Most mothers have to fend off repeated requests from their only child about when she's going to give them a little brother or sister. But imagine the opposite. Imagine that your child doesn't want a sibling. And doesn't want one so much that when she learns you're pregnant, she threatens to kill herself. This was reportedly the agonizing situation that mom Tamiqua Torres found herself in. And then the situation got even worse. Tamiqua's nine-year-old daughter, Justice, was found strangled with a shower curtain. The little girl had apparently killed herself -- because mom had given birth to a little boy.
We were as happy as happy could be until one day my then 8-year-old woke up and decided that she wasn't exactly thrilled about being a Big Sister. I mean who could blame her, she spent the last 8 years all to herself being spoiled by everyone only having to share while in school.
Granted, eight years is a long time to go being an only child and then suddenly have competition for your mom's affections. But still, most pre-teens don't then tell family members that she "wants to die" as Justice reportedly did, prompting Tamiqua to get professional help.
According to Tamiqua's blog, things seemed to go well after Justice's half-brother entered the world. She wrote:
When he arrived and [Justice] was happy and reassured that although her world has forever changed she loves him more than she thought she would. The road my family and I traveled to get where we are now was not smooth we faced many road bumps but over came them as a stronger family unit than I imagined us to be.
But Tamiqua wrote that in January. That was before she found her nine-year-old strangled with a towel in the shower, which police believe was at Justice's own hands, though it hasn't yet been officially ruled a suicide. It's been about eight months since Tamiqua gave birth to Justice's half-brother.
Police also say that the girl was doing well at school and didn't experience bullying. She apparently just didn't want to share her mother's attention.
I can't imagine the intense guilt that Tamiqua must be feeling, despite the fact that it sounds like she did everything she could. Still, she will probably blame herself for having another child. Is this really something parents need to be concerned about now? Do they need to talk to their kids about possible upcoming siblings before they even happen, gauge their reaction, and then enter into therapy if their reaction isn't 100 percent positive?
Do you go ahead and have more children anyway? It's crazy to think about letting your current children be the ones to make this huge decision for you -- especially given that the vast majority of kids won't react the way Justice very tragically may have done. What is a mother to do?
How did your first born feel about his or her siblings?
Image via LibAmanda/Flickr