Broken

How a lamp made a difficult decision for me.

A short while ago I received the most beautiful household item I have ever owned.  It’s milky glass, black wooden legs and woven cord made it more than just a lamp for me.  It was the first designer item (that wasn’t shoes or a knock off) that I have ever owned.

Was.

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
It started well but Eve entered her naughty destructive mode a few
hours later after I unthinkingly let her have the foam from my soy
chai.  I had forgotten that the chai mix had milk in it, even though it
is only a minute it was enough to set Eve into whirlwind mode.  I have a
theory that because it makes her stomach hurt and she can’t express
that verbally she expresses it by acting out.  It’s either that or my
kid is one of “those” kids that people make snide remarks about.

The
peak of the acting out resulted in Eve climbing on to our bedside table
and shoving the aforementioned prized lamp off shattering the delicate
glass top. Lest what I say next sounds materialistic and shallow. While
it was the height of the low that the afternoon became it was just the
last straw in being run circles around, jumped on, screamed at, bitten
etc.  As a mama these are the times that I become extremely fragile and
fail to cope.

The long
and short of it is that I am now 99.9%* sure that Eve is our last baby,
while I would love another child I can’t see myself giving another baby
and my existing three a happy healthy home while trying to find a
constructive way to manage Eve on a bad day.  I hate the way it sounds,
like I care so much about an object that I place it above family, but
really the lamp is just a snapshot of the challenges of parenting Eve,
challenges that are new to me as the older two were much calmer babies. 
Eve requires a lot more energy and careful watching made more
complicated by the house being a work site.

I’ve
really been torn on whether we would add to our family since shortly
after I had Eve, and it’s hard to know that we won’t be.  But the
reality is that there is only so much of me to go around and I need to
be the best parent I can be to the children I already have instead of
worrying about a person that doesn’t exist.

I guess that answers my earlier question, how do you know when you’re done?

*I’m not silly enough to say 100%, I’m sure if I did fate would laugh at me and I’d be pregnant before I knew it.

Advertisements

Sibling spacing

With the decision of whether to have just one more baby hovering in my mind, my thoughts have turned to the “ideal” space between children.

My older two are three and a half years apart, this wasn’t the original plan. I’d originally aimed for closer to two years apart. One month after miss P turned 2 I was pregnant with twins, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be as one was ectopic and the other miscarried. It was a traumatic time both physically and emotionally. I didn’t expect to have more babies after that. So when I was pregnant again within a year it was a wonderful surprise even if it did mean a larger gap than I had planned.

My preference for a closer gap (and a strong vote in the pro column for having another) is due to the five year gap that was between my brother and I, which was hard for me growing up, being the unwanted annoying little sister. That bring said as a parent the huge gap between my first two and Eve has been a blessing as the older two can be very helpful when they want to be.

I do also feel that too close a gap gives the potential for too great a toll on me physically and a potential competitiveness between the children. For me personally (this has no bearing on what is true or right for other families) anything under two years apart is too close, and not particularly likelyriven we aren’t trying yet. I’ve also seen research that says a minimum gap of 26-27 months is ideal for the benefit of the older child. This would mean for us beginning trying early next year, possibly earlier to factor in removing our current contraceptive choice.

There are just so many factors in the decision though that the ideal might change.

I’d love to hear from others on their experiences as a parent, as a sibling, or as an only child or someone choosing to not have more children. It’s such a complex subject and I truly feel that shared experience really helps us to navigate these things.

Sibling spacing

With the decision of whether to have just one more baby hovering in my mind, my thoughts have turned to the “ideal” space between children.
My older two are three and a half years apart, this wasn’t the original plan. I’d originally aimed for closer to two years apart. One month after miss Aînée turned 2 I was pregnant with twins, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be as one was ectopic and the other miscarried. It was a traumatic time both physically and emotionally. I didn’t expect to have more babies after that. So when I was pregnant again within a year it was a wonderful surprise even if it did mean a larger gap than I had planned.

My preference for a closer gap (and a strong vote in the pro column for having another) is due to the five year gap that was between my brother and I, which was hard for me growing up, being the unwanted annoying little sister. That bring said as a parent the huge gap between my first two and Eve has been a blessing as the older two can be very helpful when they want to be.

I do also feel that too close a gap gives the potential for too great a toll on me physically and a potential competitiveness between the children. For me personally (this has no bearing on what is true or right for other families) anything under two years apart is too close, and not particularly likely given we aren’t trying yet. I’ve also seen research that says a minimum gap of 26-27 months is ideal for the benefit of the older child. This would mean for us beginning trying early next year, possibly earlier to factor in removing our current contraceptive choice.

There are just so many factors in the decision though that the ideal might change.

I’d love to hear from others on their experiences as a parent, as a sibling, or as an only child or someone choosing to not have more children. It’s such a complex subject and I truly feel that shared experience really helps us to navigate these things.

How do you know?

When you’re done having babies?

I was so very certain when I was pregnant with Eve and afterwards adamant that I was done, done, done with that part of my life.

But as we hurtle to her first birthday and past her brothers’ thirteenth there’s that familiar ache. It starts out as a soft tugging at my heart, a tiny little whisper that has grown with each milestone passed. Steadily it’s increased through a pattering of the heart to a louder steady march, momentarily squashed on screamy sleepless nights, but not silenced for long.

I turn potential names over in my mind, names for a little person I was never going to consider.

Is it just hormones, premature nostalgia, extreme sleep deprivation? Or is there a little one waiting wherever it is that we wait?

Do we keep Eve an almost only child with such a leap between her and her older siblings? Is that good, bad or indifferent to her quality of life?

Then there’s the ease of organising one little one rather than two, two free hands to take care of their needs and no one competing for your attention.

If it were just up to me I think my heart would rule and the decision would be made, but it’s never that simple.

Tell me your tales of having siblings, or not having siblings, your opinions on how it impacts on your life and who you are. Tell me how or if you know when it’s time to stop?

How do you know?

When you’re done having babies?

I was so very certain when I was pregnant with Eve and afterwards adamant that I was done, done, done with that part of my life.

But as we hurtle to her first birthday and past her brothers’ thirteenth there’s that familiar ache. It starts out as a soft tugging at my heart, a tiny little whisper that has grown with each milestone passed. Steadily it’s increased through a pattering of the heart to a louder steady march, momentarily squashed on screamy sleepless nights, but not silenced for long.

I turn potential names over in my mind, names for a little person I was never going to consider.

Is it just hormones, premature nostalgia, extreme sleep deprivation? Or is there a little one waiting wherever it is that we wait?

Do we keep Eve an almost only child with such a leap between her and her older siblings? Is that good, bad or indifferent to her quality of life?

Then there’s the ease of organising one little one rather than two, two free hands to take care of their needs and no one competing for your attention.

If it were just up to me I think my heart would rule and the decision would be made, but it’s never that simple.

Tell me your tales of having siblings, or not having siblings, your opinions on how it impacts on your life and who you are. Tell me how or if you know when it’s time to stop?