Why the tears as I sit on my kitchen floor? How does the smell of bleach leave me gasping for breath with snot running down my face? What exactly AM I doing?
Washing. Baby. Gear.
Washing and fixing and organizing the bulky baby gear. Collecting from my basement and garage all of the paraphernalia that accompanies a young child. Primping and preparing it for sale on Craigslist. How can I bawl at the fact that we are done having children? I was PAST THIS. I will be the first to admit that the thought of raising a 4th child through his or her teen & pre-teen years isn't all that appealing. Especially as I am only at the cusp of this pre-teen stuff. Adding another 4 years to the grand total does cause me to shudder a tad. So, I obviously don't yearn for another child. Do I really yearn for another baby?
Or do I simply yearn for the hopes and expectations that accompany pregnancy, infancy and the toddler years? Having young children is all-encompassing. They are your WORLD and that is OK! You are allowed to be distracted and incomplete when you are a mother to a baby. After all, your brain is now functioning for 2! As that baby matures, though, the need for supervision and utter involvement decreases. You find yourself with emptier hands and a looser schedule. Eagerly watching your children race away, your first thoughts will be along the lines of "Think of all of the time I have! Time for myself! Time for all of the bits of ME that I abandoned in order to care for young children. Time for My dreams and My adventures to pick up where they left off!!"
You know what? All of that TIME can be freaking SCARY.
Who the hell AM I, anyway?
Releasing this physical connection to this stage in my life leaves me conflicted and confused. Each wheel I scrubbed for someone else's baby ripped my heart out. If I am not a parent to a young child or baby, what AM I? A parent to 2 (almost 3) SCHOOL AGED children?!? I am truly that old? Old enough to not be the youngest at a parents' meeting? Old enough to not have people double take on the age I am? Old enough that I should have some better handle on being an adult? Yes. Definitely old enough for THAT...
Perhaps my yearning is not the desire to hold a baby of my own. Perhaps my yearning is to delay my own aging. If I am pregnant or caring for a baby, I MUST be youthful! Right? Childhood would remain in my household that much longer. Santa will continue to visit and bubbles and chalk can still be a staple in our Easter baskets.
If I continue to have babies, perhaps I could hold off aging indefinitely....
I am also known as Justanothermom on Twitter and write on my blog, Just Another Mommy Blog. I homeschool 3 kids in the suburbs outside of Chicago and am a Co-Producer of Listen To Your Mother in Chicago.