Catch up

I returned from vacation a while ago.  I’d blame my absence on my being too busy to write, but the real problem is that I’ve been too bummed.  I had promised myself before I began writing my blog that I would not write anything negative about my in-laws.  But now that I’ve spent some time with them, the only thing on my mind is our negative experiences with visiting them.  I still don’t know if I will write about it here.  I’d rather wait until I at least have something I can say I’ve learned from the experience.  The problem with Mike and I getting bummed about something (and I mean really bummed, not just a little) is that we then stop doing all the hard work of keeping our life together on track.  So the house has gotten really dirty and the temptation to spend our money without regard to our budget is strong.  We’re just getting back into our usual groove.

The question that I’m struggling with now has to do with whether we will have more children.  When I say that, I don’t want to give the impression that Mike is all ready to get to it and is just waiting on me to make up my mind…  I’m not even sure where Mike is with it.  And I keep telling myself that I do not have to make a decision about it anytime soon and just give it a rest already.  But even just considering having another child is bringing up a lot of questions for me that I’m at a loss to answer, and that I just don’t know how other people get past.

I have a few concerns about this.  One is of course the possibility that another child will also have acid reflux and/or MSPI.  But I’ve actually already thought that one through.  I will quit my job if I have another baby, and I have more friends now and so I just think we would handle it so much better that we will be much less miserable if we have to face down GI problems yet again.  So much of what was awful about caring for Liam in the early days was the fact that I had to go to work (that meant I was sooooo hungry and sooooo tired).  And the other thing that was awful was not knowing what we were doing, either as parents or as people trying to manage a child with his particular health problems.  I actually feel like we should have another child just so we can put what Liam has taught us to good use.

Before I continue this thought, I should point out that I am an only child myself.  I always was committed to having more than one child.  I used to long for a sibling, and I also used to believe that the fact that I had no siblings contributed to the dysfunction of my upbringing.  And I don’t wish for a sib now of course, but I do feel a little jealous sometimes of other people’s relationships with their siblings.  Thing is, I have no experience of it, only the experience of the lack of it and now that I’m older, I just don’t think that’s the worst thing anymore.  And of course, I don’t buy into any stereotypes that people have about only children.

What I have instead is a better appreciation of what a burden it is to have siblings when you don’t have a good relationship.  Mike doesn’t have a good relationship with his sisters, and their relationship with each other isn’t so hot either.  This also means that Mike and I both don’t have any practical experience that would help us to know how to teach our children to get along.  A coworker of mine has two children and she openly favors one of them.  Since I don’t have relevant experience of my own, I look at this example and ask how I can be sure that wouldn’t be me if I had another child.

Of course, the worry I have is that I’ll favor Liam, since he’s already here and since he has such an awesome personality.  If I just have a normal baby next, who’s to say I won’t be constantly asking that one why he or she can’t be more like his or her brother?  What if I have a healthy baby next and I somehow love it less because I didn’t go through so much pain to take care of it?  On the other hand, might I love that child more if he or she is more flawed in the ways that Mike and I are?

And of course, in the back of my mind I always remember that I am blessed just to have Liam and how can I be sincerely grateful for him and still want another one?  This is the big question I just can’t answer on my own.  My life is pretty full and certainly my joy is complete.  What does it mean that I still think I maybe want another one?  Is it just that I’d really like a do-over of my first child’s early life?  Cause that’s a pretty lame reason.  How do other people decide to have additional children?  I understand how we decide to have that first one: We don’t know what it’s really like.

How about you?  How did you make the decision to have additional children or not?  Am I crazy?  Am I overthinking it or missing something?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. manama76Anita
    Aug 02, 2011 @ 23:10:55

    IMHO, the fact that you worry about favoring one child over another is proof that it’s something you probably won’t do. You and Mike are proof that two people from dysfunctional families can get together and have a pretty good family of their own. No one has a perfect life, perfect family, or perfect parents. And I’ve given up trying to “get it right” with the next kid. For you it’s health problems, for me it’s labor and delivery, or getting them to sleep through the night. The real question I think is that all other things aside… do you WANT another child? And if the answer to that is YES than that doesn’t mean that baby #1 wasn’t enough for you. It means that you find such joy in Liam and his personality that you’d like the chance to experience that again. Each child is so different. And as long as you love them and try to be a good example to them and for them they will turn out just fine.

    Reply

  2. Kristen @ Motherese
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 14:38:28

    Wow, there are so many important questions circling around in this post.

    I have three kids, all very close in age (almost 4, 2, and 6 months). When I was pregnant with my second, I couldn’t imagine how I would be able to love any baby as much as I loved my oldest. But then he was born, and I met him, and I realized, “Oh, this is how.” Somehow you just do. And I agree with the previous commenter – the fact that you’re taking time to think about this means that you won’t have a problem loving any child you have as much as any other.

    Reply

    • sleeplessinsummerville
      Aug 11, 2011 @ 07:25:12

      Thank you for this! It truly is hard to believe you could love anyone as much as that first child, just as you can’t imagine how much you’ll love that first child until they are there. Well, at least I couldn’t imagine. 🙂

      Reply

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