By Amanda Elder of Stay-at-Home Panda
We have two boys. Two perfectly sweet and charming boys. They are so much fun—inquisitive, joyful, adventurous and loving. But they are also exhausting, which is why I balk when people say things like, “Oh, you need to try for a girl!”
Don’t get me wrong—I really am a sucker for little rompers, and if I could dress a chunky diaper-booty in leggings, I’m pretty sure my heart would turn to mush. But still, we are satisfied with our rugged little XYs, and feel good about having baby-making behind us.
Although it’s not for us, I understand why some people want to keep having babies. For one, there is nothing more incredible than watching children grow. You get to delight in their innocence and hold their hands as they learn about the world. They rest their little heads on our shoulders and make us feel like the most important people in the world — their smiles, laughs, and little sounds. I forget what the purpose of life was before children.
Children are awesome. But do you know what else is awesome? Sleep, relaxation, and other far-fetched notions.
I am done with waking up every few hours all through the night. Quality sleep doesn’t happen with babies, but I’m delighted to share that we recently sleep trained our young toddler. We are getting good rest now after a poor 4-year stretch. Good sleep is literally what dreams are made of.
I am done with wearing rags as clothes. I hope to take pride in my wardrobe one day soon. When my four-year-old needs to wipe his hands, he considers my garments his personal towel. I’ve tried to break him of this habit, but half the time I pop my hip out as an offering. While my eldest uses my bottoms, my youngest uses my top, and I am usually rocking smeared banana on my boob.
Speaking of boobs, I am done with nursing all over again. My nips have been abused, and that is not an exaggeration.
I am done with not being able to relax. The other day we went to our neighborhood pool in the late afternoon. I was chilly after getting out of the water, so I laid on a lounge chair and let the sun blanket me. I wanted to close my eyes and go limp while basking in the gentle sunshine. However, I had to keep watch that my mobile baby wasn’t going to experiment with his own buoyancy. I can never let my guard down. One day I want to.
I am done with being mad at my husband when I’m not really mad at him. The needs and demands of babies stretch us thin. We don’t have our village to help us raise our children, so we are constantly tagging each other in and out. There are times we are short and irritable, not because we have any reason to be upset with each other, but because we are depleted. As our children get more independent, we will have more time and energy to put into each other, and we value that.
I am done with pleasurable things being such a pain. Like dining and traveling. This past summer we took our young family to Costa Rica. Any enjoyment that was found in our adventure was countered with strenuous labor and tears. Maybe next time we go on a trip we won’t be pushing around two car seats and a mountain of bags on our BOB while our three-year-old screams his head off in the airport because “Daddy won’t wear his backpack too!”
I am done with pretending I’m done. Because I realize I just don’t know. Parenthood only puts you in the trenches for so long; then you kinda forget about all the times you yelled into a mattress and hid in your own closet. Like a woman who quickly forgets the actual pain of labor once the baby arrives, I find myself deceived by all the cute and funny things my children do. I used to want to get through these tough motherhood times and get my life back. But now this is my life, and I wouldn’t change it at all. Children make for some tough moments, but they also help me live in the moment. They show me the wonder in life and make me believe in the healing properties of sprinkles. They make me strive everyday to be a better person and make me feel endless gratitude, for my cup truly runneth over. When I walk down the street, people often say, “You have your hands full,” to which I feel like saying, “You should see my heart!”
I’m not saying we plan on having more children, but I’m done with being certain we’re done.
This post was originally published on Stay-at-Home Panda.
About the Author
Amanda is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom in Orlando, FL. When she’s not playing with trains or doing dishes, she is writing about it. Find her at Stay-at-Home Panda.
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