Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Doreen and I were hanging out yesterday, and we got to talking about how our kids came about.  Not the sex talk, you dirty birds, just the timing of our kids.  (Just for the sake of background, Doreen is in her mid-thirties and has a 13 year old, an 11 year old, and twins who are 20 months old.  All of them are girls.)

Little Dude was totally unexpected.  He was unplanned.  He was not unwanted.  I had my boy and my girl - who was, at the time, still a tiny baby.  I was done having kids. Another baby was so Not In The Plan.  As soon as I got over the initial shock of being pregnant, I was in love with my baby.  Doreen felt the same way with her twins.  At the time she found out she was pregnant, her daughters were both school age and about to head into the tween/pre-teen stages of life.  A baby, let alone two babies, was definitely Not In The Plans.

Is there some kind of taboo that prevents mothers from expressing negative feelings towards the way children come to us in life?  As soon as a woman says, "You know, this is not exactly what I had planned," when it is in reference to children, immediately she qualifies it with, "I wouldn't change a thing, I love my babies."  Just so no one ever doubts her love for her kids.

To be clear, I am not talking about resenting your children for being born.  I'm talking about the resentment towards Life In General.  It was so hard for me for the first 10 months of Little Dude's life.  It was really difficult for Doreen for the first 15 months of her twins' lives.  Why can't we talk about this?  Why can't we say, to the world at large, to Life, having these babies so close together made me feel like a failure lots of times, overwhelmed lots of times, and mad and frustrated with myself for being a failure and overwhelmed? And frankly, I'm still a little pissy about it.

Why can't we say having twins at 34 when I thought I was way done having kids was shitty timing, Life? Or, gee  thanks, Life, I loved being in the hospital for 6 weeks on bedrest and suffering from severe PPD? You know, I'm mostly over it, but not completely. (Ok, so Doreen's life starting getting "difficult" before the twins arrived.)

Just re-reading what I've written, I noticed that I did it myself.  I qualified "Little Dude was unplanned," with "He was not unwanted."  Are we not supposed to say these things out loud or write them where other people can read them, without making sure everyone knows we 'wouldn't change a thing'?  Truthfully, if I could do it over again (with the guarantee that I would still have the same kids), I might choose to have 18 months between my little ones.  Or maybe 2 years.  I'd be willing to bet that Doreen would seriously think about having her twins at 28 instead of 34.

I really think there is a fear about being judged for this.  It's almost as though no matter how many times you say, "I wouldn't change a thing, I love my kids," it never seems to be quite enough to make up for, "I feel a tiny bit resentful towards Life In General for making this child-rearing business so fucking tough."

Me.. I don't really care about being judged.  I want to put it out there for any other mother (or father) who is or ever has been pissy with Life In General because of the wrenches that get thrown in the gears.  You know you love your kids and wouldn't trade them for the world. I know you love your kids and wouldn't trade them for the world. You don't need to qualify it anymore.


  1. There's a HUGE difference between loving your kids but still feeling resentment at various times. My girls were bang, bang, bang and love them yes, but did I really start to loose me? Yes! Did I resent that? Yes! More honest mom's need to step up and speak the truth. Sometimes, being a mommy sucks. But that has nothing to do with loving them! I grow weary of the uber perfect blogging moms, I really do.

  2. Thank you for saying what I've wanted to say, so very many times. There really is a big no-no about 'fessing up to this, isn't there? My boys were born less than 17 months apart and my second was VERY unplanned. It was actually a fairly nasty surprise at first. And as much as I would never give him up, the strain of having a second child so soon when we hadn't even dealt with the issues that having our first child highlighted so strongly, not to mention my PPD...Well, how do I dare say that sometimes I wonder how much all those circumstances had to do with the death of my marriage?

    And see, now I feel guilty.


  3. My son was entirely unplanned. I was unmarried, and I had been with my then-boyfriend for less than six months. We were dirt poor to boot. Not to mention, the relationship was rather unhealthy. It was hard, so very hard, and there were many, many tears. The relationship amazingly lasted about 3.5 years give or take, and now I'm a single mom. No, I can't ever sugarcoat it. It was hard, and I never want to have another child precisely because of how bad things were, even now that my circumstances are different. Yet, it wasn't my son who made them so bad, but your whole point was that it should be okay to say "No, mothering is not a job that makes me happy 24/7. Sometimes it's hell, and that's okay too."

  4. When I found out I was pregnant with CJ,(19 yrs ago) I had a 2-1/2 yr old and an 8 month old. I was Not Happy. In fact, I ignored being pregnant for a solid 5 months. I hoped it would go away. Then, when I realized it wasn't, I had a sonogram and learned it was a he, and got over it. By the time he was born I was ok with it all.

    We call him " an argument and awesome make-up at Thanksgiving, a stomach virus at Christmas (I had 4 days of morning sickness), and 3 more months of denial." Honestly, at this point, I wouldn't take anything for him, either because he's not worth anything, or he's priceless, depending on when you ask.


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