Monday, August 25, 2008

A Touchy Subject

It was one of those weekends. You know the kind you think is going to be relaxing and magical and wonderful that really ends up being exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming instead? Looking back on the weekend it really doesn't seem that bad, but in the moment of whiny, hyper, fighting boys I lost my temper way more than I should have.

By the time we were driving home I'd had enough of my boys. All of them. Unfortunately I was trapped in the car with them for three hours. I swear I contemplated opening the car door and jumping out while we were going top speed on the highway. It was just never ending. Ugh.

It is times like these when I wonder if I should even be thinking of having a fourth child when I can barely muster the patience to handle the three I have. Add to that the fact that Todd basically told me he would agree to a fourth child mostly just to make me happy (even though he stresses that of course he would be thrilled to have another child) and I'm second guessing another child again. I know Todd is really enjoying the added freedoms that comes as the boys age. Throwing another child into the mix would "set us back" into the homebound mode for a little while again. And while it is nice of him to want to make me happy I can't go into planning a child with that as his reasoning.

And then there is the obvious. Do I want a fourth child simply to have a girl? Of course mothers of all boys hate to even bring this subject up. It is painful. It feels like a betrayal even thinking about wanting a girl. All the times I have been asked if we'll try for a girl, immediately becoming defensive of my wonderful boys, and denying any part of me that wishes for a girl so everyone knows how much I love my boys. It seems taboo to even bring it up. To even think about it.

Of course I love my boys. Of course I am grateful for each of them and would never want my children any other way than as they are. I am so blessed to have my three sweet, beautiful, smart, and loving boys. But would I also like to have a girl in this family? Well. If I'm honest the answer is "yes".

I think these feelings exploded when my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few years back. Suddenly having a daughter seemed imperative. I must continue this mother/daughter relationship I kept telling myself. It must be duplicated. It must live on. I know that having a daughter does not guarantee that bond just as I know that I will have a very close bond with each of my boys. But again, if I'm honest, it is just different. The mother/daughter bond.

But if this is the main reason that I want another child then I know that I should not be trying for another child. If I will not be equally happy with a boy as I would with a girl then it is not even fair to try.

And so I've been praying. I've been praying for acceptance of whatever God's will is for me and my family. Whether it be that I have 3 children, 4 children or 5 children. Whether they are all boys or not. And I know that even if I never have another child I have already been blessed beyond measure. Whatever God has planned for me is in my best interest. I know that. But I need to accept it as well.

49 comments:

Elaine A. said...

We're stuck on whether to even have a third and yes sometimes I have to admit it's because I would like to have a girl. But... it probably still wouldn't work out that way. HA!

You are right to give it to God. It's really the best way... ; )

Stephanie said...

I will add some of my own prayers to yours to help you figure out what is best for you and your family. I cannot imagine what a difficult decision this must be. I would be feeling exactly how you are now I imagine.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

I recently read on another blog about a couple who went to great measures to make sure to have a girl. (I didn't even know it was possible!) So, you're definitely not alone in wanting a girl and I don't think you should feel badly about that.
I do hope that you are able to make the right decision for your family without any regrets or hard feelings.
xoxo

Cassie said...

I want a little girl really badly, mostly so I can have an excuse to have some pink in this house again! Is that bad? lol. No, I'm kidding about the reason, but I really do want a little girl. I don't think I'd be too disappointed with another boy though.

I know it's a tough decision for you. I think you're doing the right thing by just putting it in God's hands. He always knows what is best.

Dawn said...

Sorry it was a rough weekend. You are a wise woman...praying about those decisions is always a good thing.

RiverPoet said...

Good luck with your decision. I know it's not easy. My MIL had a 4th child so she could have a girl, but they were overwhelmed, and money was tight. I don't think she regrets it, but things were tough.

My body decided when I should stop having children, otherwise, I probably would have wanted more than the two I have! It's a very tough decision.

