Thursday, 1 May 2014

ON MY MIND | Babies. Do we ever stop wanting another?

My cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby boy almost two weeks ago.

And any day now, my brother-in-law and his wife will be having their first baby! 

The truth is, I get a little jealous when someone has a baby, because it makes me want another one.

I am too scared to have another baby. I was unwell for many years following the birth of each of my babies, and there are no guarantees it won’t happen again. I am very grateful for my two little boys. 

I love watching the boys' unique personalities develop as they grow. And I am in awe of the amazing little people they are becoming. I just wish there was a way to bottle all those little moments when I catch myself thinking, “Wow, I want to remember this moment forever".

My eldest was almost 3 when we were expecting baby #2. I wanted a little girl. So very much. I knew how silly this was because every child is a blessing.

The ultrasound scans showed we were having another little boy. I was disappointed for my own selfish reasons. 

I dreamed of having a daughter. I wanted to put her hair into piggy tails with pretty ribbons, buy her cute little outfits, have magical princess/fairy birthday parties for her, and go on mother-daughter outings together. I wanted us to be best friends.

More than that, I wanted to have a daughter so that I had a chance to give her what I didn’t have when I was a girl. A father who stayed.

When I was 5, my father dropped me off at school and never returned to pick me up. I never saw him again until I was 18, and have never seen him since that day. 

I thought time would heal that sad feeling. We went to my old primary school when looking at options for our eldest's prep year. I stood frozen as I looked at the old grade one block and the memories came flooding back. I felt like I had just stepped back in time 30 years. We decided against sending him to my old primary school, lol.   

When baby #2 was born, I fell in love instantly with my littlest man. My now almost 7 year old “baby” lights up my day with his sunny smile and he thinks nothing of random public displays of affection. My eldest prefers to give cuddles and exchange his "i-love-you's" with us when we tuck him into bed at night. I love their individual quirks and eccentricities. 

My old feelings of wanting a daughter have been stirred once again. My reasons are a little different now. 

I worry that when my boys are married and have babies, I will be pushed aside because their wife/partner will prefer their own mother by their side. I fear being cast aside as the interfering mother-in-law who doesn’t get to see her grand babies often. I don't want to lose my connection with my boys when they become men. Although I can see this as a possibility as they approach their teens. 

Perhaps it's the fear of one day not being needed anymore. Maybe that's what it really comes down to. When our children are babies, we are their everything. They rely on us, they adore us, and we are responsible for their every happiness. When they grow up, our contribution to their happiness lessens. We aren't needed as much.

Well, back to the NOW. The only thing I can do in the meantime is continue to nurture the relationship I have with my boys. To be open, and open-minded. Listen and love without judgment, and speak my truth without expectations. Tell them how proud I am of them everyday. And tell them how much I love them everyday. That much I know I can do

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