I’m sure I’m not the only one who fell in love with some large TV family from growing up. Party of Five, Brothers and Sisters – shows that displayed comradery and closeness between lots of siblings. It’s understandable that I would want to recreate a warm family feeling like those fictional families, as an only child. What I neglected to realize was how very fictional those families really were.
This morning I saw a mother with three children extremely close in age. The mother was in a nasty mood and yelling at her kids. It was like looking in a mirror. Standing right there I had an epiphany – having multiple children close in age makes rearing children drastically harder and less enjoyable. I probably spend way more of my life stressed out in a bad mood than my counter parts that have less children or children more spaced out in age.
Why do we do it then? Each of my children is so special in their own way. If my brain wasn’t so foggy and my nerves so wound up, I’d be able to celebrate and enjoy their uniqueness more. Did I not only sell them short by procreating so close together, but sell myself short too???
I dreamt up this family in my mind. A family that sat around the dining room table telling stories, laughing at jokes and creating this warm safe atmosphere for us all. Instead I’ve living an episode from Survivor. Every man for them self, each trying to tear the other down for the coveted attention of their mother and father. This was not the dream I had in my mind.
Of course the dream I had was never a realty. I didn’t interview my friends from larger families where the kids were close in age. They probably would tell a tale that ABC and Fox never told with their fictional families. They may, however, have blocked out the painful years of 7, 5, and 2-1/2 and just remember what it’s like now…which looks pretty damn good on Facebook. So maybe the moral is that it will end up alright if I stay the course and work through these tough years. Or maybe the truth is that what I dreamt up is really only a dream and realty will never be that. Anyway you look at it, I would not trade any of my three crazies but I’d like a more relaxed calm existence like the people who have less children or kids more spaced out in age. Is that also a fictional dream?