Being childless has brought as much freedom to me as it has heartache. But I still have my moments where my heart breaks a little. At times, I see my boyfriend with his daughter, and I find myself jealous that he has something so precious that I will never have. He has that connection with a child that cannot be fabricated. She will always be first in his heart, and I will never rise above 2nd, even though my circumstances let me put him first. I will never have anything that is a piece of me like that—not him, not a child. It’s a fleeting feeling that rarely lasts more than a minute, thank goodness. In those moments, I feel sad and jilted, because I was not given an opportunity to have my own child, when so many others have been that (in my mind) are not deserving.
I have researched being in a relationship with a man who has a child, and how to be “good” in this role. I want to do this right because I love them both. I guess there is no handbook on how to walk into a ready-made family, where you are the outsider that must do most of the adjusting, and yet must be content staying in the background. Let me clarify—all parties have made adjustments and sacrifices, but I’m an adult who has lived my life a certain way, knowing I cannot have kids. And now I’m changing not just my home to make room for a child (physically), but my routines, my goals, and my whole sense of identity. Although I welcome this new role, it can weigh heavy on me knowing my house went from me in power to me being 3rd.
I don’t want to be selfish. I want to be this child’s friend, but not disrespected. I want to be there for her, but not her servant. I want to provide her happiness, but not spoil her. Since my role is very limited, I can easily step on toes of her parents by standing up for what I feel is right. It can be a helpless feeling, not knowing where my boundaries are in my own home. Over time, they will reveal themselves, through trial and error. Hopefully not too much error.
Since I have no children, my input and advice can easily be ignored, and I pray that I am taken seriously and not dismissed due to my “inexperience”. Children or no children, I can see behaviors and gauge their long term effects. I remember my own reactions to my parents, my own turmoil as a child, and I remember the discipline that was brought to me—both good and bad.
So these are my deepest, darkest thoughts as of late. I pray for wisdom. I have had all of these fragmented thoughts whirling in my head at different times these past 2 weeks, and I finally think I may have pulled them together now so I understand them better. I don’t want to sound overly selfish or negative, but I don’t want to deny my honest feelings either.
I believe he is worth this, and so is she. I'm counting on it.