Comparison is the Thief of Joy: Motherhood

Comparison is the thief of joy, they say.  But when I only hear one side of things more often than other sides, I really do start to wonder if something might be wrong with me.

I have known so many women who say it was always their dream to be a mom.  Oftentimes they say this as an introduction to their story of infertility, or of singleness that seems permanent.  I’m glad I have friends who are willing to open their hearts to that level of transparency, and my heart hurts for them in their struggles.  But beyond that, I have a hard time processing this information.

I wish I could just ask these friends: What is that like?  To only ever dream of being a mom?  How is that the only thing you wished for in life?  Didn’t the idea ever scare you?  What is it like to long for and joyfully anticipate motherhood instead of facing it with fear and trepidation?

I’m expecting my 2nd boy.  A wanted, planned baby.  Our first was wanted and planned as well.  But I have nonetheless accepted motherhood the way you agree to do something because you know it will be good for you, even though you’re terrified of failure.  Motherhood isn’t something I have raced toward, with giddiness and expectancy.  It’s something I have reluctantly come to because I don’t know any other way to conquer a crippling fear of failure except to keep trying hard things.

And yet I still feel like I am missing the point.  It’s not working.  As I look forward to this new baby, I feel just as scared as I did the first time around.  Motherhood is not a path to Getting Ahead In Life.  The next baby will be different.

People tell me that it will be easier this time and I hope they are right, but I can’t know.  What if it’s just as hard?

The bottom line is, I need a different answer than just trying to gather up my strength and battle my fear of failure all over again.  This battle doesn’t end that way.  I just wish I knew the way to how it does end, because I am so tired of the hamster wheel.

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Filed under Essay, Nonfiction, Reflective Writing

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