Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Mother

 “We are unusual and tragic and alive.”

All the mothers I know that have 2 year olds want to have another baby. What is it about age 2 that gives us a new desire to make more?  Is it the child’s new found independence? Is it that a 2-year-old’s favorite word “no!” is repeated over and over like a mantra making us want to say yes, yes, yes!? Do we fear the loss of the baby and the onslaught of the teenager? I fear that No will become popular again with S in about 10 years.

Is it something else? Maybe that I am getting old, older and there isn’t much time left to make more? Maybe the other mom’s are getting older too. We see the end of our eggs as a reason to rejoice and reason to sink into a great depression. It’s the end of our youth and womanhood; the end of our usefulness; the end of our productivity; the end of a reason to desire us. Why would a man want a woman if she was unable to make babies? That’s what my mind says. This whole train of thought is irrational, I know, but it’s also heavily biological.  Why are babies so important?

I am not happier now that I have a child. Sure, my kid is amazing. And she is funny. And wonderful and spicy and sassy and totally smart and weird. But she doesn’t make me happier. Am I a better person? Maybe, but only because I have learned more compassion and patience (which I may have learned eventually without having a child.)  I keep thinking about that horrible article from NYT: It’s horrible because its so bleak and so true. Having more kids doesn’t make anyone happier. It may even have the opposite effect. More kids means, more money problems (the leading cause for divorce in this country.) Kids do not equal happiness. I know this. So, why do I want more?

Do I really want another baby? No. So what’s going on?  Is it a way for me to feel relevant?  Do I just want a bigger family later in the future? Will I feel less alone if I have two kids instead of one? Will I feel more loved? Is this all some brilliant plot to make me feel better about myself?  What a load of horseshit.

I am working through it. I love my kid. She is perfect for me. What if another kid is not? What if we get a bratty, crappy kid that whines all the time and acts like an asshole?  Don't we have enough assholes on the planet?  I think so.

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