I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal stuff lately. Some very good, some not so good, but it all amounts to the same thing for me – anxiety. I get anxious at the drop of a hat, it seems. And it’s not always about bad stuff. It can be caused by big things, little things, bad things, good things, new things, things that might happen, things that might not happen. I’m like a connoisseur of anxiety.
One of the big things that has been going on recently is that my husband has decided he never wants kids. This is a bad thing, and something that I’m not dealing with very well. You see, I used to think that my heaven-ordained purpose for being on earth was to be a good mother. I’m not so sure about heaven anymore, but I’m still pretty sure that the best thing I could ever do with my life would be to raise children to be happy, to teach them how to be happy and how to make the people around them happy. I think it’s the best thing I would ever accomplish, if I had the chance to.
My husband seems to go in cycles, so I don’t know if this will pass or not, but he seems to swing to the “never” side with a lot more assurance lately. It used to be a definite “yes”. We’d even named our potential future children before we got married. You know, all the sickeningly sweet things people do when they’re in a love haze (before real life happens and school loan payments start coming due). Then it switched to “maybe, maybe not”. Now it’s “never”. I’m not certain about what has caused the change, though I could take a few guesses. If I ask him, he doesn’t know why. He just has feelings sometimes and has no idea where they came from. This is a completely alien concept to me, since I overanalyze so much that I generally always know what I’m feeling and why. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably because we rent instead of own a house, I have no job security and our expenses are high (see aforementioned school loans), and our lifestyle in general isn’t child-friendly. I don’t usually get home until 8:30-9pm and neither of us enjoys early mornings.
I feel like all of those reasons are easily overcome, but my husband is so practical that he can’t see past them.
Anyway, he decided on Sunday night that he never wants children. So I spent Monday half in tears all day at work. I finally relaxed when I went to the gym, because I figured I could spend an hour not thinking about what a shambles my marriage was (I get a little overexcited about things sometimes, and I genuinely felt that way at the time).
A woman showed up with her adorable toddler. And then a very pregnant lady came in for a workout.
I just wasn’t prepared to see babies and pregnant people. I thought I was in a place where I wouldn’t have to think about it for a while. I hadn’t steeled myself for it. I was fine, just not making eye contact, pretending that my heart’s desire wasn’t just a couple racks over. And then I dropped an overhead squat, and my coach came by and said “Just pick it back up. You can do it.” and tears started streaming down my face, and I covered my mouth with my hands and ran sobbing to the bathroom.
I had an ugly cry. Like, a Claire Danes ugly cry.
Someone came in a few minutes later and we talked. I realized how absurd it sounded when I tried to explain. “No, we haven’t been trying.” “No, we haven’t had any ‘losses’.” “No, I don’t know why I’m such a mess.” I think I was just having an emotional day and got caught very off guard. I know I’ll see pregnant people all over the place, but I just hadn’t been prepared that day. And dropping overhead squats pisses me off to no end. I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.
I went out about 15 minutes later. Just in time for the metcon. My coach came over and very shamefacedly apologized to me for what he said. I couldn’t help but laugh. I told him it was completely unrelated, and I’m sorry I cried. After the workout, he came over and high fived me and asked if I felt better. I think he’s probably still a little leery of me.
I’ve been better the past couple days. Still upset. Still anxiety-ridden. Still not dealing terribly well, but better anyway. I probably won’t lose it the next time I see a baby or a pregnant lady. I mean, I might. But I probably won’t. And who knows? Maybe after we buy a house, I get health insurance and a better job, and I prove that I can wake up before 8am, my husband will change his mind again. And if not? Well, I’d rather be barren and still have my husband than have a hundred children without him (I mean, who wants a hundred kids anyway? Not this lady.)
I just remind myself that I could have nothing, and still have my husband, and have everything I really need. He is pretty great. Even if he’s a cold-hearted child-hater.