Marriage Takes Work

Eleven years ago, I met my husband.

It happened at a tawny Christmas party in downtown Boston, fondly referred to as the “Tweed and Pearl” party. There wasn’t a great deal of diversity at this gathering, save the variety of Kate Spade bags, so when a tall Asian guy walked into the room, he immediately caught my attention. The party host later introduced us and we discovered we had a lot in common, from taste in music to world travel and future ambitions, we hit it off…of course, the open bar helped a bit too.

Compared to my past long-term relationships, DH was a shining star. I continued to believe that we had more in common than in contrast for quite some time. In fact, I believed it all the way through our engagement and right up to the third-week in to our premarital course, when we took the Myers-Briggs personality test to determine compatibility.

DH and I came out almost completely opposite, I was an ENFJ to his ESTP (and his E was only on the cusp of extrovert and introvert; mine was a no-contest). I was shocked!

But this wasn’t our first red flag. More

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.

%d bloggers like this: