Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm ashamed to admit it

I had to take a few days to get some things right in my head before I could come back here & share them with you.

I've shared before that Mr. Potts & I have made the decision not to have children.

I've also shared how much of an impact we have on my sweet niece and nephew. In fact, we're more parental figures to them than their own parents. We're the only people they see in a solid, stable, loving relationship.

We already know that we'll buy them their first cars.

We're already setting up accounts to help them pay for college. I also explain to my niece that Mr. Potts and I go on so many fun trips and do fun things with her because we went to college and did well in school and worked really hard.

I know that doesn't have everything to do with it, but when explaining things to an almost 6 year old, sometimes you go the easy route that will have an impact.

Part of our reasoning is that if we have children we won't be able to influence as much in my niece and nephew's lives & do as much for them.

Another part of our reasoning is selfish. We like to travel. We like to spend our money on nice things & on nice gifts for other people.

I could even say that the world absolutely terrifies me to raise children in nowadays.

Either way, we've made our choice and are happy with it.

Although, sometimes that choice stings.

Like when someone told me that we were going to miss out because we aren't. A comment I've often thought about because she doesn't know how much more we do because those little ones don't have good parents.

Sometimes it stings like this Sunday when one of my very best girlfriends shared with me that she was pregnant. And I went into a short moment of shock before I congratulated her & her husband.

I'm so happy for them because I know they want to be parents & will be wonderful.

But I knew at that point our friendship would change. The change had already begun. That evening the other women there (we were watching LOST) started talking babies & feeding & diapers & wipes & things they would need, while I stood by not adding to it because I don't know. And if I tried to, it was dismissed because I've never been in that situation.

I had hoped things wouldn't change for a few more years. I had hoped they would have a baby in the next 2 or so.

On the way home that night, I broke down in tears.

We've had most of our friends begin to have babies. We've lost touch with some who have them because every time we invite them to something they can't make it.

Or when we plan to go over to their house & hang out, it gets canceled.

Or they'd rather do things with other couples who have kids that their kids can play with.

And I get it. I truly do.

But it still makes me sad.

And I know that I was selfish on Sunday night to feel that way and I was so so embarassed. But I couldn't help how I felt.

So I needed a few days to pull all this together in my head.

And realize that she is one I won't lose. Because we are such wonderful friends. And while we may not have children, that doesn't mean I don't love them. I'll hang out with her & take walks & bring over breakfast & love her baby.

Things will change, but I won't lose her.

I'll just have one more piece of her & her husband to love.

Seeing that my heart is so full of love, I doubt this will be a problem.

Happy Thursday, y'all!!! Aren't you glad Friday is almost here?


teresa-bug said...

I completely understand. I don't have children AND I am not married. A college friend wants to have a 'reunion' this fall and if it is with families I am not sure I am going to go. While I am perfectly comfortable with my stage in life, I am just not sure I will have much to contribute to a weekend with lots of families. We will see....

Dee Stephens said...

I can relate too. Brad and I don't have a lot of couples to hang out with together because most of them have kids and would rather hang out with people with kids.
In fact, some of them have stopped inviting us to things. WTH?
Most of my friends here in CLT are single to be honest..which poses another problem.. they many times don't want to hang out with us being a 3rd wheel(I understand totally).
We do want children but I have one friend in ATL that does not. She said some of her friends from BR almost treat her like something is wrong with her b/c of that.
Just WRong..

USCEmily said...

Thank you for sharing with us! I am glad you were able to work through this, and I think that you and your friend will make your friendship a priority even when she does have a baby!

Jess said...


First off, I completely understand and support your decision. You and Mr. Potts are such a blessing to your neice and nephew. As they grow up, they are going to know without a doubt that you love them like they were yours.

I also get the whole "selfishness" thing. I'm nowhere near having kids (um, still need a husband for that), but after a particularly rough evening with some of my pseudo kids I think to myself, "Oh dear heavens, I like sleep and watching my TV uninterrupted and not taking 30 minutes to get in and out of my car. Am I ever going to be unselfish enough to have kids?"

*Double hugs* on feeling left out. Don't be ashamed of those feelings..... they are totally normal. Honestly, we all feel like that, at times. I've been invited to coffee, while my married friends will all go out to dinner together. Recently, I came to the stunned realization that every.single.friend.I.have. is in a relationship, but me. I've done the crying in the car on the way home thing, too, because of realizations like that.

Ashley @ KiwisandCocktails said...

I think it is wonderful that you spend so much time with your niece and nephew, and you two are such wonderful role models!
You are NOT selfish in any way!

Luckily, most of my friends with kids still make time to get together and do things with me. I actually go to lunch with a friend and her 2 kids once a week. I think she appreciates my extra hands with the 3 year old who tries running around!

Anonymous said...

You should move to Boise. In our group of friends (a few singles and about 8-10 couples) only ONE couple has kids. We're all in our 30's for the most part and of those 8-10, couples only two of them want kids: me and B and then just one other couple. CRAZY! It really is getting to the point where people are making the decision not to do that. I think it's admirable. And honest.

Hugs to you!

