Has anyone decided to limit the number of kid they have based on their anger issues? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 05-13-2004, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I try very, very hard to be a nice, non-yelling and patient mommy and despite all of my efforts I still fail a lot. Because of my own abusive past my knee-jerk reactions are something I have to struggle against time and time again. Due to this (and some other issues) my dh and I have decided to make our dd our only child. I like the idea of more children but I know that for me, the reality wouldn't be something I'd handle with good grace and I just don't want to add that addtional strain to my plate.

So, my question is whether or not anyone here has decided to limit their family sized based largely on how they handle the stresses of parenting?

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#2 of 35 Old 05-13-2004, 11:05 PM
 
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I can't complain too much about my childhood--it was actually pretty great. And I don't really think I have anger issues.....but.....I really do think that one child is my limit. I can be patient enough for the questions, tantrums, needs, phases, etc of exactly one (1) child. More than one would definitely be too stressful for me. I would consider having another when dd is much older (maybe 7?). Just so I don't have to deal with 2 very young/dependent children at the same time

I have other reasons for making dd my "only" as well.....but I think the above is a good enough reason. You know yourself best--how can you be the best mama to the child you have? I feel I can be the best mama to dd if I can devote all of my patience and resources to her.
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#3 of 35 Old 05-13-2004, 11:17 PM
 
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Sort of. My knee-jerk reaction is to yell and hit, etc. too, however I'm improving so greatly that with a 3rd child I think I'd be pretty mellow with much less effort.

But I am really tired and worn out, and think that I probably just can't go through this again anytime soon. Its exhausting, and I *am* short on resources.
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#4 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 12:47 AM
 
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While I do Ok my oldest is extremely trying and pushes and pushes. If I were to have another and it was like her I would totally lose it. So I don't have big anger issues now but am afraid I might with another child or if my oldest gets worse. Better quit now while I still can say it isn't too bad.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#5 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 12:59 AM
 
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I really wanted a large family. (6) Have four. But number four really threw me over the edge.... as far as stress .....and I'm not getting to spend the individual time with each kid like I'd like. My son is 12 and is needing more one on one time as he grows into an adult. I have started taking their normal childish behavior personal, like their misbehavior means they don't care about me. : So, in turn I am working hard at keeping calm. And failing much of the time and being impatient and yelling. So, I am closeing the baby factory at least for a while.
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#6 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 11:58 AM
 
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We also wanted a large family (5) and then because of all my problems with anger I was ok with just the two we have....but are now happily suprised with #3 and I am just going to keep working at it....and I have DH on board to be my parenting coach!

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#7 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 12:05 PM
 
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I don't specifically have anger issues, but we've decided to only have one child. The stress of more than one child is overwhelming to DH and sometimes me. I'm an only, but DH was the youngest of 4 in a family without a lot of money, time, patience, etc. He's very much into being and giving as a parent what he didn't have as a child. If we were younger and had more energy, I'd say that when dd is 3 or 4 we might consider another child, but we're happy as a family of three.
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#8 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 12:22 PM
 
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Good question. I have been giving this much thought lately and have gained some insight from the responses you have received.

I have 2 and am contemplating another. I don't have anger issures as much as frustration issues. When I can't do it all I get FRUSTRATED. Makes sense not to have another then, right?

One thought I have had is that when they get older it will be eadier.
I just sort of figured they would take care of themselves more so I would not be spread so thin. But fourgrtkidos has me thinking that is wrong.
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#9 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 02:37 PM
 
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I also wanted to add, if I didn't have the stress of money and owning our business (something I was against from the get go ) and trying to wqork while staying home and having an uncoperative dh I probablywoun't have anger issues and would totally be able to welcome more children into my life.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#10 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 03:51 PM
 
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What a great thread! As dh and I are older parents we feel a time crunch to make a decision on a 2nd baby.

My issues aren't as much that I want to yell and hit, but my ds is just 10 mos. But for me, mothering, especially conscientious, emapthetic parenting is a SKILL - not a talent. I have to work at it all the time, educating myself and re-examing my motivations and my methods constantly. I do have anger issues - my poor dh gets the brunt of it often. I work so hard on myself and I always seem to fall short! I do worry because I know being an angry parent is what I know and is familiar to me. My childhood wasn't ideal. My parents came from dysfunctional backgrounds and they had me when they were in their late teens. They never had time to work on their own issues before they became parents.

