Oh No She Did[n't]


So as many of you know, I’m pregnant. And for those of you who have been pregnant and have children of your own, you must know what a completely frightening, selfless thing it is to go through 9 or so months of carrying a baby with you everywhere. And at the same time it’s quite exciting, amazing, and incredible to be able to do such a thing, which is why we don’t feel bad in the end for giving up all the things we were used to prior to seeing those infamous two lines…

Now, I understand that this isn’t for everyone and, in fact, at one point I never thought I wanted to have kids of my own. So I get that not everyone is going to be thrilled for me, not everyone is going to run out to Babies R Us to check out the cool stuff that we registered for and attend the baby shower, but there are certain people in my life who I would ordinarily expect to be excited and happy for me. I’m mainly talking about my sister here. She volunteered to plan two baby showers for Mark and me and has been overly excited to hear any news we had about the pregnancy. That is until Saturday, anyway.

I think my Saturday was taken from a movie. I’m not sure what movie, maybe one that hasn’t been made, but it was definitely not out of my life. It started out messy, and by the end of the day I was standing in the wreckage from Hurricane Katrina.

I woke up in Illinois and went to the DMV to get my driver’s license (long story) for the second time that week, this time with my SS card in hand. Apparently, I also needed my birth certificate and probably a blood sample to do this because they denied me this privilege. So fine, Mark and I decided to go to Babies R Us to blow off some steam; you know, shoot up some items on the registry that were girly (since we found out Friday that we’re having a baby girl). So we left there in a great mood, of course and headed back to my dad’s to do the shower invites with my sister.

She got quite frustrated because we couldn’t get the printer set up right to print on a custom sized paper, and I ended up figuring it out after 2 hours while she was holed up in her bedroom. No big deal, right? Except when she was working on the second set, I realized that we printed the first set without a time or location for the party…50 invitations, folks…well, this sent my sister over the edge into a screaming fit like I’ve never seen from a 20 year-old adult. I stayed completely level-headed through this (which for those of you who know me realize this is something of a miracle in itself), while she spouted off some really hurtful things while screaming and crying. That’s fine though, I understood that she had taken too much on anyway and was surprised she was handling things as well as she was up to that point.

What I didn’t realize was how absolutely jealous she was (and possibly still is) of my situation with being engaged and pregnant until the last few things she said before storming out the door: “yay for you. Great. Everone’s happy for YOU because YOU’RE getting married and YOU’RE having a baby. You’re completely selfish.” That’s about when my jaw hit the floor…

The truth is that people know what you show them. People know what they see: the Clark Kent theory. No one has any idea how difficult it’s been for BOTH Mark and myself these last several months with so much happening at once. No one knows what our relationship has been like, our finances, our jobs, our friends, or anything else for that matter. Because we paint the picture for the people in our lives…and keep a lot private. On purpose. And what some people may not realize are all of the sacrifices you make as a parent and a parent-to-be for your children. You can’t be a good parent and be selfish…

But it still makes me wonder, is the portrait of my public self a selfish one? Am I selfish for expecting someone to follow through with a commitment she made to me and to Mark? And do I owe my sister an apology, or does she owe me one?