Thursday, January 05, 2006

My Membership Has Been Revoked

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that there has been a mini baby boom in my family of late. My brother had a daughter six months ago, my sister popped out a sprog of her own over Christmas. Her best friend is due around my birthday and several of my brother's best friends have also given birth in the past few months. It's like Baby Central around here.

Now, don't get me wrong - I love my niece and nephews and I'm definitely glad they've been added into our family. It's been great fun watching them grow and seeing their personalities develop, and I look forward to that continuing and being a part of it. But I swear if I have to listen to one more conversation about breast feeding and pumping and latching on or sit there while I get a complete second by second run down of what every one of them did in the last twenty-four hours, I may well scream til my brain shoots out my ears.

I started noticing this strange trend when my first nephew was born nearly four years ago, and now with the advent of two more babies in the mix, it's like no one can talk about anything else. It seems impossible to have a conversation at family gatherings that has anything to do with anything non-baby/toddler related. Which leaves me at a distinct disadvantage given that I have no kids, am not versed in the whole baby speak (He's in the 95 percentile - what is that?), nor have any inclination to be. I have nothing to contribute to the conversations. Which perhaps would be okay, if we talked about other things as well. But we don't, especially of late. Every single conversation steers back to this one topic. Its like I have to search out my 3 1/2 year old nephew just to have a normal conversation - if discussing superheroes and their powers can be considered normal.

It's like there's some club that's been formed and I don't have membership status. I'm some peripheral lurker standing on the fringes of a group I used to belong to until the great shift happened, the membership requirements changed and my privileges were revoked.

And I get that the kids are a big deal, and I don't mean for this to come off as some spoiled twit having a narcissistic pity party (although quite frankly, it sounds like that even to me). But I just can't seem to shake the sense that I don't fit in my family any more, like I'm wearing a pair of shoes that don't fit. Or maybe more accurately that my shoes have been swiped and I'm standing around in mismatched socks and not quite sure what to do about it. I feel like I'm drifting away from them, bit by bit. A part of me hangs on with this stubborn grip, and another part shrugs and says in an offhand manner, 'just let go, see what happens...'

Maybe in a strange way, all of this is some cosmic message. I've always been reluctant to go very far from where my family is, but in the past few years I've been feeling antsy, caged in almost. Perhaps these changes, this shift, is just the universe telling me it's okay to move on.

Now, if I could only afford a plane ticket, I'd be all set.


kacey said...

I think part of this is just the natural breaking away/growing up thing with families. But yes, people with babies talk non stop about them. And while I fully admit I joined in when my kids were little, now that my kids are high school/college age...I'd search out a kid to discuss super heroes over listening to breastfeeding/when to start solids/potty training talk anyday. I think it's just one of those different stages of your life things. Though I'm sure when I hit grandma stage I'll be right back into the baby talk stuff...

Sorry that you're feeling like an outsider though. That sucks. You like to believe you'll always feel like one of the group with your family.

Tess said...

Yeah - I know what you mean. We've got no kids either (not our choice, but OTOH, we're enjoying life without them), and it's really hard when we get in a room with a lot of parents who talk about NOTHING but their babies. I can do a lot of the lingo, having been around my sis and her kids a lot, but still, there are times it would be nice to have a REAL conversation.

If you're thinking of moving, does Hot Guy from the branch office figure in? *g*

Kelly said...

I wish! Then again, one never knows what the fates have in store. - cue dramatic music here -

Amy said...

Sorry you're being left out. The only thing I can say is that they WILL grow out of it. Eventually.

Peggy said...

Kelly, I'm a mother of three (two teenagers and one toddler) and if you noticed on my blog lately, I began a second blog for all my mommy tales. Because I can so relate to what you're saying. Though I love to talk about my kids, I don't in particular enjoy listening to others going on about theirs. There are some mothers who really enjoy sharing stories---and it is hard not to when they take up so much of your life---but probably more who don't enjoy hearing them! And to prove my point, the only person to visit my new blog so far, I believe, is my mother!!

So do everyone a favour at that table and start up a conversation non-kid related. If anything, you'll a least make all the men sigh with relief!

Melissa Marsh said...

I've always felt a little different in my family. Yeah, I married and had a baby and all that, but I've always longed for adventure. I've never wanted to stay in the area where I was born and raised (like my brother did) or settle into a "normal" life. I want to travel, see the world, move to a different STATE!

When my daughter was born, we talked a lot about babies, too. That has stopped some. I think we talked about it so much because babies completely CONSUME your life for so long. They're all you can think about for a few months.

I'm feeling the same way you are - antsy. Ready to move on. Find a new job. A new adventure.

And then I get scared and think I should just be happy with what I have. It's not that I'm NOT happy, but I don't want to settle, y'know?

Nikki said...

There's nothing worse than being locked into the baby conversations. I know I've been guilty of it many times myself -- going on and on about my kid without thinking about who else really cared about my stories.

It's definitely a "stage of life" and just think ... the alternative in twenty years will be talking about menopause ... yeah, lots of great conversations to look forward to.