I woke up and realized I have reached the age where the majority of my friends are married and either pregnant or already have children. I remember when this progression began…it started with Abby as we all knew it would. The first wedding, the first baby. I remember thinking it would be forever until we all caught up to her. But within the blink of an eye everyone else did…except for me. This isn’t a pity party of a blog at all…and it’s funny because I always assumed this is how it would be for me…school, more school, career, buy a house, obtain clinical license, possibly more school, possibly private practice…become financially stable, pay off debt…meet love of my life then…BABY! And even though I assumed that’s how it would be, it is a bit bittersweet right now. I find myself thinking about all the moments in a day…or week…and how those moments would be changed by the presence of a child. The snow…holidays…simple nights at home. I cook every night as most of you know…but more nights than I can count, I stand at the stove and daydream about running back and forth between stirring a pot and helping with math homework. I used to really value my freedom and independence but when my friend Kim calls and tells me about her kids soccer games…or family vacations…or even the mundane things like cooking dinner and having family movie night…a weird feeling of jealousy sets in. Those things, even the simple ones, seem so precious to me. I think working with kids has really done a number on me. I see the result of the lack of parenting…or bad parenting…and it makes me think all the time about what kind of parent I will be, the kind of parent I want to be. I think it has prepared me in so many ways or at least I hope it has.
And this isn’t about feeling like I should be having kids because everyone else is…or even that I’m getting old and feeling my “biological clock” ticking…it’s this overwhelming sense that I’m meant to be a parent…this urge to guide and teach and nurture…and I don’t see it anywhere in my near future and it makes me sad. I think it’s also about the fact that my values and priorities seem to have shifted without me even realizing it. While I very much value good beer and live music, I seem to care less about my social life and going out …and I seem to long more for time with my family. It has also been weighing on me a great deal that I live so far away from so much of my family. Growing up that didn’t seem to bother me because I was so wrapped up in my own life but now…I want quality time with them…I want to see my niece and nephew grow up. I think about the things in their life that I’m missing or that I wish I could be a part of. And the biggest reason for that is because I realize THEY need it. They need adults involved in their lives…family to be connected to. I grew up as an only child with very little family involved in my life. I’m beginning to realize just how much that impacted me. It’s not so much that I want to have a child…I want to have a FAMILY and there is a big difference.
I guess I’m just in a weird place right now…I’m 2 months from turning 30 but it’s more than that. It’s the fact that the majority of the people in my life have shifted into the next phase…I so desperately want to be there but I’m not. I want a family to share life with. I want soccer games and school plays and dinners around the table together..girlscouts and sleepovers…trick-or-treating, reading stories at night…… I know I should enjoy this time in my life and have faith that it will all fall into place when it’s right. I so value my career and the work that I do and I’m lucky that I get to focus on that right now. I know there is a plan for me and I should relax and let it unfold…but I can’t help wondering if this family in my head will ever be a reality.