"I quite honestly could have … contacted Infertile Phoenix, Loribeth, Jess at My Road to Mommyhood, even Sue at Childless by Marriage (even though that was never my precise situation) because I read you all. And all of your encouraging blog posts and comments."
Gateway Women was also a major influence for her as well.
" … what I really want to say is that the vast majority of my healing and growth has come from the profound wisdom and humour and kindness expressed through your community."
"It even took me a while to realise what I was doing. Why was I reading about these lives and thoughts that were, at least on paper, shaped so differently to my own (but felt similar)? And I think it was a way to reach back to the pre-parenthood me. I was so profoundly terrified of a life without children when it appeared inevitable – I had no template for it. I imagined that becoming a parent would somehow erase all of those existential crises thoughts, and I’d have my ‘purpose’ and everything would be ok.
And when it didn’t, I needed to see role models. People who had actually been through the fire. People who didn’t have the (too often) default fall back of “my kids” as the answer for the purpose in life. Somehow, reading from the often profound, often wry blogs in your community, I was able to forgive my pre-parenthood self her fears, and accept my current parenting self for her ‘failures’ as a mum. I would have been ok had I not become a parent. I would have had a fulfilling and satisfying life. I will still be ok now that my life involves parenting. It is not my purpose, it was not what I was ‘put here to do’ – I am still me! You and your friend acknowledged this ages ago: there is no purpose in life other than to enjoy the lives we have."
Thank you for putting your thoughts out there for people like me to anonymously read. It laid the foundation for me to begin griefwork (because fundamentally many of my torments were unaddressed grief from infertility and losses). And it has allowed me to grow and appreciate, to continue to learn, and perhaps counter-intuitively, to be a better parent."
<Note from Mali: I don’t think it is counter-intuitive at all!>
“If parenting’s goal is to raise human beings, then what better guide than people who had to accept the intrinsic unfairness of life in ways that are not socially supported? Who had to rebuild and reassess life in ways that our current society does not expect or demand parents to?”
I've often thought that we have a lot in common with parents. That some societal pressures to conform to one way of behaving or one world view are detrimental to us all. My correspondent agrees, and I may write more about that at another time. But right now, o