Saturday, June 28, 2014

So You Just Have Two Kids?

Just TWO? I hear it all the time. I meet a mom at the park, or the pool, or the Chick Fil A playground. Really friendly moms who usually start the conversation with the usual about how close in age my boys look to be, and then promptly ask if/when I want another. This is normal, and i'm used to (and sometimes still catch myself) do this all the time. It's a simple conversation starter about something we all have in common, but it started to get to me, and caused me to develop a complex about our current plan for our family. I started down a road I shouldn't have traveled. Again, totally my issues and not theirs.

The "really you just want two" started to have me question my abilities as a mom, because I personally thought that two was plenty to keep me busy EVERY second of the day. Sure maybe one day we might have another one Lord willing, but not today. Maybe (probably) not ever. I started to realize that there was a trend in the blogging world, as well as real life where stopping at two children was no longer status quo, and definitely the exception. It seemed (in my insecure mom mind) that the more children you had, the more validated you were as a stay at home mom because you could truly do it all and were the picture of selflessness.

These mom looked great, always stylish and put together, with the exception of their grungy days, but even those days for them involved a cute monogrammed hat to match their neon Nikes. Jealous here, not hating! I SO need a monogrammed hat! I would see mom's at preschool toting in 3 and 4 kids, while pregnant, AND they managed to blow dry their hair....baffles me. I'm just gonna tell myself their hair air dries like that.

All this to say, as much as I never thought it to be true, I had fallen into the comparison game. Not the typical comparison about clothes, money, or skinniness so much, but something much deeper. I was comparing my true abilities as a mom, and wondering why I didn't want 14.5 children. What was wrong with me? Shouldn't I want to give myself up entirely for my family, and be happy to continue reproducing little blonde hair blue eyed pudges? I mean my babies were fat and cute!

Here's another deep dark (not so dark) secret behind it all. I let the comments, my own insecurities and blogs...yes BLOGS, get to me. I convinced the hubby that we NEEDED another little human in our lives to be complete when I wasn't even sure I wanted another one, but I stuffed those feelings deep deep down. Of course I would love it...duh, but there was little to no prayer involved in the decision to conceive. I was trying to have another child because I felt guilty things were starting to get easier for me, that my children were sleeping through the night, and that for the first time in 2 years someone wasn't attached to my boob. I was finding my self worth in being in the trenches of have newborns and infants. It's hard, and everyone talks about it being so. So what about now when it's not as hard? Am I still a good mom? Am I giving enough of myself? How selfish am I that I could burst with joy at the idea of both my kids being in preschool next year, and me having 9 total hours a week to myself? know how God is. He kind of has a plan way better than our own. It took about 12 months trying + one month at the fertility clinic to realize I was content with my family. Whatever it was supposed to look like. Anyone dealing with infertility knows how exhausting and discouraging it can be, and I realized I was putting myself through all of this for nothing. I also am not comparing myself to all "other people struggling with infertility" because I do recognize the extreme blessing in my two boys even thought we have had our fair share of struggles along the way. As soon I got over myself and consulted God I started to see my life, by boys, and our future in a different light. The light my husband has been trying to show me all along....but bless him he was going to do whatever to make me happy. While I'm not opposed to having another baby one day (if I even can), I am starting to realize that I will still be very, very happy if that's not the plan for our family. Yes the sight of a newborn can bring me to tears, and it sometimes hurts my heart when I see people get pregnant so easily... like it's something they scheduled on their calender that week. I then have to count my blessing and move on. I have two amazing kids. TWO. That's a lot when you're talking about human beings!!

I prayed for God to show me some true benefits of having a smaller family, and I'm telling you he reveals something new every day. I've seen my boys relationship in a new light, and how much they LOVE each other and I know will always be friends. Their age gap is shrinking quickly, and I know it will soon dissolve entirely. They are getting to the age where they occasionally play independently and I can drink a cup of coffee.

I find that I can really focus on each of them throughout the day, and get to know them and see their little personalities form. I can play the games they want to play, do what makes them happy. I also realize that I can spend the time I need to discipline them the way they deserve (still learning here) to be happy functional little people because I'm not spread too thin right now.

We are balanced as a family, and there will always be a parent able to attend that baseball, soccer, or basketball game. Or bowling tournament if it's up to Max right now. In this current phase of an almost 2 and 3 year old, there is always someone to go down the slide with at the pool, and not worry that someone else is drowning. Man on man defense. We can load up on a whim and go anywhere.

We will not outgrow our home, and will always have plenty of space for guests which is important to us. We can also get away with whatever car we want.

We can afford to do more for our kids by way of vacations, activities, preschool, and eventually college. I am SO not the practical thinker and would roll my eyes when Cody would say this, but it is actually true for us. Not everyone, but it is for us since we love to travel and hope to have lots of fun family vacations in the future.We want our kids to see the world, and hope to one day be able to do that for them. Dreaming big there.

I (for now) can be a stay at home mom. Who knows that the future holds, but right now we can support our family of 4 with one salary and I couldn't be more grateful for that! I have also always dreamed about going back to nursing school which would be put even further on hold with another baby.

I am realizing more and more that organization and structure are not my strong suit, but I CAN on most days manage two kids. It makes me almost giddy when I get all the laundry done and have dinner ready....I am finally getting out of that baby haze and getting a grip on life!

I have also prayed for God to show me other families that look like mine, and get their point of view. I even ran into two older women today who have grown boys and I was able to sit and chat with them over a cake pop (the boys not me--stupid Weight Watchers) about their experiences and they didn't have regrets of not going for a third. They both said they really wanted a girl, but as time passed they knew their family was exactly as it should be. I don't even think about the "getting a girl" factor when I think about kids. I love having boys!

Basically I've written a novel when all I needed to say was God has a specific plan for all of us. If we are wise and tap into what he is trying to tell us, and follow his lead we will be content because we are living out HIS will for our lives. Yes a lot of this might look like a list I've put together to rationalize having two kids because I haven't been able to have a third, and that might be true. However, through all of this rationalizing my eyes have been opened to my amazing life that I was totally taking for granted! Bless your little souls if you read all of this, and thanks for letting me get all my thought out!

Happy weekend!! It's Friday!!


Sarina said...

All I have to say is "Amen" sister. Coming from a background with struggle in infertility, I very much appreciated your blog. I would spend so much time pitying myself when I only had one child. I would get down as if I had it all planned out and it just wasn't going my way. I love your attitude and while I was hoping for a second, God had other plans to make it three. I didn't know I was cut out for 3 or that it was even going to be possible and God did what I thought was the impossible. Life is so much more pleasant, meaningful and blessed when we step back and let God lead our lives, rather than trying to live our life according to our own expectations. So, thank you for your honest thoughts. I have been in your shoes and it was hard when people always thought we just wanted an only child, almost as if we didn't think we could manage another. People will always have their views and their opinions. We, as Mom's just have to keep on living as God has blessed us and move ahead, knowing that He is in control of all things. It doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. Ok, written way too much for this comment. You get the point :-)

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