Monday, May 29, 2006

baby think-it-over

I know.

I've spent the last few months advocating telling people about the great artificial get-knocked-up project.

And there are advantages, really there are.

But aside from the obvious downsides (such as obnoxious middle-aged bachelor colleagues making comments like: Why don't you have an affair? That'd do the job), the other downside is that people ask you to babysit not out of the goodness of your heart, but as some kind of real live Baby Think-It-Over.

As if they're doing you a favour, not the other way around.

So it was in this spirit that I found myself with child on Saturday night.

With a six-month-old.

It seemed all eyes were on Meg as Baby S. was reverently passed over at 7pm: Will she make it through the night? Will she crack? Will she complain when she changes the dirty nappy? Will she get up at 3am to answer tiny cries? Will the reality of baby just be too much for our hopeful mother-to-be-to-be?

Ah, so many questions.

Not mine, of course.

I knew I'd be fine.

Ultimately.

And I was.

I get frustrated when people imply that I don't know what's coming to me; that if I did, somehow, I would suddenly, miraculously change my mind about all this.

Am I expected to know what it's like to have a new baby when I've never had one? Am I expected to come into motherhood ready? Custom-made mother? Off the rack?

Cause does anyone? Really?

I challenge all my critics - and sometimes I feel there are many - to find one new first-time mother who isn't bumbling around in the dark, trying to do her best. Who isn't just merely functioning, feeling her way.

I don't see why I should be expected to be any different, just because I've had so much longer to prepare than many other lucky people.

So much bloody longer to prepare.

14 Comments:

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Thalia said...

Oh yes, it's one of the many annoying approaches in the fertile arsenal - don't have kids? Have one of mine! hahahahaha! *stab*.

glad you had a good evening. That will show them.

 
At 9:43 PM, Blogger Bea said...

People actually do this?

Bea

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger Meg said...

I don't think it's malice. I think it's meant to be helpful. (Emoticon needed here...:S)

 
At 12:59 AM, Blogger soralis said...

I don't get why people think that you would think it over if you just spent the day with a baby? What the heck, did they forget to mention all the good stuff too? You know what when you have gone through infertility I think you appreciate every moment even more even the bad ones. Ugg some people drive me crazy!

Take care

 
At 1:05 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Even if they didn't mean it maliciously, it just seems strange that people would think that it might "cure" you of your desire to have a baby.

Ironically, when I was 19 I was an au-pere in a far-off land for 18 month old twins and a 5 year old. At that young age, it really was a bit of a shock and certainly did turn me off having kids for quite a while.

Glad that your evening turned out OK!

 
At 6:08 AM, Blogger Lut C. said...

Come on, everyone knows that other people's kids are just nuisances, whilst your own are perfect little angels.

To all fertiles: It's not because I want a kid of my own that I'm interested in yours. Not as a rule, anyhow.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger Cass said...

Fertiles?

Is that like 'heterosexual by default'?

Cool!

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger Beagle said...

I got that same (more or less) attitude when I (gasp) fretted about our sick kiten. The comment was "well, wait 'til you see what motherhood is like . . . a baby is much harder than a kitten you know." Gee, thanks! I might not have known that, had assvice person not mentioned it.

A kitten is NOT a baby, trust me I know. Getting one has NOT filled my void. But, it's still worrying when the little critter is sick! Does this not make me more likely (rather than less likely) to be a good mom? That I care at least??

Sorry, not meaning to hijack your comment section . . . but this issue has hit me several times as well. People are so dense.

Just because we infertiles don't want to hold your screaming baby does NOT makes us bad mums-to-be!

Babysit if you like, but don't bother trying to prove anything to ignorant people. That's my assvice for the day. You will be a great Mom.

 
At 9:01 AM, Blogger Beagle said...

My spelling sucks when I am upset!

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Meri-ann said...

I am seriously insulted when mothers of 2/3/4/5 whatever tell me that I'm crazy to ever want kids and I'd be so much better off without them. How dare they? They can go home to their noisy house full of kids and fun and laughter and take it for granted, why deny it to anyone else? Grrrr...

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger projgen said...

My favourite: there is one friend I babysit for; they have a lovely infant. Every time the husband sees me holding the baby he says, "it's good practice for you."

He thinks he's doing me such a big favour. 'Cause, you know, he had so much practice before his baby came along. Oh wait. NO HE DIDN'T.

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Bea said...

No, not malice, but an awfully strange way of looking at the world, nonetheless. Kind of baffles me.

Bea

 
At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Jennie said...

oh no you didn't just stand there and look at said crying baby? nor run around flinging your arms wildly in despair? seriously what did they really expect?

Sounds like you enjoyed it tho and for that i'm glad you did it. not sure I could I mean apparently when babysitting you have to give them back? is that right?

 
At 3:45 AM, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

O.K. - I just found one benifit to being a stepmom and IF - nobody does the "baby think it over" thing. I have 3sk's, I know the score.

 

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