I’m scrolling through Facebook and here comes one of those picture posts with a saying about the glory of motherhood. This one proclaims, “Having a daughter is God’s way of saying, ‘Here. I thought you could use a lifelong friend.’” It goes on to say, “I love my daughter with all my heart. Share if you do too.”
Just jam a knife into my heart. I’ve gotten this one twice this week from women I love and whose daughters I cherish, but who don’t understand how these posts affect women who never had children. They have every right to glory in their children and I’m happy for them, but it hurts and I’m not sure how to react. Not having a daughter, I can’t “share.” Do I “like” it when I have trouble even looking at it? Do I try in the comments to explain how it makes me feel? In at least one case, I don’t dare. One friend would send me a hug, but the other would scold me for whining and tell me it’s my own fault if I don’t have kids.
Is it? Hello, God? Is it my fault? Did I free-will myself out of motherhood? Should I have stopped using birth control in a failing marriage? My husband would have noticed; he was vigilant about making sure we didn’t get pregnant. After that, should I have not married a wonderful man with three kids and a vasectomy in case someone else showed up to give me children? I have never met any other possibilities.
I was young. I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t know all this would happen. I thought I could still be a mom right up until I realized it was too late. That caused me to drink a lot for a while. It took another decade before I could say the words, “I will never be a mother.” So it’s my fault?
No. I don’t want to “like” this post, and I am not going to comment, so I scroll past and read some more junk about Trump and Clinton. Let my loved ones assume I was busy and missed their posts.
To be honest, my initial reaction to the Facebook post was a wistful “if only.” Then I got mad.
Today there was a different post: “Share if you have a handsome son.” Uh, next. We’ve all seen them, the shout-outs for daughters, sons, granddaughters and grandsons. Good for them. I’d probably post the same things if I could. I’d be disgustingly proud of my kids. I’m bad enough posting pictures of my dog.
Okay. Thanks for letting me vent. My life is good. I’m out to lunch, the ocean view is gorgeous, and my Caesar wrap is delicious. Also, the kid in the next booth is driving me nuts. She won’t stay in her chair. She is not eating her kid-size fish and chips. At least I don’t need to deal with that. So what if I’m eating alone? The book I’m reading is great.
Two old women in sweatshirts and jaunty hats pass by. They’re laughing. I can be like them.
Keep saying it: My life is good. My life is good. My life is good.
Whew. See what one little Facebook post can do? Okay readers, what sets you off?