Ready For Another Kid?

I honestly hate when people ask me this.

My son is only 13 months old. He’s our first, and we wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. But at this point in time, am I ready to have another child?

And I ready to go through another nine months of pregnancy with all the marvelous bells and whistles that come attached to creating another human being? Morning sickness, odd cravings like pepperoni wrapped in sour gummy worms (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it), heartburn that could make even the biggest, meanest trucker cry….

And then a newborn while my first is still in diapers? Most likely tandem feeding as well. And Bruce already squirms and kicks, performing “gymnurstics”…and I ready to break up sibling booby fights?

The answer is no. Very simply, no.

The thought of two babies in diapers simultaneously, terrifies me. If you’ve ever fought the poop-explosions, then you know why I have this legitimate fear. So then when would be a good time to have another one?

It seems like in the last two months, I’m asked this question more often. Maybe once you hit the first child’s first birthday, you’re due to have another one? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m not quite ready to begin the newborn stage a second time, just yet. I find it rather humorous that I’m asked that alot. As if the person is secretly hoping I’ll actually pause to think about it and say, “You know, I never thought about it! Thank you for bringing it up! I think I will start on that immediately! Of course I want another baby! But first, I need to get this one off the coffee table he just learned to climb on top of…”

I’m still enjoying my first child as somewhat a baby. He’s still very young. Very cute. Very much still a baby, even as we progress into the toddler stage.

And the farther we get away from those cluster feedings, crying fits, and completely sleepless nights; the less I miss those trying times. Sure, I miss my little guy being so tiny and new. But I love how much more interactive and responsive he is now! I fondly remember my husband holding him at a week old, questioning me about how long he would have to wait before Bruce began laughing and playing with him. Now, he is able to giggle, and play with toys, and have conversations. Granted, it’s baby babble with few words, but it’s still (for my husband’s benefit) better than a blank stare and confused eyes.

Maybe one day, when he’s a lot older, and I have baby blues, we will want another little one crawling around. But for now, we can let Bruce be the only one. And he’s going to be a baby for a while longer.

I enjoy getting him to bed at a decent enough hour (even if he doesn’t stay). I’m enjoying him being able to entertain himself for a few minutes so I can get things done. I’m not ready to begin all over with another in tow. I don’t know when I will be. I just know it’s not right now.

It seems like I usually get this question when Bruce is throwing a tantrum or being especially fussy. Then I wonder if it’s a secret joke that parents of more than one child share with each other. Like a bet made amongst themselves that I’d never be willing to pull it off again, if I even have by now. And that’s a pretty sad thought. Having a baby is hard. And raising a baby is hard. And while we can make jokes about getting (sometimes slightly) painful/permanent things done like tattoos, plastic surgery, or (gulp) marriage, and say “Oh, I bet she’ll never do that again!”…having kids shouldn’t be one of those kinds of jokes.

The size of my family only matters to me, no one else. And the opinions of others aren’t going to make me drag my husband into the bedroom to make another one (although he’d probably like some of that plan). Your role as a parent isn’t defined by how many children you have. And you’re allowed to take as much time as needed in between making them…or not.

 ready-foranother-one

What Makes A Real Parent?

What Makes A Parent..A Parent?

Being a parent depends on very few things.

Of course, it requires Love. Care. Devotion. Nurturing. And that’s pretty much it. Certain things like DNA, actually don’t matter as much as some would like to think. You don’t have to share DNA to be considered a parent of a child you raise and love.

I have one son. While I do Love him, give him the best of care, devoting and nurturing, I have actually contributed to his DNA. Most days it doesn’t appear so, because he is a carbon copy of his Dad, but I’m pretty sure some genes are in there somewhere.

The strangest comment ever…

I attended a jewelry party not too long back this year (for those that don’t know, they are much like the old school tupperware, or the new school “wrap” parties, but much more fun), and it wasn’t long before I had one of the more insensitive comments about ‘family size’ directed towards me, that I have yet to have trumped.

During a casual conversation that had nearly each woman commenting on how many kids they currently had, and whether or not they wanted more, I replied while sipping a glass of chardonnay that “I already have one, and he’s more than enough right now.”

That’s when an acquaintance looked me directly in the eye, and without any hint of humor (or even a light tone) explained that, “You are not a parent until you have two.”

You are not a parent until you have two.

And she was dead serious and went on to explain. “That’s what someone told me, and they were right.”

“Well, I guess I’m not a parent then,” I laughed into my glass, still trying to comprehend exactly what I just heard. This woman went on to explain that until you have to play mediator between two fighting toddlers, or break up a fight amongst four children over a Barbie Doll, that “…you have no idea what it means to be a parent.”

