As women, we are often taught to be kind, be polite, be helpful, be gracious, and so on. These are wonderful things to be. But when we have it ingrained in us that this is the way we have to be all the time at the expense of our own health, it’s not so wonderful.
We don’t have to say yes to every invitation.
We don’t have to always worry about other people’s feelings.
We don’t always have to put others before ourselves.
We can say no.
And sometimes, we should.
As a mother of only angels, my arms on this earth are empty. My heart has holes in it. And that grief can start to swallow me. Especially around the holidays and around other happy families with their arms full of babies and toddlers.
So, I’ve started saying no.
I’ve started saying no to invitations and events that I know will be painful for me. I’ve accepted that there are some events that I don’t have to go to if they will hurt so much that I’ll spend most of the party either blinking back my tears or in the bathroom muffling my sobs.
Events like baby showers, first and second birthdays, and holiday parties with families of little ones hurt so much. I feel everything inside me cracking and crumbling when I’m in those settings. My arms ache from their emptiness. My heart breaks watching a child who was born within a month of my empty due date turn one while knowing that my child never will.
Some people might be upset with me for not coming. They won’t understand, can’t understand, the pain of it. They’re unable to empathize with how much it hurts to be surrounded by joy while knowing that you had that same joy ripped from your grasp.
I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I want to be able to come to your child’s celebration. I really do.
But right now…I can’t.
It hurts too much.
So I’m going to say no.