Lately, I’ve noticed a change in my circle of moms. I’ve been the expectant mom or the mom with the little ones in tow for the past 5 years. But now, things have shifted. I am not pregnant. My youngest daughter just turned 1 last week. I have several friends who are expecting their second child. I am now the friend who loans out her maternity clothes. (My Rubbermaid tub is on mom #2 this year already.) I am the friend who has the baby carriers you can borrow or the baby gear if you need it.
I am not complaining; I love being able to share my clothes with my mom friends. I took pride in getting cute clothes to cover my belly bumps and I want them to get more love if that’s possible. I love being able to educate other moms on baby wearing and share my stash. But, there is still this small hole.
You see, everyone is pregnant but me. Now, I know that statement is not entirely true. It’s an exaggeration, but it does feel that way at times.
I found myself at the park awhile back with two good friends who are both expecting. I sat there holding my mobile baby who was snacking on goldfish and I felt lost. I felt left out. I felt like I was the outcast. While I know this is strange and weird, I have a hunch I’m not alone in these feelings.
You see, I am most likely done having babies. I am working on accepting that and moving on to the next stages of parenthood with my children. Now mind you, they are 1, 3, and 5, so my toddler years are still in full-swing, but my baby days? Those are seeming like a fleeting memory.
I want to cherish the moment I am in now. I want to be thankful for my pregnancies, my loss, and my beautiful children who were born from those experiences. I want to be able to go to the park with my friends and not feel weird for not being pregnant. I want to be proud of my body for the pregnancies it did endure and complete, not shame it for just being my body now.
So, momma, if you feel like me, hang in there. While our baby-making days MAY be over, there is still plenty of adventure up ahead. I encourage you to hold your friend’s precious babies. Rock them. Sing them sweet songs and buy them the cute baby onesies and Tula swaddles you wish you would have gotten for your own kids.
But it’s okay when it’s all over. When the snuggles are done, hand that baby back to a momma who still has more of a story to write for her baby days. She still has diapers that need changing and babies who need feeding.
You? Well, you may just need to go get a happy meal with your toddlers or make it to Monday night soccer on time to see your 3-year-old’s face when he finally kicks the ball. Whatever stage of motherhood we are in, I am convinced it’s all beautiful and we all belong--no one should feel left out.
Karyn Meyerhoff is mom of three where she loves her kiddos and will always be a baby person.