My son stopped sleeping this week. Like literally just stopped. I put him to bed, crawled into my own bed, rolled over and there he was standing there, staring at me. It’s freaky. Needless to say, I am tired.
After a night of zero hours of sleep, I decided it was a good idea to take both boys with me to Target after nap time (I use the word “nap” loosely) to take advantage of their baby sale, get 4 giant boxes of diapers and kill some time. I knew if we stayed home and I stopped moving, my eyes would close and my children would burn the house down around me.
This entire Target run didn’t turn out at all how I imagined it would, and it was one of the more overwhelming outings we have been on. I’ll spare you all the details, but let’s just say it all came down to the drive home when I realized I didn’t even have bedtime to look forward to that night because of my son’s new super ability to stay up all night and appear at my bedside out of nowhere.
All of a sudden it hit me, along with hot tears that turned into an ugly cry: I can never have more kids. I’m maxed out. This is it.
My childbearing years are over. I’ll never get a last time being pregnant and know it is my last time being pregnant. I’ll never get a girl. I’ll never get to help my daughter get ready for prom, or buy her tampons, or go shopping for her wedding dress. Life as I pictured it is over. I’m just a worn-out mom of two boys. I really want more kids. but I’ll never be able to have them because I can’t even handle the ones I have.
So….that escalated quickly.
The reality is, there are days when I find myself thinking that we made a big mistake having two kids. We really aren’t good at this. It’s too hard. What if we mess them up?
Other days I think that we are such cool and awesome parents. We are totally rocking at this raising kids thing and we should have at least five more!
Then there was today. After I had my melodramatic meltdown, I had an epiphany. It’s like a light bulb turned on in my brain. Seriously, guys, it is so brilliant: I don’t have to know right now how many kids I’m going to have. Yep, you heard me.
Everyone is always asking things like:
Are you going to have more?
When are you going to try for a girl?
I can’t believe you aren’t pregnant again yet.
You’re done having kids, right?
Are you on birth control?
I usually have some long, drawn-out answer about how we meant to wait longer between our first two kids but since they’re so close together we are going to wait even longer for a third. Unless it just happens before that because we aren’t completely in control of these things. We want to wait until my husband is done with college or until the two kids we already have leave for college (or are at least potty trained), but we think we probably want three or four eventually.
As of today, I have a new answer for those people: “We have no idea, and you will probably find out when we do.”
It can go one of two ways. Either we will have more kids or we won’t. It isn’t something we have to know. Besides, if there is one thing I have learned in these 26 1/2 years I have been on this earth, it is that our plans never go the way we envision them. If they did, I would be a smokin’ hot Mama with perfect kids and a perfect marriage. I would be able to bake like Betty Crocker, rock a string bikini, get plenty of sleep and have lots of free time that I don’t know what to do with.
The truth is, I don’t know what’s going to happen. Even if we knew for sure that we wanted to have two more kids, we could end up not having any more. And even if we knew for sure that we don’t want any more, we could end up with two more. We just don’t know. I don’t mind when people ask about our plans for having more babies– I really don’t—but in all honesty, we don’t have any real plans, and I’m learning that it’s okay to just not know right now. It really isn’t up to us anyway.
Our family may or may not be complete yet, but it is certainly complete for now.