Forum Replies Created
July 2, 2020 at 11:22 am #360279
Thank you, Anita! I definitely will. Just knowing that there is someone like you in the world that I can reach out to for insight when times get tough is a great comfort in and of itself. Until next time!July 2, 2020 at 10:25 am #360264
Anita, thank you again. Wow,wow, wow, I am so happy that I went back to this forum and grateful that you are still here and took the time to respond in such a thoughtful and deeply enlightening way. I can’t thank you enough!! All of this is going to help me so much going forward, and in fact, I’m printing out this entire thread and putting it in my journal. You’ve helped me feel so much calmer and at peace with this issue already, and when these doubts and irrational thinking come back, I will read over your words again. Thank you, Anita!! I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and weekend. Thank you for all you do and for being here!
July 2, 2020 at 9:50 am #360259
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Charlie.
You are truly amazing, and I wish there was a better way to thank you! You’ve given me more insight in this thread on this issue than all other people I’ve spoken to combined. I particularly found your advice to wait until I’ve felt calm, patience, etc for at least six months incredibly helpful. No one has ever given me a time frame before, and this makes it all a lot more tangible. If I do decide that I only have the mental resources for one child in the future, is there a good way to be at peace with this? I often find myself comparing myself to other moms who have 2 or 3 kids, feeling like there must be something “wrong” or less maternal about me since I already feel my plate is full with just one child. I want to be able to be at peace with just one (because who knows what the future holds) without feeling like I’m lacking. I suppose I could remind myself that I don’t know what others are struggling with, and perhaps they are struggling a lot with 2 kids and I just can’t tell… but anything else I could remind myself of? Thank you so much, Anita.
July 1, 2020 at 4:19 pm #360207
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Charlie.
Thank you so much, Anita! I am on the East Coast. Really looking forward to your thoughts and hope you have a great night 🙂July 1, 2020 at 12:40 pm #360197
wow, you have incredible insight, Anita!! If only every therapist were as good as you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. You’ve given me so much to think about. Sorry this response is so short again…. I had to run some errands during my son’s nap but had time to think about your message while I was out. I’m wondering if you could share your wisdom in regards to two more questions:
1) pandemic and global issues aside, when do you think it’s a good time for one to contemplate another child? I imagine when mental health issues are under control, but are there any other things you feel one should consider? The temperament of the child already there?
2) I’m not sure what country you live in, but I’m in the USA, and I just feel that the world seems so scary right now – pandemic, global warming, polarizing politics and grace injustices, etc. But I know that every generation in history has had their challenges, yet I can’t help but wonder if the world is more unsettling now than before? What do you think? And do you also think these thoughts are valid concerns for bringing another child into the world? Right now I feel confident that we would be able to provide a great childhood and start in life for our son with our resources, but they would obviously be stretched thinner with a second. With everything going on in the world, I want to really be able to provide for my son.
thank you so much again, Anita!!June 30, 2020 at 5:54 pm #360130
Regarding regret and feeling guilty, I don’t know exactly how these things came to be of course, but my mother and father (who were both lawyers), always expected me to be perfect and were always very opinionated about everything I said or did. I always felt like I was letting them down and still struggle with wanting their approval to this day (part of why I became a lawyer myself), although in the past year or so I’ve become better at setting boundaries. Still, whenever they say something like my son “would be a great big brother”, it hurts me because it feels like they think I’m not doing the right thing for my son if I don’t give him a sibling, or that I’m less of a mother in their eyes. My own mother is a very stressed out person, but whenever I express having anxiety about something, her response has always been to “stop making a mountain out of a molehill” and to “stop looking at the glass half-empty” which makes me feel worse about myself and my concerns.
I feel like this upbringing, combined with my 12 years of not-so-progressive Catholic education, made me second-guess myself in almost every aspect of my life. Not sure how familiar you are with Catholicism, but there was a big emphasis on avoiding sin and hell and things like this. For the record, I’m not a practicing Catholic anymore and don’t believe in hell and all that, but I think the general message of guilt/shame was engrained in me at a young age, and I can’t shake it.
