Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hard to hear

When we were first married, P and I discussed the future. We thought we'd like to have a couple of kids: me, two girls (like me and my sister), him, one of each. I said I could live with that as long as the first one was a girl. I have no idea how to parent a boy, I told him. Well, many years later, we have a wonderful little girl; she'll be three this summer. So, it took me a while to feel ready, but I'm finally feeling the urge to have another bundle of joy soon. A sibling, someone L can play with and help be responsible for. I bring this up to P. I figured he'd say that we should wait until I find a call. I agree, at least to a point. (That is, I agree unless it looks like it'll take another year to find one.) But no, he says he doesn't think he wants another one. At all. Probably not ever. That knocked the breath out of me. I still have trouble breathing just thinking about it. I can't imagine my life without another child. I feel like I'd be cheating L out of the joy of having a sibling. I feel like our family would be incomplete. I also worry that if they're too far apart in age, they won't have a chance to be close to each other. (I'm not a child pschologist, so I don't actually know if that's true or not. But I still worry about it. It just seems like it'd be more like having two only children, rather than siblings.) So, I'm feeling rather heart broken these days. It's not a totally closed case, but it's still hard for me to imagine life with just one child; that's not how I ever envisioned my family. I really don't know what will happen if he decides that it's a final decision. Prayers for us all, please.

6 comments:

Teri said...

did he say why? or just "no."?

boys these days...

Rivkah said...

Teri-
He just said he didn't feel "driven" to have another one. His reasoning was something along the lines of he didn't feel he had enough time, energy, etc., to devote to one, much less two. I told him love was an infinite resource and he'd love the kid once it was here. He said he didn't want to take the gamble of having a kid he didn't think he could love. I kept my mouth shut and didn't tell him he was being a f*#^ing idiot!
In short, he didn't really have a 'reasonable' answer to "why not," (*very* unlike Mr. Geo-scientist hubby) so I'm not sure what's behind it. (My suspicion is that he's worried that another child will 1) take even more of my attention away, 2) have trouble connecting to him the way L did for so long. Though she's getting much more attached to him now that he interacts with her more.) I can only hope that once I get a job and we're more settled he might see that it's not so scary. Prayers please!

Diane said...

Wow. It's not just the answer, but the fact that you didn't anticipate the answer he would give. Prayers to you.

Mother Laura said...

Oh, Rivkah, prayers for sure. This is such a very hard place to be in and I only have had to deal with it for a brief time (usually he was more ready for the next baby than I was since though I adore my kids it's my life that gets thrown to hell logistically).

I mentioned in passing our own discernment on a hoped for next baby soon in my FF today. But the fuller story is that we spent several months where I wanted another which would have required him to have a vasectomy reversed and he didn't. We already had three total, two living, and were both in a place of "this is what I want but it won't kill me not to have it, and I will seriously pray for openness to what you want", which helped. And ultimately both the discernment/negotiation process went well--always a key goal whatever the decision for me in terms of growing personally and in relationship to God and each other. And we were both happy with the decision (he had the reversal and after waiting a few years for confirmation and the right time will most likely go for another this coming fall. Praise God and I hope that both your process and ultimate decision also feel good to you both.

On the spacing issue: we always assumed we'd have four kids spaced three years apart, which sounded far compared to what we grew up with but fit with my career issues and as it turned out my difficult pregnancies. And we ended up with six years between the first three, with Rachel's death (#1) the main cause and career/ministry juggling the secondary, and there will be five years between Katie and #4 assuming s/he does join us. And to my surprise it has been fantastic; we can give them each way more attention and balance with our marriage and self care and other vocational balancing, and they adore each other (mostly) in part because of lack of competition for scarce parental time and energy resource allotment. I look at people with a baby and a toddler = walking, talking, tantruming baby now and think how could that ever be possible? So I completely get how much you need another and completely get his fear of not being there adequately for another--he is now verbalizing it as "ever" but it may well be that it becomes "too soon" as time goes on.

I'm sure it's incredibly painful though now not knowing and I don't mean to dump advice on you, so please excuse if it's not helpful and just know you are in my heart.

Sally said...

many, many prayers for all of you.

revabi said...

Ahh. Thinking about you all. Prayers for him and you.