To breed or not to breed

This op-ed pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. Thoughts I have tried, inartfully, to express here in the past. While Bear has brought me more joy than anything else I have ever experienced, or could ever imaging experiencing (and that includes the love and sorrow I felt for her last night as she awoke at 11 pm covered in her own vomit, crying and screaming and sleeping all at the same time, while I cleaned her off and rocked her back to a peaceful sleep – aided, of course, by baby Tylenol), I don’t think there is a decision more serious than whether to choose to bring a child into this crazy world.


10 Responses to “To breed or not to breed”

  1. 1 Sara January 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Oh, interesting, particularly those last couple paragraphs. Her conclusion seemed to be that the best (most ethical?) way to parent is to have a limited number of children so that you can form a close bond with them. I was surprised to see the picture of her – she look a bit older, and that seemed like something that someone from our generation might come conclude, whereas the previous generation (that of the go-outside-and-play-and-I’ll-see-you-when-the-streetlights-come-on era) might disagree. Or maybe it’s a level of degree. In any case, I thought that was provocative.

  2. 2 kateandgracie January 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I’m glad! And I agree…I didn’t really see the “bonding” opinion coming. I thought it was just a comment on how having kids shouldn’t just be the default (which I like and appreciate), but I thought the bonding thing added a nice touch. That part of the inquiry I’d never much thought of until actually having Mollybear. And it’s not so much the bonding, I guess, as it is that I feel like I owe her everything and that if something went wrong with a number two…Oh boy, I don’t think I could stand to think what I may have taken away from her. But obviously, people deal with that all the time and manage to raise nice little people in all sorts of circumstances. But not me. One and done, thank you very much.

    And I also used to think that people with parents like mine – who just had one kid – were really mean. How could they deprive me of a sibling? Now I think as An Only I am less afraid of having An Only. That probably seems weird because I hated it growing up, but I think I can make Bear think it’s not so bad afterall. At least that’s my goal.

  3. 3 Sara January 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

    How many times have you been asked if you’re done? 🙂 Argh, I wish folks would stop asking, because I’m afraid I don’t have the answer they’re looking for. And I will say, having a sister myself, there is a huge part of me that wants to give that to Brenna (I know she has Sean, but that’s a huge age difference). But we won’t be trying to do that, so I’m hoping it’s cool. Any tips for an only-child mommy?

  4. 4 kateandgracie January 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Ha! I know – a lot. And people actually don’t seem to believe me when I say we’re done. I hope they don’t know something I don’t know. As I get further away from those first three dreadful months, I can now start to see why people get lured into doing it again. I mean, it’s just so much easier now. But still, I will not be falling for mother nature’s trap!

    I think the biggest advice I would give to an only-child parent would be to protect and foster your relationship with your spouse. I think the hardest thing for me being an only was dealing with the tension in my parents’ marriage by myself. I always wanted someone else there to share the misery. I suppose that sounds awful, but that’s the way it was.

    A nice thing my parents did sometimes was let me take a friend with us on vacation. I mean, not to California or anything, but I remember taking a friend to Door County and places like that. I think that’s probably a nice thing to do if you can manage it. Probably good for the parents, too.

  5. 5 kateandgracie January 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Oh! And Sara, I heard a pretty reliable rumor Chief Justice Roberts was at the playoff game in Green Bay on Saturday night! Isn’t that crazy?

  6. 6 Sara January 8, 2013 at 7:45 am

    It is much easier…. except that I think I am realizing that I am too old to handle a heavy toddler! I maybe could handle pregnancy, but man I think I’m already too old to be doing what I’m doing. Doing it again a couple years from now? Probs not.

    Thanks ma’am! We often thought of allowing Sean to bring a friend on our north woods vacations, but it seemed like an exhausting idea – but I’m hoping that was because of the friend (nice kid, but way high maintenance – ADHD meds, etc.). I always had cousins to play with, and I think B will too. And maybe some nice, low-key friends. 😉 Although this would mean that she outgrew playing with me, and I don’t know how I feel about that.

    That is CRAZY. Love it! The Packers really ARE America’s team. Everyone loves them.

  7. 7 kateandgracie January 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    So true. And SOOOOOOO true about the heavy toddler. I mean, I already feel like Mollybear’s gotten so big, I watch these superhuman moms carry around their 3 or 4 year olds and stare in awe. I guess I’m a wimp. I mean, she’s only, what? 18 pounds or so. Really, Kate, suck it up. On the other hand, like you worrying about B getting to the point where she’d rather play with her friends than you, I worry about what it will be like to have a bear I can’t pick up. I mean, geesh. That’s a scary thought.

    It really is a young person’s game, though. Except that when I was young, I was in no financial or emotional place to be doing it. But physically? Hell yeah.

    Go Pack!! How do you feel about Saturday?

  8. 8 Sara January 9, 2013 at 8:48 am

    So true. Best for physical reasons when you’re in your 20s, but man I would not have been good at this in my 20s in other ways.

    I’m nervous. I was nervous about the Minnesota game, and while the first half was great, I wasn’t super impressed with the second half, and SF is a better team. But on the other hand, everyone seems to think we’ve got a shot (it’s not like Seattle playing Atlanta or the Texans playing New England). I’m not ready for football to be over! Unless it’s going to be spring for reals.

  9. 9 kateandgracie January 9, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Totes agreed. I’m super nervous. I think they can do it, but I’m scared they won’t do it. There were moments last week that I thought they were really clicking, but there were other times that they still seemed a little flat. I’m hoping, though, that being the underdog really helps them find the fire.

  10. 10 satcla January 16, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Kate, as a fellow only, I can completely relate. I wanted a sibling for the same reasons, but now, if I were a parent, I can see so clearly the challenges of having more than one. Being able to properly financially support them alone scares the crap out of me. Some friends of mine have a podcast they recently started and I was at their being interviewed last night and we got on the subject of kids and college. They have twin boys who’d been accepted to NYU but at $67,000/ year for four years, times two, there was simply no way!

    But I digress. There are so many studies showing how successful only children grow up to be. I think when someone asks if you’re done, you should just start spouting out statistics. That wouldn’t be weird, would it?

    In any case, thanks for posting this. It’s an opinion I whole-heartedly agree with and while I’ve yet to find out if having children will be in my future or not, I’ll certainly try to put more thought into I would into leasing a car. 🙂

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January 2013

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