Friday, 27 September 2013

Babysitting mode

My niece called me this morning.  It was babysitting afternoon.  I had forgotten.  I love my great nephew to bits and I love spending time with him.  Babysitting day has always been an absolute blessing.  Today however, I found myself becoming really annoyed and irritated that I had to shift into baby mode.

I didn't want to go there.  I had others things I wanted to do.  Things that were on the positive childfree list as well as paperwork that needed to be finished.  It hurt too much to think of being in baby mode.  I've spent the last week actively adjusting to being childfree and trying to be okay with it.  I've been actively seeking to see the freedom of childlessness as a blessing.  Now I had to shift back to joyful baby mode.

As the time drifted around to leave, I was feeling better.  I had completed a large portion of the paperwork and I had successfully baked my first loaf of spelt bread in the breadmaker without it collapsing!  I was excited by that and a little less stressed having done some paperwork.  I still wasn't wanting to shift into baby mode.  But it presented with a sigh rather than with annoyance.

Upon arriving on the doorstep, I could hear my niece doing the excited baby talk "who's at the door, L?" and the annoyance came back.  I wasn't annoyed at being there per se, I was just annoyed at the situation. 

Then my niece proceeded to tell me all about her sister-in-laws pregnancy and how she is about to give birth.  A brief history is needed to tell you that her SIL got pregnant two weeks before I did.  She had a similar story in that it was also her 4th IVF round.  So, to hear about her about to receive her child is probably the biggest stab in the heart ever.  It is simply a reminder that I would have been about to be a mother as well if we had not lost our child at 12 weeks pregnant.

It's awful to say, but I think her baby will always be a reminder of our loss.  I sincerely hope that feeling passes but really, will it??

My annoyance stayed until my niece left and then it became time for play.  L and I had a great time playing with his toys.  He is a great kid!  There were times though when I felt gratitude that not every day of my life had to be spent with kiddy play!  After a while, he wanted to eat and then it was time for a nap.  He fell asleep on my chest while having his bottle.

This experience brought the tears.  I feel so much love for that boy and having him curled up asleep on my chest was just too much.  We will never experience that with our own child.  I will never have that mother/child bond that is so strong and heartwarming.  Instead I will feel it from time to time without it truly being mine.  And then have to walk away from it.

Even now that I am home, the tears are still there.  The sadness is deep.  While I am so grateful to be a great aunt to him, to be able to spend time with him and to be developing a fantastic bond, there is no way to spin how I am feeling into a positive thing.  I just hope that this feeling soon passes because what I don't want, is for this to be a block in my relationship with him as he gets older.

It's been a difficult afternoon.  I'm glad to be able to blog about it to a compassionate community who truly understand what it feels like.  Thank you.

To help with my emotions now - I am off to bake!!!

Love and Light


  1. (((HUGE HUGS))) It's PERFECTLY normal to feel all these things, including the feeling that someone's baby being a reminder of your loss. I don't know if the feeling will go away completely, but I can tell you that the pain will diminish as time goes by. After all, the baby will always be like a glimpse of an "alternate universe" for you.

    I'm glad you've got a chance to have some sweet moments with your grand nephew. Take your time in crying your eyes out...because in the end grieving fully will help you let go. I find that the more we try to refuse to grieve fully (it's different for each person how long it takes and how we grieve), the harder it is to let go of those feelings and move on. It's like if we keep on fighting not to "drown", the harder it is to move on 'coz we're like walking in a swamp, but if we let ourselves "drown", we can get back up to the surface and realize that despite the unpleasant experience of drowning, we're "cleansed" and our weight is lighter 'coz we're not walking in a swamp anymore. OK, enough rambling...

    1. Actually your post inspired me to write a post. :-)

    2. You weren't rambling at all!! Thank you for your words of wisdom. :)

      I'm really grateful to DH that I've been able to take time off from work for the rest of the year. Apart from my job at home doing paperwork for my bro one day a week, I am only teaching one day a week.
      I've got time to be able to feel all those emotions and to adjust to a new life.

    3. I'm glad to know you've got a chance to take time off from work. And your hubby sounds so lovely. :-)

  2. I know, moments like this hurt just too much....

    a hug for you!

    1. Thanks Klara. It really helped to be able to write about it and then to receive all your wonderful comments. It also helped so much to be able to talk to my husband about it when he came home from work. We had a really good chat about it all.
      Thank you

  3. I know it's not exactly the same thing, every time I cuddle with one of my dogs I feel that stab to the heart. That incredible happiness mixed with incredible sadness. There are always going to be good days and bad days, I'm just hoping the bad days get fewer and further apart for all of us.

    1. It is very similiar isn't it?!! Last night I couldn't sleep and I found myself standing in the kitchen cuddling one of my cats. It was lovely but it actually worked the other way. At 3 am in the morning I thought how grateful I was not to have to do this every night!!! :):)

  4. After we decided to be child free I avoided my nephews for awhile... Even though they are the lights of my life and I am the favorite auntie. It was just too hard to be around them at first. I still haven't babysat more than once or twice. I used to love it but now I just feel overwhelmed by the idea. I think it gets better, we just need some time.

    1. Thanks erinvns for sharing your situation as well. it's so reassuring to know we aren't alone in our experiences. xx

      You story got me thinking a lot about what to do. I don't know that I want to avoid him though. It is so important to me to establish this early bond with him. I see the differences between my nieces that I was able to spend early time with and those that I wasn't able to. The relationship I have with those that I bonded with earlier are so much better.

      I guess I just won't be going out of my way to catch up at extra times. But I will keep my regular weekly babysitting and see what happens. And if my niece calls for coffee, I will always say yes if I can.