I think saying "no" is something many of us struggle with. We want to be helpful, we want people to like us. I have a tendency to say yes to everything, and when my schedule is bursting at the seams I wonder how on earth that happened. I'm working hard at saying no more often, and I'm starting with baby showers.
I'm not a fan of showers in general - wedding showers or baby showers. I know the intention is good, but it's something that women are obligated to attend with and on behalf of other women, and they're mostly torture. I get the need for them, and I know that showers will never go away. But for the foreseeable future I will be saying no baby showers (with the rare exception of several good friends).
Despite the significant number of my amazing friends who are having children (many are already having their second or third child), I haven't attended a baby shower in about two and a half years. The last one I attended was when we had just decided we wanted to adopt, and I was in a place of grieving the fact we wouldn't be having a baby biologically. At the shower I was seated with my friend's high school friends whom I'd never met. They all had children of various ages ranging from teenagers to a newborn. The mom of the newborn had clearly taken a long time to conceive, and she was particularly snarky to me making comments like, "You just don't get baby showers until you have a child of your own" and openly judging me for not having children. I left the shower, called my husband, and cried for most of the drive home. That was the last baby shower I attended, and I don't expect I'll attend another one any time soon.
I started thinking about this blog when I read last week that Jimmy Fallon and his wife had a five year struggle to have their daughter. It made me think about the people I know who have struggled to start families and the extraordinary stress it puts on one's life. I can't tell you the number of times I've gone for a run over the last 4-5 years, and it was fueled my hurt or disappointment about not having a baby. Being a running cityphile is who I am, but it's also helped me cope with this roller coaster.
There are lots of ways I need to start saying no, and I'm starting here. It's an easy first step.I love, love, love my friends. I've snuggled so many newborns the last few years, and I'll gladly do it again. I'll get pedicures with my friends before they give birth. I'll selflessly join them in having dessert (because I'm THAT nice). I'll walk a dog, watch a toddler, do whatever they need. I'll visit bearing appropriate and often extravagant gifts. Just please don't ask me to sit through your baby shower. Call me for wine once the little lovebug is here. I'm in.