Friday, August 23, 2013

On Continuing Down the Path of Motherhood

I've shared before what a resource my local moms Meetup group is for me and one of the reasons is because of the education sessions they provide for us. A couple weeks ago I went to an Early Childhood session and along with this thoughts on having more children have popped into my head especially now that Lil Lovebird's starting school in a couple weeks and other projects are starting to fall into place.

This post has been rumbling around in my brain for a few months and while in Ohio visiting my BFF Julie I shared it with her, she gave me her thoughts (thank you Julie!) and I'm finally getting it down here so here we go . . . 

There are 3 factors that I see as critical to continuing down the path of motherhood:

1) Support

2) Security

3) Temperament of previous child(ren)

Here's what I mean . . .

Support - this is relational support such as a spouse, partner, family member or friend that helps you not feel so alone and overwhelmed by your duties as a mother. Thinking back the first 8 weeks with Nia were brutal; Mr. Lovebird was working two jobs and my mother missed her time staying with me as she had to leave the morning Nia was born to get my younger sister to college. When my BFF Julie was able to come stay with me for a few days it was a ray of sunshine in that bleak period! It's what I want to be for new moms in my circle. Next go around I know I'm the type of mom who's going to need a LOT of support in the beginning like how it was back in The Red Tent days - I'm serious! When the time for #2 comes I'm definitely considering hiring an in-home nurse. 

Security - not just financial security, this is geographical and emotional security as well and stability goes hand-in-hand with security. It's been debated whether having children really does cost copious amounts of money, and I know a lot depends on lifestyle choices, not just income (we decided to cloth diaper and breastfeed until almost 2 which helped save a lot of $!), but honestly having Nia did not break the bank. As time progresses and she gets older and involved in more activities I know costs will increase but from my experience geographical security has been more of an issue for me. I've been very transient in my time here in the NYC-metro area having moved 5 times in 6 years due to various circumstances. Our last neighborhood was a dangerous place that I would not have felt comfortable bringing a newborn home to.  

Temperament of previous child(ren) - I never thought motherhood would be a piece of cake, but I do think the temperament of the first child influences a mom's decision to have more kids. While engaged I remember arguing with Mr. Lovebird about wanting lots of kids and him taking the "wait and see" approach (which in hindsight was the better viewpoint!). Nia has been a very spirited child from the beginning not needing a lot of sleep yet having tremendous amounts of energy. A few months into motherhood as I've shared in a previous post, I exclaimed to my mom, "I can't believe our planet is so populated!" and yes, I still feel this way! Being a mom is hard work and while you won't hear me complain, I do say I'm one to learn and make educated decisions about moving forward. Motherhood kicks my butt, but it's a rewarding kick, make sense? And of course with the temperament of the child, the mother's temperament also comes into play and I definitely have a temperament fit for having one child at the moment! What really drives me batty? Hearing moms complain about their kids and life conditions related to having kids (like sleep deprivation) especially those with more than one as though someone forced them to continue having kids. BIGGEST PET PEEVE EVER!

Obviously this isn't all that goes into consideration for moving from one child to more, but in my past three years of experience as a mom of one struggling to even consider becoming a mom to two, this is how it's appeared to me. 

What about your experience? If you're a mom or not a mom yet, what are your influencing factors on continuing or not continuing or even starting on the path of motherhood?