The decision to have a second child... - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
I was all ready to reply with this big, lengthy dissertation on the pros and cons of having closely spaced kids, since my two little ones are just 20 months apart and I feel like the poster child for this lifestyle. But you know, as I look at my newborn's face, I can see that none of that stuff is even close to what really matters. Yeah, she may grow up and be a great playmate for my older girl-- but so what? She consumes a lot of what little free time I have-- but who cares? To try to distill her existence down to simply a positive or negative impact on my life is kinda ridiculous, because her existence is not about me at all. And to weigh her value against whether or not I'll be able to catch a movie for the next few years... well, it just seems silly when I look at it that way. Like all children, she's so much more than that.

To me, being open to another child is reaching outside yourself, it's sidestepping all that pro and con stuff, it's saying yes to more love even when it's hard to do so. And being a parent is hard, no matter if you have one kid or 10, no matter if they're deemed easygoing or high-needs.

Anyway, the bottom line is this: If your intuition or your gut or the small, still voice in your heart-- whatever you call that internal direction we all have-- is telling you to be open to another life, base your decision on that. Forget how impossible it'll be to enjoy a fancy restaurant meal for the next couple of years; forget how nice it'll be for your older kid to have a sibling; forget all that stuff and concentrate instead on what your very soul is telling you. We rely on logic too much for matters of the heart, and I think it rarely (if ever) serves us.

Best of luck to you, mama, whichever way you go! I'm sure it will all work out for you.

Very well said!!!! I think I'm going to send this to my dh as well!!! I feel the exact same way.

Material things hold no value to me. My husband and children mean everything to me, they are what is valuable in life. We only have a short amount of time with our children. I believe God provides.

Mommy to ds12, dd11, ds8, ds6, dd4, ^dd^ HB Loss, and dd 1
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#92 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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Well, to put more clarity around my other post, I will add that my husband and I never wantd ANY children. The one we got is a blessing, but parenting truly is pretty much everything negative I ever feared. I just never knew about the good stuff too!

We are very happy with our family size and want to make sure we get no more surprises. I am almost 37, have chronic fatigue syndrome, am introverted, have sensory issues - especially with sound, and get ill when I lose too much sleep. I am not all that cut out to be a mom. Our marriage has suffered tremendously with our new addition. My highly introverted husband is losing his mind, I think (due tolack of alone time). I owe over 70k in student loans, and will have to return to work and pay them back one day, and more kids would make that more difficult. For many reasons, we know we need to stop at one, and if that makes us selfish or materialistic to some of you, I can live with that
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#93 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
I was all ready to reply with this big, lengthy dissertation on the pros and cons of having closely spaced kids, since my two little ones are just 20 months apart and I feel like the poster child for this lifestyle. But you know, as I look at my newborn's face, I can see that none of that stuff is even close to what really matters. Yeah, she may grow up and be a great playmate for my older girl-- but so what? She consumes a lot of what little free time I have-- but who cares? To try to distill her existence down to simply a positive or negative impact on my life is kinda ridiculous, because her existence is not about me at all. And to weigh her value against whether or not I'll be able to catch a movie for the next few years... well, it just seems silly when I look at it that way. Like all children, she's so much more than that.

To me, being open to another child is reaching outside yourself, it's sidestepping all that pro and con stuff, it's saying yes to more love even when it's hard to do so. And being a parent is hard, no matter if you have one kid or 10, no matter if they're deemed easygoing or high-needs.

Anyway, the bottom line is this: If your intuition or your gut or the small, still voice in your heart-- whatever you call that internal direction we all have-- is telling you to be open to another life, base your decision on that. Forget how impossible it'll be to enjoy a fancy restaurant meal for the next couple of years; forget how nice it'll be for your older kid to have a sibling; forget all that stuff and concentrate instead on what your very soul is telling you. We rely on logic too much for matters of the heart, and I think it rarely (if ever) serves us.

Best of luck to you, mama, whichever way you go! I'm sure it will all work out for you.
This is a beautiful post. Thank you. Once a child is born, the pros and cons debate goes away and all that is left is to be a great parent for this new little person and to love them fully.

Before the conception, though, I personally still have to give all these issues careful thought.
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#94 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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Well, to put more clarity around my other post, I will add that my husband and I never wantd ANY children. The one we got is a blessing, but parenting truly is pretty much everything negative I ever feared. I just never knew about the good stuff too!

We are very happy with our family size and want to make sure we get no more surprises. I am almost 37, have chronic fatigue syndrome, am introverted, have sensory issues - especially with sound, and get ill when I lose too much sleep. I am not all that cut out to be a mom. Our marriage has suffered tremendously with our new addition. My highly introverted husband is losing his mind, I think (due tolack of alone time). I owe over 70k in student loans, and will have to return to work and pay them back one day, and more kids would make that more difficult. For many reasons, we know we need to stop at one, and if that makes us selfish or materialistic to some of you, I can live with that

Oh no I don't think you are selfish. I really think this is such a personal and individual decision and it will be based on so many varying factors. We all have a different set of circumstances that makes it feasible or complicated to have another child.