Peace - D

painted maypole said...

there are so many things caught up in the decision to have ANY child, and you can't expect them all to be in perfect alignment. (although I'm assuming you know that, biologically, your chances of having a girl are slimmer than average. once a couple has 2 or more of the same sex child I've heard that for some reason they are just prone to having that gender)

we all have moments of being overwhelmed and wanting to be away from our children -whether we have 1 or 10. it doesn't make you a bad mother.

I pray that whatever happens, whatever choice you make and whatever then comes of that, that you be at peace and happy with your choice. At least more of the time than not. ;)

Brittany said...

Wow. DO I know what you mean in this post, or what? We are dealing with a lot of the same issues. And I feel selfish saying I want another one, because I would love to have a girl (and there is obviously no guarantee). It's tough. REALLY tough.

You know... you're praying about it, and leaving it up to God, and that's really all you can do! :)

Best wishes! :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Girl, I have been there with the weekend. And the car trip home. I was laughing with a friend about this very thing sometime back, and I remember she said that she actually thought about what she'd take with her if she just jumped out the door of the moving vehicle, and then she remembered she had no cash so she dropped the idea.

And I can empathize on the child question. Adding another little human to the family is so huge!
I'll be thinking of you!
Becky

BossSanders said...

That's a lovely way to look at it, and good luck with your decision!! *hugs*

Tiffany said...

I can totally relate to your thoughts. We are really feeling good with our two boys and I LOVE having boys way more than I could have ever fathomed. Every once and awhile, though, I go there and think about the prospect of having a daughter and the biggest reason I would love that is exactly what you said - The mother daughter thing - I have it with my mom and cannot imagine not having it with my own. So there it is - the dilemma persists and for us, we know that I won't have anymore kids because of the difficult pregnancy and post pregnancies that I have, so it comes down to adopt or not adopt? We are good now, but we too are in prayer.

Hang in there and keep praying - It will become clear.

Mom24 said...

{{{Hugs}}} It's hard, isn't it? For what it's worth my last two were because of how much I wanted them. My husband probably would have been content to stop at 1, but he loves all four of our kids fiercely. I don't think he would change anything if he could. I think it's natural for one parent to want another child more than the other, and IMexperience, it's usually the woman wanting more. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

good luck with your struggle. I do know how hard it is. Also, I don't think there's anything wrong with desiring both a boy and a girl, as long as you love them no matter what. Obviously, you would.

kirsty815 said...

Wow I only have one child and I have some of the same thoughts you just described.
I get very overwhelmed at times because of my anxiety and wonder if I should even think about having another child.
Meggers has been telling me she wants a baby sister and part of me wants to give her a sibling but another part of me thinks do I want another baby? Could I handle it? What if I have another special needs child? I don't know that I could do it again.
Anyway from the outside looking in, I think you have a lovely family, I think you'd be just as great with one more as you are with the three you already have.

You seem like such a great mom, I think more parents should be like you.

Kirst

Krystyn said...

That has to be super tough for you, and I can easily see both sides. I'm glad that you are praying about it, and I hope you get an answer soon.

Catwoman said...

I can totally understand where you're coming from. The second I found out this second baby was a boy, people would ask me "so you're going to have a third and hope it's a girl?" Like I couldn't be happy that I had two boys...

I guess I'm in a different place than you though, where I'm not close to my mom, so I guess I feel relieved that I don't have to worry about falling in the same traps with my boys BECAUSE the relationship is different. I guess I'm better as the matriarch of a bunch of boys and that's why I was given my two boys. And so even though I'm 90 percent sure we're done, I don't have the yearning for a baby girl. But should we decide to go for a third in a few years and I end up with one, you can bet that I'd be as thrilled as if I had a third boy! :)

Good luck figuring it out!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Ah yes, the knowing versus the accepting. Prayer is the only solution. We stopped at three and God sent two more. He has plans and they bring hope. God loves you more than you love Todd and those darling boys ... imagine that? You're precious in your open and honest musings. You are in my prayers for peacefulness and rest today. : )

maggies mind said...

