. . . having kids.
I always thought I wanted to have at least 3 children and 4 seemed to me to be the perfect number. I envisioned me and my husband surrounded by my four children. When the hubby and I had the talk about kids (before we got married), he made it clear that he only wanted two. I knew that four would be out of the question but got him to agree to think about having three. After our experience with high-spirited Z1, I'm pretty sure one would have been enough for him. Z1 really gave us a run for our money and the mellow, laid back hubby was really out of his element. But we got pregnant with Z2 soon after (Z1 and Z2 are 2 years and 4 months apart and while I think that's a great age difference, it wears on the hubby). Still he's come around to the idea of three except that he needs a nice big break between Z2 and Z3--say 4 or 5 years. And I completely understand and agree.
I realized last night while lying in bed that I'm done. I mean, I would love to have a little girl and do all the things you do with little girls--dresses and hair braiding and all that. I've worked so hard and I've finally gotten myself together enough mentally and spiritually to give my daughter what she needs--self-confidence, self-love, self-acceptance. But I am really looking forward to the next chapter of my life: homeschooling or going back to school and maybe even both. I finally have a clear vision for my life. It took the "derailing" of my school teacher career and my subsequent career as a homemaker/SAHM to finally figure out what it is I would love to do after this phase of my life is over and I'm thoroughly excited. My vision, as luck or grace would have it, fits right in with homeschooling and with running my household the way I'd like. But this phase of my life has to be over so that I can move on and I really don't want to drag it out because I saw how fast Z2's first year of life went. Time waits for no woman and now is the time. (How's that for a sentence of cliches?) If I did decide to get pregnant, I want to be done having children by the time I'm 30 so we'd have to have another child in 3 years. But it's so unbelievable that now that the hubby is willing and open to another baby, I'm not. I can see me and the hubby surrounded by our two boys and that being perfectly fine and complete. I know I can provide over and above for the children we have now. We have the perfect space in our house for them. The perfect space in our cars. And I have ample energy to give them what they need in terms of mothering and educating. I know love is such that it can expand and accomodate but honestly? Twins run in my family. I certainly don't want to be dealing with twins. And there's no guarantee that the next baby will actually be a girl anyway. And while I'd love whatever sex of baby I birthe, I couldn't help to be a bit ticked off it I had a boy. So why go there? And why add extra financial strain especially in these unsure economic times?
I have savored every moment of becoming a wife and a mother. I feel blessed to have been able to do it while I was relatively young. I've had the phenomenal and empowering experience of giving birth unmedicated twice. I've had the privilege to do it in the peace and comfort of my own home once. I've had and am having the opportunity to mother on my own terms and in my own unique way. The experience has been priceless.
Mothering is a noble calling and job. Oftentimes, it is self-less. I have never believed it to be "just mothering" and I know from having done it that you could commit yourself to the job of mothering full time for a lifetime and get complete fulfillment from it as your sole job (please note: it is a job and like any job you need to take a break sometimes and do things that nourish and sustain you!). There are some mothers who do devote their lives to the job of mother and I respect and honor them as much as I respect and honor any woman with advanced degrees, any female "mover and shaker". Mothers move and shake in other ways that are usually behind the scenes and rarely acknowledged. I know many beg to differ but I believe in my heart of hearts that mothering (not "being a mother" which is simply biological) is "enough". More than enough. If a woman chooses to add on more to that job, more power to her. Nobody says that someone "just" has a Ph.D. The level of respect for that person only deepens as they notches to the belt. Mothering can be "the end" like a Ph.D. or just the beginning; just the first notch.
For me, mothering is just the beginning and it has been a great, grounding start. My children have taught me so much about myself and I am strengthened in so many areas of my life because of them. But there's more for me. There's something after. And I am seeing what that something is more and more clearly each day.
Z2 is only one year old though so I don't know if he's old enough for the baby bug to hit again. It might. It hadn't quite hit yet when I found out I was pregnant with him. I hadn't recovered yet from Z1. *chuckles* But, yup, for now I think I'm done. Door is not completely locked and sealed with the key thrown away and an alarm system enabled but for right now, it's definitely closed. And, to my surprise and pleasure, and I'm fine with that. Very fine with that. :)