I’ve always been keen on kids. From a young age, all I wanted to be when I grew up was be a mum – a career didn’t really interest me. I was the kid at school who looked after the younger ones. I quickly became the neighbourhood babysitter. And I seemed to have a knack for it – I accidentally stole my friends babysitting job because the kids only wanted me after I covered for her one night!
I’d catch babies & toddlers eyes when standing behind them waiting for the green pedestrian light, or when travelling on a plane together etc. I’d make them laugh, distract them from their discomfort, especially on long haul flights when everyone was tired. I trained and worked as a nanny. As an adult I’d often end up holding people’s baby at parties – I got cuddles which I loved and the parents got a break. I was everyone’s new best friend. I could get babies to sleep when others struggled, I could get them to eat or take a bottle when they were determined not too. I seemed to have the magic touch – I’d smile at a kid & suddenly be their new favourite person, my in-laws even started calling me the “baby whisperer” (though I always asked them not to as I didn’t want them to jinx things for when I had my own kids……I didn’t think it might jinx my actually having babies!)
In the past few years I’ve felt I’ve lost this knack….part of this I put down to not actually showing as much interest as before – a women in her child bearing Years is a prime target for all the “when are you having your own” comments. But mostly I worried I’d used up my magic, and actually I wouldn’t make a good mother. I also found myself looking, possibly not so subtly (or at least it felt very obvious to me) at other people’s children…..tiny new borns in prams, me peering round the edge of the cover trying to get a peak of such tiny beauty that would hopefully soon be mine, looking at cheeky wee toddlers exploring the world, glancing (well possible staring) at babies being carried in front packs…..
I fear I stopped being discrete about my observations, I think the desire to join the club must have been written in neon lights on my forehead…and I fear it left these mothers I didn’t know worrying I was a crazy lady just waiting to pounce on their baby and run off with them. This has spread to me thinking my friends and family who have children might fear this too – that given half a chance I’d take their children to be my own, that I wasn’t safe to have around their children….
But as much as I felt I’ve lost my mind during this period of TTC, I’ve never wanted their children (even though I love them to bits)….all I’ve wanted is a baby of my own……I’m really not That Crazy Lady.