12 May 2009

Selfish or Selfless: The Baby Debate Continues

Wanting another little person, little smiles and little feet... little fingers and toes and kissable tummies and cheeks, wanting all those things is not selfish. It's natural.

But already having those things, packaged into the most adorable little people known as Chase and Conner and still wanting more, is that selfish?

It's very selfless to be a mother. To give up sleep and energy, careers and oodles of cash (or I'd like to THINK oodles of cash if I were working), is pretty selfless. You give and give and give, and aside from the heartmelting hugs and nights when you catch them sleeping all angelic like, most parents don't get a meaningful "thanks for everything" until said children are in their 20-somethings IF they are lucky.

It takes patience, luck, tears, some serious balance, and lots of love to parent two small children - and sometimes, it can be the most under appreciated job on the planet. You scrub boogers off walls, pick dirt out of ears, fight tooth-and-nail over teeth that need brushing and short-order cook yourself silly for your tiny Nazi children.

It's selfless to want more of that. To offer everything and not expect more than sharing the life of a child.

But, is it selfish to want more? Possibly, it's the most selfish thing anyone able to produce babies can do AND it almost seems like those of us who are fortunate enough to have more children are selfish to stop, too. I am no stranger to the Infertility community online (try The Stirrup Queen, she's amazing). I feel for those families, and it makes me think that I'm selfishly being comfortable with just two. Just. Two. Isn't that enough?

I once said that I didn't want to have a second after Conner because I thought "if I am this bad of a mother, if I can't get the dishes clean or the laundry done or some other mundane task completed, then how could I ever add another little person to the mix and expect anything to get better."

I thought that I'd be a worse mother if I had two kids, like twice the mess would make me half the mother.

But I couldn't have been more wrong. I think I've quoted her on this subject before, but I'll say it again, Staci once told me that you just do what you have to do. That's it.

She's so right.

Yes, I complain. I complain more in person that I do on here (could that even be true? yes. yes, it is). When I can't get the laundry caught up, and the dishes are mounting and I'm the only person who's picked up a toy in a week, I loose it. It's incredibly frustrating. And to do all that The Mom Job requires is selfless. Very, very selfless.

Selfish to want another? Selfless to raise that child. What a pickle.

7 comments:

  1. I don't think it's selfish to want another. You're not taking anything away from anyone by having a baby - but at the same time it's not selfish to not have more kids either. I think it needs to be a personal choice and each person if different. I have a friend who says it's selfish to limit the size of your family, but I disagree. She has 5 kids, and I think I would have to be committed if I had 5 kids. I'm not wired that way. But she is and it works for her.
    I think you (the general you) need to step back and examine your desire for another baby or not. Do you just want that newborn baby months and then when he/she becomes a toddler, you'd rather give them away?:) It's probably a good idea to skip the next kid. Do you desperately want another little one running around because your family isn't complete? Maybe it's time for another one.

    Can you tell I've been thinking about this a lot lately? :)

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  2. I have to agree with Mrs. Moose, either way you choose is not a selfish decision. Now if I was to choose not to have another baby that would be selfish because my husband does not have any children and before we got married we discussed kids and he wants one more even though he considers Alyssa and Noah to be his. I think it is selfish to continue to have children that you can not provide for just because you want another baby. How does Conner feel about another baby brother or sister? When we talk about a baby it is something that is discuess between all four of us. Alyssa is ready to have one yesterday. Noah has his days where he wants another sibiling and days where he doesn't want to give up being the baby. But either way you decide you aren't selfish by any means.

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  3. In December of 2005, I had finally come to terms with the idea that Andrew would be our only child. Little did I know that I was pregnant!

    When Will was born, over 7 years after Andrew, I KNEW that this was it. Before, I had only felt peace about my situation. Now, I know that my family is complete.

    I like to say that I only had two eggs and I have now used them both.

    You'll know...that's as complicated as I can make it. I won't get into the selfish vs. not selfish issue because there is no way we can judge anyone else's circumstances.

    You'll know!

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  4. It really is unique to every family, this choice. Sometimes I just FEEL it, like a knowing that our family isn't complete. And then my rational mind takes over and I doubt that we should have more. Back and forth, back and forth.

    So many of the comments on my post about this said you should only "try" if both people really want it. And then if you get pregnant, you were meant to have another. And if you don't, you weren't. But I still just don't know :)

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  5. I'm with Heather of the EO. If it feels right, go for it.

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  6. I"m all about more babies. Just b/c you have 2 perfect lil angels doesn't fill the hole in your life/heart for another.
    You need a better 'last' experience having a baby anyway... haha
    Good luck!

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  7. Mrs. Moose - Most excellent points!! I'm going to address some of your comment in my next post! Thanks!

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