Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Just one? ... and a nursery tour!

Why do we make babies? I know that it probably sounds like a strange question but I don't really have a clear answer. Many decades ago, in my part of the world, religion was the reason why couples had kids...a lot of kids. However, today, things are completely different. So why do people "judge" us when we tell them that we only want to have one kid? What is the problem with having an only child? Will our kid automatically turn into a spoiled and selfish monster?

While stitching a simple play mat for Alice, my future bratty only child (!!!), I started to make a mental list of things that I would like to teach her. Doing this exercise was actually very interesting. After 38 weeks, I researched pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, safety measures....but nothing on "so, what do you want to teach that kid".

After a few hours of quilting, this is my top five list:
trust people but don't be naive;
enjoy simple pleasures that will brighten your day;
try new things, make mistakes and learn from them;
feel beautiful and accept that we are all unique;
respect other while respecting yourself.

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Update (21/03/11)
a 75% cervical effacement
a 1 cm cervical dilatation
a 0 head position in my pelvis (the doctor touched Alice's head!!!)

22 comments:

hound said...

the nursery looks so great, the bright pops of color are so nice and usually missing from babies rooms. alice is lucky to have a mom who came up with such a stellar list of things to teach her in just a few hours of quilting. i have no idea what the bottom numbers mean except that alice is nearing the outside world!!!

New Duds said...

So exciting! The nursery looks amazing, clean, simple, and cheery! She is a lucky little girl ;)

Julie Alvarez said...

Great concepts to pass on your child.
I find more and more, with years passing by and little girl growing fast, that maybe it's not necessary to really "teach" them much. Or anything.
They just discover things, and we are there to protect them while they are young, give them love and support, and just show them how you do all these things. In fact, if we can follow ourselves that five items list, I would feel fulfilled and I bet our children would learn from us!
I like your thinking...

Ali said...

I am pleased you wrote that list down. Sometimes it is so very easy to focus on the minutiae, the next thing and lose track of the bigger picture. You gave me some good parenting advice today, Claudia.

And Alice's space is gorgeous.

anneemall said...

It's a very good list, Claudia, and I agree we should try to follow it ourselves. I'm sure you already do.
And what a truly awesome nursery!

Carolee Beckham said...

i love your list and nursery. your sweet little angel is one lucky girl.

i also love the first question you posed... why do we make babies? such a good question. i totally believe in always asking the "why" regarding our choices and behaviors.

i think that there are many people who still answer that question with religion... but the true answer can only come from within yourself. why do you make babies? i know i intend to have more than one... but that is due in part to the joy i have from my relationships with my siblings. it also has to do with the idea that there are so many children brought into this world in areas that are under-privileged, full of disease, orphaned etc etc etc... i feel that if i have the means to provide a happy, loving, healthy, safe and secure home to more than one child than i want to do so.

having shared some of my reasons, i want to say that i don't think you have made the wrong decision for you. nor do i feel that your only child will be a bratty one :). she will be loved and cared for and so very special (and well-taught).

good luck with the continuation of your progress through labor!

alyson said...

oh Claudia!!! Alice's room is perfect in every way. I just love it.

you're getting so close!!!

Pauper said...

Oh, i LOVE the nursery!! It is so beautiful and perfect. A lovely list too, if only all parents were so conscientious. I am trying to keep all the values I had wished for my little girl in the forefront of my mind as we navigate through the sometimes difficult days of being two, balancing discipline with her need for freedom of expression. Your list was a nice little reminder :)

It is so exciting that you will soon be meeting your little Alice! Love checking for updates :) Best wishes! xx

Meghan said...

I am new to your blog. I love what you have done for the nursery. It is perfect. We are also probably only going to have one child (I am just 13 weeks pregnant) and I have been already questioned about this decision repeatedly...

Celia said...

US TOO!! only one child. it is shocking to me how people are almost offended when we tell them this. i just take it as their own personal problem and move on with my life. ;)

jamie said...

awwwww great list AND room! <3

Cindy said...

I know quite a few onlies and they are exceptional people. Including my 16 yo. :)

Lil said...

It's weird how some people feel so strongly about the need to have more than one child. We have one baby, and no plans to have more. I have had people tell me it's cruel. But my boy is happy and healthy and surrounded by peeps who love him, so I don't see a problem. Good for you I say.

M said...

I am an only myself and I have never felt lonely and always felt blessed. I know many onlys and I know many with onlys and all are fine. It is your choice and don't let anyone else bring you down.

I LOVE your nursery...everything about it. BUT I have one comment:

Consider moving the lamp on the shelf so the baby can't grab the cord with hands or feet. I am not one of those crazy safety-concious people it is just that we had a VERY close call with such an incident

Kristin said...

So refreshing to hear people talk about their plans to have one child! Why is this rarely accepted as a viable option? I once read that the number one thing you can do to help the environment is have fewer children; so I'm doing my part with my one very happy child.
Happy to have found your blog ! Good luck to you!

Kristin Nilsen said...

Oops. Forgot to leave my info. I'm sure you don't want complete strangers commenting on your family planning choices!

kt said...

What a lovely, welcoming room Miss Alice has!

Our girlie is an only, and she's fine as frog's fur, if I do say so myself.

Your "lesson plan" is a good one. My mom gave me a sage piece of advice when we were waiting for the girlie to arrive. She told me that you should always remember that you know that baby best. You'll get much more advice and suggestions (most of it well-meaning), but you have created and known that child longer than anyone.

Trust your instincts. And just because someone gives you advice doesn't mean you have to take it.

Julie Alvarez said...

Hey, Claudia, there's also this, that I wanted to share with you. It was written by Stacey, an amazing mom of one boy and fierce writer.
http://echolage.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/a-year-of-choice-only-child-manifesto/comment-page-1/#comment-1078

Giselle said...

love the nursery! oh, and the "my future bratty only child"! i want one of those too ;)

Julia said...

i LOVE the nursery- so beautiful, but simple and not too baby-ish. it's lovely.

as far as the one-child thing, i feel strongly about having two (or maybe more?!) kids, because i feel like having a sibling is an invaluable experience. but i totally respect other people's decisions, everyone is their own person! also- i LOVE what you came up with to teach alice. after recently having a rough time with my parents, i feel like the attitude you have and the values you want to teach your kids is going to make you the greatest parents. alice is one lucky kid.

last day of may said...

hello...i just hopped over from hank and lucy :) and had to say that the nursery looks so lovely. i did a double take because i have that exact same patterned tin sitting on my desk here in england. my aunt gave it to me. she found in a thrift shop and full of old buttons (woop!) anyway congratulations on your beautiful baby daughter alice...i believe that our baby elsa will be our one and only too and it is nice to read another person's positive thoughts about it. best wishes from kelly.

one claire day said...

How exciting, just saw Alice's nursery featured at Hank and Lucy! ... I was like "wait a minute. I recognize that blanket. And the names Alice and Claudia!" So simple and pretty! x