Babies, Being Home, and No Patrick

It has been amazing to be a part of my family again after not living at home for over 10 years. Making the decision to stay close was easy in many respects because I missed them so much.

Now, I am finding that it is difficult to really fit in with them. Both of my sisters and my brother have children. I have a dog. They have car seats. I have a dog kennel. Although I am very happy with my decisions in life, it seems as though I am no longer part of the clan.

For example, my sisters and I, for the first time in our adult lives, went shopping together (with their two boys in tow). In the all-in-one shopping establishment we went to, they have a large selection of baby items. As silent majority ruled, we immediately drifted towards that section. They spent endless minutes browsing the clothes, diapers, and compared notes on breast feeding. I found a great deal on a sweatshirt for the one nephew that wasn?t there and quickly began to suffocate. After I announced I was going in search of doggie treats, I scooted away as quickly as propriety would allow.

For the next hour, I wandered the acres of miscellaneous junk wondering why I felt so alone. I called my friend in Philly just so I could feel like I belonged somewhere for a few minutes. I needed to hear that I wasn?t wrong for feeling so alien being with my family that I love so much.

That evening was 2 weeks ago. I dismissed it as a random thing that I would get over. Tonight, the realization that it isn?t a random thing hit like a brick up-side the head.

All three of us girls are at my middle sister?s house. Their significant others and babies were all gathered for dinner. Prior to eating, the guys left on an errand while we girls sat and chatted. I should have seen it coming. The conversation went straight to the babies, breast feeding, labor and the like. What does a non-baby-having woman have to add to that conversation? Short answer? Not a fuckin? thing. I would make small comments to be polite, but mostly just sat and played with my dog. When I would try to change the subject subtly, it never worked. They were just so happy to be in their baby world, absolutely oblivious to my discomfort or heartache.

For the record? I don?t really want kids. I never have, I probably never will. These hours of needing my family, especially with Patrick being in Iraq are becoming more and more painful. Tonight at dinner, it was everyone else, and me. I feel like the outsider more and more. I am sure that my pain over missing Patrick is compounding things. Unfortunately, I am just at a loss for how to deal with this.

Now, I sit here, upstairs with my family downstairs. I disappeared to my room (I am staying at my middle sister?s until we close on the house) with the excuse that I was going to go study for my exam tomorrow. I really just couldn?t stand to be with the families. It makes my heartache and loneliness too acute.

So, now, brilliant me, has decided to try to live someplace where I have no husband, only one friend, and a family that I no longer relate to. It has been a very long time since I have felt this alone.