Monday, September 15, 2014

When They Say.....We Think.....

*Let me preface this post by saying I think all mothers need a break at times and they need to vent about how hard it is to raise their children. I do not think mothers need to shut up and not talk about their children or suffer in silence about their struggles. I think it's good and healthy for them to do so and I love hearing about my friend's and family's kids. Most of the time I am fine with hearing the milestones and a little venting from my friends about their children. As a friend I want to share the joys and sorrows with them in their state in life. 

So the other day I went to women's group and the topic was gentleness. At this group children are allowed so a lot of stay at home or part time working outside the home moms bring their kids. It's great because the children are playing outside in a courtyard as the rest of us are drinking tea and discussing/reading about the day's topic. There is of course a bit of chaos as to be expected with lots of children around :) At each meeting I have attended I am usually a little more on edge afterward and JJ has noticed this. Most of the women who go are mothers raising children, there have been older women and a single woman who have come before but then haven't returned. I love when other women come to the meetings because it balances out the perspective I think. When it's all mothers raising children and me, that's when it's a bad combination and that is when I come home frazzled. 

At this particular meeting there was a lot of venting about one's children, more than normal. It felt like the entire first half of the meeting was different women venting about their children and how hard it is to raise their children. It may have been only 10mins. but it felt like so long and the silence in my heart was deafening. As these women were complaining about lack of silence I thought "All I have is silence. A deafening one that resounds from my womb." As they complained about the chaos I thought "All I have is order and no one but JJ and I to make our house messy." As they complained about not having alone time I thought "All I have when I am not at work, volunteering, out with friends or with JJ is alone time." When they complained about children jumping on them whenever they got on the phone or on the computer I thought "there is no one to interrupt me or climb all over me as I make a phone call."  There was even a point where someone mentioned "the moms should all get together for an Advent reflection with out the kids." Ouch it stung and what I thought was "I am always with out my kid." 

As they questioned and discussed their decisions about being a stay at home mom I just sat there in silence having nothing to say, well nothing to say that would've been appropriate for the children to hear ;) I don't get what they are going through and I may never get it. I tried to be compassionate and listen to their struggles all the while I just wanted to scream. I wanted to say "hey can you just stop talking about this" but I couldn't. There was no where for me to go to excuse myself either. I just sat there, the silence from my childlessness was so loud I thought they would hear it but they didn't. 

I have to say I was probably extra sensitive at this meeting because AF is just around the corner, we just got some medical news that reaffirms the brokenness of my body and Cecilia's due date anniversary was on Fri. Sept. 12th (she would've been two). I didn't share any of this at the meeting because I am not comfortable enough with all of the women there to do so and I just couldn't after all the venting/complaining. It would have sent me over the edge so I just kept my mouth shut. I also don't want it to seem like these women are monsters who were torturing me w/ a lot of talk of raising a family, it wasn't like that at all! 

After the meeting when JJ got home from work he asked how it went and I just let the flood gates open. I told him through my sobs what had happened and he affirmed what I had been thinking for a month or so, that I should not go back to the women's group for now. Maybe someday but maybe it's just not the place for me. If there was more variety like single women, married and widowed then maybe I would go back. The time of the group is more conducive to SAHMs and I was able to go because my CrMS work schedule is so flexible. I think a big reason that it is so difficult to be there is the fact that we are at a standstill with adoption, have no idea if we should reconsider foster care and we have not conceived since Cecilia almost 3 years ago! I think the unknowing state is particularly hard, if we were in the process of adoption or foster care I could feel better about going to these meetings. 

The next day I prayed for all the women who go to the group at Mass that God would help them in their vocation and state in life.  I wanted to make sure I harbored no ill will toward them and I don't, we are just at different places and it is more of a moms group. I don't want them to feel like they have to walk on egg shells around me because I know it is a very needed group for them but I don't think it would be healthy for me at this point to go. They should be able to freely talk about their struggles in a supportive environment. I think the greatest support I can give them right now are my prayers. I am sad about it because I met some great women there who I would only see in the context of the group. I know if a friendship is suppose to happen with them God will make it happen.  I sent an email to the leader who is also a friend of mine letting her know I wouldn't be returning and why, that was so hard to do. I got to talk to her about it over the phone and explain a little more which I think helped. She didn't criticize me or make me feel guilty she just listened compassionately and tried to understand. I do hope I can go back to the group some day perhaps when my vision is a little more clear about my motherhood. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Requiem Mass Los Angeles

Hi All! I am trying to promote a Requiem Mass I am organizing along with our Respect Life coordinator at our parish. It is a memorial Mass for all children lost to miscarriage and stillbirth. When we lost our Cecilia over two years ago in a miscarriage we did not get to have a funeral or memorial Mass. We miscarried so early that most people thought it was no big deal but if we are truly pro-life then that means every life is precious no matter how small. So this Mass is to honor all those babies who have passed through a miscarriage or stillbirth. We wanted to do this Mass during Respect Life Month to bring more of an awareness to the pro-life community about this topic. 

We are hoping to get a big turn out to bring some healing and love to those families who have lost a baby. It helps to know that we are not alone and even though we wish no one would have to go through this we are glad when we can support one another. I have too many friends who have also lost children whether they are dealing with infertility or have many children, sadly miscarriage or stillbirth does not discriminate. We will have a small reception in the parish hall afterwards so come on out and let's honor these babies who are very much a part of the Body of Christ! 

Would you be willing to share this post on your blog to help me spread the word? Even if you are not in L.A. some of your readers may be. If you want a pdf version of the flyer please email me. Thank you!