The weighing of one's circumstances against what type of life you can provide for your child or multiple children is not selfish or materialistic. It's realistic.

If I had 20 children, I would love them all, but I would not be able to provide for them. I will always have enough love, but at some point my resources wear out. Where that point is is different for each of us, which is what this discussion is a about!
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#95 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 03:58 PM
 
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Where on earth did you get that idea? From what I understand new procedures are of outpatient quality; if done with the right doc, there is very little pain which only lasts a few days. And potentially dangerous? Is he getting his balls hacked off with a saw or what? I'm pretty sure if you have a qualified doctor do the procedure, it's not any more dangerous than, well, a not very dangerous medical procedure. Also, how would you "put your husband through it" if he didn't volunteer? strap him down? of course he's going to have to volunteer!

I do agree that vasectomy is a much better option than a tubal. Tubal is open surgery (well, I guess some might do it laproscopically now, I'm not sure), an in-patient procedure, and requires much longer and more painful recovery.

But my understanding is that vasectomy is way less invasive, painful, dangerous, etc.

It's fine for you and your husband if that's not your choice, but why go around scaring other people?
I'm a little surprised that moms on MDC would take vasectomy lightly. It's like saying circumcision is a not a very dangerous procedure...
I know of someone who had it done. He was in pain for days and complained that his libido never quite got back into shape, not to mention the way men can be affected psychologically by it.

I'm not saying it's like heart surgery, but it shouldn't be taken lightly, I think. And as I said, unless my DH VOLUNTEERS to do it, I will never ever even mention it. What I meant before is that enough nagging and enough mentioning and enough begging can work.
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#96 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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My mother in law had 4 children each 15 months apart. 34 years later they are all grown & she only remembers joy.
I think your MIL has a bad memory...

Really, this is one of my pet peeves. I wish that we got a more realistic view of marriage and parenting. You grow up being shielded from the hard parts, not really seeing them. My mother never complained; she did it all. I thought it would be wine and roses as they say. So to have reality hit me like a brick - well, it was hard. I wish I'd known how frustrating it could be; maybe that would have made it easier to deal with when it came.

I guess if we warned them of the hard parts, they might not do it. So I guess I understand why it is swept under the rug. I am torn by this fact every day - my sister doesn't have kids yet. I feel like I should tell her how hard it is. But she might not have kids as it is. If I don't tell her, she'll come back to me later and ask why I didn't... It is lose/lose.

My personal opinion is that spacing four years apart was easier (on the kids and on the parents) than 2+ years apart. It was less stressful. But there was still stress with a four year spacing. I think to infer to women that all their years of parenting were joyful is doing them a great disservice.
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#97 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 07:24 PM
 
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NYCVeg, thank you for your post also. I lean more towards the same views that you've expressed, and am trying to find that balance in my life. I fear that if we have another child, we won't have time for the things that keep ME sane.
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#98 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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Hello again Kirsten! Our conversation reminds me of the movie Parenthood. Have you seen it?

Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story.
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

What Grandma meant was that she got more out of the rollercoaster, not that everyone got more out of the rollercoaster, though the idea is still relevant to our different perspectives. I am not arguing that the roller coaster is better, I am saying that it's ok to enjoy different types of rides.

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I think your MIL has a bad memory...
Yes, after 30+ years of working day in & out her feelings of stress faded & now she remembers her years mothering her 4 beautiful grown children with fondness & love. It's easier to feel good about memories when the outcome is already known. The fear is gone. She already knows they "turned out" & she is grateful to have had that experience even though the unknown & day to day was stressful during that time. I hope someday after your girls are grown you provide yourself with a similar luxury. You deserve to feel positive about yourself and your life, even when poop is hitting the fan.

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You grow up being shielded from the hard parts, not really seeing them. My mother never complained; she did it all. I thought it would be wine and roses as they say. So to have reality hit me like a brick - well, it was hard. I wish I'd known how frustrating it could be; maybe that would have made it easier to deal with when it came.
You mean YOU grew up being shielded from the hard parts. Everyone is different. I was never shielded & grew up in an abusive household. I didn't want children or a family of my own until I saw the outcome of a positive family (& had years of therapy).

My family hates children. Having children, one or fifteen, is not for everybody. People who don't enjoy it shouldn't do it! People don't climb Mt Everest if they don't enjoy hiking. I don't know why people have children, one or fifteen, when it's not for them. It's really too bad.

My unrealistic expectations of newborns came from Attatchment Parenting books that advised me that if I wore my baby, had a homebirth & breastfed my baby would be happy. Maybe that is the majority experience, but it was not mine & that's ok!

Thankfully I am more in my element now that I realize babies cry like toddlers whine. It is developmentally appropriate & I realize now that what matters is how I cope with it. I enjoy learning these life lessons even though they can be scary & stressful. I like rollercoasters!

What an identity crisis it was to begin with & I expect many many more! I shared my scary postpartum experience with other women. I was able to bond with women who had similar experiences, be the spectacle of women who haven't had any similar experiences & made a slew of new friends with who I can share myself honestly in the process. I share my experience with others, I don't tell others what their experience will be because I don't know. There are too many options & they are all interesting. Likewise I am not arguing with your experience. Your experience with your third child was/is stressful! My experience with my first was/is stressful!

