Saturday, April 30, 2005
Struggles of motherhood

My friend J, the one who's in a little bit of a struggle with her own life, wants to have a baby. Although I don't think now is a great time in her life for her to be raising a child, I am not the decision maker.

I try very hard not to advise J of what to do, or even influence her decisions. I would never tell her it was a bad idea to have a baby while being so freshly out of a cult, being dependant on so many medications, and having no 'network' of people to be there if needed. I may feel that way, but I would never tell her. I do, on the other hand advise her to make sure that having a baby is what she wants, and even to talk to people about it. I'm a 'to each his own' kind of person. I know if I was in that position I would hate to hear my best friend telling me that my idea was a bad one.

Now, the very oppisite part of me wants to push her off of whatever cloud she's floating on. I want to shake her and tell her "Hey, babies cry. They scream. They don't sleep. They don't give you a minute alone." I know even that would not be enough.

Everyone knows that babies are not all giggles and smiles and little burps. Everyone knows that having a newborn is hard (for most of us anyway). Knowing something and LIVING something are such different things! I wish I could put into words the first six weeks of a baby's life. It would definately make her put a little more thought into such a big decision. In fact, I think it would make ANYONE put a little more thought into their decision to have a baby. Maybe I am the only one who had such a difficult time adjusting, but I'm pretty sure a lot of women feel this way.

How do you tell a person who was mostly raised in a home with seven other children that having a baby is a lot different when you are the one responsible for it ALL THE TIME? That babysitting and mothering are totally different? That someone with bi-polar, among other things, may not be able to adapt as well when they would have NO HELP with the baby (no husband, no parents, no boyfriend even)?

I pray that J takes some time to think this through and build up support if having a baby is the decision that she wants to make.

Blogger Heidi had this to say:

I can assure you that you are not the only woman out there who believes having a baby is a huge transition... And not always an easy one!

I understand that you don't want to influence her decisions, but in my opinion, being honest with her and telling her your thoughts and experiences regarding having kids is just part of being a good friend.

I am weary of giving advice to friends as well. However, I don't mind sharing my thoughts and personal experiences with them, if they are interested. I know that I value my friends' thoughts and advice, and when I am thinking about making a big decision, I want feedback from them. It might not be what I want to hear, but atleast they are being honest. Also, since everyone has different circumstances surrounding their life decisions I could never expect to base my decisions on what other's have done... I just let their words stand alone and take them into consideration when making my own decisions.

So, what I'm trying to say is... In regards to the decision your friend is considering (about having a baby), just be yourself and do what you're comfortable with. It can be difficult to tell a friend that you think their idea is a bad one, but there are tactful ways of giving them food for thought without making them feel bad... Sometimes just sharing your experience is enough to give them something to think about... I wish you the best of luck! It's hard to watch others make decisions we wouldn't make, but sometimes they have to find out for themselves. It's such a helpless feeling... Atleast she'll have you there to support her regardless of the decision she makes. That makes her a lucky lady indeed!

12:01 PM EDT 

Blogger Heidi had this to say:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:01 PM EDT 

Blogger Heidi had this to say:

oops! I accidentally posted twice so I deleted the repeat. Sorry about that, magnolia! :)

12:02 PM EDT 

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