Friday, May 13, 2011

What is the perfect family?

As I mentioned in my last post we really struggled to decide if we wanted to have another child.  To be perfectly honest we struggled with the decision to have children in the first place.  As a career minded person it was hard to know if making room in my life in such a big and fundamental way for family was the right thing for me.  We got pregnant immediately and to be fair we were both kind of freaked out by it.  Like this time, the nausea was bad 24/7 well beyond the first trimester.  But as my pregnancy progressed I grew into the idea and then with Addy’s birth it all became crystal clear – of course this was right.
For the first couple of years we didn’t even discuss another child.  We found a good balance between our jobs and our family and it was working.  As we passed milestones, we got excited for more freedom to travel and do the things we enjoy doing.
It wasn’t until about a year ago we started talking about having another child.  Scott has always been more open to the idea.  He comes from a big family of four boys.  I am an only child.  I can’t really imagine family life beyond 3.  As I type this I start to worry about it.  I don’t tell many this because it sounds odd.  It wasn’t until last summer when my Dad was in the hospital that I realized I was scared to be alone as an only child.  Growing up I don’t ever remember wishing for a sibling or daydreaming about being part of a big family.  I never really felt many downsides to life as an only.  Coming out of my Dad’s health scare led me to really assess what I wanted for my own daughter and opened my heart and mind up to consider a bigger family for us.
And here comes confession number 2:  when I read Courtney’s post about the mom’s mafia I nodded along and said, “they suck”.  But slowly over time I began to realize I sometimes have those thoughts as I pop from blog to blog or talk to my friends.  Her house is amazing, why isn’t mine like that?  Do I do enough with my child?  Shouldn’t I be able to do that?  And although I like to think I am adult enough not to blame others for these thoughts or not be happy for them, it leaves me with a lot of guilt about my ability to mother, be a good employee, be a good wife, keep house,and keep up with family and friends.  This plays into my questions about adding to our family.  If I feel like I can’t keep up, how can I possibly add another child?  Shouldn’t I concentrate on being better at the things I feel guilty about?
After a lot of assessment, and being honest with myself (and I guess you guys too) when it is all stripped away, it is what I make of it. Do I let the guilt lead my decision making?  Do I let my fears of the unknown dictate my decision?  And finally we decided to go for it – perhaps we would be able to get pregnant again and perhaps not.  Maybe that is the ultimate decision.  So, we tried and were blessed to once again get pregnant the first month we tried.
I still harbor fears . . . can I do this?  How will Addy be impacted?  What if it doesn’t work?  As each day of my pregnancy progresses I am thankful its been healthy so far.  I also wonder what the future will bring for me and my family.
How did you and your family decide?  Was work a big factor for you?  Is this decision harder for working mom’s?
xoxo, Jessica

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