I think it's natural that you would want a girl if given the choice, but I'm also sure that even if you had 7 more boys (yes, I know, bite my tongue!) you'd still love each one no less than if any had been a girl. Whatever decision you make can't help but be the right one because they all end with kids in a loving home, whether 3 or 4 or however many.

A Buns Life said...

So here is a little confession for you....I was a little bummed when we found out that our second was a girl because then I knew we were most likely done. We had one of each, the "perfect" little family. (gag) There was no reason to have a third. If we had had another boy, I know we would have had another one, and there wouldn't have been a question about it. I do know we would have stopped at three, no matter what, because my patience level couldn't handle anymore.....BUT that is another story all together. :) The other part of it, I was scared to death to have a girl....I have a horrible relationship with my mother, and I am terrified to repeat that. I can see that you have a great one with your mom, and would want to continue it....Don't think that it is a betrayal to your sons to want a daughter. Perhaps you all might want to think about adoption to ensure that you get a girl? Just another avenue to think about?

wheelsonthebus said...

And, of course, you would most likely get a boy...

April said...

I definitely don't think you are the only one who thinks of "trying for a girl" after having 3+ boys. And there is nothing wrong with that!

Like you said, it's in God's hands and I wish you luck with whatever way it turns out!

Lindsay said...

The Great baby debate. I agree with several other moms - we all get sick of being around our kids every now and then, whether we have one or nine...at it seems like it's in those moments that we regret ever wanting another - but try to look at it from how much FUN you have together (at least that's they way I try to look) and that yes, you may be home-bound for another year, but it gets better and you don't even remember those home-bound years after a while. :)Good luck.

Jaysi said...

I love how you so perfectly summed up your feelings about the dreaded comments. So people say that to people who have all girls? I feel like it is just us moms of boys that get put in this position? And why? Are our boys not totally amazing and wonderful?

I have two boys, and have always thought we would have three kids. Now I feel so much pressure to go for the girl. It almost makes me want to stick with my two boys. I'm sure we will probably have another some day, but I can't go into with the idea that I want a girl. I just want what God has for me.

As far as deciding to go for it or not....my theory has always been this....you will never regret having the kids that you have, but will you regret not having one? Will you always wish you had one more? In that case do it. If you feel totally content where you are, then just be content.

CC said...

On the touchy subjects....

Have you considered adopting? As an adoptive parent, I like to bring this option up to everyone ;)

I know many families that wanted to add a child (often a girl) to their family while also helping a child in need.

Kathryn said...

You are all so supportive. I just love it. Thanks. :)

As far as adopting is concerned I've always thought about it. It is something I've thought about since I was little. I always wanted to have a "rainbow" family. All different ethnicities. So beautiful. And here I am with three blond haired blue eyed boys. HA! That is kind of funny now that I think about it. ;)

Anyway, my SIL had been going through the adoption process for a LOOOOoooonnnngggg time and it ended pretty badly. Although it hasn't tainted my feelings on adoption I worry about her feelings if Todd and I would decide to go that route. It is kind of touchy.
Still, I will definitely keep my heart open for all possibilities.
:)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Wow. First, I'm so happy you're human. Second, those are some weighty thoughts, but I think you're going about them all the right way. And, rather than write a post in your comment section, I'm coming over.
CU in a few.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

the "do I have another child" question is definently a hard one. We are contemplating that now too. I hope that you get an answer and some peace. Adoption is a great thing. My husband was adopted and we are huge supporters of it. Especially in countries like India or China where the girls are treated like second class citizens.

Tammy said...

What a difficult decision. I am sure the days the boys are angels it makes it easier than days when you want to jump out the car window. I think we all have those moments while traveling. I know I do with 3 kids. Best wishes to you whatever you and your husband decide to do. :)

Supercool Hotmama said...

