If you don't know already, I have 5 kids: 4 boys and 1 girl. They range from 9 years old down to 2 years old. I love each and every one of them more than I can say. Normally I would be pregnant again by now, and since I'm not, I'm assuming we are done. Seth and I both love having a big family, but adding another to the mix right now feels overwhelming for us.
When I first started having babies, I never thought this stage in life would come to an end. It seemed like I was always going to be bearing children. (I was pregnant for 5 years straight and then spaced the last 2 out). Now that it's here, it's a lot harder moving on than I thought it was going to be.
The other day my husband took down the crib. Our crib has always been up because there was always a baby sleeping in it! As I watched him take it down, tears built up in my eyes and my heart just ached. There will never be another baby of ours in that crib. I won't have another opportunity to go get a happy baby that has just woken up out of that crib or lay a sleepy one down in it. I quickly left the room before my husband saw the tears and went to the kitchen to try to get it together! He came in and was puzzled as to why I was crying. I told him that I have always been good at getting pregnant and having newborn babies, what am I going to be good at now if we are done?!
He quickly reminded me that I'll be good at raising them. And I think sometimes as mothers we worry so much about building a family we forget to build hobbies and interests for ourselves. When our kids no longer demand so much of our time, what do we do then? I have a few things that I enjoy and as my kids get older I suppose I will be able to focus more time on them as well as on the kids I have. I know as they get bigger we will be able to go and do more things that we couldn't when we had babies around.
We recently took the older 4 to Disneyland and as much as I missed the youngest (2 year old) I was so much more relaxed because I didn't have to worry about nap time or diaper changes while at the park. We could go to bed super late and wake up early and we never had a fussy baby to deal with. I look forward to when he gets older and we can take all five kids and everyone is old enough to ride all of the rides and stay for the late shows.
I love how my purses turn into diaper bags, but I look forward to when no one is in diapers or potty training and we don't have to take extra undies or diapers everywhere we go. It will be nice to not have to budget for diapers and wipes for the month as well. There are definitely some perks to being done.
Don't get me wrong, the reason I'm okay with my purse carrying trash and always having snacks in it for the younger ones is because I know this will only last for so long. It makes me sad how FAST kids grow. I try to cherish everything, because before I know it, my oldest will be moving out and I'll have all teenagers.
This next fall my fourth child will be starting school which means I get to spend everyday with this guy, just me and him. I really look forward to having more one on one time with him while the others are at school. He is such a busy kid, so I know I will have plenty to do! I want to cherish this last precious child at home.
Will I miss being pregnant? That's a question I often ask myself. I won't miss morning sickness or gaining an insane amount of weight that I have to lose. But I'll miss feeling a baby move inside me. I'll miss having a newborn. I'll miss witnessing their first milestones and their little smiles and giggles.
In the end, I know this baby stage has to end sooner or later, but it is just so hard to see it go. I will hold on to all of my memories of these sweet babies and work hard to appreciate each moment I have with them, one day and one stage at a time. I am so grateful for these wonderful little people in my life and I will be thankful that I get to watch them flourish and grow. But don't begrudge me a mama's tear or two along the way. ;)