When you’re trying for a baby, and it’s just not happening, it’s only natural to feel every other pregnancy announcement with a twinge of resentment. Jealousy, bitterness, sadness; call it what you will. At least if you’re being honest, that is. It’s natural, you’re only human, after all. You’re happy for the mum and dad-to-be, of course you are, but there’s also that little twinge of “when will it be our turn?”
So when you do finally have a baby of your own, it’s lovely to be able to enjoy other people’s pregnancy announcements. At least, that’s what I thought. But recently I’ve been feeling some of those twinges of resentment creep back in. Although there’s a good chance that we’ll probably stick with the one baby for a variety of reasons – and I’m totally fine with that – I’ve found myself a little jealous of my friends who are pregnant of late.
It’s not that I particularly want another baby. As I say, we’ll probably be sticking at one, and I’m ok with that. I really am. Nor do I particularly want to be pregnant. I’ll admit I do miss my bump and those little baby movements from deep inside, but looking back I had a fairly rough pregnancy, so I’m not looking to do it all again with a toddler in tow. But I am jealous of all of the emotion that normally comes with being newly pregnant.For most women (not all, I know), being pregnant for the first time is an exciting, if somewhat scary, time. It’s filled with hope, with the secrecy of keeping being pregnant under wraps for twelve weeks, with the likes of baby showers, and last days at work and first days on maternity leave. It’s magical, and I don’t begrudge anyone feeling that way.
And then the baby comes.
For many new mums, I know that it’s a really joyous time, and again is filled with the magic and wonder of getting to know this new little person. But for me, it was filled with a feeling of being overwhelmed, of failing to breastfeed, of having to force myself out of the house when feeling like a nervous wreck. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this, or feeling part of this, and this isn’t a woe is me cry. This was just how I felt.
And now, how I am finding myself feeling when friends tell me they are pregnant, is, well, jealous.
I’m jealous that you’ll get to do all of this, and hopefully embrace it and enjoy it.
I’m jealous that you’re pregnant and getting to experience all of the joy that comes with pregnancy, before the reality hits.
I’m jealous that you’ll be having this new little person to love and get to know and not muck it up.
I’m jealous that I often feel like I have mucked it all up.
I’m jealous that I have wished time away, and not cherished all of the little, small moments.
And I’m jealous that I didn’t recognise all of this sooner, and ask for help.
I think when I wrote, as a new mum, about other new mums seemingly taking to motherhood like a duck to water, I probably did recognise that I was feeling a little bit like this. Feeling that I wasn’t good enough, that I must try harder. I also remember having a conversation with one of my lovely NCT friends about whether I loved Baby Lighty enough. I have come a long way, of that I’m sure. I now know that there is no one right or wrong way to parent. I can also tell you that I love Baby Lighty like my life depends on it; that actually, it was never about not loving him enough, but about not being kind enough to myself.
All of this comes with time, of course. And I guess this is why these feelings of jealousy are only just surfacing now. Because our feelings are valid at any point.
So forgive me, dear friends. I’m so, so incredibly happy for you. I will love your babies like the honorary Auntie you’ll hopefully let me be. I’ll cuddle and kiss and rock them, play with them and watch them play with mine, and then give them back to their doting parents at the end of it.
But forgive me if I’m feeling a little jealous of the fact that you’re pregnant. Forgive me for wishing I had my time over.
Because you’re about to embark on the most exciting, terrifying, funny and rewarding stage of your life!
Proud to be linking up with: