Every Friday morning at 10am they meet together. As the front door opens, the children giggle as they eagerly run inside to the play room, the moms put down their purses, take off their shoes, and then huddle around a pot of coffee and pastries. As I stand outside, just looking in, I can’t hear their words, but I can see them talking as they laugh with one another.
I imagine they are exchanging stories of when Sally started walking or how old John was when he said his first word. I can bet they are also giving tips on getting their toddler to eat or exchanging advice on the best methods of discipline. One mother might be getting ideas for their child’s first birthday party, while another is discussing her plans for having baby #2.
I could go in, most of them are my friends, but what would I contribute to the conversation? Our lives are so much different and despite being of similar age, with similar education levels and interests, I am now “set apart”. Infertility sets me apart. It didn’t used to be like this. In fact, at first, it was Sarah who was “set apart”. She was the first to have a child and was unable to go to dinner because of the difficulty in finding a babysitter or there was not enough money due to the extra expense of diapers and formula. But the tide has shifted and Sarah is no longer alone as more of the group friends now have babies. It’s no longer Friday night group dates but Friday morning play dates.
It’s one of the hardest things to deal with when your friends all start moving on to the next stage of life, having children, and although you are trying, it simply isn’t happening. You start to feel excluded. Sure they are still your friends, but as their conversations shift from which new restaurants to try, to which breast pump works the best, you realize you are being left behind…whether it’s intentional or unintentional, it’s happening.
What do I do? Should I ‘borrow’ a child and join them on Friday’s? Maybe I should find new friends who don’t debate cloth diapers versus disposable or jar baby food versus fresh? While I am not into feeling ‘phony’ by borrowing another child, I am also not into finding new friends. Infertility has robbed me of so much already that I don’t want it to rob me of my friends as well.
So as I stand outside on this Friday morning looking in the window as if a child staring into a candy store , I
could will put on my ‘big girl panties’, go in and enjoy myself. I won’t think thoughts of being left behind or throw myself a pity party by feeling excluded because for now, until I receive my official “Mom’s Club” card, I will embrace my “non-member” card. I understand that I don’t have much to add to their conversations, but it gives me time to listen. I can listen to them talk about the best breast pumps, diapers, and formula. Or what a waste of money half of the items that were purchased after little Timmy was born turned out to be. I can take notes on how to shove food get my future toddler to eat more fruits and vegetables and I can ask for their REAL advice on what to expect when expecting.
These “official members” are loaded with resources and now is the time for me to gather advice while kicking up my feet, sipping on my hot coffee, enjoying my pastry, and not having to worry about whether my child is
fighting sharing toys with Sarah’s child. God is faithful and I can sit with this group of women knowing that my time to trade in my low-rise jeans for Mom jeans is coming SOON! I have faith that SOON, my “non-member” card will expire and God will be sending me a new card…a card that reads “Welcome to the Mom’s Club.”
Don’t stand on the outside looking in, despising this time as a “non-member”, but rather embrace it and learn all you can now, because one day you will be an “official member”. You will be the one passing down helpful advice while drinking cold coffee, sharing a pastry with your toddler, and chasing little Billy Bob, who is holding a sharpie marker, down the hallway.