Baby envy

by , posted on January 9th, 2012 in Just me, Parenting




baby envyI went to a baby shower for my dear friend Wendy this weekend.

She looked gorgeous, all sweaty glowing and happy and preggo. She *might* have been wiping down her thighs with Kleenex when I arrived. I was just relieved her water hadn’t broken.

The house was packed with women. There were four long tables filled with friends and family. This was, I believe, her fourth of five showers. Maybe they’ll be more. It’s not surprising; Wendy is one of the kindest, funniest, most genuinely nice people I know. And anyone who has met her will feel that light that comes from within her.

Wendy and her husband, Wes, went through three years of infertility before in vitro gave them their soon-to-be baby girl, Whitney. It was definitely something to celebrate. So I took a seat at the table in between her birth mother and her mother-in-law and diagonally across from Wendy’s mom. We ate and we chatted and we laughed.

And then it was time to open gifts. We settled in. This was going to take awhile. The gift bags and brightly-wrapped packages lined up like planes on the runway at LAX.

We oohed and aahed at adorable, miniature pink onesies with tutus, mary jane tights, crocheted hats and unbelievably soft blankets, pants with a cupcake on the butt. All that sweet, sweet baby girl stuff.

I thought I’d feel a pang. A longing for the days when my own daughter was wearing sun bonnets and footie pajamas and rompers that showed off her bakery-roll thighs.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t.

I had not one moment of baby envy. Of wishing back those hazy newborn days.

Maybe it’s because I still have a baby. Well, he’s a toddler, but he still likes to be carried and he has no interest in using anything other than his diapers to do his business.

Or, possibly, it’s the knowledge that I’m done. D-O-N-E. I am not yet nostaligic, and, in fact, had a bit of a love-hate relationship with babyhood – which happens when you’re dealing with breastmilk allergy and colic and two under two and then three that are five and under. I am aware this might change as my kids move into their teens, and, someday (hopefully) out of our house and into lives of their own.

I am sure I will remember the early-morning nursing of a warm-from-sleep, sighing baby, or the big gummy smiles and belly laughs, or the way their heads smelled like warm toast, and want to disappear into them for awhile.

But this day? I could sit and relax and giggle over the gift that came – accidentally – with a dirty, little boy’s sock tangled in the tissue paper. I watched Wendy gently hold each outfit and I’m sure she could imagine her baby girl in them one day soon.

My time for that is over. And I am not sad.

How about you? Are you done, and if so, when did you know it for sure?

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45 Responses to “Baby envy”

  1. Kathy Radigan Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 2:40 am

    I loved this piece and I too remember the day I realized I was not only OK with the baby years but actually being glad that time was over. Last year I was at my parents house and there was my sister with her two babies, one two one only a few months old. She and my brother in-law were going crazy chasing after one and taking care of the other. I looked at my husband and smiled, not the nostalgic smile of wishing back for that time, but the evil smile of someone who’s been there and done that! Thanks again for a great piece. I found you on twitter and am now happily following your great site! Thanks!
    Kathy Radigan recently posted..The Unexpected

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    Yes, been there done that. It’s a lovely thing, isn’t it?

    So glad you found me – looking forward to getting to know you!

    [Reply]


  2. tracy@sellabitmum Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Oh I know I’m done..and I’m okay with that…however if I had started earlier I would seriously have 12 kids right now as I love those babies so much.
    tracy@sellabitmum recently posted..A Cat Person vs. A Non-Cat Person…

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    Cheryl Reply:

    I could’ve seen us having four – if I wasn’t already 103 years old.

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  3. Jamie Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I am also done! I still have a baby, so I am not sure how I will feel a few years from now. I am pretty sure I will be sad though:-)

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    Or, you might not be sad. You just never know!

    [Reply]


  4. Jen Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I for sure know that I am D-O-N-E having kids.

    But that doesn’t mean once in a while I don’t have pangs for a baby. This is why I am glad I have friends who are preggo. I will live through them.
    Jen recently posted..The Family the Falls Together, Stays Together

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    Cheryl Reply:

    omg, can you even imagine having another baby?? It would make for some fun blog posts, isn’t that reason enough to have another one? ;)

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  5. Anna Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    i always had the worst baby envy, but then i was one of those people who had “just one more” and now i’m good. but like tracy, if i had started sooner i’d have a duggar-sized clan for sure.
    Anna recently posted..A Trip to DUANEreade and A Few Thoughts on Getting Organized in 2012

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    Cheryl Reply:

    Yeah, if I’d started younger, possibly we’d have had another. But I am very grateful for our “surprise” third. I won’t have the longing for just one more!

