Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Asking for trouble

It became painfully clear during recent events that my husband and I don't work very well together in a crisis. Instead of giving each other the extra love and support we both deserve, we tend to argue and snap at each other. Teamwork is not our strong suit, at least in times of stress.

I know this is normal and it's actually, to some degree, a reflection of the strength of our relationship (we lash out at the safest person, the one we run the least risk of permanently losing). Things blow over and we get along again.

But this experience did leave me less sure about my expressed wish for a third child. In the worst moments of Jo's convalescence I thought, I cannot do this ever again. How could I want another child, when it would open me up to that much more possibility of fear and hurt and worry? When the frustrations mounted and turned everyday communication into bitter bickering, I thought again: This proves it. Another child could split us up. I can't be responsible for wanting that.

And then, a week passes, and the memories start to mutate and muffle and pretty soon I'm back to: Well, that sucked. That sucked a lot, but it's over now and we got through it and we're fine. Good, even.

So does that prove that we can triumph over challenges? Or that I'm good at rationalization?

I wonder.


Shonda Little said...

I don't know your whole family story, so I'll just say this:
My husband and I farm and ranch together while raising two small kids. When our last was born, I didn't get the help I thought I should. But, emotions lessened and we are thinking the same thoughts of a third child. Just when I'm ready to try, I have the same reservations that you are. I don't know what we'll do, but I do know that all things worthwhile in life come with the price tag of trials. If it were easy, it wouldn't be that rewarding.

Mandy said...

Do what we did and get pregnant with a third by accident.

Kidding. Kidding.

It's a tough call. Does your husband want a third as much as you do? That might be the place to start from.

Alex Elliot said...

I am the queen of thinking out hypothetical situations for our family. Sometimes I get so into them that for a moment it's like they have really happened. The problem is that no matter how close you can get to a hypothetical situation in your mind, you can't really get there until you live it. If you were to have another baby, you would make it work to the best of your abilities because you would have to. However, there are so many positive things that would probably happen as well that you can foresee. I guess to me that bottom line would be do you both really want a third child?

jen said...

i hate that, how the people who should come together the closest go farthest apart.

Heather said...

Well, I can't answer for you. You know that I recently had #3. My husband originally did not want 3 kids, but eventually we decided to go for it.

I don't regret it a bit. I always heard you only regret the kids you didn't have, never the ones you did.

But you're not really asking about this are you?

Mayberry said...

You're right, Heather ... it's not the #3 decision. It's whether that post-traumatic amnesia that happens is a good thing or not.

mothergoosemouse said...

I distinctly recall discussing this topic with you as it pertained to child #2. It was at BlogHer06 during one of those rare quiet moments in our room.

I think we all get the amnesia. I think on some level, we have to get it in order to stay together. Some things are more easily forgotten than others, and each couple knows what can be forgotten and what can't.

For what it's worth, I wasn't sure that either my marriage or I would live through the birth and early weeks of a third baby, but here we are.

GHD said...

That's a tough call, MM. Given the craziness in our life these days, I have my reservations about #2...

But do I just melt whenever I see the toothless grin of a round, happy infant? YES! Does my stomach lurch with envy with every baby shower invitation? YES!

No matter what you decide, I don't think your life will be any less rewarding because of it.

Lady M said...

It's often a blessing that memories lose their sharpness. It's probably what makes it possible for the human race to continue at all!

You two did triumph over a really tough couple of weeks there. Congratulations, that's worth celebrating for yourselves, not 'just' for Jo's recovery.

Sending much love your way.

Binkytown said...

If you could weather this, you guys are tight, because this was (I can only imagine)SUPERSTRESSFUL. That said, you can't make any decisions based on an extreme situation. Those come and hopefully-go. It's the day to day that counts.

movin'mom said...

Can we just leave it at


3rd? how about a 4th? Luke is what makes our family laugh hysterically, and teaches his older siblings that they still need to be gentle. G is who interrupts mine and Vince's heated debates with her ever so grown up reasoning. What if we were to have stopped after Nico and Alex???? SERIOUSLY! I'm just saying....WHAT IF?

Moxie Mommy said...

We are in the same boat. The first time out of the gate we had twins. Now he wants another. I do too but I'm afraid it might kill me. Really. I love my two-year old kiddos but... Then I see a baby and feel the familiar pang of, "yup, we should do this." It's a hard one. I feel for ya.