Friday, July 17, 2009

Crybaby


Why the tears as I sit on my kitchen floor? How does the smell of bleach leave me gasping for breath with snot running down my face? What exactly AM I doing?

Washing. Baby. Gear.

Washing and fixing and organizing the bulky baby gear. Collecting from my basement and garage all of the paraphernalia that accompanies a young child. Primping and preparing it for sale on Craigslist.

How can I bawl at the fact that we are done having children? I was PAST THIS. I will be the first to admit that the thought of raising a 4th child through his or her teen & pre-teen years isn't all that appealing. Especially as I am only at the cusp of this pre-teen stuff. Adding another 4 years to the grand total does cause me to shudder a tad. So, I obviously don't yearn for another child. Do I really yearn for another baby?

Or do I simply yearn for the hopes and expectations that accompany pregnancy, infancy and the toddler years? Having young children is all-encompassing. They are your WORLD and that is OK! You are allowed to be distracted and incomplete when you are a mother to a baby. After all, your brain is now functioning for 2! As that baby matures, though, the need for supervision and utter involvement decreases. You find yourself with emptier hands and a looser schedule. Eagerly watching your children race away, your first thoughts will be along the lines of "Think of all of the time I have! Time for myself! Time for all of the bits of ME that I abandoned in order to care for young children. Time for My dreams and My adventures to pick up where they left off!!"

You know what? All of that TIME can be freaking SCARY.

Who the hell AM I, anyway?

Releasing this physical connection to this stage in my life leaves me conflicted and confused. Each wheel I scrubbed for someone else's baby ripped my heart out. If I am not a parent to a young child or baby, what AM I? A parent to 2 (almost 3) SCHOOL AGED children?!? I am truly that old? Old enough to not be the youngest at a parents' meeting? Old enough to not have people double take on the age I am? Old enough that I should have some better handle on being an adult? Yes. Definitely old enough for THAT...

Perhaps my yearning is not the desire to hold a baby of my own. Perhaps my yearning is to delay my own aging. If I am pregnant or caring for a baby, I MUST be youthful! Right? Childhood would remain in my household that much longer. Santa will continue to visit and bubbles and chalk can still be a staple in our Easter baskets.

If I continue to have babies, perhaps I could hold off aging indefinitely....

15 comments:

Gettysburg Mom said...

It was accepting that I'm getting old that made me decide to have this 4th. It was realizing that I don't have a perpetually open window for having little babies.

It's interesting to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Sarah said...

Hi Tracey,
I go back and forth on this all the time! I don't know if it ever truly goes away.
I know you are an extremely busy person, but you have been so nice and helpful, I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about writing/blogging sometime? My email is sarahsenica@msn.com. I was wondering how you got your cute header and if you could give me some direction as to how to make a career out of this crazy little thing called blog. I want it so bad I can taste it I am just technologically retarded. Thanks, Tracey. I always enjoy your posts.
Sarah

CaraBee said...

Do you suppose that's what that crazy Duggar broad is thinking?

Christy said...

I can so relate! My children are 12, almost 5, and 3 and I CAN SO RELATE to what you are saying!

Nap Warden said...

I am really good at NOT thinking about it. 'Cause I so know where you are coming from:O

Stephanie said...

Aw. I'm wrestling with this too. For as long as I can remember I have wanted four children. But after the complications we had with Ella I just don't know if we're going to do it again. Time and doctors and the state of my health will tell I guess, but the thought of never having another baby is a difficult one to swallow. On the other hand, I am perfectly content right now with "just" two children.

Having another baby would be wonderful, but think too of how nice it is to have all "big" kids. Outings are easier, vacations are more enjoyable and relaxing, you get to know a whole new dimension of your kids because they are in the process of becoming their own people. How exciting is that?!

Still, I'm sure it's hard to say goodbye to the stuff that saw you through all those years of babies. I'm not looking forward to that little purge of items either. Maybe I'll get lucky and Josh will still want to go in the jogging stroller and Ella in the Baby Bjorn when they're sixteen and thirteen going on fourteen.

Hannah said...

I am going through this right now, too. I KNEW I was done having children the second my youngest was born. My husband agreed. For the past 5 years, my thoughts on this issue have not changed. Until now. I am suddenly feeling an urge to have another baby. My husband has had "the snip" and doesn't want anymore kids. I know I will get over it, but it's a weird and horrible feeling. I think some of your points are great - perhaps it's not really wanting another baby, perhaps it is not wanting to be old. To have OLD children. To have children who are past the really cute & cuddly stage. To feel like I can't join in certain topics to do with motherhood because it's been too long since I dealt with sleepless nights, nappies, breastfeeding. Who knows? Maybe I AM supposed to have another? In that case, we'll just see what happens. It's almost medically impossible for us to conceive now, so if we DID, it would be a sign (to me, at least).

JennyMac said...

So true! I have kept so many baby clothes of our son's bc I am can't bear to get rid of all of them even though I dont even know if I want any more...getting rid of the gear seems like such a big statement. GOOD LUCK!

mom2three said...

I loved your post. I think most moms feel this way knowing their last baby is well there last....
I am trying to keep my 19 month old my baby and sometimes am saddened at how independent he wants to be.
My hubby is "fixed" so unless we want to pay thousands to have him reversed...which we don't...then we are done. I have 3 great kids and if for some reason my heart can't stop yearning and yearning we have it in our hearts to adopt.
I love the baby stage, toddler stage is hard...preschool age is fun...not sure how I am going to handle the teenage years!!!

sheila said...

Awe, that was nice. Interesting about staying young...I never thought of it that way.

I'm sending my oldest to college next month. And you know what? I feel younger than ever for the first time in my life. I enjoy them now in such a different way.

I really enjoyed this post, thanks.

Kat said...

For me it is about closing a chapter of my life. That is what makes me bawl when I think of not having another baby (even as I'm carrying one in my belly!). It makes me bawl every time I think of it.

anymommy said...

Oh my god yes. I adore this post. Thank you for helping me to understand my CRAZY sadness, even as I hold my fourth tiny baby in my arms. I know this is it, I don't even think I want more kiddos and it still kills me. I've actually read a few things on this lately and I'm beginning to realize that this feeling (longing, grieving?) is universal, at least almost.

It is scary to move on, it is hard to let being a "young new mom" to "little" kids go, and I wonder any time it gets quiet, what should I do with myself when they don't need me like this any more?!

XO. Thank you.

JC said...

Not sure why it works like that, but I know how you feel. I only have one and don't think I"ll get anymore. :(

Debbie said...

Oh, Tracey, it's hard saying goodbye to the symbols of babies, isn't it? Because, yes, as they age, so do we.

I had a hard time attending a wedding a couple years ago (after our first was born), because now we were one of the 'old' married couples, no longer newlyweds.

hlc said...

I think you touch on what many moms struggle with-- as we age and as our babies become toddlers and then preschoolers, etc. I look at my oldest and thing, yikes, you are such an elementary school boy now. That's a hard change to accept. And I also am at a crossroads-- newly, and ecstatically happily remarried. I have days, minutes, seconds where I know without a doubt I want to have at least another, so we can share that joy together from the start. And then I wonder if I am up for a challenge like that again since the boys are getting older and are both (gasp) school age as of this September. What's a mom to do? :)

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