The sweet lady with her teen son replied, "Oh, no--I'm actually enjoying this. I miss these days sooo much."
I jumped back, "Really? I'm told I will one day--I'm not sure I believe it...yet."
"Oh, trust me. Mine are 21, 15, and 13. I miss these days more than you know."
One of our biggest discussions around these parts the last few months has been this whole idea of when do you stop having kids, is our family complete now, is this even in our control??
Actually, I should say, the conversation has dwindled down recently because according to my husband it's been tabled until we have time to sit on it, to really think about it, to pray about it, to see where life takes us in the next year or so. Right now we just aren't on the same page, nor are we ready to make any decisions. So as usual in our marriage, we just wait. No one trump-cards the other. No one gets sneaky. We stop worrying about perfect-age-gaps between our kids, because, we don't really care about that. We just wait and see where our heart takes us.
But let me back up. Before you got married, did you have ideas of how many children you'd have? Did you discuss details of the approximate number of little bodies that will
We might have.
Okay, fine we totally did.
And if you're wondering....4. That's what we said back then in those days. And no, we never used any of the baby names we discussed back then either.
The problem is, you see, I'm a realist. My husband might call it something different, ahem. But let's just say if I feel overwhelmed now, with two kids, which, to be very honest with myself and you, I do most days. (Please stop laughing mom of lots of children. I know. Perspective.) Then I think---WHY ON EARTH WOULD I HAVE MORE? Back then, when I said 4, I had no clue. I just thought that I was kid 3 of 4, and I loved it. So, yea, 4 sounds good. Never did I consider my mom in all this.
I admit that I don't handle stress very well. It's a weakness of mine. In a moment of high stress I feel my entire world is crashing down and I might get a tad-bit dramatic about it. But the idea of more than two children absolutely terrifies me.......at this moment right now.
My reasons for this are more than just the whole raising-a-whole-'nother-person-thing, although that's part of it. I mean, it starts alllllllllll the way back to how I feel like I'm dying a slow flu-death from about the moment of conception on. I become the World's Worst Mother when I'm growing a human in my mid-section. I am capable of basically nothing. Every smell sends me into a spiraling downward pit of Puke All The Time. I become way too familiar with every throne in the house. Can't even prepare my children breakfast without the wafting smell from the fridge getting stuck up my nose and making me sick for the entire dang day. I mean, every system in my body feels like it's shutting down except my uterus apparently, and well, that just doesn't work for me when I have other children to take care of.
And before you say that every pregnancy can be different--all I know is, that sounds like a trick to get me knocked up again. A mean 'ole trick. I have two full term pregnancies now that I've learned from. I can only go based on history......................and you know what they say about history. It repeats itself.
I sometimes feel so pulled between just my two children right now that I want to just call TIME-OUT on the world so I can have a moment to pull myself together and figure out Who Do I Get To First? Too bad that a quick time-out-freeze-life magic aren't my superpowers because Lord knows I could have used that. Instead I was born with none. Rude.
I like where I'm at now. Physically and mentally I am feeling pretty good (ok, the snow and cold miiight have me down a bit, but Spring is coming. Yes. Yes it is. Breathe.), and I love that I can do fun things with my kids and run and play and keep up. I know I'd lose my body again if we decided to have a bigger family, and while yes, that's a tiny struggle in my mind, at least I know I have the tools to get back there if I had to, I guess.
I think about when and if we'll ever move from this townhouse. Right now I feel crammed and yet I know larger families live happily (while I'm sure a little squished) in even closer quarters and I feel like a brat for even caring about something like that. But admittedly, I do think about it.
I think about how fun having my two girls is now (and also how hard some days are), and imagine that traveling with just two is probably so much easier than traveling with more. That maybe, just maybe, this could be our life as a family of four and I actually think I'd be very happy with that.
But then there's this part of me that isn't sure. There's that part of me that just cannot fathom the idea of not going through another beautiful birth and seeing my husband hold a tiny, sweet newborn that we made together again. But I sure as heck don't want to do it again for a looooooong while.
The funny thing is, ultimately, we don't really have control over this stuff, as much as we think and hope we do--- really, we just don't know.
I think what's important for me to remember is the here and now. I really think that's the phase in life I'm in. I'm totally and completely content with these two amazing gifts. I have beautiful little ladies that God entrusted me with. Right now, being a girl-momma is my thing. It's what I am, it's what I know. I may not necessarily want any more children (now), but I have no idea of what the future holds for my family, and that's ok, too.
I'm really ok not knowing right now. I mean, what do we actually know anyway?
That lady at the Y last night reminded me of one thing, I will enjoy this season of life. Because no matter what our future holds for us and for our family, there will come a time when we miss it. Or at least that's what I'm told. :)
What are your thoughts on this whole topic? How do you and your spouse handle differences when it comes to your ideas for your family? When did you know your family was complete? Did you have lofty goals for # of kids you'd have and then, like me, reality kinda smacks you?