Wednesday, July 28, 2010
moms of many and moms of few
today was a day much like any other. the boys were up bright and early, breakfasts were eaten, clothes were put on, josh was calling around to see if he could find any work for next week (work has, frighteningly been very scarce again lately), a walk was taken and so was a nap. lunch was served, dishes were washed, books were read, balls were thrown and a visit to the library happened. after the library visit and before dinner was started, i collapsed on my bed with the sound of tristan's persistent questions and demands in one ear and samuel's whines and frustrations in my other ear. just before josh whisked them away into the backyard so that i could get dinner on, i gave him a hug and whispered jokingly, "i think we have too many kids."
the real, dirt-bottomed makeup-less and naked honest truth is that sometimes i almost do feel like i have too many kids. WHAT? but you only have 2 kids! i know! i ONLY have 2 kids. and one time, a very very long time ago i agreed to have 3 kids. and now whenever i happen to think of that agreement i feel as if i need a brown paper bag to breathe into.
it is not as if i would happily give one of my children up; please don't take my ramblings that way. and it is not as if i'm not thankful that God saw fit to bless us with 2 healthy babies; every single day when i pray for them, i thank the Lord that he gifted us with such miracles. its just that i think that 2 kids is about right. and i also think that 3 kids may just push me over the edge.
i have plenty of friends and acquaintances who have 3 or 4 or more children. my own mother, in fact had 4 children of her own. and so many times in the past i have compared myself to them, wondering what in the world is so wrong with me that i just can't seem to be okay with having that many kids. sometimes i think that perhaps all of their children are angel babies who sleep a whole lot and are happy the rest of the time. then i think that perhaps they just don't care as much as i do about leftover food crusted onto the kitchen floor and fingerprints on the windows and frog legs being ingested. but i would always seem to find "moms of many" who wouldn't fit into the mold i thought they should fit into; moms who were neat freaks like me, or moms who had a couple of difficult sleepers and yet they still willingly wanted to have even more children. and that not only baffled me, it made me feel a bit guilty for not feeling the same way. you see, josh has always wanted 3 children and he still does. as much as he adores his sons, he would love to have a daughter. (of course, we both know that just because we have 2 boys already doesn't mean that we would for sure have a girl next time. you really don't need to point that out.)
earlier this week i was blog hopping and i saw something very interesting linking a mother's ability to cope in the chaos with the fact that she is either an introvert or an extrovert. if you think about it, extroverts gain energy when they are around people. introverts, on the other hand, gain energy only when they are alone. for me, as an introvert, i not only need to be alone to feel energized; i also need to have absolute and complete silence all around me. that just does not happen around here very often which is why i think i feel like a great mom until around 1:00 when the baby is napping and i need my space, but tristan is all over me to play with him. i lose my patience so easily in the early afternoon and once the baby wakes up i am literally counting down the hours until bedtime, just wanting some peace and quiet!
when i let that train of thought sink in, i felt a little bit freer all of a sudden. there is a reason why i come home from noisy play dates feeling spent and exhausted. there is a reason why i sometimes bribe my oldest to play all by himself for 30 minutes so mommy can simply not think about anything. and there is a reason why the thought of having just one more child makes me instantly break out into a cold sweat. the "me" time that i so desperately crave isn't a purely selfish desire. it is also a need that i really can't afford to ignore and that i shouldn't feel so guilty indulging in. i am an introvert. i need my quiet space in order to feel like a happy human. and no, realizing this has not brought josh and i any closer to an agreement in how many children we'd like to end up with, but for now we are more than happy with what we have.
(...but my friend leah's advice to "call it a day and have josh get permanently fixed?" sounds like absolutely grand advice to me!)