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Can we talk about "grieving" thoughts of a bigger family?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am in the process of becoming sure that I will be a mom of an only. Some days I am confident that this is the right choice for all of us (we are well-settled into our life as a family of three, DS has never asked for a sibling, we can comfortably pay for DS's school, we have time to pursue our individual interests). Other days I am fraught with sadness that I will never be pregnant again, that if something tragic happens to DS we would be done parenting, that we have too much love & energy to focus on just one LO, that we are making the decision for financial or selfish reasons above all else.

 

Ah!

 

So I have decided that I need to just grieve that part of me that imagined having another childe. But I don't really know how or what parameters to set up for myself. Do I give myself a month? Do I have one "final" talk with DH? I feel like I need some sense of closure, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for.

 

Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you do? How do you feel today?

 

I mean, I am really happy with my life right now. I feel lucky. But the thought of growing our family is always in the back of my head & I just need to come to terms with having an only & get rid of that voice as it is nagging & I feel it is clogging joy & celebration. Not sure if that makes sense.

post #2 of 15

hello 

it sounds like you are definitely positively processing..and i think that is important. we struggle with fertility issues and may have to be resolved that we may not have another even though we want one more baby so i feel ya.

i think what you are doing..."thinking" is important to make the right decision.

good luck and hoping someone else can offer advice!

post #3 of 15

I have nothing constructive to add, just that I know exactly how you feel. Everything is going really well for us now so I almost feel that I'd be "pushing our luck" with having another, but then at the same time I have the same fears that we might be pushing our luck the other way... what if something tragic does happen? We'll be too old to start again and I don't want to be done parenting. 

 

Whenever I try to give away my son's baby things, I can't bring myself to do it... I just know I don't want to be done yet.

post #4 of 15

I am in a similar situation. My son is almost 8, I am 44, my husband and I are probably separating at some point. So, that's it. And I just am so grieving the loss of a sibling for my son. We have almost no family in this country, and I really wanted him to have someone go through life with. Even if you aren't best friends siblings are always a support and sort of an emotional and practical cushion. I also had hoped for a bigger family myself. (My husband said he thought we couldn't afford another child, but he makes good money, it's just that our home maintenance expenses are high and we bought at the top of the market, so couldn't sell because we were underwater with the value. I thought the loss would be made up in a few years by the huge amount we would save in home maintenance, easily $15,000 a year.)  At any rate, I wanted one, DH didn't because he had different priorities.

 

So I have resentment to work through, too, besides the feeling of loss. I am going to therapy but it's so mental, I think I need to move through the feelings in some way that goes deeper. I am thinking of taking a weekend for a couple of days and journaling, walking, and maybe doing some ritual where I can move through it all. It just feels so sad.


Maya

post #5 of 15

t2009 i have discovered whoever told you you feel just one emotion are lying.

 

duality exists everywhere. 

 

even with this. my dd is 10. i have mourned since we split up and i still continue to mourn. whenever i see large families i feel a twinge. but i am happy too. its not one or the other. both exist at the same time. i have a great time with dd. 

 

and its ok. i accept that. i am really ok with it. i mean really. do i have a choice? 

 

it is particularly painful now as i watch the isolation that my dd grows up in. she would have loved a sibling and since 2 has always been looking for a boyfriend for me with kids so we'd have an instant family eyesroll.gif by isolation i mean having another child in the house all the time. not sometimes. dd has friends, but its not enough. 

 

i dont have to have my own children. i dont need to be pregnant again (though i loved my pregnancy). i am in menopause. i love kids. i do very well with them. i am the favourite babysitter for my friends. i particularly love, love, LOVE babies. my dd was HARD but i still loved it. 

 

the sad part is i am good with kids and kids love me. seriously they do. so its kinda even more sad that i love kids, kids love me. dd love kids and kids love her - and yet we were both given just each other. 

post #6 of 15

t2009

how are you doing??

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyamber View Post

t2009

how are you doing??

 

I was wondering this too but I couldn't find the thread, thanks for bumping!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

the sad part is i am good with kids and kids love me. seriously they do. so its kinda even more sad that i love kids, kids love me. dd love kids and kids love her - and yet we were both given just each other. 

 

That could be a blessing in disguise and you don't even know it :)

Not all siblings inherently love each other and get along (I'm sure you don't need anyone to tell you that smile.gif)... I had a brother and he made my life a living hell... I was terrified to be in the house alone with him. Looking back at it, he wasn't that bad but at the time, I lived in fear. My parents told me he was just jealous and he really loved me but that explanation made no sense to me at the time... all he did was push me off of things, hide my stuff just to make me cry, shove me under couch cushions to sit on me, etc. In addition to the "physical abuse" was the "emotional abuse" wink1.gif... despite all the torture, I really looked up to him and wanted to be his friend, but to him I was the biggest loser ever and he wouldn't be caught dead playing with me... the constant rejection didn't do much for my self esteem.

We get along now but having a sibling didn't do much to improve my childhood experience.  

post #8 of 15

aww escaping. that is sad. my father's family was like that growing up and even in adult. he was close to some, not to others who made others lives a living hell.