I was hoping that my therapist would help me with this, but in a lot of ways, she reacts similarly to my mother, i.e. with the pregnancy concerns, she tells me to quit worrying and just try to get pregnant already :-O
Thank you, Anita! This is so helpful.June 30, 2020 at 11:43 am #360091
Hi again, Anita, thank you so, so much! Sorry that my reply is so short… my son is waking up from his nap now. I am definitely one of those people who is inclined to regret/ feel guilty about things. I think it’s due to the way I was raised and my 12 years of strict Catholic education :-/. Do you happen to know of any books that address this issue? I would like to work on this part of myself… if you don’t know off the top of your head, no worries, I will do some research! I will also read these books that you found on Wikipedia. Your responses have been so incredibly helpful, and I will definitely come back to them again as this issue presents itself in my life!June 30, 2020 at 10:36 am #360082
Hi Anita, thank you again for your incredibly thoughtful response. And sorry that it takes me a while to respond – I have to wait until my son’s nap time or bedtime these days! Your responses to my therapist’s urging sound so accurate that they even made me chuckle a bit. When you put it that way, I definitely see the error of her ways, and I will look into ending my sessions with her and maybe someone else who focuses more on motherhood issues.
The only real pull for me that makes me consider having a second child is that, despite initially being on the fence about having children AT ALL, I love my son so, so much. He brings me a lot of joy that I never thought a child would, and I wonder if I don’t have a second, I will have regrets. But at the same time, I’ve struggled with anxiety for pretty much my entire life. My own mother was a very stressed out mother with two kids (my sister and I), and I don’t want to end up like her. Right now I am pretty confident that I can be a loving and calm mother to my son, and I fear that a second child might make things a lot more stressful for me (aside from the other issues/fears I expressed above). My husband and I are financially stable for the time being, so I’m mostly worried about my own mental health/enjoyment of life, if that makes sense.
Do you think only children are oftentimes happy being “onlies” and not lonely, or feeling like they’re missing out? Things like what the initial responder said above are often what I hear…. Thank you!June 30, 2020 at 6:18 am #360060
hopefully this is my last follow up on this, sorry! I started going to therapy a few months ago because of my anxiety. I spoke with my therapist about this question I’ve been having yesterday, and she was really pushing me to have the second child sooner rather than later, because it’s looming over my head anyway so I might as well get it over with. She doesnt seem to think of an only child as an option. She said all the fears I have about pregnancy, childbirth, newborn stage (as well as concerns I have over the state of the world and country) are just fears that I’m letting run my life and I need to get over them and accept whatever comes. It seemed to me like she was minimizing these concerns I have in my head, and for this reason (and some others) I’m not really sure she’s the right therapist for me. Would you have any insight or response to her thoughts? Right now I just feel like everyone is telling me I need to get over my issues and have a second child, that it’s not big of a deal, That I’m being unreasonably fearful, etc. I was hoping to feel better after my talk with my therapist, but I feel worse! Thank you!June 27, 2020 at 9:35 am #359749
Thank you so much, again, Anita! – For your thoughtful response as always. I will continue to make my mental health my priority.June 26, 2020 at 11:43 am #359629
Hi Anita! I was really hoping that you were still posting on here – thanks so much for responding, and long time no chat! Yes, I am still really close to my friend, and he reminds me of his issues with his siblings every time I mention this issue. I know that sibling relationships aren’t always happy, but my husband has 3 sisters and they seem like the most perfect, happy family in the world and always talk about how amazing their childhoods were. I feel bad when I think about not giving my son that (even though there is no way I’m having 4 kids!). Do you think this decision is something I should revisit in a year or two? Or do you think that, given how rough bringing my son into the world was, I might be better off working on just accepting having an only child and not comparing myself to others?October 10, 2018 at 12:28 pm #230213
Hi Inky, thanks for your response! I wondered that too, but I’ve been emailing him on his work email. Granted, he is an older man and likely isn’t the most tech savy. Even if it’s the right email, I support some older people take email with a grain of salt.
I’m going to try that card and in-person visit idea, Anita. Thank you again for your stellar advice, as always!October 10, 2018 at 10:46 am #230187
Thanks, Anita!! You’ve helped me think through so much in the past – I can’t believe you remember me 🙂
And yes, I was thinking that too but wasn’t sure if that would come across as too needy or desperate since I haven’t been getting responses from him? But now that you’ve said what I was thinking, maybe it WOULD be a nice gesture, and he knows my whole family. Do you think an email asking this is fine, or should I ask via some other medium?December 3, 2017 at 9:12 am #180395
Thank you, Anita! You’ve helped me a while ago in the past, and you always shed so much light. Do you have any advice about how to stop getting so upset when they make random comments about something that you didn’t want an opinion on? I wish that I could just let those comments roll off of me, but they cut so deep. I know it has to do with my own insecurities. I’m usually very good about taking negative comments with a grain of salt, but with my parents, it’s different.April 5, 2017 at 10:01 am #143721
Great advice, as always, Anita! I will definitely post an update in a month or so and let you know how everything plays out. I really appreciate you taking the time to consider my issue and give me an informed and thoughtful response. Have a great day!