I Ain’t No Duggar

This is my third Mother’s Day and life as a Mom could not get any better. I feel incredibly lucky that I have such amazing kids. Seriously, what did I do to deserve all of this? It wasn’t that long ago though, that I braved my first outing with two kids… I found myself standing in the waiting room at the hospital while waiting to get the babies blood work done. The Princess was just barely twenty months old and the Prince was less than one week. It took us well over two hours to even get out of the house, and even still I forgot the order from the Pediatrician. There were tears, and they were mostly from me. It was traumatic. I remember thinking to myself that life was never going to be the same, and that I was way in over my head. Thirteen months later things have gotten easier. There are still challenges, there are still fussy days and sleepless nights- although they have gotten less and less. I do feel like life as their Mama is finally getting on, moving onto even ground, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The toddler years have their challenges, but man, I wouldn’t trade one single day of it.

Just when I am starting to feel in control of life there is a lingering question that whispers in my ear, “Is there room for one more?” People will ask if we are done or do we want more kids. I have to laugh a little bit when someone asks that, and I take a sweeping glance at the chaos of happiness around me before I answer. My house feels like it’s always upside down, I am never caught up on laundry. Gone are the days that my kitchen counters aren’t sticky and my tile floor is free of smeared jelly and bread crumbs. Most days I am tired. Half the time I never bother to change into cute clothes. I have to plan my phone conversations around my commute to work, and if some unlucky caller catches me while I am at home they have to muddle through 3,600 interruptions and more background noise than a bar. I take all of this into account before I smile and say, “I don’t know. Maybe I’m crazy enough”. Maybe the future holds one more little bundle of joy, but to be honest- I think I’m satisfied just where I am right now.

When I was turning twenty I had my life plan and I was working my way through my checklist of expectations; somewhere around the age of 24 I had planned to embark on the journey of motherhood that would include no less than five kids. Now at thirty with a one year old and a two year old I shake my head at my own naivety. Seriously. Five kids? How on earth did I think I could ever manage that? I come from a big family as checkered as the Brady Bunch. Between steps, half’s, and whole’s I have seven brothers and two sisters. One thing in my life that I am eternally grateful for is that I have a basketball team sized family. My mother certainly had her hands full but looking back, she made it look so effortless. She is a natural born mother. I wonder in amazement now how she could mass produce children as short as 16 months apart and still keep her sanity, let alone putting a home-cooked meal on the table seven days a week. I think back now at days where she looked tired, but I never remember hearing her complain. She set the bar high in this arena, and I foolishly thought that I was cut out to duplicate her amazing accomplishment. Ha. I laugh at the thought of it.

Most everyone is familiar with TLC’s hit show “Nineteen Kids and Counting” where Michelle and Jim-Bob Duggar are raising a small army of modestly clad home-schooled children. Along with their fame the have drawn their fair share of criticism for choosing to have such a large family. From what I can see they aren’t on government assistance and their kids are pretty well taken care of. I could argue that in a family that large someone’s needs are over looked, but the reality is if they want to have 19 or even 29 kids, more power to them… but count me out. I ain’t no Duggar. Where I stand right now I cannot really picture myself managing even a third child, and that’s perfectly alright. I have two amazing kids that fill my heart with so much love it hurts. I have been gifted with the perfect blend of chaos and control. They have given me a sense of purpose that I have never experienced before. Maybe, just maybe, I will one day yearn for a third. Perhaps once the Prince is a little more independent and the Princess no longer begs me to hold her just because she wants to be close, my arms will feel empty enough to take that leap. But for right now I can confidently say that two is just enough.

Everything in my world buckles nicely into a double stroller.

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