 

anyways. i think what makes it worse for me was i had a brother growing up when he died when he was 22 and i was 23. we were incredibly close. incredibly close. he was just like a parent sometimes. if i stayed out late he was torn up with worry about me getting raped. i taught him everything. i was his resource on any subject - death, sex, wet dreams, god, etc. when i see so many siblings that dont talk to each other i miss my brother more and more. he's now been dead more years than alive and i miss him even more. 

post #9 of 15

I can relate SO much to what you said, OP. My husband and I are grieving this in a bit of a different way because we found out that he sterile back in February after medical treatment a couple of years ago so we were not intending to head down this route. I feel like we are inching closer and closer to stopping with our first child because fertility treatments are not something I'm interested in and adoption is out of the question financially. I wonder some of the same things - when will the grieving the loss of the family I *thought* we would have end? How much time should I give myself? Will I ever feel at peace with the decision? I wish I had some answers but it's good to know I'm not the only one rolling these thoughts around in my head nonstop!
 

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

t2009 i have discovered whoever told you you feel just one emotion are lying.

duality exists everywhere. 

even with this. my dd is 10. i have mourned since we split up and i still continue to mourn. whenever i see large families i feel a twinge. but i am happy too. its not one or the other. both exist at the same time. i have a great time with dd. 

and its ok. i accept that. i am really ok with it. i mean really. do i have a choice? 

it is particularly painful now as i watch the isolation that my dd grows up in. she would have loved a sibling and since 2 has always been looking for a boyfriend for me with kids so we'd have an instant family eyesroll.gif
 by isolation i mean having another child in the house all the time. not sometimes. dd has friends, but its not enough. 

First, I'm sorry I disappeared from this thread. You all have had such compelling (& sometimes painful) experiences you've shared that I've felt a little sheepish & uncertain how to respond or update.

I honestly feel not much different these days. Though it's been comfortable to know I'm not alone & it's ok to grieve.

I love your observation, Meemee, that here is duality everywhere. So true. I think even tri-ality! I feel many emotions, including openness to changing my mind (with DH) about whether to try to expand our family.

My "thing" is living without regret. And I think being comfortable with multiple emotions will really help me with that. A PP also suggested she would take time to journal or walk to cope. I think I will try walking & meditating, just to let my mind wander through all of these emotions but without a "destination."

DS has started asking about a sibling. So it comes up quite often lately. I just need to become comfortable with the uncertainty (for now) & being ok with where we are.

Thank you SO much everyone!! I'll post to update more once I've tried out some walking meditation.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by november View Post

I can relate SO much to what you said, OP. My husband and I are grieving this in a bit of a different way because we found out that he sterile back in February after medical treatment a couple of years ago so we were not intending to head down this route. I feel like we are inching closer and closer to stopping with our first child because fertility treatments are not something I'm interested in and adoption is out of the question financially. I wonder some of the same things - when will the grieving the loss of the family I *thought* we would have end? How much time should I give myself? Will I ever feel at peace with the decision? I wish I had some answers but it's good to know I'm not the only one rolling these thoughts around in my head nonstop!
 

I can relate too as my husband and I have fertility issues and it took 4 years to have our son. He is two now and we want another baby and have had two failed attempts...trying again in july but it is our last chance as we are out of embryos and it is getting very expensive. I hope I get pregnant and yet I feel like if it doesn't happen I am coming to terms that this is the way it's meant to be.. a family of three. It's a hard process...

post #12 of 15

How is everyone processing? i am having a hard time here and seeking advice,a thought,a book...anything to help me process through all this.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyamber View Post

How is everyone processing? i am having a hard time here and seeking advice,a thought,a book...anything to help me process through all this.
Very sorry, tracyamber, to read about your struggles with infertility. I don't have anything directly related but more generally the work of Jon Kabat Zinn has really helped me in the past & is helping me again now to be more comfortable with where I am. I hope others can jump in with other suggestions, but in the mean time a book or meditation of his might help. I'll be thinking about you & hoping things work out.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyamber View Post

How is everyone processing? i am having a hard time here and seeking advice,a thought,a book...anything to help me process through all this.

oh mama. I am sorry I do not directly understand your pain. I have never had to go down the infertility path.

 

but I did want to say to you - have you had a grieving day? I notice your son is 2. can someone take him while you spend a day weeping, screaming, yelling - whatever way you want to grieve. either by yourself or with your close friends or dh. I have done it with close friends with different issues - but all grieving and it has helped a lot.

 

also another thing. this is the kind of pain that will always live with you. not so intensely. its been 3 years since I've been in menopause. 3 years (our family starts and ends early). and even today everytime I see a pregnant woman or a bunch of kids family, my heart aches.

post #15 of 15

I really like this thread. I haven't seen anything like it on the web thus far. We had a boy and intended to have several more kids (at least one more). We tried and I miscarried twice. One of them would of been 28 months apart from my son and the other 32 months. After my last miscarrige (July '12) I absolutely said... not again... (and adoption or anything like it is not on the table).

 

6 out of 7 days I am ready to 'get fixed' and I'm also 100% confident in my decision. But then there are those times that I grieve not being able to be pregnant and breastfeed again. It KILLS me that I only got to experience it once. I loved being pg and I loved bfing and having a baby around but I just know that I would much prefer to have an only child. In some ways as 'bad' as this sounds... I think it all worked out for the best because (my DH and I have talked about this a ton) for us, it just makes sense on soooo many levels just to remain our happy little family of 3.

 

So I'm sad yes, that I had to go through that, and that it didn't work out the way I/we wanted. I guess I don't know what has gotten me to where I am now on it. I do feel better/more confident in my 'plans' and more like I'm happy with where I'm at. But there are days where it's definitely something that is uncomfortable for me.

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