Memoirs Of A Modern Housewife

My life is nothing like the Bravo Housewives!

Archive for the tag “Parenting”

Our Family Is “Complete” and How We Came To That Decision


I’m sitting in the coffee shop, browsing through my favorite Facebook pages and blogs and I come across a random picture of a mom nursing her very new baby. I feel a lump in my throat, my stomach starts churning and my nose starts running. I choke back the tears that are accumulating.

The coffee shop is very crowded with the sounds of a live Irish band. Every one is wrapped into their own world, their own conversations, so I subtly take a napkin and softly dab the tears that escape from my efforts. All I can do is sigh within myself. When there are no words for your sadness only a deep sigh will do.

I never thought that I would be grieving a decision that Mr. Incredible and I prayerfully and thoroughly discussed. There would be no more children physically born through me.

It wasn’t a rash decision based solely on my hard pregnancy with Beaner, but it certainly was one factor.

I am one of the two percent of women who suffer from hyperemisis graviduram during pregnancy. It is a chronic, debilitating condition that strikes within weeks of a pregnancy and can last until the very end. That was my experience with all three kids. I was told by doctors and midwives alike (as well as by my own research and experience) that it gets worse with each pregnancy. There is no cure for this condition, just medication and medical support to keep the symptoms as tolerable as possible.

The good thing is babies born through mothers who have to endure HG do surprisingly well as they take absolutely everything from mom and thrive (like most pregnancies). The problem is a mom with HG is usually depleted of vital nutrients, deficient in everything afterwards.

This was a very rough pregnancy and it not only effected me but the family as a whole. The heart of the home was out of commission for the majority of the pregnancy, our finances took a hit as Mr. Incredible had to take time off to take care of the girls and I, and a year later my health is still recovering.

During my pregnancy I was asked by relatives and close friends to please not get pregnant again. Seems like a very personal and harsh request, and it wasn’t put in exactly those words, but I knew what they meant. Their hearts are in the right place as it is hard to see your loved one suffer, even if it is for a good reason.

Three Great Reasons

Our sweet children that we are absolutely crazy about bring us such great joy. We love teaching them about life, relationships, Jesus and how the world works. And they just love us unconditionally. You can’t beat that!

Eating daddy's hair

It’s not a burden to raise them. It’s challenging and exhausting sometimes but we grow as they are growing. We really are grateful to be able to have them in our lives so naturally we would want to keep adding them to our life. Plus we just love, love, love babies.

Mr. Incredible and Baby Beaner

It’s a tough decision to decide to be done with growing our family, especially when the decision is based on things beyond our control.

In short, our final decision came down to:

  • My ability to endure another pregnancy (including the long recovery),
  • Financially; because of the cost of medication and home health care that is required,
  • and the guilt I felt while my other children had to sit on the sidelines and wait for their mother to be well enough to continue to parent them.

Poots is still having a hard time adjusting and has gotten more and more clingy even though Beaner is a year old now. When I think about the fact that she basically lost me for 7-8 months (while I was pregnant) it just doesn’t seem fair to do that to her, Riggity and now Beaner again.

We have made the decision and taken the necessary steps. I believe the reality of it hit us both surprisingly harder than we expected.

We will grieve the end of everything that goes along with a new member of the family and gather our sweet family of five and move forward.

Anticipating this decision, we have embraced and soaked up every baby milestone that Beaner has taken. It’s been bitter-sweet of course; knowing it will be the last time we will experience “the firsts”, but very sweet because it has been as if we are experiencing everything for the first time.

What about you? How did you come to a decision that your family was complete? Was it outside factors?

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Meeting My Kids Where They Are


My 8 month old is teething and possibly experiencing separation anxiety. I am physically and emotionally exhausted because I am “the one” who he seeks for comfort. The days and nights start to run together.

My four-year old has twenty notebooks that she uses to doodle in all day, every day. Notebooks all over the house, random sheets of paper with what appears to be scribbles cluttering her room. I am tempted to dispose of them when she is not around.

My fourteen year old comes home on the third day of school. We chat about her day as I prepare dinner and out of the blue she asks, “What do you do if you don’t get asked to the prom.” This is her third day of high-school and she is worried about being asked to the prom.

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These are a few examples of the daily interactions with my children. I can often catch myself getting annoyed, not thoroughly engaging in a conversation or thinking that their activities and requests are petty compared to the big things that my husband and I have to deal with. Health, financial, relationship, and other issues that on our level the kids wouldn’t understand if we tried to explain it to them. I know they wouldn’t because some things we can barely get a grasp on.

It had become easy to break a promise of a story or a walk when something “bigger” came along. It had become easy to feign listening to a story about teenage drama. Drama that I was so glad to have survived during my own high-school years. It had become so easy to become frustrated and almost resentful because of a lack of sleep and to have someone need you constantly without a break in sight.

Hard to admit, but true. Then one evening I watched Poots (four-year old) laying on the floor, feet swinging in the air, humming a tune while she drew and it dawned on me. That is her world. For a moment, I imagined what it must be like to be four. What are your concerns, your delights, what hurts you, scares you and why. My heart began to ache because I realized that all she can see and know is what she has learned this far. I am living life as a thirty-two year old. I’ve experienced life, all that she will come across eventually but she hasn’t experienced all that I have. Everything is new and exciting to her. Every emotion exhilarating and bigger than her sometimes.

In her little eyes drawing her pictures is pretty cool and takes up a large part of her day because it is so much a part of her world. Her drawings are creative and shows her bubbly sense of humor. She wants us to look through every book, help illustrate a story for each page and then read them all. Over and over again. This is how she is experiencing life. It is up to me to meet her where she is and escort her through life. Prepare her for life; relationships, work, hurts and laughter.

I then thought about my little guy. He’s only been here for eight months. Eight months. I expect him to have it figured out. To know that there are other ways to be comforted. Some adults haven’t figured out the proper way to comfort themselves. We sometimes use food, drugs or other self destructive behavior. What’s wrong with relying on your primary caregiver when you are a baby. The one who nurtured and held you tightly for nine months previously. He loves to be around me, on me, touching me in any way. I joke with my husband about how I think sometimes he wishes he was “back in”. My frustration, when I think about it is not with his needs. It really points out that I am not taking care of myself. I am trying to be super mom. When really my kids just need a loving mom.

I often coin the phrase, “you couldn’t pay me to go back to high-school.” I mean it. It wasn’t awful. Just hard and hurtful as you navigate relationships, school and preparing to leave the nest all while finding yourself. What my fourteen year old daughter is dealing with is hands down more difficult a time than I grew up in. I think about what it was like to be her age, in high-school and I remember, this is her world. This is her life right now. A big part of her life. I am lucky that she feels she can share her day and concerns with me and I would be wise to respect it by actually listening. Turn the running water off and look her in her eyes. No more talking to the back of my head.

A friend whose daughter just started college told me something a few years back (she has a similar relationship with her daughter). She said there would be nights when she was exhausted, ready to lay her head down and would hear the soft voice of her daughter asking if they could talk. She initially thought about how tired she was and all she had to do the next day but realized that those things would always be there. The opportunity for her to walk her daughter back to her room, lay across her bed and hear about what was troubling her wouldn’t always be there.

I think of this today as I (once again) reset my priorities. I must meet my kids where they are. In the age and stage of life that they are experiencing. Not the stage of life I am experiencing.

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