I'm scared that 2 kids will be too much for me and I'll just go mad. I'd rather be a great mom to 1 than a stressed out crappy mom to 2. BUT, is it fair to not give my ds siblings? Running through a sprinkler in the backyard with a bro or sis is one of the high pleasures of life. How do you teach an only how to really share or wait his turn? Life can be tough and solitary. I think sibs help make it easier - just knowing that you have someone there that's related to you. What happens if we die and ds never marries? Who will be his family? Where will he go for Thanksgiving dinner? I know siblings don't guarantee that they'll be close - but if you don't have them it will guarantee your baby will have no family other than his parents. I think too because of my strained relations with my own parents I feel like I'm alone in the world, other than dh.

What to do, what to do?! : I'm glad you posted and I'm glad others are thinking of this. Sorry I haven't helped any. I'm still confused on this myself.
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#11 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 04:53 PM
 
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I am only child. My parents (especially my mother) had some tough times when I was little. My mother has said that she didn't know how she would have handled it if there had been more. As it was, my parents really did the best job they could and were (and still are) pretty great parents--not perfect (but who is) but pretty great.

I now have 2 kids. I would love to have more but am feeling that maybe as a family we are at our limit. We seem to be working well the way things are and another may be a tipping point. A family is not about its size but its love and support!!!

A-C
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#12 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 05:04 PM
 
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What a wonderful topic.

I am torn about this when I compare myself to my friends who were just born to be fabulous mothers, for whom parenting is easy and they LOVE it and don't want to do anything else. I wish I could be like them, but I'm just not. My DD is a handful. She is a VERY strong-willed toddler, never slept as a baby and I agree with the above poster that parenting for me is also a learned skill. I fail sometimes and I struggle with anger issues. It makes me sad but in my heart I don't think I could handle two. I know they say God never gives you more than you can handle, but he really pushed me to the limit with my DD.

I personally know I could not handle two. THere is just no way. I really do want her to have a sib though so I am thinking that MAYBE when she is older we will adopt an older child. But she has cousins she is close to - it's not like she is all alone in the world, KWIM?

There is nothing wrong with one. I agree I would rather be a good mother to one than a pi$$ed off basket case with more than I could handle because I think I "should". I just remember that comparison is the root of all unhappiness. I am who I am, and in spite of God (who has a wonderful sense of humor) giving me a child who is, well, to be perfectly frank - just like me, I am a fabulous mother (most of the time) to one!
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#13 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 05:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksmama
BUT, is it fair to not give my ds siblings? Running through a sprinkler in the backyard with a bro or sis is one of the high pleasures of life. How do you teach an only how to really share or wait his turn? Life can be tough and solitary. I think sibs help make it easier - just knowing that you have someone there that's related to you. What happens if we die and ds never marries? Who will be his family? Where will he go for Thanksgiving dinner?
I really don't worry about this.
I guess I see the other side....I *have* 2 siblings and a mother and father, but I live 1500 miles from them and spend most holidays with friends or just with dh and dd.
Dd is an only, but has lots and lots of friends and plenty of opportunities to learn about sharing and waiting turns. She also shares and waits turns with her dad and me
There are no guarantees. Having 2 children certainly does not assure that they will be a support system for each other as they grow. Throughout my life, my friends have been the ones to share my highs and lows, my joys and sorrows. Friends are the family we choose
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#14 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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Great thread!

I have always wanted one child. I was the oldest of 4, and knew from a young age that I did NOT want that myself.

Not because having a large family is bad, but because I am too much like my mother to have many children.

I LOVE being a mama, I really do.

But I also get too easy frustrated. And I tend to take normal childish behaviour personally. Luckily I am aware of it, and most of the time I manage to hide this from Noah.

My son will be 3 next week. And thru all of these 3 years, I have been thinking that he is such a handful. Very spirited. Very sensitive and very intense.

And he is!

But I have also come to realise (sp?) that he is NOT "worse" than other kids. Because even though he is spirited, he is also very wellbehaved. He is very easy to reason with, and not all that active. But I have always thought that he was.

After realising this, I started to wonder what life would have been like if he actually WAS "difficult". And I do not want to find out.

