I have had some trouble writing this post because something has been nagging at me. A part of me feels bad, feels devastation for women who desperately want to be mothers and are having difficulty achieving this. I just want to preface that I'm talking about my situation and by no means intend to seem callous to the struggles other woman have had becoming mothers. Here is why making the transition from being the child bearing woman to simply a busy mom of four has been so eye opening for me. When I was growing up, the thought of having children always scared me because I knew that I would have these “beautiful children”, love them and then I would have to let them go. This always terrified me, the thought of getting older and being closer to death has always plagued me.
I love, love being a mom even through there is often a lot of screaming, fighting, bickering and busy schedules. There is something precious about being a parent especially being a mother. When it came time to have our third daughter, I knew that she was going to be our last and I became content with this. After all, the way that the whole situation went, the pregnancy with Pre-eclampsia and all the all the aches and pains as well as the struggle with gestational diabetes, I really got on board with only having three children. I even became content with God, “I got it, this is going to be our last kid” and I started making peace with it. I was content. Then, surprise, here came an unexpected 4th child! I mention this so many times because she really was an unplanned and very much unexpected blessing. If you get a chance, please read my post, “Unplanned but Not Unloved” about learning of our fourth child. I was so stinking ready to be done having children that I became angry with the pregnancy. Soon after seeing her face, any anger melted away and my love for her became immeasurable.
So now here we are, our youngest child is going on four and I have found myself learning to be content with where life is bringing us. I mentor at the Alpha Women's Center and get see young babies all the time. I love canoodling next to other children and fawning over them. Interestingly enough, I didn't used to enjoy this before because all my heart and mind was devoted to being a mother to our children and canoodling over our children. The change, now I'm content to know that I can snuggle with these babies and go home to my children, be completely content with the fact that I'm no longer in the childbearing era. My husband had a vasectomy while I was pregnant with our fourth child and I have since had birth control coils removed and my tubes “tide”. I was at peace with closing this stage of life for us. My husband and I love the fact that we no longer must worry about birth control, and I don't miss those nights of being extremely exhausted and tied to changing diapers or whether my schedule was going to fit into an infant’s schedule. I do not miss rushing home from a doctor's appointments because my child is tired, and I needs a nap or moreover, I need a nap before they wake up.
I wish I knew exactly what it was that made this transition all the easier for me. I believe that it is the fact that I have begun to create an identity separate from being a mother (my most coveted role) that allow me to be more at peace making such a large transition. Perhaps, it could be that our oldest child is a freshman in high school, which means that in a few years, he's going to graduate and shortly thereafter, will leave our home. Fingers crossed, he will stay with us while he is in college, but whatever choice he makes, I am sure I will ball my eyes out then learn to come to peace with his adult choices. Of course, we have a decent age range between the children, so we’re looking at another eighteen years of parenting before we say good-bye to all our children. We will likely become grand-parents before our last child is out of the house. Oh geeze, I haven’t even thought about that role in my life and all the joys that time will bring. For now, being the referee between a five and three-year-old has kept me busy as well as starting a counseling practice and applying for state licensure. I am content knowing that I am no longer a child bear, giving birth, holding an infant because this means that I can move on to other stages in my life with a thankfulness that many other mothers before me have experienced. I am looking forward to passing my motherly wisdom down to other woman who are becoming mothers for the first time.
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