, but I’m a different person than I was 10 years ago. My sister is a different person now than she was when her daughter was born. So it’s not exactly a fair comparison. Plus, unlike my sister, I’ve always had what I can only refer to as “mommyness.” I’ve always been good with children and babies, baby-sitting since I was 12, constantly surrounded by nieces and nephews. I usually get along with kids better than I do with most adults. So I’m much less worried about the kind of mom I’ll be than the fear that I may never get to be one, thank you very much.
The break from work has been nice. I needed it. I’ve had time with Hubby, time with family, and time to myself. But I have to go back to work on Monday. Don’t worry, I’ll survive. I always do.