Thursday, October 15, 2009

Babies and Toddlers

I've been on the fence about having another one, right? The other day when we went to see our friend's new baby, I jumped over to the side of not having another...Not to say that I'll stay there, seeing as I was pro-one from the day Ingrid was born until she turned one. Then I thought it would be nice to have a brother or sister for her. Then we traveled on a plane and I went back to wanting only one. I change my mind easily, it sucks.

So Tuesday we went to our friend Heather's. She has a two month old, Olivia, and I was really excited to see how Ingrid reacted to her. Ingrid could've cared less, I don't think she realized it was another human. She was way more interested in the dog that was whining at the back door. When she did see the baby in the swing, she had a fun time taking the blanket off and then throwing it back on, watching it land on the poor baby's face. On a positive note, Olivia seemed to find this very entertaining and smiled the whole time.

The a-ha moment was when I was holding Olivia and feeding her a bottle. Ingrid came up to me and whined and cried and tugged on my leg. She tried to take the bottle out of Olivia's mouth, and did whatever she could to get my attention away from the baby. I know tons of moms do this, but I don't want to!! I hate having my attention drawn in six different directions! I love to be able to pay all my attention to Ingrid. I know I would just get used to it, much like I got used to nights of no sleep and other horrible things from having the first baby, but I really don't want to...

Knowing my personality, I think I would do much better just having one and doing it all for her than trying to spread myself out over two kids. People think because I was a nanny before having Ingrid that I must just love kids and want a ton of them, but they are wrong. I love kids, one at a time. I watched two little boys while I was pregnant. One went to school for most of the day, leaving me with the other. I had two hours after school where I had both boys and it was the hardest time ever. I watched them over a weekend and I thought it would take another week to recover. Most of the families I nannied for had one child. I like having only one child to take care of.

I have been reading this book, Parenting an Only Child by Susan Newman. I really like some of the things she has to say. She goes through debunking myths of onlies being too dependent, being lonely, being demanding, wanting siblings and feeling like something is missing since they don't have one. And she also goes into what to say to people that think you're crazy for only wanting one, and how to deal with your own feelings when you question your decision. It's been a great way for me to sift through all the thoughts I have about family size and why I have these hormonal shifts in either being happy with one or longing for another.

What I have figured out is this: I don't want another person, I want to just go back to when Ingrid was a baby for a day or two. I want to relive her being immobile and cuddly and wanting to be held all the time. I don't want that full time, though, just a day or two. Like how puppies are so cute and cuddly, but they grow to full grown dogs--I just want to pet a puppy, not buy one. Yes, I just compared my child to a dog :) So, I think I will just enjoy other people's babies and then go home and enjoy my one and only.

4 comments:

Chari said...

I can totally understand your feelings!

Ethan is now 14 months old and we had originally talked about having our kids 2 years apart. But after his birth for a long time I didn't even think I wanted any more kids! I still think that every once in a while. Some people constantly hound me to go ahead and have another despite knowing how I feel, I think it's disrespectful to me! I still need a break...

Good for you voicing what you believe in. So many people are negative towards couples who just want one child and those who don't want any. Raising a family is such a personal decision and people really should mind their own business.

Thanks for sharing!

MaryAnne said...

I have no regrets with my three children, but the tradeoffs are very real. I can guarantee you get more of what you wanted to get done done in a day than I do, for example.

There are benefits both ways, so I think it comes down to personal preferences/situations/personalities. And - if you do one day decide to have a second - don't expect the debate to end there...

Carly said...

I came from a small family it was just me and my Little brother. We are 8 years apart. I always wanted siblings. I wish I had more siblings to talk to and see at family functions. I currently have 2 kids. they are 4 years apart. Wish they were closer in age ,but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. I wish to have at least 1 more wile my Husband feels done completely. This is a hard one for our family. I know everyone has different feelings on this subject. I believe we all do whats best for our families.

heather said...

oh the days of having just one. i could sleep in until 9 or 10. get PLENTY of stuff done. have lots more me time. but watching them beat each other up and pull my hair out is all worth it when they all 3 want to have a sleepover and fall asleep in one tiny bed together. or miss p has to get suckers for her brothers when they are at school. do what is right for you. you know and no one else can tell you what is right for you. and if you have 2 they will ask as soon as the second is born when are you having a third. and in my case they are still asking we are having a fourth.