Such difficult choices, you just have to do what's right for you and your family. Let's face it, in the matter of childbearing we all follow God's Will - like it or not ;D I would never have chosen my spacing (3 year gaps, then a 7 year spread). Thank goodness Heavenly Father knows what's best for me (and my sanity). I love my big gaps and there is nothing better than having people to help clean, make meals, babysit, drive to the grocery store, and share laughs with over the funny things that the babies do. I also have to say, that while my four boys are awesome, brilliant, and easier - there is just something about girls...like the first time they insist you stop the shopping cart so that they can admire a rack of purses, when your ten year old wants to wear elbow length gloves and a tiarra to church, or having her come along for her first pedicure! I even had to keep trying for 9 more years, to try for another girl, because the next best thing to mother-daughter love is having a sister.

Molly's Mom said...

Thinking of you and praying that you get the guidance you need sooner rather than later. Obviously, you guys are terrific parents and another baby would be completely lucky to have you!
((Hugs))

Tonya said...

I can relate on some level as my first was a girl, but when we decided to have a 4th. I knew that I just wanted another baby boy or girl. But, my desire for a girl was way higher than wanting another boy. Not that I don't love my boys because I do. I just really, really wanted another girl. I was even tempted not to find out the sex but we decided to so that we could all get used to the baby's gender before we met them. It is a hard decision. The best thing about babies and you know this is that once you see them it doesn't matter what gender they are you just fall in love and everything else is forgotten. My hubby didn't want a 4th either but we laid it before the Lord and fervently prayed about it and then gave ourselves 4 months to conceive and if we didn't then we were done. We got pregnant the first month. Ha. You have good attitude knowing that God will do His will no matter what you decide. Sorry so long of a comment ;)

ConverseMomma said...

I really liked how honest this post was. When I found out Molly was a girl, I was so relieved. I did not want another boy. I wanted a daughter. I always thought that meant I was a shitty mom. Don't get me wrong, I love Jackie to bits and pieces. I just wanted one of both so badly.

Robyn said...

I always feel like the odd mother when it comes to wanting a girl. When we found out it was going to be girl we looked at each other like, what the heck are we going to do now. I love her to pieces, but I was expecting a boy. I just hope I can be a good girl mom. It is a huge decision. I know with her being two I'm starting to feel like I'm getting somewhat of a life back and don't know if I'd want to do this again.

Kristen said...

Hang in there Kathryn. What tough decisions you are toying with right now.

I wish I had advice. But alas, I think the giving it over to GOd really is the best. Hopefully, HE will decide to answer you sooner rather than later. :)

Sending hugs your way as all of these thoughts are floating through your mind. :)

Indy said...

Going through the same thing here. My boys are so easy at this age. Can I start over? Do I want to? Lots of prayers and asking for answers. Hope the answer comes soon for you.

Kelly said...

I have thought everything you just said at one time or another. I get irritated when people always ask if we're going to try for that girl, as if my 3 boys aren't enough. Yet, I know I would love a girl. The thought of not having a daughter to do girl stuff with makes me really sad. But at the same time, I think we're at a point where we're done having kids. I've thought of adoption too. I think it's a beautiful thing. My mom and 4 of my cousins were adopted. I see what a special family we have because of it.

I'm sorry for your weekend being anything less than stellar. It's disappointing when you are looking forward to a nice relaxing one and it's not! I hope and pray that whatever is best for your family is what happens!

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

I think it's perspective. I would kill to have your three boys. I am just hoping to get a second at some point. And, I know that's not at all what you meant. I think you really should pray. Are the days you want to kill all three more than the days you feel open to a baby? Because, even if it's only for you, you are the one with the kids all day everyday - not Todd, right? So, ultimately, this would be your decision, right? You'll decide right, because you have your head screwed on so well,K.

Dianna said...

I'm on the other end...2 girls. I cried when I found out my 2nd was a girl. I had had our family planned out in my own head with 1 boy and 1 girl. I was ready for a dirty, stinky little boy...messy hair, juice 'stache, dirty nails...I was SO ready. Just proves that the MAN upstairs knows what he's doing. Now I'm not sure what I'd do with a boy...although my #2 daughter comes darn close and I couldn't love her any more if she were made of chocolate :)

You'll get your answer and it will be clear as a bell Girl. Keep the faith*!*

OHmommy said...

