Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Pros of NOT Being a Mom

Losing a child is devastating. And I don't even know how I got to a point where I'm writing a post on the positives of NOT being a mom. Because I want to be a mom some day. 

don't want people to read the title of this post and think this is a post about the pros of having a miscarriage.  There are no pros to that. There is no silver lining. This is not one of those "everything worked out in the end" posts.  Miscarriages are terrible and traumatic and they do not happen for a reason.  

My first attempt at becoming a mom ended a little over six months ago.  Shortly after it happened, I figured I would just try to get pregnant again. But I was advised to wait about three months. Then I had a rejection episode in January.  I made the decision to go back on birth control so that I could focus on the health of my kidney transplant. 

That decision in January is kind of what has helped me discover some of the things I'm revealing in this post.  The first thing being, I'm actually OK with not being someone's mom. And here's why.

Not being a mom has actually made me better at relationships than before. One thing I've learned from my mom-friends is how difficult it can be to connect with people who don't live in their household, or aren't located along the route to daycare. I have one mom-friend who I can only really see at her house.  And another one of my mom-friends told me that get-togethers with friends are few and far between.

This year I started my first books and movies discussion club, something I've been wanting to do for a while.  And we only meet once a month but those once a month meetings have made me even more committed to seeing my friends from the club in between those meetings.  I don't know what it is, but this year I feel that I'm even more present than I've ever been with my friends.  And I feel more connected to them too, maybe because many of them came alongside me and supported me while I was going through one of the most traumatic periods in my life.  

I don't know if I would have been able to be there for them in the capacity that I am now while raising a young child. I'm really thankful for how close I've gotten to so many of them. 

The same thing can be said about the bond between my family members, Ben and me. My miscarriage brought us all closer.  Now I REALLY can't imagine doing life without my family, or Ben.  Ben really is my favorite person to be around and sometimes I catch myself wondering if things would still be like this if our path to parenthood had continued as we'd planned.  

Not being a mom has reminded me of how much freedom I have.  This is a pretty common thought that I think all adults have, kids or no kids. Of course, I have my mom-friends who say that they love being parents so much that they don't miss any of the freedoms.  And then I have the mom-friends who have basically indicated that they would sell their children if they could for just 45 minutes alone in the bathroom and a shot glass of wine.  

Thinking about the two spontaneous vacations I've already taken this year, and the list of adventures I still want to have, I'm not sure I could have made any of it happen with a small child.  

A child-free Punta Cana

On a smaller scale, I really enjoy being able to do whatever I want however I want. Little things like going out to eat without having to secure a baby sitter.  Doing my 10-hour Oscar movie marathon every year at the movie theater. Binge watching "Scandal" on a Saturday afternoon while folding laundry (or not).  Then falling asleep until 6 PM, and waking up to order pizza and drink wine. I love that my schedule revolves around me, and partly Ben, and not nap times or feedings or play dates. does revolve around nap times and feedings. But the nap times and feedings...are MINE.  And the dates "play dates" are with my forever boyfriend.  
Spontaneous Chiefs game.

Not being a mom has allowed me to get more done in our new house! 

Raised beds constructed a few weeks ago.

This isn't as deep as my other two revelations.  But man, one thing I am constantly thinking about is how our house would not look the way it does if we had become parents in February. We bought our house at the end of July, and we had about 5 pieces of solid furniture when we moved in. And about 10 boxes of crap.  After that, I had two surgeries, not including my miscarriage, within the first two months of us living there. And when you have surgery, it literally knocks you on your ass.  This was not good for us because we were already working within a short time frame to get the baby's room and some of the other rooms set up before I delivered.  Well, the sad but true part of not being a mom right now, is that I've had a lot more energy, time and definitely MONEY to devote to setting up our home.  We still have a ways to go, but I doubt we would have made this much progress with an infant in tow.  

Living room in transition, after having my miscarriage

There might be a mom out there reading this, and thinking "What the hell is this girl talking about?  I'm a mom of five and kids under five! I host brunch with 20 girlfriends every Sunday, I binge-watched Daredevil AND all of Game of Thrones two weekends ago, and I outfitted my eight-room McMansion with furniture from Restoration Hardware in less than a month."  And you know what? I want to talk to that mom, and I want to drink her lifeblood because she is living the life that I aspire to live when I have children.  

Or maybe I want her to give me the name of her nanny. I don't know. 

But the point is, there was a time when I thought "Great. I'm not going to be a mom. Now what?"  And I've been pleasantly surprised by how my attitude has changed in the past six months. In fact, I surprise myself sometimes because every once in a while, I wonder if I could be OK with doing this....this childless life...forever....  I guess we'll see. I don't have any control over what the future brings, but right now, I'm good.