By Karen Malone Wright
There’s a quaint practice in journalism and creative writing that makes the publication, whatever it is, suddenly interactive. “Dear Reader”, it begins. Yes, You! This, my dears, is one of those moments.
I’ve been emailing for some time with a woman offering to share her story with you as a Guest Post. As is frequently the case, a particular, but common experience churned her emotions to the point that she wanted to ‘write them out’. Because it’s 2014, it’s easier for her to find outlets where her tale would resonate, and she chose TheNotMom.com.
And that’s when she ran into trouble. How to describe the real-life situation, and her justifiable reactions to it, without sounding whiny or self-centered? Everyone who’s ever felt like an outsider knows the challenge. No matter the words you choose to describe it, the message sounds childish in your own ears: They won’t play with me! Juvenile, perhaps; hurtful nevertheless.
Let’s call this reader Genevieve. She’s given up trying to write a guest post. Instead, she’s asked us to “post an article about Moms/NotMoms friendships”. I can do that. We have done that. But this time, I’m throwing out the challenge for earnest responses to you, our Dear Readers.
Genevieve’s first email to me, and its follow-up, is below. Read it, then speak to her directly by leaving a comment. I believe the sheer understanding that she is neither alone nor unreasonable in her feelings will do Genevieve a world of good.
“My name is Genevieve. I’m married, a NotMom by choice. I’m 47 and I live in Florida. I am a fur baby mom, of two.
I just got back from “girls weekend,” and the other three ladies were all moms. I was excluded from most of the conversation…..it was about kids, their growing pains, feelings, etc. I was wanting to write about my experience, and how unfair it was, that I felt excluded from part of the weekend because I was not a mom, and because I voiced that I had no regrets about my choice. “
“So I’ve been sitting here for 3 days, staring at the computer, trying to write this story. Every time I read what I wrote, I just feel like I’m whining and complaining! I’m not having any luck whatsoever writing my feelings down onto paper. I wish I had recorded what I told my husband about it when I returned!!!”