Motherhood

My Sleeping Baby (poster paint on watercolor paper)

For a few years now it has been a tradition that my sister and I give each other’s kids “coupons” to an indoor activity center for Christmas which gives us something to do during Christmas vacation that is fun for them with lots of physical activity.  Yesterday was the day to redeem and this year my sister and I traded off watching the kids while the other ran an errand/got something done. 

So it was kind of a quiet time for me, watching the kids, and doing a little thinking – too distracting to try and read.  I was watching a teeny 16 month old boy walking around like a pro with great delight and it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember my children (now 4 and 6) ever being that small.  But of course they were and of course they were even smaller than that!  It really all goes by so fast and as you get older, even faster (Pragmatic Mom posted about this)!  I know they were that small – I have the clothes in the basement to prove it!  And I can’t get rid of those clothes yet because as the late Erma Bombeck would say keeping the baby stuff is birth control (if you get rid of the baby stuff you will surely get pregnant)!  If my mother heard this she would say then get rid of it!  Actually I do keep that stuff just in case.  I had wanted a BUNCH of kids especially after I had my first and was so overjoyed with motherhood.  I had a cut off of 40 but pregnant at 41 it was only a smidge past my cut-off.  It didn’t work out though.  I had a miscarriage which was tough especially since it was not a certainty that I would try again.

As I’m getting ready for a new year this all makes me think.  I will just come right out with it – I will be 42 soon and I worry about chromosomes.  There are other reasons that it is not the most practical thing for me to want but it is so hard to close that door and flat out say no more babies and to move on to the next unofficial phase of life: The ongoing molding of the ones I have (the ones I know I am supremely luck to have) and maybe adding more work hours but with no more little babies of my own to dream of.

Sorry this post is a little sad – but I thought that maybe some of you may relate.  I am really not sad anymore – change is just hard sometimes (smiley-face)! 

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12 thoughts on “Motherhood

  1. Aloha Ann, I can definitely relate although my story is very different than yours. I was with my ex hubby for 20 years, we didn’t have any children. Once I got separated at 41, I strongly considered trying to have a baby because I knew my time was just about, if not already, up. This year I finally made the decision to tie my tubes. At 43, there are risks to having a baby and to be honest the thought of being in my 60s with a teenager and maybe being a single mom was overwhelming to me, from a financial perspective as well as energy wise (I’m pretty damn tired right now!). I do feel sad but I know it is the right decision. It is just not what I expected my life to be, I always thought I’d be a mother from a very young age. But at the same time I’m not unhappy with my life as it is so it’s kind of a confused mixed bag of emotions.

    • Thanks for commenting, Tania. That must have been a hard decision. I know what you mean about the overwhelming part and thinking ahead. That is just what it is like – a confused bag of emotions!

  2. I feel you, Ann. And Tania, that is such a thoughtful decision you’ve made. It’s responsible on so many levels, and I know it was probably I hard one.

    What keeps me from having another child (besides the environmental factors and the risks) is the amount of time I’ve already lost with my first child, Stella, since my son Oliver was born four years after her. We were attached at the hip for those four years, and the amount of things we CAN’T do together anymore is sort of shocking. That’s why our little ladies’ dates mean everything to me. I wouldn’t trade anything for Oliver, but the new thinking about the “sibling effect” (have your read Po Bronson’s NutureShock?) are really true. A new sibling is sometimes the worst thing to happen to a child, and not even an indicator of how a child will be socialized when they grow up. That’s a fascinating book, by the way, for parents and anyone else interested in human development.

    I don’t understand how people with more than two kids do it. I really don’t!

    I feel you though…..:)

    • Good point about missed time with the first when you have the second. I definitely experienced that but also love to see my two play together! Definitely not my rational side speaking today.

  3. I know *exactly* how you feel. I wanted SO MANY children. I love kids, but I could only (physically) have one. My daughter that is 17. Luckily, I got two bonus kids in my marriage (and that helps). But I still yearn for just one more. I’m 40 and I can’t have any (without in-vitro). But we still consider adopting. Then again, I think, isn’t it time to just let go of that dream?

    :-) I am happy and blessed with the children I have. See smiling….

    • Your step daughters, except for the hair, look like you! That’s kind of neat! I don’t have the easiest time getting pregnant either. It took 1 1/2 years of trying the first time and I finally got pregnant after a hysteropingogram – I wouldn’t want to do in-vitro either. Definitely keep smiling (as we move along in life)! BTW, thanks for the camera tips!

  4. It’s funny how when we are young we assume things will go just as we plan. I guess in return for living through these difficult passages we gain a little wisdom. (not like we can pass it on to those who need it->>the young–since they are not willing or maybe not able to take it in)-lol
    Thanks for sharing such a close to the bone story. It takes courage.
    I always thought I would have 4 kids. I’m lucky to have one wonderful healthy child. Thank you God.

  5. Thanks so much for mentioning that poem that I found on time flying by! My husband and I were watching a mom at a restaurant with a baby who could self feed but that was pretty much it for independence. We had fun doing peek-a-boo with the baby when she smiled at us, but then we said that Thank God we are done with babies. We love babies but boy was that a lot of work. I can’t remember much from when my middle was a baby. I think I was very sleep deprived.

    It is hard to let the door close on that chapter, I must admit … so we are really looking forward to grandkids someday!

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