29 April 2013

on being a mama again....

I write this post in my head almost every day, but then most weeks it changes.

It feels like a pendulum and it's swinging wildly, and quite honestly I don't know when I'm ever going to stop the constant tick tock, back and forth.

Some weeks I feel very satisfied with my lot in life and think it would be madness to mess with the current formula. Other weeks I find myself already in the throes of planning how and when.

What am I talking about?

One day I'm all YES, I want to open myself to the gift of becoming a mama again. I close my eyes and I can hear the sound of another little MNM running around the house creating merry havoc, playing with his/her energetic big brothers, adding sparkle and individuality and God-breathed uniqueness to our family. I have no doubt a little person would multiply the mama love I have in my heart.

I know how much I've enjoyed this gift of being a mama to my 2 gorgeous boys and I know that the journey would be rich and rewarding.  These things I know with all my heart.

But then my head takes over.

The already-struggling-to-stay-afloat me says 'what on earth are you thinking you silly moo! Adding another child into your already busy lives when you already both work full-time would add even more challenge into the mix and require trying to juggle even more balls than you're already trying to keep up in the air. How on earth do you expect to be able to cope?'

The realist in me says 'Meg you're not even a natural baby mama. You don't even like the baby stage very much, you never really enjoyed breastfeeding, and if you're really honest, don't you spend most of the time waiting for them to grow up and get to the talking, walking stage when you actually find them fun?!'

The selfish side of me says 'look how hard you worked to get your body back after each baby. It took months of hard slog, eating well and exercising a lot. Do you really want to put yourself through that all over again?'

The health-conscious side of me says 'last year was really rough for you health-wise. Now that things seem to be on a bit more of an even keel, why would you risk all that going wrong again just to grow another baby?'

The practical side of me says 'how would it ever work? You're already so busy with various social and sporting commitments weeknights and weekends are already fully taken up with kids sports and church, where on earth would you fit in the needs of another little person amongst that?

The planner in me says 'the boys are already nearly 7 and 4. Isn't it getting a bit late to contemplate another kid without the age gap getting too big?'

The mama who feels like she spends half her time breaking up fights and negotiating says to me 'and you want to add another voice into the already loud and messy equation?' 

Oh my head keeps telling my heart that babies are hard work. Those long nights of endless feeding, the desperation of trying to get them into some kind of sleep routine when they aren't having a bar of it.

When we discussed children before we embarked on this journey, we both agreed that we only wanted two kids. And now we have those two beautiful kids. But that doesn't stop my heart from this longing, irrational though it might be. This longing is probably the subconscious reason why I haven't got rid of any of baby clothes, strollers, change table, bottles etc.

Even if I keep dismissing the idea out of mind, I know it will at some point come back because it always does. I don't honestly know if that longing will ever go away, or whether I will simply learn to live with it? And one day, a few years from now, I wonder will I look back and know we made the right decision?

All I know is right now.....I still don't know.


Catching the Magic said...

Brilliant, honest writing. I think your feelings are natural and part of age too. If it happens you'd make it work and love that little life with all you've got - but in reality you know it would be tough too.

It's been tough for Dan and I on our relationship. We have very little time together, but are finally beginning to see the light - still a little out of our grasp though!

All I can say, from my own perspective, is I have no regrets, but the third child definitely ended my 'should we, shouldn't we' thoughts in my head for good (and I have away the baby clothes etc with lightening speed as she out grew them!) xx

Catching the Magic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miriam said...

Beautiful post Meghan.... it's a tight line. Exciting thoughts for you... I thought you might have ended the post with a PS I'm preggers! :o)

Gail said...

Such a raw, honest post. And such a personal, individual decision.
We have been at that place too.

Am sure God knows.


CHD said...

I think family size is something many of us struggle with or have struggled with. I've ended up with 4 and am very grateful for each of them. After I had no. 4 I felt very content that our family was complete. I found the jump from 3 the most demanding and difficult and spend a lot of my time feeling overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising 4 kids- mostly pressures I put on myself to spend enough time with each of them and being the mother I want to be to them. I don't know of anyone who has regretted having that extra child in their family. I haven't anyway. Beautiful post. Cx

PaisleyJade said...

