Many of my closest friends have not had to think about their fertility much. They began trying, they conceived, had relatively easy pregnancies and deliveries and, best of all, have allowed me to be a part of their growing families.

Then there are my friends who have struggled in making their families. They know the two week waits, the lifelong losses and heartaches and the financial and emotional consequences that seem to last a lifetime. But even still, they were able to have the children; the traditional happy ending.

Then there is me.

Sometimes that sense of being different than every other woman in the room can feel like it is literally taking my breath away. The sense of not fitting in can feel especially difficult when it catches me off guard and is during a time that I am so grateful for.

Chad and I spent the weekend out in Vegas for our goddaughter, McKinley’s 2nd birthday. We love spending this time with my friend Casey and her family, as we are so thankful to be a part of McKinley’s life. She quite literally is the brightest ray of sunshine and fills my heart and soul up so much, I am so blessed that she is one of our chosen children.

And yet there I was at her 2nd birthday party where everyone other woman there had at least one child or one on the way, feeling like I was the last kid called to join the team. Watching Mac play with all her friends was so much fun but not knowing many of the other guests very well left me observing from the sidelines; which as a therapist, I’ll admit, is honestly one of my favorite things to do.

But then it settled in, that nagging you are very noticeably different than all these women. You do not have anything to contribute to these conversations.

And I struggled.

Fuck.

It bothered me.

It bothered me way more than I wanted it to or expected it to.

I soon realized, I also did not have my usual back up. When I am around mothers who know me well I do tend to be pulled into the motherly conversations most simply because of what I do for a living. I realized this weekend that the fact that I am a therapist, and that it is so much of who I am and not just what I do, has been a saving grace in this lifelong recovery from infertility and living a childfull life. It is a saving grace because my professional opinion is often asked and the parenting I do with my clients is often recognized. That and I have really amazing friends who respect my opinion and love me well.

What I think I am learning now is that I need to believe in this part of my parenthood as much as my closest friends do. I need to believe in it enough to show myself and others that I too fit in, even at the 2 year old birthday party with all the other mothers.

to believe in my own worthiness as aBecause I have a lot to contribute.

Because I do belong.

Because I am a parent.

So much of this lifelong recovery of thriving after infertility is our own work. I cannot say how long that twinge of feeling like I don’t fit in will last, maybe forever. But, I do need to acknowledge that it is up to me to trust that I always belong and to believe in my own worthiness as a parent in this world.

~~~~

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10 thoughts on “Moving Through Not Fitting In

  1. junebugmo1949 says:

    I can definitely relate, after having a hysterectomy, and being in the presence of friends who are mothers. My sister’s experiences with her kids, and being around them gave me some perspective on motherhood, so I could join in on the conversation. You have such insight and sensitivity to the situation, you deserve the sensitivity from your friends, and it sounds like you’re receiving it. Hang in there, Justine!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much!!! Justine

      Like

  2. Sahar says:

    What a lovely post. I like the way you broaden the definition of parenting, and rightfully so. Children should have more than their two biological parents; their aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, teachers, friends–each one of these can take on a parenting role. That you have, on top of a sincere love for your friend’s children, a deep understanding of their well-being because of your career makes you all the more of a parent-like figure in their lives. I’m happy for all the children benefiting from your ‘parenting’!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for this incredible comment! It does take a village I think, this life is just to hard not to have that support around us. As for me, I will continue to find my kind of parenting. Thank you again for reading and commenting! Justine

      Liked by 1 person

  3. gsmwc02 says:

    You continue to do such amazing work both in your professional life and your personal life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am trying. J

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on da Vinci Total Hysterectomy and commented:
    You don’t have to have had a hysterectomy to experience the feeling of childlessness and that feeling of not fitting in sometimes. Although Justine (see reblogged post) has never had a hysterectomy, at least to my knowledge, she share’s the common feeling that some women who’ve never had children experience.

    Recently I too was a my friend’s child’s birthday party where he was two — JUST TWO — and was surrounded by a houseful of other little kids, mothers and fathers. And me, I’m only the mother to two cats.

    Surprisingly that party wasn’t overly emotional for me even though had my past and only confirmed pregnancy gone well, I would have had a two-year at that party as well. Somehow I’ve moved through this myself … Justine has a lovely site where she writes about the heartache of not ever having that “perfect ending” with a child or children.

    I share this site so that if anyone out there is struggling with these issues you know that you aren’t alone regardless of wanting, needing or having a hysterectomy.

    The common ground is the childlessness.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for this reblog, means a ton and helps so much with launch coming up!!!! Justine

      Liked by 1 person

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