If I get this exhausted with one sweet, sensitive, loving, spirited, introverted and intense child, then 1 is enought for me.


And I am very happy with my one and only. He is perfect.

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#15 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow - thanks for all of the great input. I'm relieved to see that I'm not the only one who thinks about these kinds of things.
Like a couple of you said, being a good mom doesn't come naturally to me ( at least the nurturing and loving stuff) so everything often feels like an uphill struggle. I wish that when you gave birth, you also got a clean slate of emotional health but if wishes were horses...

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#16 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, Tamara, totally OT but I see you're in Norway and I wanted to wish you an early and fun 17th of May!

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#17 of 35 Old 05-14-2004, 11:30 PM
 
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I am glad I found this thread. I have an almost 3 y/o dd whos just as sweet as can be. I don't think I could have been blessed with a better kid. So it feel really guilty for just plain freaking out on her sometimes. I hate myself when I do this. My mom didn't want me, my dad refused to give me up, they divorced, she got stuck with the kid. I love her to death, but she was abusive on all levels (except sexual), and I have a really hard time not interacting with dd the way she did with me. When i don't react like my mom, i am always wondering if i am doing enough. It never ends!
Dp has a similar, yet more abusive background. He has a really hardtime with yelling, spanking, scaring etc. Sometimes I wonder if he's even trying to control himself. But with the way his dad used to let loose on him, I know he is at least doing better than he could be.
I decided in jan to not have anymore kids after spending a lot of time on my own with dd and an older girl. I could not handle it at all, it was awful. I had to go in the other room sometimes to keep my head on straight! I don't want to hit her, but i have to try so hard to keep my mouth shut and volume down. Its also very hard for me when she cries about things that aren't a big deal.
So you can imagine the shock when I found out i was pregnant 2 monthes ago. I have been having a really hard time with this. I don't really want to tell anyone why I am not excited. And I think its a boy ( I generally do not like little boys). Oh great. I am going to be such a basket case! I don't know how i am going to deal with bf a newborn and my dd wanting all my attention all the time. I'm so scared I'll snap. I feel like I should put her in Montessori full time to save her some pain and trouble. At least her teacher wouldn't yell at her all the time.
I just remember how i grew up and thank god i am not one of those people who think thats the right way to raise kids. At least I learned something positive from it all.

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#18 of 35 Old 05-15-2004, 01:45 AM
 
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I have a great 3 and a half year old. I also had a childhood that didn't teach me any positive coping skills. I learned some as an adult before I had my son, but I am learning more and more all the time. I definitely have more of the frustration thing than the anger thing, but I guess it is just a controlled anger. I am not a yeller or a hitter, but I do talk through clenched teeth more than I'd like.

I have a second now (I really wanted a second), and that is enough for me. I never planned on more than two. I love both of my babes. They are very easy going children. People always think I am such a calm mom. If they only knew how many times I am actually ready to pop........

I need a massage, ladies.

L.
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#19 of 35 Old 05-15-2004, 05:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savannah smiles
Oh, Tamara, totally OT but I see you're in Norway and I wanted to wish you an early and fun 17th of May!

Aww!

Thank you soo much! How sweet of you!

Noah is so, so looking forward to Monday. He has seen previous May 17th parades on tv these last few days, and he just can`t wait.

(He doesn`t remember last years May 17th at all.)

AND his birthay is this Wednesday, so we will have a wonderful week, I am sure!

How do you know about 17 mai (17th of May), BTW?

*Single, attached Norwegian mama to my LoveBug, 2001*
 
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#20 of 35 Old 05-15-2004, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tamara, I lived outside Bergen for about 3 months as an aupair so I'm hip to a few things Norwegian, lol! Sadly, things didn't work out well with that family so I ended up hopping a plane down to Denmark and working there (outside of Copenhagen) for the next 6 months. I hope to go back to Scandanavia to visit at some future point because I really miss it!

I'm glad you have such a wonderful week to look forward to!

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#21 of 35 Old 05-17-2004, 12:29 AM
 
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Lovelocks,

My heart goes out to you. Sounds as if things are feeling a little out of control. Don't hate yourself for freaking out--we all do it. The important thing is to try and figure out how to handle the situation better next time.

