Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Missing Child

It's been a hard few years. It shouldn't have been like this. But this is how it is when you get an idea in your head. Life doesn't always work out the way you intended. Life doesn't just happen the way you plan. The best laid plans don't always work out.

When I grew up I used to talk to my dad a lot. He told me over and over to marry someone who wanted as many children as I did - mainly because my mum wanted more than he did. I did exactly that - in fact I think he'd probably like even more children than I would!

When our son was 2 years old we decided he needed a brother or sister. Three and a half years later we are still waiting for that baby and emotionally I have moved on to the next one. In my head babies should be 2-3 years apart. I know it's not always the case - I don't have to look far to see something different - but in my head it's always been part of the plan.

It's really painful - a lot of people don't understand that. Many think those who find infertility difficult are those who never had a baby before or those who had them removed and taken into care. But it still hurts. I am so glad our son is part of my life. Without him my life would be half as rich. But there is something missing. When I was growing up I assumed I would have 3 children and since I had my son I have even wondered if I would have more than 3.

There is not a day goes when I don't think about it. I can't deny that my career has benefited from the gap in having children. My son and husband have benefited from increased money I can bring in and I have also benefited from education I have gained which, undoubtedly I couldn't have if we had been successful in having another baby. But I feel I was born to have children rather than to be a career woman. However, if I am to be unsuccessful having further children I don't want to die having not furthered my career. Who knows where I will end up, how successful I will be? I want to live my life to the full - not at the expense of having several children but not to spend my life chasing an impossible dream.

Sometimes it's all just too much!
The spiral
The other side of medicine

A lovely weekend

It's not been a bad weekend. Admittedly I haven't even begun to do my usual weekly big clean (and my housemates haven't stepped into the breach in my absence either) so I can tell what I'll be doing tomorrow...

Yesterday my husband and I tackled a range of jobs that were outstanding so I feel we achieved something - always makes me feel positive.

We followed it up by going to see one of his friends in a concert. I couldn't actually isolate her voice but the choir together were lovely and if you like choral music I would definitely recommend them to you: Wooburn Singers.

Today I went to a meeting for SurvivorsUK (a charity I am a trustee for) which again made me feel I had done something useful and worthwhile.

Finally this evening we went to see one of our friends for a flying visit. They have just had a baby so it was cuddles all round and a chance for our son to get excited about babies since we haven't yet been lucky enough to have one for him to brother. I really enjoyed this meeting because we haven't see our friends in ages due to hectic lives on both sides and I very much valued the chance to catch up.

So now I am rejuvenated and ready for the week ahead - including tomorrow night's cleaning!

Relaxing Times

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


I have a lot of interests in my life but the most priviledged role I maintain is that of a parent. My other roles can come and go but no matter how awful or how well I feel I must always do my best for my son. I could be sacked or asked to leave another role but my son assumes I will always be there for him and he looks up to me to help him.

He tells me I'm unkind when I enforce boundaries but the truth is the extent of the damage or good I do to him through my parenting will not be noticed by him for another fifteen or so years. I expect I will hear about it in the same way my mother heard it from me in my early twenties!

Boundaries are important to me. I don't believe it is possible to be a good parent without certain boundaries. My son doesn't miss out on having a few treats here and there but he does miss out when he's naughty. My husband and I have extensive chats about boundaries because we don't exactly agree when to enforce punishments or even how to. It's hard as a two parent family where that sort of discord exists because consistency is at the heart of good parenting but we have very different parenting styles.

One thing we do seem to agree on is the level of information we give our son about life. As he grows and develops we are changing the amount of information we give him and, both of us being interested in education, we both want to teach him as much as we can about life - whatever is age-appropriate.

I feel very strongly that I mustn't say bad things about my husband to my son. Whatever is going on between my husband and me - and let's face it, all relationships have their difficult times - it is for my son to make up his mind about other people rather than for other people to make up his mind for him. I hate the idea that I could manipulate him into thinking bad things about other people and I don't want to encourage him to be intolerant or rude to people. I would like him to respect people even if he does not really like them and I hope I am proving to be a good role-model in this respect.

Responsibility is another area I am really keen on. I hope my son will grow up to understand that he contributes to the mess in the house and that if his partner is also working hard bringing in money that he should help support with housework. Teamwork is the only way to make a partnership work and he needs to be responsible for making that happen otherwise his relationship will develop into an unhealthy one. That doesn't mean everything has to be split down the middle, rather play to both partner's strengths and for those tasks noone likes ensure both sides are doing their fair share. Life is full of tasks we hate but as long as noone is overburdened a good attitude will take care of them and the rest of our time can be spent having fun.

I suppose ultimately my son will learn how to parent his own children from my husband and myself. Whether he adopts the same sort of parenting styles he has been brought up with, or he rebels against it, what he is learning from us right now is framing the way our grandchildren will be brought up and subsequent generations too. That is a huge responsibility!

The Missing Child