Another Motherlucker recently shared an honest post about “when to start trying”, which is such an exciting and terrifying time for most couples. Starting a family – holy shit! You are never fully READY for that season. But, what happens when that season ends? When the days of “trying” and then raising your babies are over? Have you ever thought about it? I hadn’t…until it hit me!
Motherhood. It’s been a journey filled with the absolute highest highs and lowest lows. I knew there would be intense love and sacrifice, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would (and could) love two little people so hard that it hurts some days! I know my mom did it. I saw other moms do it. But, until I was the mommy rocking those babies, sacrificing every hour of sleep I so desperately yearned for, kissing boo-boos, peeing with an ever-interested audience, being their biggest cheerleader, telling them there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of (even though I may be completely scared shitless)….until I experienced all of these things for myself, I hadn’t a clue what the journey of Motherhood was REALLY like.
And so here I am. My “babies” are 6 and 4. And ya know what?! There is a big part of me that is grieving the fact that my baby days are over. Long gone! And some days, it hurts like hell! Some days I’m sad. Did I enjoy it enough? Do I remember it? Did I cherish all those precious, innocent moments that I can never get back? I will never have another positive pregnancy test. Never another pregnancy announcement. Never baby flutters…or karate kicks! Never another labor and delivery where I will meet the most beautiful, perfect creature for the first time and fall head over heels in love. You see, it’s funny because I definitely don’t miss the sleepless nights, 2 AM shit explosions, projectile vomit, my trusty breast pump…don’t miss any of that crap. But I DO miss the sweet baby smell, kissing those delicious little lips, and humming precious lullabies. I always pictured myself as a mom. I couldn’t wait for the day to come! And then, I was blessed….blessed beyond measure with not one, but TWO healthy pregnancies, deliveries and the most gorgeous baby boys! I muttled through those early years in a haze and constantly wondering “who am I and how did I get here?”. But it has been worth it. Absolutely, 100% worth it!
And now that chapter of my book, and my life, is closed. I am GRATEFUL. And I am grieving. I grieve because those days are over and those days were some of the sweetest, perfect, most incredible days of my life! They are the days I will treasure forever. I know in my heart of hearts that my family is complete. Determining your family size is such a personal and different experience for everyone. Sometimes it’s based on circumstances beyond your control. Everyone’s journey to this decision is unique. You may feel confident in this decision and never look back. Or, you may feel like I do and have some sadness about it. Don’t kick yourself in the ass if you feel sad. It’s OK. You don’t have to ignore the sadness. Talk to other moms. Allow yourself to grieve. Because closing that chapter, it is sad for many of us.
This feeling hits me at the most unexpected times. I recently had a full blown ugly cry in my kitchen over the fact that I took the baby-proof latches off my cabinets. What.the.hell?! Get a grip, mama!! On the flip side, being done having babies has liberated me in ways that never seemed possible, until now. No more diaper bags. It’s way less common to pull an all-nighter these days. Everyone here is potty trained. Leaving the house for an outing no longer feels like an Olympic event. My kiddos are much more self sufficient, which takes a huge load off of mama! Their personalities are hilarious and they say the funniest damn things all the time. I am stronger and healthier (both mentally and physically) than I have been in years! Graduating from that baby stage definitely has it’s perks!
So why does the sadness linger? I think it’s this…I get sad when I feel like life is moving WAY too fast. It feels as though my kids are growing at warp speed, and there is no way to slow down time. It’s admitting and accepting that they are getting older – and so am I. Father time waits for no one, and that’s a harsh reality of this life we live. But, my focus now is not nurturing and raising babies – it’s raising little boys into men. Good men! Men who will (hopefully) be husbands and fathers one day. I get to put all my focus into that. And, so, when I look at it from that perspective, I don’t feel as sad about closing the baby chapter. I feel hopeful as I look ahead at the journey to come.
So, we close this chapter. The baby chapter. The sweetest chapter in our book so far. And I am sad, but I have to smile. What a ride it has been. I say bye-bye to the baby stage and hello to what’s next. A whole new world of independence for us! A time to focus on myself just a bit more, to indulge in love and laughter with my handsome husband and my two littlest loves – who happen to be pretty fucking amazing little dudes. I won’t ignore the sadness. Instead, I will embrace it and let it propel me into writing my next chapter, which I have a feeling is going to be the best one yet!