The Magic Number

betty-and-mama

I remember thinking in high school that I didn’t have an absolute number of kids that I wanted, but knowing that somewhere between two and four would feel right. Probably three. I was almost certain it would be three. My husband and I have two kids. If you had asked my mom when she was 13 how many kids she wanted she would have told you none, that kids were whiny and messy and fine to babysit but not to have any of your own.  I have other friends that have one child and they planned for that all along.  One and done. And I don’t think that how we think it’s going to play out is necessarily what is important. We don’t always get to choose how our family is going to look, and this is what I have been meditating on lately. Am I any less “mom” because I decided not to have the three kids that initially imagined?

I follow a lot of homesteading and homeschooling moms on instagram simply because those are the moms whose lifestyles and values tend to play most closely to my own. We are not homeschooling our daughter but that has more to do with her personality than it does our opinion of homeschool…and the jury is still out with our son. 😉 He is quite the mama’s boy… But as I read stories and look at pictures of these family’s lives I find myself often feeling juxtaposed in a way that probably seems very silly but I still cannot ignore. Most the these women who are raising their kids how I try to raise my own and who are homemaking and raising chickens and drinking kombucha…they all have a brood of kiddos. Four kids at least. A couple of girls to play dolls and make daisy chains together. A couple of boys to go climb the tallest tree together and come home filthy and muddy. Now I’m obviously generalizing (and gender stereotyping) but I hope my heart comes across when I say that I’m not choosing that for my own family but I still yearn for it. I do. I want a brood too! I would have loved to give my daughter and sister and my son a brother. I would have loved for them to grow up in a loud and loving clan like I did. But I’m not going to. And while it is not an easy decision, it’s one that I feel complete peace in. Mostly because I know that is not God’s desire for our home to biologically have more children. I often feel like we pushed the envelope with our two beautiful babies. They were very easy pregnancies but traumatic deliveries. And I can’t do that again. And my husband can’t do that again. And when Big Sister still asks after a year and a half if her baby brother is ever going to have to have tubes again, I know that she can’t do that again either. Now in reality I know we could. Of course we could. But we’re not being asked to. So given the chance, we are saying we’re done. So I am left with calm in my heart and these painful tendrils of inadequacy. I wonder if I’m being selfish. I wonder if I will regret my decision later. I wonder why I feel like I need to have a surplus of kids in order to feel like I’m worthy of being crowned “Mom”. I wonder if maybe we got pregnant one more time that this delivery would be smooth and this baby wouldn’t need intervention after birth. I wonder and I fret and I worry. And then I stop. And I look at how much my daughter and son adore each other. And I look at us, our family, our clan, and I know we are so completely and utterly complete. And I shush my doubts and I don my Mother crown. My children are still young and I still have so much time with them. Two of them. Two wild and wondrous spirits that I get to foster into adulthood and then set free. And I made them. Both of them. Two babies…

 

 

 

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