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July 30, 2008

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Topsy-Techie

Boy do I ever know the "TV guilt" scenario. But I grew up as a hardcore TV watcher, and always have been. Hubby can take it or leave it. Interestingly enough, I used to sit with my oldest son on my lap and rock him to sleep while watching the tube. He had numerous chances to become "addicted", and he has never willingly turned on a television in his entire 14 years of life! Seriously! The only tv he has EVER watched has been the "second hand smoke" of little brother. His drug of choice is definitely the internet. Much more interactive. Now our younger son, on the other hand, was a TV-holic from the age of six months. He would roll his walker over to the entertainment center and push the buttons on the front until one of them made it come on. Then he would watch whatever came up. World News, game show, ER, didn't matter. He would watch it. He only recently aborted his TV addiction in favor of the internet. So, you just never know...it may very well be a "nature" rather than "nurture" thing, this TV watching. At least that's how I soothe myself to sleep at night.... ;-)

Martial Arts Mom

Renovation Girl- (warning - I tend to ramble - this is long...)
I feel I can speak on all of the above subjects as a virtual expert. I am an only child. And I am 43 years old now and have STILL not gotten over HATING being an only child. (Especially now with 2 elderly parents with many, many serious health problems and no siblings to help me or even to just commiserate.) I also had fertility issues and luckily, ended up with 2 kids after all was said and done.

First of all, the fertility issues. I tried for 2 years to get pregnant with my now 18 yo daughter. Luckily (and I tend to say luckily a lot on this issue because it could have went the other way just as easily) the first and least invasive type of treatment worked for us - Clomid. I did have to go 3 expensive monthly rounds of it before it "took". Then, when she was 4, I went off the pill again thinking that since I'd had one child, I would be "Fertile Myrtle". Because of my extreme hatred of being an only child, I was determined I would have a 2nd child no matter what. No go. 3 years went by with many blood tests, peeing on many sticks…nothing. Went to my OB/GYN to see if they'd let me take the Clomid again. After all, it worked the first time, right? Well, different doc who liked to check everything out first. Did a uterine biopsy during the time I was ovulating …there went another month's chances shot. Finally talked him into letting me just try Clomid for 6 months and if it didn't work, I'd resolve myself to being the parent of an only child. The doc relented and let me go on Clomid. Three months later, pregnant again with my now 10 yo son. Did I say we were extremely lucky? Yes, I think I did.

During that time of not being successful in providing a sibling, I felt inferior because I saw all my friends, teens, and even drug addicts getting pregnant, but not me. It is a basic tenant of life - to procreate and I felt like a failure. It is very frustrating and consumes you. I know -I've been there. Meanwhile, my daughter was growing like a weed…basically as an only child. By the time my son was born, my daughter had just turned 8 years old. She was basically an only child. And you know what? My now 10 yo son is growing up as an "only" for the most part as well because she has been a teenager almost all of the time he has been conscious of having a sister.

As a parent, trying to keep my two "only" children busy - I can relate to your dilemma. Between helping my parents, keeping my marriage alive and parenting an 18 yo starting her life and my 10 yo ADHD son, the TV is a constant companion in my house - both for my son and for me - to keep him out of my hair while I deal with all I have to deal with and for m to drop in front of and veg out after all the stress of all of the above. I am an avid reader and both of my kids love books but hate to read. Yep, true. My son loves to play with the kids on the street, but me being the protective (and responsible) parent, I feel the need to watch them very carefully so I don't get much done when he's out playing either.

So, you were asking for advice, weren't you? Oops. Well, at least I let you know your feelings of guilt are normal - I feel that too. Your not being able to get anything done without putting your child in front of the tv - normal too. So, I hope I helped a little bit anyway.

Stephanie

Gosh...I don't have any advice, but I could've written this word for word. My son is 3 years old and it looks like he'll be an only child, at least for awhile. We've been "trying" for #2 for 1.5 years and have stopped treatments for the time being. It breaks my heart that he doesn't have a sibling to play with and won't for a long time. I always feel guilty when I put him in front of the tv so I can get something done. I feel like I'm always telling him "not right now," or "go play with your toys," just so I can take a shower or do the dishes. I hate it. I can relate to everything you said...it's amazing that I read this today because I've been thinking about this A LOT lately. It's just heartbreaking that we even have to be feeling guilty for such things. Like you said...it's not like mommy guilt isn't bad enough on its own.

Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.

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