Sunday, February 10, 2008

I have one and I'm AWESOME

What's been eating away at me lately is this feeling that I, for some reason, "should" continue trying for a second child. I had thought it was because eventually I know Eli will ask why he's an only child and I wanted to be able to tell him that we tried everything we could. I wasn't getting that settled feeling that I normally do when I find the root of my discontent, so I knew there was something else at the heart of it, and I finally think I figured it out.

It's this: If I only want one, I feel like I've failed. It's not at all that I think families with one child are somehow "failed families." It's that I had always been on autopilot, thinking I wanted two, and now, if I only want one, what does that say about me? Again, this has nothing to do with families who want one and have one and are happy. I really, really want to stress that because it is SO about me and so NOT about anyone else. But the point is, if I wanted two, and I got one, and now I don't want two anymore, does that mean I don't like being a mom? Or that I don't think I'm enough of a mom?

I know (on the logical, intellectual level) that of course the answers to these questions are "Of course I do" and "Of course I am." It's just there seems to be some guilt about saying to myself, "I don't want any more of this. Thanks anyway."

I think the reason I separate myself from other families with only one at this point is, well, first and foremost, I have these tendencies toward self-imposed (and unwarranted) guilt but, more importantly, it's this changing-of-my-mind aspect. What changed my mind? Why is one enough? I wanted two. Why don't I feel like I want that second one anymore? It's convenient to say that over time I've just kind of lost my enthusiasm, but in the grand scheme of infertility, we've been trying for NO time at all, so if the true desire was there at the outset, I think that a year and a half later it should still be there.

We're continuing to try for a bit longer, but I'll admit that it's half-hearted. I rarely chart; there are no more "let's do it one more time just to cover our bases"; sometimes a new Project Runway is just more interesting. You get the picture.

I am very much the type of person who has to have some psychological peace before I can let something go, and half the battle with that is finding the root of my discontent. I think I'm on to something with this one. I've got more to think about.

Before I go: I think I made my point but I feel very strongly about making absolutely certain that I'm not misunderstood: I am not not NOT saying that mothers of only children are not "enough" in some way. The ridiculousness of that idea is what led me to this revelation in the first place, because no one should think that, including me. What I'm trying to do here is just sort out my convoluted, confused feelings.

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

I love that I check in on you from time to time and you've always made a post. I don't know if that may be a God thing....
But anyway...I feel so strongly about what you've said this time I am so glad to be able to have something passionate to respond.
You know what is happening here. You are an intelligent woman. You are struggling with acceptance.
"If I only want one...what does that say about me..?"
How says that you are trying to come to terms with something over which you have no control. The fact of the matter is you want two. The other fact is that it doesn't look like you're going to get two. So now you have to deal with that. And the most logical thing to do is decide that you are happy with one. Because you don't really have a choice. You would be a great Mum of two. Similarly, Eli would enjoy having a sibling but equally, if he doesn't have one, he'll not know the difference.
I think the root of your discontent is clear. You wanted to have two children and now you don't. It's a pretty fair thing to be pissed off about. Especially when you consider the idiots out there who have 6.
The Lord moves in mysterious ways. I always thought I would have 3 children. I have one but I have this plethora of step children which I had NEVER envisaged. I think I would have preferred 3 of my own but then, the Lord has given me this enormous gift/responsibility which is to make a difference in the lives of these other children. And these children are here and now they are not pipe dream children. They need me and they are in relationship with me here and now. Clever Lord. I have no time to regret children I did not have.
You are so NOT a failure. You are a sensitive, intelligent, perceptive woman trying to deal with the plan God has for her. And how often do we wish we could see the whole picture so that we knew what God's plan was.......?????
Do you ever visit Melody at Slurping Life? She was in your position and adopted 3 kids with special needs(a better woman that me Gunga Din). I'm not suggesting you should do that; just understand that there is a whole 'big picture' out there and that whether you raise one fabulous son, or a tribe of foster children or two of your will be walking your path with all its lessons and despair and triumphs. Here's to the motherhood we are blessed to experience. !!!!