Wednesday, January 20, 2016

In An Ideal World

In an ideal world, I would have more children.  I would love to have at least one more, maybe two.

But this is not an ideal world.

Due to my health, we have decided to stop at two.  I can't keep getting postnatal depression and ending up in hospital.  The likelihood of it happening again will increase with each child, and I have to have c-sections if I have any more.  I'm just putting it out there because people will ask.  They started asking before Flynn was even born.  If you reply, "We're done," you often get the response, "Aww go on, have another one."  These are the people who don't know what my family and I have been through.  I have to excuse their ignorance.  If they knew and had any sort of decency, they wouldn't say such things.

This decision has caused me untold amounts of grief.  I never thought it would cause me to feel this way.  I always thought I'd be happy with two.  Two kids would suit my personality - I'm an introvert, I like my space, I like to do things besides raising kids, yet I don't cope well with too much on my plate.  I've told myself that there are lots of advantages to only having two kids. We don't need a bigger car to fit more luggage and an extra carseat. Once they're both in full-time school I can do other things, like nursing home visits.  We won't be so busy with extracurricular activities.  Holidays will be cheaper.

But still I grieve.

I never understood people who have felt unhappy that they couldn't have lots of kids.  Be grateful with the ones you've got, I've thought.  Some people can't have any.  I've had that said to me.  It hurts.  Now I understand how they feel. 

I just don't understand why I feel this way.


Wendy said...

Yeah, not nice. I'm sure that your PND isn't helping with the bad feelings. I'm very grateful for the three healthy boys that I have and try not to take it for granted. Three was what we both wanted and God graciously allowed that, but I know that that isn't the case for everyone.

I remember finding out with horror several years ago that a good friend's marriage was rocky due to the previously undiagnosed Aspergers of her husband and resultant OCD. This is the friend who I knew dreamed of a fairytale wedding (she married at 20 and had her first baby before 21). How could the dreams have shattered? Since then we've seen other good friends have breakdowns, divorce, extra marital affairs (we're talking all Christians here). I'm shocked every time, but I think that now in my 40s I'm much more aware of how broken our world is and how many dreams fail, how much hurt and pain there is. That really we must almost expect things to go wrong.

How's this relevant to you, Sarah? I guess you've got a dream that you hardly even knew you held that's been shattered. That goes deep. To decide you're done is so final and it's so public too. I'm praying for you as you seek to overcome yet another hurdle in what is always, even if you have great mental health, a difficult time (preschool years). Praying too for gracious people around you, who won't hassle you with their questions, that really are too private to be asking.

Wendy said...

I came across this helpful blogpost this week after reading your post. It might be helpful:

Sarah said...

Yep, that's exactly it. It's stuff I know in my head (that life will be full of disappointments, but God never disappoints), but need to know in my heart...and relearn over and over, and over again.

Iris Flavia said...

So sorry to hear, Sarah.
I wonder, though, why people say that to you, "have another". As I don´t understand what´s happening to my friend, she´s got twin-girls, not looking alike at all and people she doesn´t even know come very near, sometimes wanna even touch the kids and ask if they´re boy and girl. (How would the answer even help them???)
Why do strangers do that to "random" Mums? I would never ever do that, not even with my SIL (have another).
I must say I´m happy for Rory he has a sibling. I would feel so lost without mine...

Sarah said...

The people who tell me to have another child are usually those who don't know how unwell I've been. Sometimes it's because they have big families themselves and don't understand why everyone can't cope with lots of kids like they can. Other women with postnatal depression have been much more understanding, because they've faced those hard decisions themselves.