Defining “parent”…

So being in labor for over 30 hours, to give birth to the sweetest little boy, who made my heart want to explode, didn’t make me a parent. Having panic attacks while watching him sleep at two days old, finding myself in literal fear for questioning my own ability to be able to give him everything I thought he needed, didn’t mean I was a parent. Cluster-feeding a 3 month old with a fever, putting aside my own hunger and sleep-deprivation, in order to do whatever it took to ease his pain, meant nothing. The fact I would give my life for my child was pointless…because I hadn’t done this twice.

It was everything I could do to bite my tongue. Any retort would have fallen on deaf ears. And as the mother of a only child, I know I can’t possibly be the only one who has heard these types of comments. One of my favorites (that this person did later use to me) was, “You don’t want them to be spoiled.”

Well, I can blame his grandparents for that. He was spoiled before he was ever born. So since the damage was already done, I don’t think purposefully making another little human being they can spoil again is going to solve anything.

So the question is then; what am I?

Since raising a child as their mother, loving them unconditionally, giving them everything you have and more, doesn’t qualify you to be a parent-then what does? Is there a magic number of children required to ensure the title of “parent” bestowed upon someone?

Well, I guess there is; two.

Well, right now I have an almost 13 month old. I’m not ready to have another one. And I have no shame about it.

But I would like to think that qualities like compassion, understanding, even just being charitable and uncritical of people, should be a higher requirement of what it takes to be a parent.

But, what do I know? While I might be the only thing that calms my fussy baby at the end of the day, I’m not a “parent.” Not by these standards. But I do know that I love my little boy, and will do whatever it takes to keep him happy, healthy, and safe.

And that should be all that it takes.

How I delt with the offhand comment that "In order to be a REAL PARENT, you must have more than one child..."

Kissing Kids? Return of the Sanctimommy

They’re back…

Everyone has their different styles of parenting, and showing affection. Unless it’s defined as actual abuse, no one is really better than another. That doesn’t stop the sanctimommies from poking their noses where it doesn’t belong, but then again, what really stops them from doing that? Continue reading “Kissing Kids? Return of the Sanctimommy”

Open Letter To That New Mom

Dear New Mother,
First, congratulations on your bundle of joy! Right now, they may not seem very joyful, but trust me, they are.

They may seem like screaming, inconsolable terrors from the depths of insanity. You might feel like nothing you do is right. You probably feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and as if you’ve bitten off way more than you can chew.

It’s ok. Almost every mother feels like this-a lot! This won’t be the last time you feel this way either.

You may even feel lonely and afraid as you adjust to the new weight of the unimaginable responsibility of caring for another tiny, helpless human being. This is ok too. 

Just know that you aren’t alone.

It does get easier…but then it becomes hard again. Just like Life itself. But what you are doing is a Great thing, And believe me, it is worth it. Even at 4am, running on 3 hours of sleep in the last two days, overwhelmed by teething and fevers and God knows what else that could possibly be wrong….it is worth it.

Your baby will look at you and smile. Snuggle up and coo so softly. Laugh at your presence. And all the anger, frustration, stress will (maybe even just temporarily) melt away. And you’ll see.

Don’t let the difficulties get the best of you. I know this is hard. I know this seems impossible sometimes. But we all have times like this.

Don’t let the stories of those “perfect mommies” make you feel like you’re failing somehow. Trust me, that seemingly “perfect” parent who’s child goes to sleep (and sleeps forever), eats all their veggies, hits milestones early, and is portrayed as the picture perfect baby-does something that makes that Fake Untouchable Parent cringe and want to pull their hair out. They just aren’t going to tell you about it. *wink*

But all the messes, meltdowns, and missed opportunities you gave up for your child, are all worth it in the end. They really are. And don’t for one second think that you are the first one to spend the day with dried puke (or pee..or even poop) on their clothes, too spent to think about changing, walking throughout the house with a squalling child just begging for a break. We’ve all done it. And anyone who isn’t sympathetic to that is not only untrue to themselves, but not worth wasting any energy on thinking about.

Find mothers who keep it real to form your tribe. It’ll help you keep your sanity, and you might even learn some things along the way.

Keep trekking. The Journey is long, but oh so worth it.

Sincerely,
Another Mom.

An open letter to all New Moms, from a New Mom

 

Guest Post: When Your Husband Is Trilingual (And You Aren’t)

Today I have a guest post running on Working Mommy Abroad (one of my favorite blogs!) about a very prevalent situation in our household. it’s growing by the day, and it’s something to look forward to.

My husband speaks three languages and will be teaching them to our son. I, however, do not.

So head over there and check it out, as well as other posts!