It happened again last night. I was getting ready to lead church choir practice when one of the older women whipped out her brand new iPad. “Want to see my favorite picture?” she asked me.
I said, “Sure,” but I was thinking, “No, not really.” I had had one of those afternoons when I question the purpose of my life, when I feel awful because I’m alone and getting older and nothing seems to be worth the effort. What, Sue has those days? Yes, I do. You look back, and most of the older generation has died. You look forward, and there’s nobody there. And you ask the dog, “Why bother?” The dog wags her tail. She moseys over and licks my face. She doesn’t worry about such questions, only when do we eat and when are we going for a walk?
Back at choir practice. I just know this is going to be a baby picture. Yep. It’s her son and granddaughter. Her son looks like my late husband, and of course the granddaughter is cute. This is not the day to show me that picture. “Nice,” I say, hurrying back to the piano.
As the choir trickles in, she has to show everyone the picture. This is a woman who didn’t even have email a month ago, and now she’s toting an iPad full of family photos everywhere she goes.
Rehearsal comes to a halt every time someone new walks in and has to see the picture. Then they’re pulling out their Smartphones to show their own grandchildren. Meanwhile, I just want to get through the songs and get the heck out of there. Not one person realizes that their director’s emotions are so raw that one more mention of family and she’ll bleed on the piano keys.
It’s the mom club and she’s not a member.
Most of the time I’m okay, but sometimes, it still hurts like crazy. To all the mothers and grandmothers out there, yes, your baby pictures are beautiful, but sometimes it hurts to look at them. Forgive me if I don’t linger over your beloved photos. I just can’t. But if you’d like to see a few dozen pictures of my dog . . .
Have you ever experienced this, where you feel totally left out of the mom club and full of emotions you don’t know what to do with? What do you do?
3 thoughts on “Watch out for those baby pictures”
yes and it's not just being excluded from the “mom club” but often feels like basically being excluded from humanity. As long as children/teenagers are concerned I often feel that I am not meant to voice any kind of opinion at all, even though I've been a youth work expert for 15 years now.
Yes, this happens to me way too often. My husband has four children from a previous marriage. Now they are growing up and the first grandchild has arrived. There will be many more. It's heartbreak again and again when I see their family pictures and the constant reminder that I will never have grandchildren. They have a real grandmother of their own, I am just an extra in their life. I'm going to be 42 this year, he's 50. When we got together, I was 34 and he said he was open to having more children. He had a vasectomy and would try to have it reversed. Now he tells me that isn't possible, but he hasn't even tried. I love him. He is very good to me, but am very resentful about not being able to have a child of our own. I would have liked to have been able to make that choice. Not have it made for me because a previous spouse was a baby-making machine and he thought she would get pregnant again so he “fixed” it so she couldn't. It is heartbreaking sometimes and I often wonder if this marriage can survive it. Meanwhile, my clock keeps ticking. My Mom had me at 43 so in my mind I keep thinking I have more time. So what do you do? Find another man that you may or may not love just for the hope of having a child? It's not an easy decision for any of us. Love this blog. It makes it easier to know that we are not alone out there.
Hi Anonymous Sept. 21,
Honestly, what would I do? From the benefit of hindsight, I'd stay with the man who is good to me and try to accept that my life is what it is.
I know how hard this is. I have three stepchildren, along with two stepchildren I never see and a step-great grandchild I've only seen on Facebook. The kids would say this is my fault, that I haven't asserted myself enough, but I have never felt welcome when I tried.
As for reversing the vasectomy, you don't know for sure that it won't work unless you ask, but the longer it's been the harder it is to do a successful reversal, or so I hear.
I'm glad we can be here for you. I'd like to hear how other readers would answer your question.