Every so often I reflect on how far I've come. And I really have come a long way since I started this blog almost two years ago. As Mali recently wrote, it gets easier, and this has been the case for me. I've learned many lessons over the past few years, but one of the biggest has been that sometimes we need to protect ourselves, that it's ok to not suck it up, put a smile on our face, and pretend that everything is ok for a couple of hours.
In the past two weeks I've declined two social invitations in the name of self-protection.
The first was an invitation to a dinner party where there would be three other couples in addition to hubs and me. All three couples have kids under three and all of the kids would be there (though with a baby sitter apparently). I know two of the three women and one husband and they are all really nice people that I enjoy spending time with. But three couples embroiled in toddelerhood? No. Just no. Thankfully we've already RSVP'd for a wedding (hub's cousin) on that day so we had an easy (and true!) excuse.
The second was an invitation to a cookout with several work friends and their husbands/families (six couples total). The host is one of my closest work friends. She knows about our infertility issues and exhibits sensitivity and empathy uncommon in a mother of two who admittedly had no issues getting and staying pregnant. We've done things with them (and their kids, both teenagers) and really enjoy spending time with their family. The problem is with the others, also colleagues. I like them all in the work setting, but they all have kids under five. I imagined it to be much like bamberlamb described, because when at social gatherings with multiple parents of young children, it almost always is exactly as she described. So I declined, saying that we already had plans and suggested a cookout sometime later this summer. I left out the part where our plans included takeout and Netflix. I think she understood though.
After I declined both of these invitations I realized something. I didn't feel bad, not even a little bit. Usually when I say no to something I feel a twinge of guilt. But not this time. I did the right thing.
I call that progress.