If you've been around for a while or now me in real life, you are fully aware of our family's "One & Done" membership. I've talked about that before and you can read about it here. Today's Mom Talk Tuesdays topic is Baby #2 and Expanding Your Family. Are you confused as to why a Mom who doesn't want anymore children would pick this as a topic? It's because I wanted to take this as my opportunity to be real, raw and open about my experience as a parent.
Let me set the scene for you...
Connor and I just got back from a week vacation. While on such vacation, there were times when I would have to change him on the go. Connor hates, loathes, despises being on a changing table, always has. He hates being on his back unless is he laying flat on the (bedroom, living room, bathroom) floor. On Friday, while driving from Oklahoma to Ohio, we had to made a pit stop to gas up, potty and change C's diaper. Promising him I would be quick, to just lay down so we could change him and get back in the car, he decided enough was enough and flipped the eff out. He was twisting, turning, grabbing any piece of my clothing he could. When he couldn't get a tight enough hold, he did want any child would do in such dire situations: he wrapped his arms around my neck and balled his hands into my hair. He was pulling himself up from the changing table by the hair on MY HEAD. As I unwrapped his hands from my hair, I stood him up and worked on changing his pooped filled diaper while he was standing up. It was at this moment that I was again reminded that parenting is not for the faint of heart and we would be potty training Connor the moment we ran out of diapers.
While this kind of behavior isn't normal for Connor - I truly believe he has a fear of being on his back- it was enough to make me realize that while I love being Connor's Mom and becoming a Mom has made me the person I was meant to be, there is no way I will ever be a parent to another child.
At times, I feel guilty that I don't feel guilty for not wanting more for our family. Why you wonder? Because I have close friends and family that are struggling to expand their family or even start one and here I sit, taking birth control and praying that God supports my desires for this to be it for our family. But something happened while I was in Oklahoma and I realized that it's not quilt I experience when I talk with a girlfriend about having another child or her struggle to do so; it's a feeling of total peace with where we stand as a family. I will never have to learn about another child: his or hers mannerisms or wants or needs or personality. I know every part of Connor. I know what each of his facial expressions mean, what pisses him off and what makes him the happiest boy in all of the universe. Knowing my child this way brings me such peace and calming, erasing any guilt I should feel about not wanting to give him a sibling.
Connor is persistent. He is strong-willed. He pushes his boundaries. He loves to laugh. Being the center of attention is his happy place. He requires little sleep and loves to go, go go! He is exactly like his father. And I love that about him. But these are characteristics that can create headache and stress for a full time stay at home Mom, not to mention leaving me far too tired to even make another baby #realtalk. That's what parenting is. Love and chaos, laughter and tantrums. Highest of highs and never-ending exhaustion. However, there is no reason in this world that would make me think having another child would be fun, easy or manageable. I know what I am capable of as a Mom. I could not keep my shit together if I were responsible for a newborn and a very active newborn. No way on Earth.
Don't get me wrong; I totally understand that parenting is rough. As much as Connor challenges us, he is also the funniest, sweetest, most adorable being on the face of the planet. I could listen to him talk all day... well, I have to, actually. He never stops. He has the best laugh and the most perfect smile. He is full of personality and I wouldn't want it any other way. He makes our world brighter, happier, filled with more joy than I ever thought possible. But with these highs, come the (terrible 2) lows.
While this is always a sensitive topic and a very personal one, I'm confident that James and I are doing what's best for our family. We both agree that being parents to just Connor is exactly what we want. So while friends and family bring new little ones home and expand their families, I will celebrate. I will rejoice in your happiness and cuddle those sweet babes with the deep love of an extra aunt. Just don't expect me to be sharing any pregnancy announcements.