It’s 7:45 on a Tuesday night. Tired from the work hustle, dinner scramble, and soccer practice, we’re late on our bedtime routine. Our 4-year-old is tired and sweaty, and having flopped his cleats in the middle of the floor, he’s declared he’s ‘”too exhausted” to get pajamas on. Our 3-year-old has slid past the point of no return and has entered into a full-blown second wind, jumping off the couch and simultaneously knocking over big brother’s water. Tears from both follow.
“Great time to add another,” my husband chimes in. This is an ongoing joke between us now. From my collapsed position on the floor, I look down at my growing belly and think to myself:
Great time or not, here we go again.
For me, it’s been a vision for a long time. A family of 5. A trio of little best friends, with two tired parents watching them grow and thrive during a couple decades of chaos. Sure, when I was 22, it was a lot easier to put a mental pin in my someday perfect family, without giving much thought to the incredible amount of work it would take to get there. I also envisioned the perfect job scenario, “hot mom” physique, endless amount of money, flawless marriage, and general life balance. All of which any experienced mom would have a good laugh at.
Now that I’m living it, I know the drill. I can step back and appreciate the physical toll two kids, and now three pregnancies take on a body. Facebook memories love to remind me of pre-kids me, one kid me, even pregnant with a second baby me… all of which seem like she’s getting more sleep than current me. Now that I’m living it, I can speak to the way you are forced to bend and reshape your life to make the most of this time with your kids. Work isn’t the same, friendships get less attention, being a wife and a daughter even feels like it takes a hit some weeks. Now that I’m living it, I know the countless hours of time outs, laundry, art projects, kitchen crumbs, sibling arguments, toddler tantrums, potty sessions, and bedtime stories it takes to get this job done. And don’t even get me started on the amount of worry that comes with actually having the family you dreamed of your whole life. The keep you up at night, can’t shake it at work, Google it until your exhausted kind of worry.
So, why three? Why add chaos to chaos, when it’s already so hard? I’ve had many (and might I say kind of bold) acquaintances ask if this was planned, if three was always what we pictured. The answer is absolutely, yes. Is our crazy, beautiful life a hot mess most days? YEP. But I know in my heart of hearts, we’ll never regret this. We’re fortunate to be able to get pregnant and, God willing, have three healthy, happy kids. What an incredible gift life is giving us, and worthy of any temporary sacrifice required in this season of life.
I once heard someone say, “Focus on the people you want at your Thanksgiving table in 20 years, not the struggles and hard work of this short-lived, toddler phase.”
Being pregnant with two small children to care for isn’t for the faint of heart. And I have a feeling it’s about to get trickier. But as I write this, I feel our last little miracle kicking away inside me. I know, without a doubt, that no amount of crumbs, chaos, tantrums, or tears could change that this was meant to be. The best is yet to come.