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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Two kids or three?

A view from the sound, NC.
After dinner had been devoured, and after we abandoned the dining room with the tablecloth that often doubles as a napkin and the piled dishes and the leftovers that would surely have to wait until morning, and after I helped the boys into their jammies and read them each a story, and after I sang my rendition of hush little baby (complete with a firetruck and a too short ladder, a police car with a much too quiet siren, and an ambulance too slow to make it in time), and not until I shushed them from the near and far corners of the house and their eyes were closed and their breathing heavy, only then did I tiptoe across the unswept floors to pour myself a glass of wine, scoop up my journal, and find my place on the screened-in porch to spend some time with my thoughts.

As I journaled about my relationship with food, of all things, It suddenly hit me that maybe Andy is right, maybe two kids are enough. I have for years thought of myself as a woman meant to mother many children, always imagining a closely spaced grouping of four or five siblings.

Over the last few months a new feeling has been creeping up slowly and surely until one day last week after a typical morning, I sent a text to Andy: Today I do not want any more kids. 

We have argued and discussed this topic for more than 2 years. Should we have a third? Should we aim for four? Should we stick with two? His reply: You are a great momma, don't forget it. 

The kids are amazing. Each of them. Both of them. They are cunning and funny, testy and full of grand emotion. They surprise us in ways that astound us and alarm us. They are so different from each other and yet so the same. I am not a perfect mother but I am a good one. I do not love imaginary play or loud noises, or chaos. I am sometimes overwhelmed to meet the demands of these two growing boys. At the end of many days I am tired. So very tired.

For years I was resolute that 4 was my lucky number. Two didn't feel like "family" the way that three does, and four just tips it all over the edge to guarantee a boisterous home life and kindred spirits for days. I can look ahead to when the kids are grown and take comfort in the idea of having all that company and extended family to call on.  I like the way I think that would feel.

The justification game: the weighing of short and long-term costs and benefits. I find that the exercise can be a little bit of a thrill when I am on the side of saying goodbye to the childbearing years. But there is a sadness too in leaving it behind so suddenly. When I was pregnant with Merritt, when I gave birth to him, when I weaned him, I knew there would be a third. On the other hand, I have experienced all of my motherhood so far in real time, intensely, and truly. I've written about it, I've processed it, I've lived it.

I value my relationship with my kids and husband more than anything else, but there are other things happening in the world that inspire me too. With Merritt turning 3 this Winter and Roscoe turning 5 next Spring, some of the lost freedom that came with pregnancy and parenting in the early years feels just within arms reach. I'm so tempted.

One morning last week, the energy of the kids was so very high that I played momma hooky and called in our nanny two hours early because I just needed to get away. But then there are nights like last night where we all move through our nightly routine in rhythm and without fuss, and I can see a version of perfection co-existing in this messy house. It is a good life.

For today at least, I'm willing to try on the idea that the two boys we have are and will forever more be enough for us. Is there ever a final word on this kind of life decision, anyway? It's a pretty tough call to make one way or the other isn't it. (Interestingly, we had a similar discussion around this time last year...)

2 comments :

  1. Don't do it!!! Haha, just kidding (sort of, lol).
    It is tough once the kids start gaining some sort of "independence" to go back to zero and start all over again. But at the same time, NEWBORNS...gotta love em! And I will say that having a new baby when the kids are 3+ is a totally different ball game. It's AWESOME! L amazes me every day with how loving and wonderful she is as a big sister. Totally different then having an older sibling that is 2ish when the baby is born.
    As long as you feel confident and whole in whatever decision you make, it is the right decision for you. Even if it isn't what you had in mind before.
    I still struggle with this too. I sooooo want to feel whole and complete with the 3 kids we have . I really, really do. Right now I am very much in the thick of it...3 kids, totally outnumbered, an infant who is a bit of a fussy pants and doesn't sleep well....but somewhere deep down inside me, I feel like maybe we aren't done quite yet. I guess only time will tell.
    Anyway, you aren't alone. I hope you gain some clarity in the coming days/months/years.

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  2. I'm very behind on my commenting this month but this post resonated with me. Of course, my decision is made and frankly I'm glad that it happened that way. The debate of yes or no was so tricky and it was hard to make a firm commitment. Of course, not using protection was us making a clear decision in the direction of 3 but I'm sure you get what I'm saying!

    I'm hoping that having a 2.75 yo and a 4.8 yo will make for a whole different ballgame than having a 2.1 yo and a newborn. The older two will play more together/entertain each other and also will be more helpful. Ah, but maybe this is just wishful thinking. But what will be easier is that Bella will be in kindergarten in the fall after baby arrives and Oliver will be in preschool - there will be more built in breaks than I had with a newborn & a very young 2 yo.

    Best of luck as you decide! Not an easy choice at all.

    I wonder if I will have the urge for one more again. My hunch is that 3 will do it for me...I always had 3 as my upper limit. We'll see if that peace comes over me though or if it will take some verbal coaching to my psyche to acknowledge that 3 is it.

    ReplyDelete

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