Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

1st Child Syndrome

I have just been reading the blog of fellow Mum Slummy Single Mummy, about how the age gap between our kids can effect the way we parent. It got me thinking…….

The age gap between my girls is 5 1/2 years and it was neither intentional or accidental. We had spent 3 years “trying” for B, I had ended up on the fertility drug Chlomid, and conceived on the 5th cycle. I had 95% convinced myself I would never be a mum by this point and that was something I couldn’t face. My pregnancy was not what I had expected. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t hard compared to others but I thought I would feel “glowing” for a whole 9 months, but morning sickness was constant through my waking hours till I was 6 months gone, when the indigestion and back ache kicked in. I hated the fact I was covered in stretch marks, I looked like some weird Zebra Woman hybrid!

She ain't heavy, she is my sister - The Hollies by martintoy.

I had a planned section at 40 weeks as the little tyke was breech. Having been convinced I was having a boy I was surprised to hear “It’s a girl” as she was briefly shown to me over the screen round my head! At the time I couldn’t admit to anyone – not even myself – but I felt like I was lost. I didn’t experience that 1st wave of emotion for B, in fact I didn’t even believe she was mine at first. It took me a while but eventually we built a bond. I grew to love motherhood but blocked my early experiences from memory.

With the hard experience of B, we didn’t really talk about having more kids until B was 3. I was back at work, B was completely dry day and night and as a couple we were getting some time back to us. Life was great and although we had said when we 1st married, that we both wanted a big family, we decided that we would only ever have B because we couldn’t risk her happiness on me having to go through fertility treatment again. We had tried a few times since she was born and never caught so said enough was enough. That all changed just after B turned 4. He had been away with work and came home and said he wanted to give it 1 more go, and see a specialist if need be. We set my 30th birthday as the time limit – if nothing by then we would stop and be thankfully for 1 beautiful girl. Nine months later I was staring at a positive pregnancy test and my gut instinct was pure dread and fear. In hindsight that was over my marriage which was about to crumble, but at the time I even contemplated not telling him and having a termination. (No-one knows that, not till now!) I had never felt so scared and unsure about what to do. I had a management position at work, a great group of no kids friends and a daughter who was at a stage where she was gaining independence by the day. It took me all of 1 minute to push that aside and realise I had conceived without intervention and was over the moon and so my future began.

So as you can see, neither planned or accidental, but the age gap exists. Now it’s not the gap I have an issue with. I had the same gap between me and my brother and my parents did a fantastic job at making sure we were both loved and supported in all we did, and family outings catered for us both where ever possible. What has got me thinking is the fact that B can see the difference in the way I treat them both. She is 7 now, so I do treat her completely different. Mentally she is probably older, she saw me go through a lot while I was pregnant and she had the upheaval of her Daddy moving in with her Mummy’s best friend, who she could no longer see. Oh and moving the length of the country and changing schools without any warning at all. It did mature her but that’s not always a good thing!

I do worry she will take the differences she see’s as meaning I love H more. I don’t! It is true that a mother loves all her children equally. I could never choose one over the other, but at the same time I see them as 2 very different people. H gets away with everything in B’s eyes, B copies H and doesn’t get away with it, H gets a cuddle when she wants one while B is expected to be old enough to understand she has to wait till I am free. I heard something that hit home last week – We spend the 1st years of our kids lives teaching them to walk and talk, and then when they can we tell them to shut up and sit down – that’s so true. H is always on her feet and jabbering away and that’s fine by me, but B gets told to stop it when she does the same! Hopefully in time B will see that things will change as H gets older too, but I do worry that because she is older I expect too much from her! Does anyone else worry about this?

Picture Credit: martintoy

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Parenting | , , , , | 10 Comments