So a long time ago an early twenties version of myself wasn’t cut out for motherhood. I’d decided it was something that wasn’t for me. I got engaed at 23, married at 24 and bought my first house at 28. We had a ball for a while partying and holidaying in beautiful places. But towards the end of my twenties I felt a pull and knew being a parent was something I really wanted to experience.
Me and the hubster often joke about the fact that even though both pregnancies were meticulously planned, that we still feel like we have become an unexpected family of four! Do you ever just look at yourself and wonder how you got here? (Can’t just be me!)
After my first I swore there would be no more (my friends can confirm how adamant I was!) But only two years later; there was our second bundle lying in my arms staring at me. What was it that made me a mother of two? And am I done?
Well to start things off my pregnancies both times were a struggle to put it mildly. I was sick for the full nine months, losing weight and even being induced early second time round because I was so ill. So that immediately puts me off the thought of doing it again. My pain threshold; I have found out is also nil so another labour makes me feel faint! Yet I still went back a second time? I think people are right in a way when they say that you forget quickly. You never forget the pain but you do contextualise it into a manner that makes it something that you feel you could overcome if you wanted to.
For me the decsion making when considering our second was that I never wanted my son to be an only child. There was a huge gap between myself and my brother so I never had a normal sibling relationship with him when we were younger – I mothered him! Yet we are extremely close now and I really wanted that lifetime bond for my son in his future years. Do I want my daughter to experience being a big sister? Not that much!
Although I love my children, I have never felt that being a mother was something that’s come naturally to me. Yes I am organised, I enjoy ‘mumsy’activities so am able to conjur the image of that craftsy, baking, messy play loving mum that people seem to aspire to. But I still lie at night wondering why I enjoy that minute after they are both in bed so much?! Even now with three years mothering under my belt I feel like a novice. Whereas at work I am in control, at home I feel like I’m winging it! And as a self confessed control freak that is what I find the most difficult.
Money is obviously a factor. How many of us could say it isn’t? More children equal bigger houses, bigger cars and extra household expenditure. To think of having another you wonder what you would cut back on and the impact it would have on the family as a whole. Even when going from one to two we had to consider childcare costs. Which brings me on to time.
Do I actually have enough time for everything going on in my life? I sometimes cut myself in two trying to make time for both kids equally (mothers of three or more avert your eyes before you bitchslap me for complaining!) But I know my quality time with my eldest was impacted when I had my daughter so to add another would be cutting it again. I have a full time job, I bake, I blog and I am a wife. These roles do not just trundle on unaided. Each part of me needs nourished and I am forever watchful of spreading myself too thinly.
Selfishly I feel I am just getting on my feet as a working mother and know that I don’t want anything to unbalance that. This is what makes me believe we are complete. I look at my family and am overwhelmed by happyness(most of the time…when they aren’t tantruming, teething or being total prats!)
So why then do i still feel a little sad?
Because everytime I see a squishy baby I still drink in the smell, the sleepy cuddles and the rememberance of first smiles. Of course I block out the night feeds, the colic and the horror of labour! I realise I will never feel that crazy feeling when you do the test and see those two lines appear. I will never experience those first flutters and kicks in my belly again, all the incredible first baby days are gone to me now. I wonder how my daughter would get on being an elder sister rather than the baby of the family. I know how amazing my son has been as a big brother. I also secretly love the idea of a big brood!
But alas the part of my heart that feels that way is vastly overshadowed by the part of my brain that reads me the riot act and tells me we could not afford the wine bills if we were to have another! In all seriousness I know we are done. I have so many more firsts to come with my two children. I have so many wonderful new experiences yet to discover. And even though I am content with the decision it’s ok not to be entirely happy with it. Just like I will never experience that heady first love moment or first date feeling again. In this life there has to be a point where you stop chasing the rainbow and see that you already have a pot of gold. Someone recently told me you would never regret the children you have, only the ones you do not. It is a lovely sentiment but for me I dont want to live my life in perpertual longing. We are already looking forward to the children being old enough to start having some proper adventures. I know parents of one who decided that was them done. I also know mothers of four who are contemplating another because they know their family isn’t complete. There’s no perfect number. Just whatever is pefect for you.
So I know I am done. I am content with my unexpected yet planned family of four.
How do you feel about your family? Do you feel complete or are you already planning the next? Please get in touch I love hearing from you all.
The Tale of Mummyhood
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