God has a plan for all of us. I like to say that over and over again because it gives me a lot of comfort.

Jewelgirl said...

You are so young and I can see you
with more kids definitely. I think you see all your beautiful,wonderful
nieces and it is normal to want
a baby girl. Right?! But the most
important thing to pray for is a healthy baby. Or twins... ha ha
just kidding. (((HUGS)))

Laura said...

It is such a difficult decision - glad you are praying and really searchig for the right answer - no matter what it is. Sending you lots of support and hugs. May you find peace in whatever happens.

beth said...

I can relate to so much of this.

I would not trade my second girl for anything. I was thrilled when we found out she was a girl, that our baby had a sister. But still I think about the possibility of a son.

A hard decision, no question.

Kelley said...

I can absolutely relate with every single thing you said here. Everything!

I, too, love my boys dearly, but I desperately wanted a girl. I even tried a good luck charm that had worked for a friend of mine. I made a little baby bracelet, and hung it on the strap of my purse. Every time I saw it, I remembered how badly I wanted my girl. To be honest, it really helped during those months when I was so horribly sick.

It's good to hear that other well-loved, adored boys turn into fighting little terrors sometimes. I had one of those weekends, too, and I seriously wanted to just run away. I love them, but I HAD HAD ENOUGH!!!

Boy, can I relate to what you said!

Jill said...

I get just as frustrated with my girls... and I do the same head games about wanting a boy to add to our mix. Will I get one? Probably not because clearly we need more estrogen in our household... 2 girls and a girl dog just aren't enough.

Tracey said...

Best wishes on this. I had all of the questions when pregnant with #3 (2 boys first). No, we weren't trying for a girl. No, we didn't "get" our girl. Yes, she IS a girl and I'm thrilled, but a boy would have been lovely too...

SIgh. It's difficult. Good luck...

EatPlayLove said...

But you are raising wonderfully caring nurturing boys, the kind I would love my daughters to meet someday. Don't forget it.

Nissa said...

You've got it. God will guide you and your family. Girls are great, but there are always pros and cons. They say many mother-daughter relationships are turbulent, while mother-son relationships are unequaled in closeness. You already know how close you & your boys will always be.(Except for the teen years, which I've mentioned!) They'll measure up every date to see if she fits your standards, and one day bring you home a wonderful daughter in law who you can have a great relationship(without all those aforementioned teen years!). :)

I just keep on rambling... Hugs!

Jenni said...

How could you not have doubts about something so life changing as having another baby? I think you just have to compare how much you want one and all the blessings and benefits with the doubts. We always are questioned, by strangers and family alike, as to our family size, but we have come to realize that even though there are moments we both doubt our own sanity, the overwhelming urge (almost need) to grow our family speaks truth. And I really, really want another girl. There is nothing wrong with wanting a girl. You would be lying if you said you did not. Of course you'll love another boy, just as I will. But wanting a girl is natural. I'll be praying for guidance and encouragement for you both!

Hilary said...

You're young.. no need to rush. At some point you'll have a moment of clarity and make whatever decision is truly right for you. Then of course they'll be other factors to think about.. such as whether or not nature agrees with your decision.

Golightly said...

Oh Kathryn I know this subject well, only I have just the one boy. Meant for me by God. He knew what the right fit for our family was. I pondered having another, Ken said more than once we could have another if I wanted. We both wanted a girl (we have a teen boy from his first marriage) I wanted the legacy of the relationship I had with my mother and grandmother to live on. I wanted to pass on my "girl things" to my daughter.

But when I got pregnant, I knew. I knew Harrison was - who he is. I grieved not having a girl then rejoiced in having a boy. Although sometimes I still grieve not having another child, a girl. Still I trust God, I trust God's will. I have peace.

Hilary is right, you're young. (something not on my side any longer) Keep trusting God and praying. You'll know.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson