Tips for New Moms: Please, Tell Me It Gets Easier!
Several moms I know have set numbers of children they always dreamed of having numbers that realism has made them relinquish or that they are chugging towards determinedly, without regard for financial or emotional cost. A good friend of mine is abiding by a superstition that she has to have multiple children to compensate for some disappointing her later on. When she complains about her husband's lack of can-do helpfulness, it sounds to me as if she's decided to have children with her nanny, the more faithful partner.
A mother of an eight-year-old offers her wisdom, "I'm a very good mother of one. I enjoy my daughter immensely and spend a lot of time with her. I simply ignore all the talk about 'Who will she have when her father and I are dead and buried?' Because I'm not so sure I'd be as good of a mother to two or more."
A thirty-nine-year-old in my mompool is wrestling with the decision, nine months into life with her very amenable first child. "I can't afford to wait much longer. Listening to those of you who have more than one, I'm apt to think I ought to quit while I'm ahead. Maybe my baby urge will just go quiet."
"Or maybe it won't," says another mom, this one the proud owner of not one but three easy babies. "Nobody else has the right answer for you. You have to weigh the decision you'll ultimately be happy with. Because I've been out with my three children and had people say to me, 'Think you have enough kids already?' Whatever you do, somebody will have an opinion about it."
My friends and I disagree with Dr. Laura about most topics these days even though we guiltily enjoy tuning her in. But as our wise selves and our kids' moms, we do think she's right that when Dad says "no dice," the matter of more children has to be dismissed. Many of us with less than fully contributing partners now appreciate how much a family is handicapped by this. We know now that even the most loving of mothers cannot make up for a reluctant or worse yet, an antagonistic partner.
More on: Adjusting to New Motherhood
From What No One Tells the Mom by Marg Stark. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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