This has been my only experience raising children. It’s a unique situation because they are not my own at all, but I help to take care of them. So, the parents make the decision about what happens with the child, but I’m one who has to implement their choices and experience the effects of their choices.
The babies I’m with right now are just over 1 years old. My experience of the first year with them was that they are lovely babies. Indeed, I do love them.
But, I also struggle with aspects like: they are overprotected (for example: they are often way over-dressed for the weather and end up sweating, but “at least they’re not cold”; they barely spend any time outside-maybe 3 times per month; when they have any sort of gurgly stomach or are having a bit of trouble sleeping=medication; etc)
They are learning to walk right now and for a while, we weren’t even allowed to hold them by their hands (especially not one hand). I had no idea what walking ability they had because we were always told to put them in this type of harness where their balance isn’t very good. Until their preschool sent a video to the dad and he shared it with me. I was so surprised!
I guess I’m experiencing a bit of disillusionment. Some things are frustrating and annoying. At the end of the day, they’re not dealbreakers or anything, but it’s still making me question whether I actually want children myself one day.
For example, one of the babies (almost since birth) has a hard time falling asleep. We have to do all of these techniques to try to get him to settle down and sleep. If we wait until he’s so exhausted he just passes out, he tends to be super cranky and cries at everything. It’s frustrating because this baby sleeps so badly, waking up often and generally not sleeping more than 45 mins. Sometimes only one nap per day.
Oh, the whining. I already know it’s only going to get worse, but…it is sometimes quite grating. Or crying hysterically for the smallest things. And, unfortunately, besides the dad (and sometimes him too), they get whatever they want when they scream like that. So, they know how to use it now.
And then there are little things like, one of the babies pees on me often. At one point, I was the only one he’d pee on. The others would take off his diaper and be holding him naked, no problem…no peeing. The other day, I was in the middle of lifting his diaper off…and he peed on me. Another day, I took off his diaper to put him in the bath and as I was picking him up, I said, “Please don’t pee on me as I lift…”
He peed on me. <sigh>
Not a big deal, really, but why does it always happen to me? Literally. Of the 4 of us who change their diapers, I am the one who gets peed on. It’s actually a bit of a running joke now.
Then there’s the lack of sleep, the general lack of appreciation, the screaming/whining/yelling, the EXPENSES…the list could keep going on, I imagine.
I use to think that I wanted kids. But, I’m at a place in my life where I don’t have a partner (and I haven’t had one for many years), and I have made a choice that I don’t want a child by myself (sperm donor style or something). One of my friends did it because she knew that she wanted to have a child of her own. Her situation has worked out quite well overall. It feels almost like a relief to make that decision…like, if I don’t meet someone to have kids with, I just won’t have them.
It does feel like I’d be missing out on a big chunk of life…but I already have, at this point. I’ve missed out on what it’s like to live with a partner, share a life etc. I think having children old will be challenging too.
Perhaps my life has been meant to focus on me. And be alone. That thought is scary to me, but the more and more I think about it, I feel like it might be it.
I look at pictures and see stories of couples who have been together, they have their children together, the women have the feeling of growing the child and having that bond with their own flesh and blood. That part is what I think I’d miss the most.
But, at this point, I’m old. Most of the guys my age (ish) are searching for 25 year olds. (And then there’s Mel Gibson, at 61, having his 9th child with a 26 year old. Sheesh.) I would rather be with a partner that’s never had kids before. And a partner that is interested in co-raising the child. And building a relationship with me. Does this partner exist? It feels like the Golden Unicorn…like it’s a myth.
Anyway, I hope to shift my perception and be able to enjoy this last year of being with these two babies. I want to do a good job.
I want to work on being a more loving and caring person. Children are a great way to challenge that! Ha. xo