A Personal Epiphany

Are you ready? I think I’m done having kids.

This may come as no surprise to most people that know me but it came as a surprise to me. You see, when I first met my DH, I wasn’t even sure I wanted kids at all. Once we got married and realized our future together was a solid foundation upon which we wanted to build, we committed to having children together and hoped the ability would be in our cards. We also both entertained the possibility of having three children, so our holiday tables would be lively and bustling with more family than either of us had experienced ourselves.

We are blessed and delighted that we have two healthy, beautiful, spunky children and that conception, pregnancy and delivery were all seamless and routine. But for the past year, as I’ve witnessed our youngest transform from baby to toddler and experienced the freedoms that come when your preschooler nears kindergarten-age, I’ve also realized the likelihood of adding a new baby to the mix has diminished.

The reality has been growing for a while but yesterday it matured during a conversation with a dear friend with whom I share more than just a compatible personality and young kids (but that’s a tale for another day). For now, I’ll just have to settle with this:

On the Christian calendar, January 6th is the twelfth and final day of Christmas, it marks the arrival of the Magi at the manger, the manifestation of the baby as Christ, to the gentiles. For me, today officially marks the epiphany that there will be no more babies in our home. I feel it with a very certain conviction and yet there’s an element of longing; perhaps brought on by knowing my friend– with whom I share so many parenting parallels–is continuing along her journey. Or perhaps just the reality that I recognize my personal limits, and they’ve been reached.

I don’t love being a mom. I love my children but I find motherhood, at least stay-at-home motherhood, to be a fairly isolating and lonely profession (I’ve been told this all changes once grade school begins. Bring it on I say!) But I do love balance and having one child per adult and one of each gender, for me, brings balance. DH reminds me that when I was pregnant with our first child, I was afraid my love for my husband would be bifurcated and I wouldn’t be able to love another as much. When I got pregnant again, I was worried I had already reached my ultimate “loving capacity” and that the second child would be on the losing end. None of this was true but as the product of a home broken many times over, fears like this are rampant.

And so I’ve come to terms with it, the baby train has stopped. Happy Epiphany everyone, may it not be the only one this year.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. slightlywonky
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 08:43:53

    I understand how you feel! I have also decided that I don’t intend to have another child. But when I see a little baby, I do feel sadness that I won’t be there again…holding my own, tiny, little one. I also relate to your views on motherhood. While I am not a stay at home mom, I am in awe of your ability to do so…and maintain some form of sanity! It IS the toughest job. It is rewarding/frustrating/fun/exhausting…and the list goes on. I’m sorry that your friend is so far away, and that you may not get to see her this year. Perhaps you can visit when she has the baby? Even if you have to stay in a hotel? I’m sure that she would love to see you, even if she’s in the midst of family readjustment.

    Reply

    • growingmuses
      Jan 11, 2011 @ 14:59:59

      yes, I agree that it is a cruel trick of Mother Nature to pull on our maternal heartstrings so. It is ingrained in our DNA to want to produce offspring and perpetuate the human race but modern humanity has transcended that and now we’re trying to make decisions and take actions to control the number of our species. Thanks for letting me know you feel this way too. I am thankful for the healthy and happy children we both have and that’s enough.

      Reply

  2. Caitlin
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 13:35:17

    Here’s to epiphanies!
    Love your openness and ability to really think things through (as opposed to stumbling through life as so many of us do).
    And of course you know that your holiday table will ALWAYS be lively and bustling.

    Reply

    • growingmuses
      Jan 11, 2011 @ 15:01:47

      who says I’m not stumbling through life?! thanks for your supportive comments. I sure hope we always have a bustling and lively holiday table, even if it means inviting the neighborhood to make up for our small nuclear family.

      Reply

  3. Maria
    Jan 09, 2011 @ 17:39:13

    You are really brave for saying what so many Moms won’t even admit to themselves (or soI’m told). I recently had this conversation with an old college friend who said the same thing. Being a Mom is really hard. Thank you for not sugar coating it and for giving those of us who are contemplating motherhood for the first time a very honest perspective.

    Reply

    • growingmuses
      Jan 11, 2011 @ 15:07:40

      You’re welcome. There’s plenty more where that comes from. I admire women who really find fulfillment in motherhood. I am not one of them. It’s tough, unscripted, uncharted and often thankless work. And the hardest thing, I won’t get a performance review until sometime in the teenage years at the earliest! So you’re contemplating motherhood for the first time!? Did I miss the wedding (this isn’t a social statement, it’s just I’d like to celebrate you before I celebrate your baby). Maybe you should start a blog ;o)

      Reply

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  5. jennifer
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 08:47:41

    You have captured perfectly the sense of relief but also sadness at the choice to not have another child. I remember the shock and awe when we we were both new moms (and my husband’s choosing a call from a very pregnant you to finally answer our phone after the baby’s birth!) We too made this decision. I know it’s the right one for everyone, but there’s still a bit of sadness and longong. Reminds me of the first trip to the OB after the baby and feeling sad that I wasn’t pregnant any longer (despite hating pregnancy!) Motherhood is truly a wonder and a challenge, and you’ve really described it so well. I enjoy you blogs — and thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • growingmuses
      Jan 11, 2011 @ 15:11:34

      Well I enjoy your feedback, thank YOU for sharing. I had never thought about that first postpartum trip to the OB but you’re right. I did not enjoy pregnancy and yet there we were, infant and new mother, on the precipice of a long life together, no turning back, there was an element of nostalgia too it (or perhaps it was the epiphany of “oh shit! what have I gotten myself into now?)

      Reply

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  7. DH
    Feb 09, 2011 @ 13:59:33

    I know how you feel about “being done”, although deep down part of me still wants a triumvirate of little people. We’ve got one of each now, so we’d be fully equipped & supplied for whatever gender a #3 “could” be…and our little guy has an even-keeled temperament (perfect for a middle child?)…

    Three may or may not be the new two – but that’s not the point. For our kids – we can already observe their differences in personalities, how they love and are affectionate with one another, and how their starting to enter that quarreling phase (which probably doesn’t end until their mid 20’s). I’m curious if another would be anything like one of the first two, and marvel at the thought of them having the 3 of each other someday – after our days have passed…

    Alas, no soup for DH. Instead I’ll have to settle for furred & finned creatures…

    Reply

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