So here is where I am at in this journey of motherhood...
The craziest thing happened in our family recently – we only had to pay for ONE kid in daycare!!! Now that may not sound like a huge deal to most, but for my husband and I, this is a huge step. Why? Because we have been sending our kids to daycare for more than 12 years and we’ve been paying for two (and sometimes three) kids in daycare for more than 10 YEARS!!!
So here is where I am at in this journey of motherhood: There is a part of me that wishes we would have more kids, there is a part of me that is super happy to be on this side of things, and there is a part of me that is still coming to grips with being at this weird stage of only one kid in daycare. You see, I’ve been pregnant or nursing for the last 13 years!! That’s a LONG time, especially while I was in the muck of it. It seemed as though I was going to be pregnant or nursing FOREVER!! And yet, here I am looking back and thinking how ridiculously fast it all has gone. As the saying goes “the days are long, but the years are short” and I am realizing more than ever how true that saying is.
I know there are going to be those moms who know exactly what I mean when I say that I wish we would have more. Then there will be moms who had the number of kids they wanted and were happy to leave the pregnancy symptoms, sleepless nights and the baby stage behind them. Some days I wish that was me, but alas it is not. I knew that five was our max, and I know that some people feel that’s a LOT, but I still couldn’t help feeling sad that our youngest would be my last. I will forever miss the first weeks of simply doing nothing but bonding and nursing a newborn baby. I will miss the newborn baths, the smell of a fresh baby, their stretches with their little butts out, the first smiles, giggles and the big one for me – how excited the older siblings are to meet their new brother/sister for the first time. How they want to hold them and give them a bottle while I’m away; how everything just simply seems to be better with a baby in the house. I don’t know if I will EVER be ready to be done, but I am coming to grips with the reality of it.
It’s the little things though that make me super happy to be on this side of things. I am still in the midst of the go-go-go with activities, drop-offs, pick-ups, diaper changes, bedtime routine, etc., and I am a little glad I am not having to sacrifice going to those things due to morning sickness. Then there are moments of writing a check to daycare for only ONE child that kinda makes me do a happy dance, and knowing that if we had one more we would need two different vehicles to accommodate the size of our family. There are also so many moms who come into the office who are in their first trimester and dealing with morning sickness and all I can think is THANK YOU for reminding me of how miserable I am that first trimester. The biggest reason I am happy to be on this side of things is that my body is completely mine again! Remember when I said I had been pregnant or nursing for 13 years??? That really is a long time to have another human rely on your body!
Despite all those amazing positives, I would still give them all up to do it again. How crazy does that sound?! I guess you could say that being in this stage has made me realize how incredibly difficult every stage of motherhood is but how many awesome things there are at every stage as well. Looking ahead, I know there will be more difficult things (like losing sleep because you’re worrying about them being out with their friends as opposed to being awake because of nighttime feedings), but at the same time, other areas will get better. For now though, I am working on not focusing so much on what I am leaving behind or on what the future might bring, but instead I’m focusing on the little things that make me happy being at this stage of motherhood.