If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this question, I’d have my student loans paid off by now. Similar to the question, “Are you trying?,” I rarely know how to answer this question. We just aren’t high-strung planners. We aren’t the type of people who actually know if we’re done. We don’t worry about life because we know we’ll just figure it out as we go. We got married at 22 and decided to roll with the punches.
Life is interesting. You can plan, plan, plan, and plan some more. You can even give your plans a detailed plan. But life doesn’t stick to plans.
The cliché is true: life throws curveballs. Life will deal you cards you’ve never even seen before, and if you have a plan, be prepared to throw it out the window. That goes for everything in motherhood: fertility, loss, hormones, relationships, career stability, birth, feeding, child development, and genetics. The good news is that there’s often beauty in the unexpected. There’s a perspective we never saw or a lesson we hadn’t learned.
Sometimes, on the hard days, we’re DONE. We are totally spent. We can’t imagine adding another clown to this circus. The diaper stage is really, really hard. There’s so much to pack when we go somewhere, childcare logistics, and sleepless nights. Do we really want to go through that again? And on the good days, when the kids are being angels, we can imagine squeezing one more car seat into the minivan because the baby stage is only temporary, and soon they grow to be independent little people who can buckle, bathe, and think for themselves.
So which is it? The answer is: it changes from day to day depending on our season of life.
An elderly woman once talked to me about kids. She noticed my three-child family and said, “I know it’s hard when they’re young, but when you’re an old lady like me, a big family is just wonderful.” My husband and I talk about that often.