I didn't go (obviously). I think it's a wonderful thing and a wonderful idea, but it's not for me. From the very beginning, it was meant to be this place where mothers can go and get support from each other and laugh and enjoy themselves with a brief respite from the cares of child raising. Let me say it again. I think this is a good thing, a necessary thing, a beautiful thing. But it is yet another place where I am left behind.
I am blessed to have many Catholic friends, and when I am in a circle of friends, I don't notice too much of a problem. We share each others lives, whatever that looks like for us at the time. Still, there are those moments. Like the one time where the conversation turned to how to get poop stains out of onesies. I got nothing, y'all. In those moments, it's so hard to be there. It's even worse when you're with friends, but also there's acquaintances and people meeting for the first time. Now the talk REALLY turns to those bonding experiences like pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding, sleep training, discipline and whatnot. That's where it gets really hard. How can I get to know people when the "getting to know you" gig is all about stuff that I don't know? And the stuff that I do know is not something that moms of young children have any time to concern themselves with. This isn't anyone's fault, this is just the dynamic that happens.
When I first heard about the Edel conference, I just laughed a little to myself (maybe a little darkly, but at least it was a laugh). A whole weekend of those types of interactions, talks about being Catholic moms, and conversations revolving around Catholic mom stuff? No, thank you. It's a good thing I'm not really invited! All too often when I do read some of the bloggers that were going there, I have little to nothing to even say to topics they are posting about, even if I enjoyed reading about it or it made me think. For a while, I couldn't even read Catholic mom blogs. It just hurt too much. In the last few years, I have started to read several, many of whom did go to Edel. I now really enjoy reading these blogs and the latest escapades various children. I love that they have made me appreciate in a new way how much of a struggle it really is to be wife and mother, even though it is also beautiful. I wish I could find a better way to interact, but I'm not going to lie, it's hard to find a way to connect, and I mostly continue as a reader and (mostly) lurker. And even though I think the idea of Edel is great, I admit that I was also a little sad, because here's this other great way for all these bloggers to connect and because I'm not a mother, I'm left even more to the outside that I already am.
Once Edel happened, I knew there would be a slew of blog posts about it, and I figured I could just skip those. But then I saw this one, and I thought, "Holy
Here's the thing. All of the lovely women who (thank God!) do not have to be aware of what it is to be single or in/subfertile sitting in a pew week after week and going home to a too quiet house are not ignoring those of us who do know all too much about it. It's just that even though we all want more community and to be there for each other in all aspects of life, to learn from each other and help each other, even if we don't fully understand what the other is going through, we just don't always know how. As I watch this conversation begin, it seems like a fantastic place to start.
Can I also just throw a HUGE shout out to those of you that read here frequently as the mothers of several to many children and have been a big support to me in my struggles. As well as to those of you who are also in that either single or sub/infertile life that are such a huge support and let me know that you get it and that I'm not as badly insane as I feel some days. ;) Also, to those of you who were struggling with this and went to Edel anyway. That is not an easy thing to do (as I said, I couldn't even consider it), and I admire your courage and willingness to open yourself up to that pain... Leading to the fact that there is this conversation.