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  6. Melissa Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I still get the pangs once in a while, but my youngest is 4 going on 13! She still loves to cuddle though, so that helps:)
    But…we’re done and it leaves my feeling both relieved and sad. I love where we’re at though and while I still long for a warm bundle in my arms every now and then…I know our family is complete. It sort of just crept up on me.
    Now I just hope other friends have babies and get my baby fix at work too!!
    Melissa recently posted..When the tooth fairy forgets, moms unite

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    Cheryl Reply:

    Other people’s babies are now the absolute best kind for me!

    [Reply]


  7. Kathleen Schmidt Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I am done. And I am okay with that.

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    Also, it means we can always drink beer together. So there’s that.

    [Reply]


  8. Jenni Chiu Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Mine’s head still smells like warm toast… but I’m done. Colic and two split pubic bones will do that to a lady. Yup… DONE… I think… wait…
    Jenni Chiu recently posted..I cut the crust off.

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    I must come and smell your baby.

    Huh. I kind of like that line.

    My girlfriend also had the pubic bone split issue. All I can say is yeouch.

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  9. Christine Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I do not feel done. But it is good to know that there is a point in time (I hope) that I will, because sometimes I worry that I love the baby stage (and who they’re growing into) so much that I would have babies until my uterus protested.

    Although I don’t think my husband would ever agree on having gaggles of children. Right now I’m hoping he’ll agree to just one or two more.
    Christine recently posted..Project 365

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    Cheryl Reply:

    gaggles of children – hee! I hope you do get your one or two more. I will talk about how cute they are. From afar! ;)

    [Reply]


  10. Arnebya Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I’m not done, I don’t think. I don’t want to be done, of that I’m sure. I have serious baby envy for both babies themselves and teeny tiny baby things. But. Like you, I still have a sort of baby. He’s 2. He still wants to be carried. He still uses diapers (although he is starting to use the potty more often). He still snuggles. Still cries for everything. Still WANTS me. I simply can’t imagine an infant right now on top of his demanding. But the other two are getting older and before long it won’t make sense (to me) to have another spaced this far apart. Yet. I still want just one more. Just one. I thought we’d start this year, but I’m still so deeply entrenched in loving Z’s baby boyness that I can’t seem to say now is the time. The girls are just shy of three years apart so I’m not sure why it’s harder with him. Oh, maybe because there’s no money for a fourth and it’d have to sleep in a drawer. Maybe that’s it. Hm.
    Arnebya recently posted..Writer’s Workshop: Punching This Girl

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    I am also madly in love with my two year-old. I can’t imagine dealing with a newborn now; my first two are 21 months apart so I remember how hectic is is!

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  11. julie gardner Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    If I’d had a third, I would probably be okay with being done.

    But I didn’t. And I’m not.
    And yet, we are done.

    So I’ll just always have to deal with baby envy.
    Probably.
    julie gardner recently posted..Today call me mediocre

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    hugs hugs hugs.

    I think, had we not had Xander, I might have felt the exact same way.

    xo

    [Reply]


  12. Carrie Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Sometimes I think I am DONE…but then others…I’m not sure.

    If I knew I’d get a kid more like my first and not my second (she is a terror!) I’d maybe go for it. That and a guarantee for a third girl :)
    Carrie recently posted..Bloggy Moms: Hoarding the Rainbow

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    Yes. If we could select temperament? We’d all have 8 kids!

    [Reply]


  13. Jessica Anne Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I’ve recently realized I’m in that place too. When we got rid of the crib, I thought i’d be sad, nope, not at all. As I get rid of my baby things, I’m really just thrilled to be over with it. Done and done.

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    The crib will be out of here within the next six months – or, more likely, sooner. I am wondering if I will be emotional about it or happy to get rid of the big thing.

    [Reply]


  14. John Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Some of our best friends just adopted twins through surrogacy. Somehow, my wife ended up as one of the 7 planners of the dual baby shower, which was a momentous event.

    After everything, when we were done cleaning up & the babies in attendance were asleep, my wife looked at me with “a look” in her eyes. She said “I really, really, really like little babies,” and I started to cringe, but she then continued “but I’m done.”

    And I replied the only way I could, saying “I love you.”
    John recently posted..Where I embrace my inner geek, because there’s a monster in my closet

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    excellent response. and i’m glad she knows she is done.