I know that feeling of panicking over the future--with me things just spin around and around in my head. I need to talk it out--to know that I am not going crazy--friends, this site, other mums can help--sometimes, however, going to a counsellor is a good thing--someone who is paid for you to unload on and to help you find solutions.

I also found taking a parenting class with dh useful--at least we were both on the same page then about what we wanted to do. We may have trouble following through sometimes but at least we have a place to start.

That you don't want to repeat what happened to you is great. Knowing that is the most important step to not doing it. That makes you a good person--remember that.

If putting your dd in full-time Montesorri will give you the break you need--I say, do it. Having a rested and less stressed out mother is best for everyone.

Good luck and good thoughts for you and your pregnancy.

A-C
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#22 of 35 Old 05-17-2004, 04:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savannah smiles
Tamara, I lived outside Bergen for about 3 months as an aupair so I'm hip to a few things Norwegian, lol! Sadly, things didn't work out well with that family so I ended up hopping a plane down to Denmark and working there (outside of Copenhagen) for the next 6 months. I hope to go back to Scandanavia to visit at some future point because I really miss it!

I'm glad you have such a wonderful week to look forward to!
Aaah, Bergen!!
I grew up there... My mom and my siblings still live there. Now you made me "homesick".

Denmark is great, too!

Now I am off to town! My flag is packed, Noah is in his suit and we are ready to celebrate!!

*Single, attached Norwegian mama to my LoveBug, 2001*
 
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#23 of 35 Old 05-17-2004, 05:16 AM
 
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I've noticed that with the more kids I have, the easier it gets. :LOL






But, I am done. I think. :

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#24 of 35 Old 05-18-2004, 07:53 PM
 
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Thank you for this Great Thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is so nice when people are real on this board about not being the "perfect" mom.

Sandra thank you for your post. I can so relate to what you wrote. we do have two now and a large part of the decision was sibling bonding. PM me if you wish == I would love to 'chat".
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#25 of 35 Old 05-18-2004, 10:30 PM
 
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I, too, feel the same way, and I also grew up in a physically abusive household. Even though I have three kids, and am not planning on any more, my anger definately played a major role in that decision. My oldest son has Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, which basically translates into he doesn't listen to a word any adult has to say, and can be quite 'explosive' to boot. I have often blamed myself for his behavioral issues. Until he was 3-4, I thought he was just 'spirited', and I would try various parenting styles recommended in Gentle Discipline books. Nothing worked. If I had been less 'selfish' I would have realised I had my hands full enough and stopped at one. But I'd always wanted two kids, as I was an "only child". After my daughter was born, my tolerance for his behavior lessened even further, and I began to yell (ALOT) I am now SO FAR from the parent I want to be, I don't think I could ever find my way back. When I discovered I was pregnant with my third,(obviously unexpected, but cherished none the less) I remember crying, thinking how unfair it was to HIM to have been born into our family - to have parents who argue constantly, are low on patience, and an older brother who has such issues. I LOVE all my children with all my heart and couldn't imagine them not being here, but I often think it would have been better for them if I had stopped at one. (I cannot believe how awful that sounds..... )
Late at night, when everyone is asleep, I sometimes wonder if my children would be better off if something happened to me. I would never do anything to myself because I couldn't imagine how a child would feel to know their parent 'chose' to leave them....... but I sometimes think about them being 'better off' if I were in an accident. Horrible, I know, but honest. Hopefully, my therapist can help me overcome these feelings.
So, no advice, but definately know where you're coming from. Thanks for staring this thread - sometimes just seeing others admit to being 'less than perfect' helps me feel somewhat better.
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#26 of 35 Old 05-19-2004, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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China White, I teared up reading your post because I really felt how sad you must feel sometimes. Your son is more lucky than you think to have you as a parent because think how he might have been treated had he been born to a less enlightened mom. It sounds like you're working really hard to improve things and I wish you all the best with that.

