November 22, 2016

lds, married, & child-less - finding my place.

these thoughts and feelings are still being formed and processed, so forgive me if they are not totally cohesive, or they are a little harsh. i am still warding off some saltiness about this subject, too.

i feel like i should begin with a qualifier - we love our ward, and feel incredibly blessed to have so many close friends already here - i cannot emphasize that enough. we love our people here - it feels like we have been hanging out with them our whole lives. 

but i have just felt very much like i do not belong, that there is no place for me in the bigger sense of church. and even beyond that, just in this women's mormon social sphere that i am naturally a part of. i have individual friendships, but overall i sometimes feel ... cast out. i feel like an extra body, floating in that space between a couple-family and "real family." 

i get a lot of comments like, "you don't have kids? oh why not! get on that!" and "oh JUST you wait until you have kids! then... blah blah blah." i feel like not having children yet is grounds for dismissal. "oh, it's just you? okay, well you do your thing, i'll strike up a friendship when we have a child in common."

that's what it feels like.

do you remember being single, and anyone who was married would always be like, "GOSH you guys. good things are in your future! you're not living unless you're married!" and you sat there like :| cool. so i'm just supposed to sit here and wait for my life to start. that's kind of how this feels - like, i'm AWARE that kids are amazing and parenting changes your life. i'm pumped! but also, i love my life right now, too. i feel challenged and fulfilled and happy, so don't tell me to "just wait."

most of the moms that i know glean all of their social interaction from playgroups, pre-school, and play-dates at the park, and often they seem uninterested in social interaction that doesn't center around their kids. i totally get that when you have kids - your life centers around them and that equals social interaction. and you just don't have time for everyone. 

i just wish that the moms would look outside of their circle enough to realize hey! kayla is new, she probably needs friends and wants to be included. maybe they assume i have my own set of friends that don't have kids? but that would be SO dumb of us to only spend time with people who were in the exact same life situation we are.

i LOVE having friends that have kids, truly - i really enjoy having a relationship with their kids and i enjoy having my scope widened by spending time with mothers. i guess i am just wishing they loved me back, and wishing i felt like i had a place among them.

i also feel like there is (perhaps) this idea that if you don't have kids RIGHT AWAY, you don't want them at all. where does this come from? recently i was expressing anticipation to some friends (who i have known for years) about having a family. they responded, "woah, kayla? wanting kids? wow!" i was so taken aback! just because i didn't want to get pregnant right away, i don't want kids? where does this narrative come from? it is such a bogus idea because i am so excited for that season of life, and i always have been! excuse me for having things to do with my life before getting knocked up! excuse me for not being on the same timeline as you!

i understand that getting pregnant right away IS the right thing for many people, i understand that kids take up a lot of your time and your capacity for human interaction, and i understand that once you've entered into that stage of life, it's easiest to hang around with people that are essentially, the same as you.

i have come to terms with the fact that i am going to have to weasel my way in to this "mommy group" - and ya know what, that's alright. i'm a good weasel-er. even though i feel a little scorned, i have too many wonderful people in my life to really feel THAT bad about it.

all i am saying is, maybe we should all reach out a little farther, stretch a tiiiiny bit more - because there are people waiting for you on the fringe.




9 comments:

  1. Kayla! thank you for posting this, I have been thinking the SAME thing lately. yesterday my friends had a little surprise birthday shindig for me which I appreciated so much but of course most of them have kids and the conversation was all about kids and babies lol... I was like hellerrrr i cannot relate one bit.. ha. I have a girlfriend that I graduated high school with who is pregnant with her third kid. WHAT. and most of my good friends have 2 kids. I am so happy for them but i can't relate with a lot of their experiences so it can be hard to hang out sometimes haha... Luckily we have a few couples here in OR who don't have kids yet and are willing to go on midnight donut runs with us, lol. And yes it makes me a little sad because they all hang out together and do whatever mommies do with kids. Of course I'm so excited to be a mom one day (maybe in like 3 years) but right now I am just loving having Justin all to myself!

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  2. Yes. So much yes to this! I am so excited to have kids. BUT. I also know that once we do decide to add to our family we are never going to get to go back to this time of it just being us, and I'm still enjoying it! I was the last of my friends to get married, and that was hard. Now im 26 in Utah without kids, it really is tough!! I've had women with kids tell me things like "oh you don't even know what it means to be busy until you have kids." Ah!!!!! It makes me crazy. Just because I don't have kids doesn't mean my life doesn't get crazy too, nor does it mean they can't also have a crazy life. And when did it become a competition?! Oh man. It's an interesting place sometimes to wade these waters when you take the non-traditional route. But I feel ya girl, I so feel ya.

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  3. I'm so sorry that you are feeling that way! I can kind of relate because we waited 5 (yes, FIVE, I don't get why it's so shocking to people...) years to have kids and it was the best thing for our life. So you do what you need to do and everyone else can just accept it :)

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  4. I started to get emotional just reading the title. I deal with this daily in some way and most days it's very hard. I have not found a way to word and voice my thoughts and my feelings. So thank you for writing this!

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  5. I feel you so much on this. And honestly the worst offenders are my wonderful parents! The baby thing comes up in literally every conversation we have these days and it makes me want to scream. I feel like they don't care about my interests or feelings as an individual, unless these feelings and interests are baby-oriented. I went to a bunco night with a dozen ladies in our ward over the weekend. One of the ladies, who's probably only a couple years older than me, was like, "Ya, my brother and his wife just had their third anniversary. Still no kids. I'm not going to be the one to ask about it because you never know what's wrong in a situation like that." WHAT? I probably should have said something, but I was taken so off guard that I think I just awkwardly shuffled away. I think we could all benefit from some understanding that every couple's situation, goals, and decisions are unique and we're all doing the best we can. Thank you for voicing your thoughts so I know I'm not the only one!

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  6. giving you a virtual hug bc people are SO WEIRD AND JUDGE-Y sometimes and you expressed this perfectly and eloquently. you are great and i admire your insightful ways and your awesome attitude of being a GO GETTER.

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  7. this is so well writte, as per ushe. even though i do have a baby, i get it!! i got married at 24, which totally isn't old, but i had so many comments from people asking, "why aren't you married yet??" or "just wait until you're married. it's so much better." it makes you feel stupid for enjoying the life you have. every one is different, and having children is such a HUGE decision that others shouldn't force on people. i got pregnant like 3 weeks into marriage (intentionally) and we had so many people tell us that we're dumb and we need to travel and experience marriage before having kids. i feel like you can't win haha. we did what we felt was right for our family, just like you and your husband are doing what you feel is right. thanks for sharing this. i feel yaaaa

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  8. I am literally the only married women in our ward without kids - so I know exactly how you feel!

    It has made me more aware of the other women who may feel out of place too though. There are a few unmarried and divorced women, I'm sure they have similar feelings of not "fitting in".

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  9. Moving to San Fran immediately so we can hang. Different side of the scope, but totally floating in a friendless zone right now. Literally all my friends are married/seriously dating or have kids that keep them busy. The frustrating part is the only time I ever see anyone is when I call them. And it's usually for a dinner, THAT I ORGANIZE, so we can catch up (which ends up just depressing me more bc they all have kid/boy stories and I well, I have work stories). I'm rambling now. Mostly just saying hi, I hear you, call me when you're in Utah.

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