We struggled with these thoughts after we had our planned three... Logically things were best with 3 but it just didn't quite feel like our family was complete. It's a tough decision only you guys can make! Xoxo

jacksta said...

been there...and now at the other side :)

Leonie said...

It's a tough decision. After our first two I had very similar feelings and although happy did not feel our family was complete. Enter #3. And my heart is full and I have no doubt we are exactly what we're supposed to be. We are complete. I thought you were going to end with a final statement of "I'm Pregnant!" too! good luck! x

Dee said...

It's interesting, I was *just* thinking last night how this is usually the time we start thinking about getting pregnant again...but, I actually don't have the slightest urge to have another baby. I used to be so concerned that I'd never feel "done", but our family feels so complete (phew!)
I'm so happy to not be in that to-ing and fro-ing state anymore :)

(personally, i think another little MnM would be such a delicious addition though ;)

Ange - Tall, Short and Tiny said...

I think you know when your family is complete, and it would appear that the other lovely commenters would agree. When H was born, I looked at him and knew that this was our family...if you're not convinced you're done, then I say, "shut up head, speak up heart!"
The photos of your babies are delicious...so you already know that another one would be so. And in all reality, those awful long nights and feeding struggles last for such a short time (although it doesn't feel like it at the time!), and you know you've come out the other side, intact, twice already.
Also, I too expected this post to end with something like, "well, it turns out that I don't have to think about the pros and cons anymore because..."

Michelle said...

I think no matter what, we women are always carry that maternal desire - to one extent or other. I have two kids and we called it quits because pregnancy was tough on me and I had 2 c-sections - plus other reasons too, like financial, life-style etc. I recently spent some time staying at my sister's place...she'd just had number 3. I was worried how it might make me feel. But you know what? I enjoyed cuddling and fussing over her new bubba but I felt no desire to have my own. I handed over that baby over with relief....my kids are 11 & 7...so maybe I've well and truly moved on. In your heart, you'll know what is right for you...best of luck. PS Sorry for the epic essay comment! xx

Belinda said...

It's so hard to know! I can really relate to "I don't honestly know if that longing will ever go away, or whether I will simply learn to live with it"

And I do worry that I will never feel "finished."

I wrote about it here a while back: http://bebybelinda.blogspot.co.nz/2011/08/when-is-enough-enough-one-that-will.html

Good luck!

Unknown said...

What a lovely honest post. I have to say that I found the jump from 2 to 3 much easier than going from 1 to 2. And number 4 just slotted straight in there as if he always had been! I'm hoping no5 will too when he/she arrives.

I know after no4 I thought we were probably done. After all four kids is already considered a big family. I didn't feel done though but instead often prayed that if we weren't meant to have any more children the longing to do so would go away. Looks like I got my answer and I hope you do too :0)

Bron said...

It is a really tough place to be...my doctor chatted to me when I lamented the same to her...she said that i probably would always have a strong maternal instinct but sometimes the head has to be strong and make the call.....hope you find peace in whatever you decide...I know I would have another in a heartbeat..it is not the now i am worried about it is the 10 years form now. xxxx

Cat said...

you will find your way Meghan...
in any decision there is a level of melancholy and letting go of another reality..there is always a death to morn of some kind or another...truly

but as i started
I know this
you will find your way
the one right for you and your precious family

love and light

Curious Runner said...

I love this post. Now, being a Mama, I can totally imagine how hard that decision must be to make. God's got great plans for you and your wonderful family, however many children you have :) xx

Melissa @ www.thebestnest.co.nz said...

Oh Meghan.
This is the exact reason why 8.5yrs after having E I am having a second baby. Why I held on to baby clothes and precious toys for 8.5 years! I had the maternal urge come and go throughout that whole period, but the timing was never right. After a miscarriage we waited again, through the passing of my Dad we waited again, and last year, though the chatter in my mind wasn't too loud, we knew the timing was right.
Ours is a slightly different situation as we only had one child, but, after 8 years the thoughts were not coming any closer to fading away!


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