Is it Time to Move on?

As I organize my older son’s closet, I am finding the most precious of memories in the form of pictures, school projects and love notes.  Last night, we all sat on the floor and looked through it all, which made me teary eyed.  Even my kids said they felt emotional.  My oldest commented, “those were good times mom…good times”.  LOL

How is it my son is now eight and he was just two, starting pre-school in the pink room?  I have no idea.  This is not an article about time passing by, but more a reality check of where I am today.  Anyone who knows me is well aware I would welcome the idea of having a fourth baby.  Some call me insane, some call me brave and others just shake their heads and give me a look that says it all.  I can understand the puzzling expressions as we can all agree no matter how many kids you have, there are times when you feel like checking yourself into a mental facility.

Do I need a fourth baby?  Uh…NO.  Do I want a fourth baby?  Most days “YES”, a few “perhaps” and on a rare occasion, a “NO WAY”.   My husband travels for work, I am not getting any younger or any richer, do not have family nearby and already have a very full plate (who doesn’t).

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Yes, I am one of those annoying women who loves to be pregnant.  I felt happy all the time (well except maybe that one time at three months when I found a giant vein on my vagina in the shower and almost called 911), loved knowing that there was a person growing inside of me, and had amazing boobs and hair.  On a serious note, that day in the delivery room we wait so very long for is really like nothing else in the world.  Meeting your child for the first time is truly indescribable, wouldn’t you agree?

Is having babies over for me?  Is that it?  Wow…that went way too fast!  I so crave and want that feeling again.  I have so much love to give and want to raise, teach and nurture another little human being.  As my husband reminds me, I have plenty more years of raising, teaching and nurturing my current three children.  Am I addicted to being pregnant?  Sounds like a new show for TLC.

For me, it’s definitely hard to separate the emotional feelings from the practical ones.  My supermarket bill is already astronomical!  Four kids in private school?  Four kids to put through college?  I don’t think so.  It’s too bad babies aren’t born with jobs.  Picture your newborn coming out holding a paycheck with your name on it.  How awesome would that be?

The truth is I really don’t want to be a slave to nap time anymore.  I am sick of always worrying if some moron is going to ring the bell, even though the sign on my door clearly states “DO NOT knock or ring bell please.  You wake him, you take him”.  I don’t want to have to hide the dog in the furthest room away from the baby, so when the post man comes, she doesn’t bark and ruin my one hour of free time.   We can’t forget about the freakishly enormous breasts, finding the time to pump and feeling like a cow, horrified at the way our body looks, brushing out clumps of hair, sleepless nights, a million bottles and parts to wash, blah blah blah.  It all sounds horrible but I did it three times, so it must not be too bad, right?

The truth is I wouldn’t mind standing by the bassinet at 3AM poking my baby to make sure he or she is breathing, watching his or her little stomach moving up and down.  I can train my dog not to bark, right?  (She is 11 so maybe not.)  I can get some patience when someone wakes up my baby instead of absolutely going nuts and chasing them down the street, right?  (Yes, I once drove up and down my block looking for the rep from a very well known charity who rang my bell at 9:30 at night.  She woke up my whole house after I spent an hour putting the baby to bed, having to spend the next two hours trying to put him back to bed.  Lack of sleep can make a person go psychotic, what can I say.

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Who needs all that hair anyway?  Anyone need to stuff a pillow?  Breastfeeding may be the most intimate moment you can share with your child, of course aside from either pushing your child out of your vagina (that is the second time I have used the word vagina in one article-sorry folks) or having a doctor cut your insides to take him or her out.  (Three C-Sections over here.)  When the doctor said, “you are going to feel a bit of pressure”, he actually meant to say, “it’s going to feel like I am putting your insides into a vice and squeezing it as tightly as possible until you can’t breathe, while I pull a human being out of the tiny cut I made in your stomach”.  Sounds awesome.  So why would I want to go through that again?  If the experience was so bad and traumatizing, no one would give birth.  So quickly we forget.