We are all mothers! We rise above stress to mother our children in the best way we know how, whether we are mothering one or fifteen! We are all AWESOME!

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I feel like I should tell her how hard it is. But she might not have kids as it is. If I don't tell her, she'll come back to me later and ask why I didn't... It is lose/lose.
I think you should definitely tell her how hard it is on you. I think you should tell anyone who loves you! You can only benefit from expressing yourself honestly. It is win/win! Most mentally healthy people don't kill themselves because somebody else had a bad experience while living. Don't be afraid others will make choices based on your experience. You deserve support! Especially from your sister! Nobody will know what you need to be supported with until you tell them! You work hard & you deserve credit for what you do! Being a mother is AMAZING(LY challenging/life-changing/selfless/awesome/loving/stressful/happy/sad) & everyone should know & respect it!

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My personal opinion is that spacing four years apart was easier (on the kids and on the parents) than 2+ years apart.
That is not your opinion but your experience. You experienced sadness and frustration and anger with the birth of your 3rd child. Some people (me!) experience sadness and fustration and anger with the birth of their first. That does not mean that one child is easier than two. As someone mentioned earlier it seems to depend on the people involved & their situation more than an mathmatical equation. If there were a "right" answer we'd all have the same sized families equally spaced (or no children at all)!

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I think to infer to women that all their years of parenting were joyful is doing them a great disservice.
I agree, though there is a difference between a positive attitude amidst stress and denial of it existing.

My luxury nursing session is ova. This has been such an interesting conversation. Thank you all for having sharing it with me, the longwinded one!

To each their own! You can find me on the crazy rides!

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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#99 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 07:43 PM
 
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My unrealistic expectations of newborns came from Attatchment Parenting books that advised me that if I wore my baby, had a homebirth & breastfed my baby would be happy. Maybe that is the majority experience, but it was not mine & that's ok!

Thankfully I am more in my element now that I realize babies cry like toddlers whine. It is developmentally appropriate & I realize now that what matters is how I cope with it. I enjoy learning these life lessons even though they can be scary & stressful. I like rollercoasters!
Thank you for saying this! I think the AP books present the ideal and their recommendations certainly do help, but they are not going to save you all the discomfort, stress, and complications of those early months of newborn care!

I was very unrealistic and thought if I just Ap'ed harder and more consistently it would all be fine. Babies will still cry and toddlers will still whine (maybe just not as much).

Now I know there's more to it than that and that is one reason I am putting off having another baby.
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#100 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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My unrealistic expectations of newborns came from Attatchment Parenting books that advised me that if I wore my baby, had a homebirth & breastfed my baby would be happy. Maybe that is the majority experience, but it was not mine & that's ok!
I third this. And I don't want to say it's all just AP, but I tell you, the Baby Book by Sears really made me feel horrible when I was doing everything "right" and nothing was helping. It ended up just being a grand feat to survive the day and/or night, and I'm glad I am attached, but I certainly did have my expectations smacked all over the place after DS was born.

(oh, and thanks for clarifying earlier!)

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#101 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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I I think to infer to women that all their years of parenting were joyful is doing them a great disservice.
For some woman it IS joyful despite being hard. My mom did it all too and never complained but she did so because she enjoyed it. And I saw and learned from that. As a teen, I would always scoff at how she would take care of my brothers (13, 16 and 19 now) and then not be annoyed when my dad would ask her for a sandwhich. "Dad! Do you not see how hard she is working??!" I would think. But now with age and maturity I see that she -LIKED and even ENJOYED caring for her family. She never said it wasn't hard but she did say she wouldn't have it any other way. And I learned from that too and I make an effort to find joy - I think its a choice - in my every day. I don't expect every other mom to do the same but I think it's possible for anyone.

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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#102 of 103 Old 08-02-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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For some woman it IS joyful despite being hard.
I do remember the 'joyful despite being hard' times. That was true for me - in the beginning, maybe the first eight years? I was fine through pregnancy, birth, nursing and all the difficulties then ease of that, potty training, traveling with kid(s), sick kids, dp who travels every month for work, and all the rest.

What has gotten me (and it breaks my heart really - because I am the biggest sibling proponent you'll ever find) is the increased chaos, noise, bickering of three kids. It is really hard to find the joy.... :

I have a sister and a brother that I love dearly. And I want that for my kids - as did my dp who grew up an only child. He wished then and today that he'd had that. Before we got married, he made sure I knew that our minimum number of kids was two - he didn't want to have an only after being one.

So this is the hard part. I chose it and we'll get through. But I wish my mom was still alive so I could apologize for what she must have gone through with us.

I had no idea that the baby and toddler stages were the easy part. They were joyful; I do remember that. I just had no idea when I had the three kid family that I dreamed of that it would be more than I could reasonably handle. You don't know your limit until you are past it I guess.

But this is summer; I'll be much better in September!!!
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#103 of 103 Old 08-02-2007, 10:02 PM
 
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We created our second child on the Wall Street Journal's "Open that Bottle Night."

Oops!
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