    [Reply]


  15. Kimberly Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I’m not going to lie…
    I’m jealous of every single woman around me with a baby in their uterus.
    I want one.
    My illness(es)…
    yes I have more than one because I’m a medical freak of nature…
    make it difficult.
    one day maybe…or not.
    But the jealousy is tough.
    Kimberly recently posted..Our Words Do Make A Difference

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    I think anything that stands in the way of you having the kids you want? Gives you a lifetime pass to have baby envy if you want to.

    xo

    [Reply]


  16. Erin Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I am with you, definitely done, but love to watch others with that little spark in their eye, especially if it’s their 1st, and have to laugh to my self just a little and think to myself “you think you know….but you have no idea”
    Erin recently posted..Is it too late for Gingerbread?

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    They really have no idea, do they? And you can’t tell them anyway because it’s something you can only know from doing. Suckers! ;)

    [Reply]


  17. MommaKiss Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I’m so done, I’ve known I was done with 2 before I had 2! That’s sad, I’m sure, but I knew I wanted to be a momma of 2 and God gave me my boys. I love holding others babies, and snuggling lil ones, and being around babies, even. But mr. kiss and I are DONE!
    MommaKiss recently posted..2012. Like, Whoa.

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    Awesome. You knew what you wanted, you got it, done! Yay!

    [Reply]


  18. Mad Woman behind the Blog Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Oh, sigh.
    As I “deal” with my pre-schooler I scream I AM DONE and then I turn to her little brother, hold him tight and wish for more just like him. (And then I scream at nay-sayers: “It’s not the hormones!”)
    I wish I could say one way or another.

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    You just HAD a baby. You don’t need to decide anything. Also, aren’t you still like 24? :)

    [Reply]


  19. Cameron Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    And again I find myself in the One And Done minority.

    I was snuggling a friend’s nearly one year old yesterday, and while he was sweet, the relief when we packed up our 4 y/o and headed home was palpable.

    The door’s not completely closed on the subject, I guess, but I don’t get baby envy… ever.

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    I used to get envy just looking at pg women. But now? Not. Even.

    [Reply]


  20. Rene' Says:

    January 9th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I am so done. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE babies, but am so glad to be past that point in my life. I knew it when my sister in law was talking about a crying baby at night and I realized I was so glad to be done with night feedings, diaper bags etc..

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    Yes, it’s nice to crawl into bed at night and know that you will probably sleep the entire night through without interruption (except for a sick kid, maybe).

    [Reply]


  21. Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} Says:

    January 10th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    We are totally DONE. We have three. I knew I wanted at least two, and I just didn’t feel ready to be done when he was born. Now, I am actually looking forward to being done with bibs, baby spoons, pacifiers, bottles, and diapers. I absolutely love babies, but I’m ready to move on to the next stage of mom-hood, which is focusing on raising my family. The baby is walking now, and I feel wistful that the baby stage is mostly behind me, after so many years of having little ones. I am not sad, at all. I guess that’s how I know we’re done. :)
    Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} recently posted..Something to Remember

    [Reply]


  22. Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri Says:

    January 11th, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I have one and on occasion baby envy does hit me. But there are days when I relish just having my one. There is a certain peace I’ve made with it and other times, I wonder if I am doing the right thing.
    Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri recently posted..Six

    [Reply]


  23. Mandyland Says:

    January 12th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I’m done. Not because I want to be, per se, but because the circumstances of my life tell me I am.

    It’s bittersweet. I shove the longing back to the corners of my heart, but it still comes out – when throwing a shower for a friend; when holding a newborn; when looking at the tiny little outfits. Because a large part of me wants another run at laying in bed with a baby nursing while I caress a downy soft head.

    But. I try to be optimistic. I’ll make a kick ass stepmom. :D
    Mandyland recently posted..Kindergarten Love Square

    [Reply]


  24. Gayletrini Says:

    January 14th, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I still have the pangs but I they are fleeting. My girls are still my babies at 2 and a half. And honestly 4 children is HARD well to me anyway. So definitely no more I’ll buy some puppies when I feel to play with a baby those I can potty train outside in the yard LOL
    Gayletrini recently posted..Ginger and a memoriam

    [Reply]


  25. MrsH Says:

    March 22nd, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I am having baby envy big time right now. My daughters are 15 and 13 and I’m not able to have more. I thought I was fine with not having more, but recently it hit me hard. I’m a teacher and adoption is so expensive. It looks like I may have to wait several more years for a grandbaby :(

    [Reply]


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