It’s hard. I’m not gonna lie. There are days I just don’t want to go around any of my friends who have kids, because I never know is this a day where I’m going to simply enjoy my friends and loving on the kids… Or will this be one of those days where I paste on a smile and when I get home I cry myself hoarse? It’s an emotional teeter totter, and honestly I never know which way my emotions are going to swing.
I’ve backed off of how much I visit some of my friends because of that, which has hurt their feelings, but it makes more sense than being like “Well it hurts my feelings that you have what I don’t!” Because that’s dumb. It’s just dumb, and I know for a fact I shouldn’t be upset because they have babies. They adore their babies, and of course I would never actually say such a thing… but it doesn’t stop looking at those sweet faces from hurting. And it certainly doesn’t stop me from comparing how close in age our children would have been. The thought that while we sit back and chat that there should be two little ones romping around the floor, not just one.
That’s the most extreme “problem” with being “that” friend. There’s little problems too that leave me feeling frustrated and embarrassed at the same time.
If one of my friends asks me to diaper their child, I have no problem doing so, but… there’s always these teasing little comments about the speed at which I can do it. I’m sorry that I don’t have baby dolls at home that I practice on just for the odd happenstance that you might need me to diaper your kid’s butt. I will gladly do it for you, it doesn’t bother me, but feeling like I’m being judged and found lacking because I don’t have experience… that does bother me.
I suppose I could practice on the husband, but I doubt he would be very amused with the idea.
I’m afraid one of these days my filter’s not going to engage and someone’s going to get a snappy, “Well, I’m sorry I don’t have any to practice on to meet your qualifying speeds!” Seriously, is there like a baby diapering Olympic sport or something?
Going out with the friends who have kids is a hazard all of it’s own. An example here is I went out with a friend/cousin today with her grandbaby, and ran into someone I used to work with. I was pushing the buggie with the baby because I enjoy playing with him. The co-worker looks at me and says “Well, that was quick!” Leading to me hastily assuring that the baby was not mine, and is in fact a little cousin. Even afterwards she still made the comment that he seemed to have my hair.
She meant nothing by it. She meant nothing mean. It didn’t stop me from being embarrassed, uncomfortable, and somewhat hurt from the encounter.
It’s an emotional minefield being “that” friend.
That being said, there are some upsides to that as well. I get to play “auntie Angel” to kids that I absolutely adore. I get to spoil them rotten any time I want, and play with them until they’re too tired to hold their heads up. At Christmas, I’m the first to admit I will be the one in the baby/child section looking for the perfect gift to both amuse the child I’m buying for and mostly likely to annoy the parents at the same time.
As much as I try to keep those things in mind, it’s not always easy, and I’ll be the first to admit to being tenderhearted. I always have been, but conversations with fellow cysters and other women struggling with infertility tell me I’m not the only one struggling. Please, if you have a friend you know is fighting the monster of infertility – choose your words and actions carefully. Chances are even if you do hurt our feelings, we’ll never say anything.