Who needs sleep anyway?  I will sleep when I’m dead.  Bottles, sippy cups, my cups, your cups..what’s the difference.  P.S. I have learned wearing rubber gloves helps your nail polish stay on longer.  I only know this now because I just started doing my nails…who has time for that when you have a baby?  Oh wait, positive paragraph here.  No one is looking at my nails…they are looking at the baby.

No-carreolaSome people hate the baby stage but I just loved it.  I will never be one of those moms who say, “I am done.  Definitely no more for me”.  I am more like the “what’s one more” type of mom.  Will that ever change?  My husband says I can have one more but it won’t be with him.  Did I just get permission for a hall pass?  Thanks but too tired and I have a headache.  LOL

It is really hard to accept the fact that this beautiful, tiring and amazing time in my life is coming to an end.  I guess I always thought of myself as a mom to little ones.  It’s what I am good, no great at.  Will I be good at having teenagers?  G-d I hope so.  At some point though, I have to move on and enjoy the next stages of my kid’s lives.

I had a really interesting conversation with a dad a few weeks ago after he asked me if I was sad that I wasn’t going to have any more kids.  I was taken back because it was something I have been struggling with.  How did he know?  Was it written on my forehead?  Maybe it was the baby at a recent party we were at that I couldn’t stop staring and gushing over.  He said that a part of you almost becomes stuck in time when you keep growing your family.  I look puzzled at first but it really made so much sense.  I am still going to the library every week to enjoy story time with my two year old and have been going for six years between all three boys.  Yes, it’s with a different child but it is the same stage I am experiencing over and over again.  While I am having new experiences as my first ages, I am repeating the phases all over again with my second and third.  I never thought about it that way before.  If I was to have a fourth baby, I would be reliving it all…again.  It’s almost like the movie Groundhog Day.  At some point, you have to move on and accept that life needs to change and can’t stay the same forever.

I know I am so very very blessed to have had three healthy pregnancies and I know there are so many couples who are not able to experience that.  For those of you who are still on the journey of starting your family, whether it is through pregnancy, surrogacy, adoption, etc., enjoy every second of it because it goes by really really fast.

Soon I hope I can come to terms with the fact that my baby time has come and gone.  Okay, that sounds way too dramatic but it’s true.  It also doesn’t help that on a daily basis, someone asks me if I am ready for my 4th or if I am going for the girl.  For the record, I would absolutely love a fourth boy!  Words can’t really describe my experiences of becoming a mom, from the time I discovered the stick had two blue lines on it, to the time I met my three amazing sons.

I hope my kids know how much being a mom means to me, how much it has truly changed my life and how it has made me the person I am today.  Having kids has given me confidence and patience, helped me to be creative and allowed my dreams to come true.  Now that sounds dramatic and it should.   I mean every word of it!  It also sounds pretty satisfying as I am reading this.

Am I selfish to want another child because of the way it makes me feel when I am pregnant, holding my baby for the first time, breastfeeding, etc.?  In my opinion, how can someone be selfish when they only want to bring love, joy and nurturing to another person’s life.  Maybe it’s the idea of feeling needed.  As my kids get older, it seems they don’t need me as much but in reality, they will only need me more as the years go by.  Cutting their steak, getting them dressed, kissing their boo boos and packing their lunch boxes is the current measurement of their dependence on me.  I imagine the future definition will involve more emotional and more serious needs.

I teach my kids to appreciate everything they have, to enjoy the moment, focus on the positive and be happy with what they have instead of always wanting more.  As a mom, I have to practice what I preach.  I am so extremely thankful for my three amazing, handsome, loving and exhausting boys.  I feel like the luckiest mom in the world!  If I count my dog, who is probably the most spoiled (isn’t that always the case) and my husband, (whom, ladies, we all know can be more work than the kids-sorry babe, love you) I actually have five children and that is plenty for me!

TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD!™