Alayna said...

Such a touching post. Your niece and nephew are so lucky to have you both.

Lindsey said...

I can totally relate! Our single friends stopped inviting us out and our friends with kids have stopped as well! So frustrating!

Bumpkin on a Swing said...

I've been there so many times. I understand, I just don't have the Mommy gene, and I can accept it so why can't other people? I too, have had those belly flops, when so and so has announced their pregnancy. I had a scare recently at 40, and even though I maybe did toy with the idea of Lilly Pulitzer baby dresses, I am confident in my decision. This was a great choice for me, I leave the mothering to the others!

MCW said...

I understand how you felt on Sunday. I rencently found out that another one of my friends was pregnant and it stung - big time...all I can say is you guys are making a decision that is right for you. You have a niece and nephew that need you sooooo much.
Sorry friends drift away...I guess that's what happens as we get older???

Anonymous said...

Big hugs to you, sweets!! I totally understand how you feel. A few of my girlfriends have had babies and I've had emotions that ranged from jealous, angry, and happy for the whole situation.

Sometimes it's hard, but I am sure your friend might feel you won't want to hang out with her because she's the one with a kid and you're not. I hope things go well for you and that you can be at peace with the new relationship with your girlfriend.

HUGS xoxoxo

Lucy Marie said...

I can somewhat relate to what you said. Even though I have always known how badly I wanted to have children, before I was pregnant I remember feeling the sting and the left out feeling every time one of my friends, cousins, family members announced a pregnancy and I felt like I had nothing to offer.

And about your decision not to have children - good for you. I think so many people have children because it's what you are "supposed" to do, rather than it being what they want to do. You can live a full, happy, wonderful life without having children. And ... what you are doing for your niece and nephew is a precious, precious thing that should NEVER be discounted!

Chelsi said...

It's always so interesting to me to contemplate how selfish it is to bring children into this world. Don't get me wrong... I want to! Ha! But, it is totally selfish! You are so right about all of the crazy stuff in the world today and I can't imagine how difficult it is going to be. You and the Mr. must be wonderful to be spending your own time and money to help your neice & nephew. Truly, that is great. I have friends who don't want kids and I sometimes wonder how our relationship will change. I certainly would hope that we will work to keep a steady relationship but I can understand the difficulty in that as you go seperate ways in life.

I always like posts like this... very real and open. Thank you for that and thank you for giving me a different perspective (much like what my friends feel *I think*)!

Jenny DB said...

I know how you feel... i lost my best friend when she had her first baby 3 years ago. really truly lost her. we see each other every few months now (she just got married and had her 2nd) but it is sooo not the same. here's what i think. you two are doing something wonderful for your niece/nephew, and you are making a decision that is right for your family, you and mr. potts. that's what matters, and you should feel good about it!!

bananas. said...

honey i know exactly how you feel. i feel the SAME way, especially nowadays with EVERYONE and their mom having kids. even when they say it won't, things do change. sometimes you can live through and other times you can't.

i wish i had more friends like you who don't want kids. if you ever need to vent, feel free to email me anytime. i mean that.


Samantha said...

I don't want kids just yet, so for now I totally understand. We're in a very awkward period of our lives because we don't have kids. It doesn't make me want them any sooner, but it certainly does make things uncomfortable at times because of the decision we've made for our life. I don't feel like we're respected some times because of it. So I totally understand where you're coming from on this.

tootie said...

I know what you mean. The number of our friends without kids is dwindling. Of course, I'm happy to hear when our friends are expecting, but it's harder to relate to them since we don't.

But you are right that with a true friend you will remain friends - kids or not!

EthidiumBromide said...

I agree 100%. I think I want children, eventually, but no time soon.... and I've already completely lost touch with one of the best friends I've ever had, because once she had her daughter, everything was about the baby, all the time. I think the turning point when I realized the friendship was over was after my wedding -- she didn't come because her daughter was 3 months old -- and I called her when I got back from my honeymoon, and she spend an hour talking about Bella... and then said she had to go and hung up. Not once during the entire hour conversation did she ask how the wedding was, congratulate me, ask about the honeymoon. While I am happy to listen to parents gush about children, relationships should still be a two-way street and they still have to express an interest in my life too, but most parents seem unable to think about anything other than their children!

Susannah said...

Yo, I am so proud of you for doing so much for your niece and nephew! That is so great! And I really hope your friend doesn't discount you and the Mr. just cause you don't have kids! Can't wait to gossip soon!

Neha said...

All my friends are married, while I'm still single and so, most often than not, I am left out while they discuss families, homes, children and their worlds. I know exactly how you feel too.

But I am so glad with all that you are doing for your niece and nephew! It's difficult to shower so much of your being on someone else and seeing you do this, I'm inspired! Hugs and love!

Jennifer said...

It always frustrates me when I lose a friend after they have children, and we are planning to have kids ourselves. A true friend will still make time for your company no matter what, because you are important to them.

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Lil' Woman said...

I plan on having children in the future but I can understand the feeling of losing friends. So many of my gf's already have 1 or 2 kids and I get the same things when going out or catching up.