I didn’t make any New Years Resolutions this year. I feel like I have a direction and enough focus to not need to get too bogged down.
But it’s now June so maybe I’ll do 2 half year resolutions. These are things I’ve been thinking about and needed to hash out get them firm in my mind. Two things I need to stop doing for my own sanity.
First, I’m going to stop telling myself that “of course I’m happy for them…”
I’m really not. Well, maybe if it was someone I was really close to, but as a general rule I’m not.
I have a large extended family so there are a lot of kids. No, I’m not happy for my cousin, having a 4th baby to a 4th mother.
No, I’m not happy for a friend who was always competing with me and asked me out of the blue about having kids one day. I knew that meant she was comparing our relationships because they were “ready”… Well I was 18months in with a miscarriage under my belt, so no, I win that one. And I wasn’t happy for her that she was pregnant straight away either.
No, I’m not happy for strangers on the internet.
I wish I could be that person that roots for everyone, that is happy for people because their fertility doesn’t speak to my infertility. But I’m not, and that’s ok too.
I don’t have to guilt myself by saying that I *should* be happy for them, because I can process their news in the best way that works for me – sometimes that may be being happy, and sometimes not.
And secondly, I’m going to stop using parenting as an excuse for shitty friends.
I recently met up with someone for the first time, and their pre-schooler was also there. Nice kid, single mum, no problem. I’m not a kid-hater, so I was pleasant and patient. I asked him questions about his trip and activities, then moved back to mum to ask when they were heading back home.
Mum hears my question, but instead of replying to *me*, turns to the kid and says, “we are going home tomorrow, aren’t we?”. I mean, I thought I asked the question but whatever.
However, this type of exchange lasted the whole visit! I spoke to mum, she spoke to me through her kid. Again, I hadn’t ignored him in the slightest, and often he was busy in his own world eating or drinking and not needing to be engaged.
I left the café and drove home in tears, because I don’t have many friends and this person who wanted to meet with me (and wants to again!) couldn’t even treat me like a valued person.
I always made the excuse that having and loving their kids was why people couldn’t maintain normal, adult conversations and friendships with non-parents. Their world revolves around their kids and it can be hard to break out from that.
I have now decided that’s bullshit.
Having a conversation with somebody is not hard. Empathy, listening and being social are all things we learn throughout our lives. When we don’t know somebody we talk about the weather or ask them about their job, this is something we have learned.. When somebody isn’t a parent, it is rude to talk about the intricacies of parenting. I don’t mean talking about the kids, I mean nappy changes and feeding and clothing layers. There are many topics where you both parties can join in with the conversation, to hijack conversations to be only about one topic is poor form and selfish.
Ok, how about those for mid-year resolutions. Maybe I’ll do some more in January that are a bit more upbeat!