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#27 of 35 Old 05-19-2004, 04:40 PM
 
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I know that it will be unlikely that dh and I will have more than two for several reasons. The decision to have a second has been discuss and rediscussed because of how stressed be both feel when ds doesn't immediately comply with whatever. I know my ds is just being a two year old, but it is so maddening at times. I also know that my ds is neither the easiest nor the most challenging child and I am afraid if I had a second that he/she could be much more challenging. Frankly, I think that there would be fewer sibling two year apart if parents really knew what two year olds were like. I don't mean to sound anti-child at all or that two year old are not wonderful (cause they are).
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#28 of 35 Old 05-20-2004, 02:29 PM
 
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Great topic. This is at the center of my parenting issues. Did I decide to limit the number of kids we have based on my anger issues? Absolutely. We weren't going to have any children. Dd was unexpected, but is a fabulous child. I had to do some serious growing up when she was born. I thank her for forcing me to grow up.

When she was 3 y.o. I decided another child would be great, so ds came along. And it's been great. He completes our family. Dh got a vasectomy, so we are done making babies, permanently.

More to the topic, when dd was 6-ish and ds was 2-ish, I had reached my limit with them. My head was buzzing with irritation and anger. I was yelling all the time and spanking dd. I got myself to the doctor, who diagnosed me with bipolar disorder (which runs in my family). Now I have a handle on it, and what a difference, I tell you. I am not irritated to the point of bellowing and spanking, every day all day. I'm a nicer, more reasonable mommy. But I know my limits now. We won't be having anymore kids.

Somebody was wondering whether to put her child in Montessori. That caught my eye because we experienced that same situation. I was never going to put dd in preschool. That's what I quit work for, after all. I can provide everthing she needs. Well, about 4 months after ds was born, dd was getting very bored and watching more and more tv. Like hours a day. I gave in and enrolled her in a Montessori preschool, 3 days a week. After a couple weeks awkward transition, she blossomed. She was the interested, lively child she had been before. She came home singing songs I didn't know, playing memory games, making friends and basically having a great time. And ds got a little of the one on one time his big sister had got from me, being my first. So that's my experience.

My fantasy motherhood from when I was a teen/young adult looked something like Little House on the Prairie. I wanted to have 6 kids, live on a farm with fruit trees, a few dairy cows, wool sheep and bee hives. We'd have our own milk, spin and sell wool, can fruit, I'd make all our bread. All the births would be at home with a midwife. And I'd homeschool, of course. I loved the idea. Still fantasize about it sometimes! But that would just be insane for me to try. I'd turn into the next Andrea Yates.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#29 of 35 Old 05-21-2004, 10:12 PM
 
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journeymom, I love Little House on the Prairie. Still think that would be the best life ever....maybe. We too had considered homeschooling, but I don't think I'd do a very good job of it. My dh had a vasectomy just before dd was born. He knew he didn't want anymore and I agreed to it because well, what would be the point making him have a child he didn't want? Anyway, I am soooo glad that he did. Anger. Yep, feel it every day almost. My 2 yo ds is very demanding. And when he isn't demanding something his 2 1/2 mo sister is. It's neverending. Stress levels are high around our place and I know that I would not choose to have anymore children. I'm not sure about the whole Andrea Yates thing, but other days yes, I can feel it.

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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#30 of 35 Old 05-22-2004, 12:28 AM
 
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Well, with 4 under the age of 7, I thank goodness I have lots of patience--now. But it took LOTS of practice. With my oldest son I yelled, spanked, etc. (which I believed made his ADHD worse) Then I went to a nurturing program with a friend and found a new way, and got free counseling from WIC--and things got SO much smoother.

I also work and go to school (off college till fall). I get little sleep.

There are times I want to blow my top. My 7yo was diagnosed with a severe case of ADHD and my 3yo is very high needs. My 5yo is very easy going and Mila is a baby and I thank my lucky stars that she is easy so far.

The home we just bought is very small and cramped which makes things worse. After we remodel things should get easier.

We will start home schooling next year I believe, due to my oldests son's behavior issues. And I am scared to death wondering if I can handle it or not. :

In the future I would like to be a foster mama to 1-2 children.

We are busy, things are hectic. I feel like the oldest 23 year old mama around.

Anger issues?--definately. But not near as bad as in the past.

Tamera hearts.gifwife to Rod moon.gif Mama to Ty jammin.gif Nathan Peace.gif Hunter bikenew.gifMila energy.gifAndrew sleepytime.gif Kyle REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif& our last baby # 7 due June 2011 1sttri.gif We homeschool.gif  nocirc.gifcd.gif  h20homebirth.gif
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