June 11, 2011

Second to None

Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for my second child.  My pregnancy and delivery were difficult and fraught with danger.  I cannot understand how he has come to be typically developing except to say that it is the grace of God.  (And I don't throw those words around.)  Liam went straight to the NICU after receiving an Apgar score of 2.  I did not get to hold him until hours after he was delivered.  Today Liam is strong and smart.  He's also stubborn and sneaky.  In short, he's a healthy two year old.

Recently there has been some discussion among members of the SMC organization as to whether we should intentionally have two children on our own.  The discussion became so heated that the thread is closed to additional comments and the board is now moderated.  I find it ironic that a handful of SMCs would be so judgmental of their peers who are either trying for a second or already have one.  After all the organization has provided online support and camaraderie for a group of parents who are seeking a safe place to communicate--away from the judging general public.  Now there are factions among us; single moms of one are turning against single moms of two (at least on the message board). 

Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again:  becoming a single mom by choice is not for everyone. Becoming a single mom for the second time is not for everyone who did it once.  My life, my son's life and our entire family was enriched by Liam's birth.  It was right (oh, so right) for us.  It's not right for everyone.  It's a difficult decision and it is further complicated by the ticking clock.  Most SMCs waited a long time to have number one.  Biologically, they simply cannot take five years to weigh the pros and cons of conceiving a second.  Talk about pressure.

And that is precisely why I wish we would give each other a break.  Moms need to support moms.  We know how tough it is; we get it.  Why are we still judging one another?


  1. I thought the exact same thing when reading those posts.

    And thanks for sharing your joy in having two children - trying for two has been on my mind a lot lately, your words have helped!

  2. I am so with you on the moms supporting moms point...we get enough judgement without judging each other!! I admire you so much for being a SMC to your 2 boys. I would love to have a 2nd child but know it's not right for me.

  3. Man...I've never been to any of those SMC boards and now I am glad...what a sad state. Like you, my life would not be full without my daughter (second child BY CHOICE). Is it hard? Absolutely. Without question. But I would not change it for anything in the world. She completes us. Just as Liam completes you and Henry. I can't even imagine anyone judging that. I think I should continue to stay away from the boards... :)

  4. I haven't been on the boards for a while and I'm sorry that happened. I am curious about how the conflict materialized though - it seems like a no brainer that it would work for some families and not others.

    At least the moderators shut it down!

  5. I don't even know how to get to the boards--as often as I had wanted to. So, perhaps this is a good reminder... But like you, my experience is that they were so often helpful (in my pre adoption days I used a list serve for so much support). As a Mama of two (in a world where so many children are in single parent families by choice or circumstance) I feel completely at home in this little tribe of ours. I reminisce about the ease only one was, but love the fact that they will always have each other now and beyond my allotted time on this planet... And that was my choice, and how lucky we are to be able to make these choices.

    OK and who has the TIME to be arguing on boards?

    Good to see you. I need to get your blog linked over at Mama C--will do right now.

  6. Wow. I HAVE been out of the loop because I missed an apparently contentious debate somewhere on one of the many SMC forums to which I belong. Sounds like I'm better off not getting involved. I too am so incredibly happy with my decision to have a second child, and our family feels just right to me. (Although if I were younger there might be a third.) I'm not going to go through the boards and look for the objections, but I have a hard time believing that anyone could come in to your home or my home and say we didn't do the right thing for our family. I LOVE having a second child and watching my two children together is one of the greatest joys in my life. Sam already calls Eva his best friend and I know they will be close their entire lives. Who could object to a family that gives you that kind of love?!

  7. I'm getting a lot of the same judgments in real life, and it's very difficult. The decision to have a second child on your own is overwhelming, and it's sad that SMC's who know how hurtful judgments can be would turn around and do the same thing. Great post.

  8. Unless I missed something, and I usually read all the posts, I think the debate was about finances, and whether to have ANY number of kids if you can't afford them (however you define being able to afford them).

    I didn't like the tone of the original poster, because she seemed very judgemental, but it didn't seem quite as bad to me as it apparently did to you. Unless I missed out on an entire debate???

  9. I can't agree with you more. Although I don't visit those boards, I can see by your comments that some people can be very critical of ones choices. Every person has their own decision to make. Each person understands their own reality which is not the same for all SMCs. I would not dare to judge anyone by knowing so little about their personal lives. Period!