Before my husband and I got married, we both had dreams of a big family. Five kids, at LEAST. I wanted all boys, he wanted as many girls as possible – with at least one boy to carry on his love for all things outdoors. Despite a few complications, I enjoyed my first pregnancy, and knew I wouldn’t really have a problem doing it a few more times (uh, not 5). We’ve even talked about when we might try again, now that our son’s first birthday sneaks up on us.
Actually, let me clarify: I asked my husband when he might want to start trying again, to which he responded, “it’s your body honey, whenever you’re ready”. So sweet, right? I then spent the next 20 minutes pouring out my heart and soul regarding fears, pros/cons, how I don’t want our children too far apart, but what if I can’t handle 2 and will we be ready financially…and he passed out on the couch. I’m not even sure he heard the first 30 seconds of my confessional. Not quite so sweet, but I thought, “if he’s not worried about all of these things – I won’t worry either.” Life changing decision now resting on my shoulders. No biggie.
With my job, I have the luxury of working part time in the off season, if I choose. As that time approached this year I thought to myself all of the things I would accomplish around the house, how many fun things my son and I would do on our extra days together, and I SWORE that my husband and I would eat dinner before 10 p.m. because, I mean, I’d be caught up on chores and the baby would be completely compliant to his schedule, right? I’d get SO MUCH done during nap time, and when my husband got home for the night-time routine, I’d have even MORE time to do things. RIGHT?? Riiigggghhhttt.
Let me first start by polling the full-time SAHM—HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU DO IT? Does it get easier? Do I learn how to balance it all, or am I seriously not cut out for all of this? Don’t answer that – just send coffee and fried chicken until I can figure it out. Until then…I’m going to pretend like every mom struggles this way at times, full time professionals and SAHM professionals alike.
To give y’all some insight – as I suspect a majority of us are in the same boat – whether I work full time or part time at the office, I do 75% of every task in our household. Everything involving food, paying all bills/balancing the checkbook, of course the scrubbing of toilets and laundry. And let’s be honest, would ANY of us be in good social/mental/physical/spiritual health without my planning skills? Probably, but I’d like to think I help.
I’m not sure I’ll ever find balance. I often wonder WHY I am finding parts of this motherhood stuff so “natural” and some of it SO DEBILITATINGLY DIFFICULT??
After my son taught me about his newly developed “separation anxiety” and even more developed ability to fight his naps like the boss that he is, I thought to myself – What. The. Crap. How in the WORLD could we ever have ANOTHER child? WHY ON EARTH WOULD WE WANT TO when this one has the personality of ten babies, in just his little toe?
How could we handle an additional bundle of crying/teething/slapping/<insert adjective here> goodness?? How could we LOVE another one, as much as we do Everett?? This wasn’t the first time I’d thought this since considering having another child, but it WAS the first time I heard my Noni and Mother’s voices in my head saying, very simply: you don’t.
You love each child differently. You organize better and leave chores until tomorrow if you need to. You pray for patience and guidance. You listen to advice and do what you feel is best. You ask for help instead of trying to take on the world. You communicate better with your spouse. YOU GET OVER THE FEAR.
So to you moms out there who take on the world every day with more than one child: ku-DOS. I genuinely applaud your skills and work ethic, and I hope you know—I’m watching. I’m gaining confidence in your successes, and getting over fears in seeing claims that you, too, had a hard day. That you are human! You are my inspiration, and I hope you know how much you are treasured.
Loralei Gann is a happily married mommy of one son, Pinterest DIY addict (well, she likes PINNING projects), college football fan and literature geek. Originally hailing from Edmond, she has found “home” in Norman and hopes to one day write a novel or children’s book based on her daily life shenanigans.