Friday, May 09, 2008

the devil wears pablum

Maybe that's not such a nice title....
(it's in reference to that cute bib she's wearing actually)
Lulu was far from a little devil as a baby.
In fact, she was quite the opposite.
We would literally be stopped on the street all the time and people would comment on her angelic face.
They still do.
Then again, maybe that's every baby? who knows.
I do know that as much as I enjoyed every minute of her while she was an infant the one thing that weighed heavily on my mind was always -Is this it?
Will she be our only child?
Should we just keep it at one?
Will this be the only time I rock a tiny baby to sleep at night?
Or the last time I get to hold a tiny body in my arms and watch her sleep?
I still feel that way.
I wish I just had the answer and could just move on and totally and completely embrace every part of raising an only child.
But the guilt. Oh the guilt.
I figured I would know by this point.
She's three now, already there would be at least a four year gap.....
But neither big daddy or I are feelin' it.
not even say 40% wanting a second.
For a variety of reasons.
There's not a day that goes by that I don't wonder if down the road will we have regrets?
Will Lulu be lonely?
Are we terrible parents by not wanting to do it all over again?
I have a brother- yet he lives on the other side of the planet, we never talk and for sure it will be me who will be looking out for our parents as they get older.
I have no problem with that, it's just that there really are no guarantees.
Then again, big daddy has three brothers and is quite close with...well actually only one of them.
okay...then there's my dad.
he has two sisters and well...actually he barely speaks to them.
Okay my mom.
She has seven bothers and sisters and they are all super close.
well all but one. but that's pretty good odds.
Oh what to do...
Last week I decided to finally take a little me time and book a facial.
Five minutes into the facial the esthetician asked me if I had any children.
"yes- one three year old daughter"
" are you planning on having more?"
"still not are pretty content with our little family of three"
"oh...don't just have one. I'm an only child, I'm divorced and my family is back in Romania and it's so lonely. I was always sad as a kid and wished I had a sibling tsk..tsk"
so my 60 minute relaxation facial was anything but.
I felt guilty during the entire thing.
So I'm going on a bit but it has to be the number one thing that I stress about.
I wish I didn't.
Every time I see siblings together or read about them and how wonderfully they get along I get an intense pang of guilt.
I just want a crystal ball to tell me if it will be okay to just keep things as they are or to take the plunge?
Then again, I am being a bit presumptuous.
Sometimes these things really are not in our hands.
I am 37 after-all.
And as an aside a very good friend just suffered a particular loss that illustrates how fragile life really is and how sometimes you don't have total control over these types of choices.
So really there are no guarantees.
Well except that tomorrow I'll still be stressing about this decision.


something blue said...

It's completely ok to just have one. If there was pressure coming in from strangers I'd be resentful and stressed too.

Adults are messed up for a whole variety of reasons. I doubt that any of them are due to the size of their family.

Still I too wouldn't mind a peek into that crystal ball.

Ms. Porter said...

If you had two kids you'd have different guilt...I'm totally serious. We as mothers find reasons to feel guilty!
Sure, having siblings is a wonderful thing...if the siblings are close and like you said, there aren't any guarantees that's going to happen.
If you have a second the inappropriate yet common comments (like the one the gal giving you your facial made) won't stop. People just find other ones to ask...for us it's 'aren't you going to try for a boy?'.

Cheryl said...

I'm still reading and enjoying your blog, although I haven't submitted a comment in some time.

Do not give the inappropriate comments of strangers a second thought. As you know, the decision to have a child is such a serious life long decision, that you got to be feelin' it ... big time! But, here is another comment from yet another stranger. 37 is still young -- you got time and time is a luxury.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I always read your blog and thought I would leave a comment this time. From my own experience, despite the ups and downs, having a brother has been an "up" in my life. I live in Canada, while my brother lives in Europe, and our aging parents live in South America.. short of the long is, my dad will likely undergo a serious surgery soon and the only person that is going thru the same feelings I'm going is my brother. I couldn't do without him.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog often and find myself nodding in agreement or saying out loud, "me too" so I had to respond on this one. I turned 40 last month and my daughter will be 3 next week. We waited a loong time for Isabella and when she arrived 3 years ago on May 15 it was the happiest day of my life (I know my husband would say the same). I too feel 'guilty' from time to time, but the bigger picture is she will have alot of people who love her and be able to share experiences with - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends... and as our little family of three she will have it all.
You don't have to justify to anyone why you have 1 or 2 or 3 or even more children. Really, be happy and enjoy and make the 'right' decision for the 'right' reasons.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the shout-out PG, but you know it's not always cuteness and love between my two all the time. :)
My take (for what it's worth), is that deciding to have another child/baby is a decision YOU and big Daddy should make based on what YOU truly want. Not feeling it more than 40%? I think you need to make piece with what your gut is telling you. Everything happens for a reason.

Mac and Cheese said...

You said it - there are no guarantees. No guarantees that a sibling will be close to Lulu, or live in the same country, or help care for aging parents. Follow your gut, not your guilt.

Anonymous said...

I could've definetly written this post as these feelings cross my mind every single day. The difference is that my husband is 100% into having a second. Me I keep wavering.
I am an only child and can tell you with absolute certainty that I loved my childhood and really never cared much for having a sibling. I had plenty of friends from school and cousins to hang with. But like you I wonder if Samantha will be missing out on something I didn't have.

Up for coffee anytime?

indigo herself said...

hey happy mother's day! i think you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. there's no perfect answer and who wants to live with all that guilt? savour the moments, she is a great kid in a happy family. one doesn't have to be the loneliest number. strangers offering their two cents should be forgotten. it is funny how everyone always has an opinion. at all stages of life. i think we need to come up with a book of one liners that can be pulled out on these occasions. how dare she ruin your facial!

amanda said...

You have to do what's right for you... and just ignore the advice. Because ultimately it effects you, not them. And like mac & cheese said - there's no guarantees on that great sibling relationship. No matter what kind of parenting/environment you provide.

kittenpie said...

It took us a long time to decide - and there will be a four-year gap. But I can tell you this - Lulu would be fine as an "only." She's bright and sociable and happy in the company of adults and can already entertain herself, from what I hear here. A child like that will find friends, find their own fun when alone, and be fine. I was, and I was an only until I was nearly 12, nearly not a child, but a teen.

She would have advantages that doubles mgiht not - eating out as much as you do is easier with one, exposing her to all manner of cultural happenings, too. Travel? Same.

She will build a family of friends as she grows, as I did because my sister was too young to have a "sister" relationship with.

She will be fine. Don't let other people's opinions sway you if you think one is right for you.

motherbumper said...

Oh this is such a hot topic for me right now - most of it is out of my hands, but what is in my (our) hands is the decision to leave B single right now (we both were raised in three-kid family). I waver back and forth hourly mostly because of the big tick tock that hangs over my almost 40 head.

indigo herself said...

also forgot to say that there are four years between my sister and i and 6 years between my brother and I. there are 12 years between my husband's brother and my husband and his brother are closer then most siblings i've seen, definitely closer than I am with either sibling. i also have a theory that we all kind of adopt siblings when we need them, whether biological or friends or just friends that enter our lives at the right time and place and fill that role and need in our lives. i think that if lulu needs a sibling, she will find one, with or without you. maybe i'm wrong, but i definitely have friends that are like siblings to me and have been since childhood.

kgirl said...

there's no right way to go on this one, and however it does go, it will feel perfectly normal to lulu.