On Saturday I got to go to lunch with two of my favorite high school buddies (and middle school buddies. You know, buddies I've had for a lllooooooonnnnngggg time). Emily and Steph met me here at my house and we went to Mimi's Cafe. I noticed some things while we ate/spent time together:
*The obvious one --we are all pregnant! (Steph with her 2nd, Em with her 4th, and me with my 5th).
*Our personalities haven't changed much.
*Our experiences and maturity HAVE changed much.
*It's fun to talk about the past, but we always tend to waste time talking about labor stories and our children (why is this? oh, yeah! Because it's OUR LIVES).
*I love high school buddies.
On another buddy note, the kiddos didn't have school yesterday, so I drove them up to northern Utah to visit another middle school/high school/forever school buddy, Julie. We met Mother of the Wild Boys for lunch, too, and so it made for a fabulous day! I love being around friends and just enjoying their company --especially life-long friends who have seen me at my worst (puberty?) and my best (college?) and know that I'm not completely insane (yesterday?).
How Many Children?
The conversation always begins with simple words, but the answers are never simple:
So, how many kids do you think you'll have?
I never know how to respond, even though I've been already telling people this baby will be our last. I thought for sure this baby would be our last.
I need this baby to be our last.
But complications arise when I realize a couple of things:
*Brandon wouldn't mind having more children (and he's a fabulously involved father) --but he doesn't stay home and take care of them everyday, right?
*We could afford more children --but only because they get to pay for their OWN college education (aren't we just mean?).
*We have enough love for more children --but not necessarily sanity.
*I love my children --but I love being able to do BIG things with them. Honestly? Being out of the baby stage (well, when I am in another year or more) is amazingly appealing to me. It's basically out-of-this-world-could-I-be-any-happier!? appealing to me.
Now, don't get me wrong --I enjoy babies. I love babies. I adore babies. I do! I'm looking forward to this beautiful infant and nursing and snuggling, etc. But at the same time, the baby stage is really hard --mostly the 10 to 24 months stage. It's because we can't just go and do things --camping, theme parks, hiking, playing at the park, etc. becomes difficult when there's a crawling/toddling baby involved. Does that sound so selfish to enjoy the camping, theme parks, hiking, park playing, etc. with children who can actually do it? With kids who are potty-trained? Who can dress and feed themselves?
See, I've figured something out. I'm the kind of mother who might actually be better at the emotional and mental problems thrown my way, rather than the physical tediousness of taking care of a child. It might be because of my tendency to enjoy being a "therapist" when others seek out my advice --or maybe I just understand the angst better? Whatever the case, three of my four children are completely out of the baby stage. My fourth child is very close (we only have potty training left!), and then I'm starting over with the 5th.
Having a 6th child just might do me in.
But then again --would it? Honestly? Would it? I'm not fooling myself when I say I want to be done, and God knows it already. He's heard my prayers and He knows my situation. But I believe in Him and His will enough that if He told me to have a 6th child, I would do it.
I know I would.
But I don't want to.
I want to give away the baby clothes. I want Brandon to have...ummm...a certain procedure...Ahem. I want to KNOW that this is my last child so I can savor all the facets of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and having an infant in my arms. I want to know so I can move on. Ooh! That's it!
I want to be able to plan.
Because I'm a planner. Just ask my family --ask my husband. I come from a long line of planners and we like to know what we're doing and how to go about doing it and we don't deviate from the plan unless we have to!
I also come from a long line of worriers (on the other side of the family). Combine worry and planning, and what do you get?
Psychotic Cheryl. Ha!
So, here's my predicament: I just don't know. I just don't have any answers right now. And until I've had this baby, I --of course --really shouldn't know, anyway, right? How could I know this far in advance? people ask me, and then I remember: I knew --KNEW --that I was supposed to have Five children when I was pregnant with #3.
People may not believe me, but I knew it. I knew #4 wasn't the last. It was just so obvious to me. But now? I'm not sure.
I just don't know! I guess I need to wait for the answer.
So, dear reader, wish me luck as I try to stop worrying about this right now (baby's not born, yet, Cheryl. Baby's not born, yet...) and just enjoy the here and now...
How did you know you were done having children? Did you know? Was it a choice you made and then felt spiritual confirmation? Or was it the other way around? Was the decision difficult to make, or pain-free and easy? And, did you even have a choice when it came to having to stop having children? Was it a medical one? How many children do you have? Do you want more? Do you love being out of the baby stage or do you prefer the baby stage?