When does a share become an overshare? I tend to share a lot of stuff that doesn’t mean all that much, though some blush at the thought of mentioning their dog’s overactive anal glands or their own lactose intolerance. For me, however, what’s a little gas between friends?
I’ve always believed it’s the most transparent people who reveal the least about themselves. We distract everyone with seemingly intimate details of our bathroom habits and gastrointestinal malaise, while hiding the very real, truly personal details of our private lives.
But maybe that’s not healthy.
The truth is, so much has changed in my personal life. I got married and we’re now considering a baby. These are the truths that are hard to talk about; they reveal a vulnerability that goes far deeper than what I had for breakfast.
I’m terrified of even thinking about a baby. I’m 35 now and getting closer to 36 with each breath. My college friends all have kids in high school. Heck, my nephew is in high school (my younger brother’s son!). It feels way too late to throw my uterus in the ring. I never wanted kids and I’m not exactly the baby type.
When my youngest nephew was a baby, my oldest nephew changed his diapers for me. I played dumb and dodged diaper duty for an entire day. I don’t hold babies or coo over them. I think young kids are great until they start getting BO and creeping me out. What if I’m a terrible mother? I’m very maternal with my dogs, but I still occasionally call Dougal an asshole for barking too much. (Thankfully, Dougal doesn’t understand English, but I have to assume a child might.)
I know the type of mother I want to be. I want to me Mrs. Fety, who lived down the street from me and waited with her kids at the bus stop every day. She made them Ritz crackers with cream cheese and always had super-crazy hippie hair. She was a great mom. She had a nurturing, earth-mother vibe. I imagined she popped out her kids in her living room, maybe in an inflatable tub of water, with no anesthesia besides the soothing aromas of lavender and eucalyptus oils. None of that may be true. But, that’s what I picture when I think of the kind of mother I’d like to be. A calm, meditative, homemade granola mom who never swears.
The perfectionist in me knows I can never be that, so maybe it’s better not to try. The worst thing to be is a bad mother. I’d rather be anything than that. So, I’m scared to try and fail. That’s a hard thing to admit.
The one advantage of being older is knowing my limitations and having a healthy perspective on what I can realistically accomplish. But, maybe that awareness only hinders growth, progress, and adventure. I was certainly terrified to get married. We’re almost two months in now and I’ve never been happier. I picked a great guy, the best, and can’t imagine why I was so scared to marry him. I love it now that I’m in it, though three months ago I was giving myself an ulcer.
Maybe motherhood will be the same?
Of course, there’s the real possibility we won’t be able to have kids. I have a chronic medical condition that puts me in the “high risk” category. Combine that with my age and our odds aren’t great. But, what if? Ben wants to try for a year and, if we aren’t able to get pregnant, we’ll get more dogs. Don’t you love him? The last thing either of us needs is pressure…and I’ve been hankering for more dogs.
From an “oversharing” perspective, pregnancy would certainly give me gory details for my friends and this blog. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to talk about hemorrhoids, spider veins, and morning sickness, all of which might be perfect distractions from how terrified I am to consider this new chapter.