Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I want to have a great big family.

But I am scared to have that second kid.

I have a vision of myself as an old woman in a pink jogging suit with the poofy hair and I'm surrounded by my adult children, grandchildren, and maybe even a tiny great-grand child or two. RJ's sitting in his rocking chair on the porch banging his fist and looking crotchety while children clammer for his attention, but secretly loving every second of it.

I grew up in a family of four which was GREAT. It was easy to go places all together. My sister was my companion and playmate (and hair-pulling target). The size of our family allowed me plenty of one-on-one time with each of my parents, a few really nice family vacations, and more than enough extra-curricular activities. Four is a good, solid number.

But I was always a tiny bit jealous of the family down the street with four daughters. How fun to have three different sisters to fight with, play alongside, and share clothes. Or a brother would have been a blast!

Even my dad having two brothers rather than one made for fun holiday gatherings. The extra sibling added an extra dimension of craziness, and additional grandkids. I love a good party full of people.

But I'm also a downtime kind of gal. I need my alone time, my veg-out and pick-up a good book time. I am not picky about cleanliness and clutter, but my husband is, so having the house picked up by 5pm is a must. Noise doesn't bother me, but too much activity in one day and you'll see my shoulders tense and hear my voice rise an octave.

And lets be honest, I live for Landon's naps. During one nap I clean, prep for meals, organize, etc. The second nap I rest, read a book, surf the net, play with the dog, rest. I am selfish with my time.

And I am selfish for my one-on-one with Landon. I love being able to go thrift store shopping or walk the mall with him. It's easy with just one kid - pack some snacks and go. He'll give me a full hour. Or the beach with one kiddo is fun. We dig in the sand, play at the water's edge, swing on the playground.

How do you do all that with two kids? Or more?

I admire the many mother's I know with more than one kidlet. Particularly at this stage, when everyone is home, together, all day long. And while I do love you ladies, and you pull it off better than I ever would, half of you look exhausted. When you describe your day I wonder if you got any "me" time. Or at least any personal time before 1 am.

But then I wonder, am I selfish for wanting to space my kids apart so I can have more time for me? Isn't being a mother learning how to give yourself up? Or does that thinking just make for a bunch of stressed-out, overworked mothers? Should we be more considerate of ourselves?

My husband is a great father, but he is very easily overwhelmed by chaos. RJ needs the home to be a sanctuary. He is working on learning how to breath deeply and handle the crazy days, but it's still hard for him. And as his wife I don't want to overwhelm my man. Home should be a place he's excited about.

So, there you have it. I want a bunch of kids (4!). I actually crave the craziness of a bunch of children. And the idea of a future Saturday afternoon with a little league game, soccer practice, ballet recital, and surf session excites me.But I'm not sure we can handle it. Thankfully I am still young so I could have a two or three 3 years apart and still adopt before I am 35. But, ultimately I must remember that the Lord will choose our family.

So there you have it, in case anyone was wondering, we won't be "trying" for another year or so, unless the Lord tells us otherwise (and we must be diligent to pray for His will). And then we will be taking it one-by-one.

And I ask, if you have more than one child, how did you handle the transition from one to two (or more)?

Or how many would you like?


The Pinheiro Family said...

Anna... these are a lot of really great questions! A lot of the same I ask myself. Growing up with a family a four was fun for me as well and always kept things interesting... but I also realize that my mom looked forward to going to "work" for the week because that was her down time! And I think it makes things a whole lot different when we're home with the little ones. Not to mention not having the grandparents in town!

If we've learned anything about trying to plan for children... it's 1) That God has a funny sense of humor, 2) The timing will be right when he says so!, and 3) There is never a perfect or right time for them! When God wills that it's time, it will happen. Wether that means they are closer together in age to be better playmates, or further apart because that's what you and your spouse will handle best. In the long run... I find it to be a constantly learning curve and platform of which we grow in leaps and bounds. Parenthood is a daily tool God uses to mold and teach us.... and the future plans for parenthood God also uses as a tool to conform us to his will.

I wish you and RJ the best as the future unfolds, and in the meantime enjoy the ride! So looking forward to seeing you guys again soon!

Tim and Debra said...

You're so right...the Lord will ultimately choose your family. That's a big learning curve!

Jessica G. said...

I agree, these are good things to ask yourself. I think every family has different answers to the various questions. And, you should plan the spacing and number of your children according to your needs. But, I also want a large family...currently we are thinking 4, but we will see what happens!

Tracy said...

These are some great questions that I failed to ask myself when I began my family. My concern was, (especially with my 2nd), was providing a playmate for the first, since I had that with my sister too. But reality hit me hard with the 2nd. And now I have learned to ask these questions that you have asked. I love my girls, but being a mother to two girls that are 21 months apart has definitely been a challenge at times-- at most times. I learned that I needed to have that space so I could have the "me time" that I also desperately crave. (Thus baby #3 is coming 3 and 1/2 years after #2). My husband has learned that I need it too, and what his limits are as well. We like early bed times (the latest being 8pm, with few exceptions), so that we have plenty of our own time during the evening whether together or apart. I'm excited about the spacing we have with this next baby coming because I'll have one child in Kindergarten, another in preschool (3 days/week), and then I get to have a lot of one-on-one time with the new baby. Its good that you know what your limits and wants are, but it is really great that you trust in God to bless you with the family meant for you and RJ.

At times I often think to myself, "There is a time and season for all things" and this brings me comfort as much as "This too shall pass..."

SomisSurferGirl said...

So funny. This subject has been coming up in our world and we have been asked a lot lately. Obviously, just as you say, whatever God wills, but I am so there with the whole, "I would like some time to rest and know my little man before more come along..." We have GOT to make that play date girl. I can come to you. You come here, whatever. Funny thing I've been working on yard construction with Chet during Owen's naps, but I could use a good play time in my life. Call me.

Rebecca said...

I don't have any answer to your questions but can just say: I hear you! I am so excited to meet this new little one and yet I am TERRIFIED. I still feel like Nadia need SO much from me and like you, I need down time.
I am learning (over and over) that God has to be my rock. We had planned to start "trying" this spring but were surprised by me getting pregnant in October.

Jess Roy said...

I can't wait for you guys to have more! Talk about a bunch of cute kids!

joyfulgirl said...

i can so relate to these thoughts/questions/concerns. parenting is extremely rewarding and fulfilling, but too much of anything (no matter how wonderful)can be overwhelming. i know plenty of mothers who are not getting that down time, but as for me...i NEED it. getting a part-time job has definitely had it's appeal at times ~ just to have a little part of life that feels like it only belongs to me.

God has definitely reminded me that his timing is the right timing, especially with this pregnancy. i think my personality can only juggle one toddler at a time and allows my children the most attention that i am capable of giving.

it's wise to weigh out your concerns and desires and in the end present them to the almighty who knows you best:)

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