How many kids do I want? This question is in me all the time. I lull it over at least once a day.
When Chad and I got married we thought four was the magic number. He comes from family of four. Boy, girl, boy, girl in perfect staggered order. Holidays and vacations with his family are a blast. Each child is different but alike. Music fills the house at each gathering. Piano, guitar, harmonica, mandolin. Hymns, Johnny Cash, Counting Crows, Dixie Chicks, carols. We eat macaroni, ice cream, pepsi, coke, popcorn, and big meals together.
The harmony of Chad’s siblings makes me want to have a large family of my own. I recently watched The Family Stone. While the plot left me discontent, I enjoyed seeing the dynamics of a large family. Watching the mom cherish each child put a fire in me to have a lot of kids of my own.
The idea of having a family like that in the long term is so appealing. In the meantime I’m not sure how many I can handle. When I think of the pregnancies, the births, breastfeeding, diapers, sleepless nights, car seats, bags of groceries, years of schooling, laundry and 1000 other things having to do with raising a family, I’m unsure of my capabilities. Could I raise 4 kids? Could I do it well?
After I had Melody I was riddled with self-doubt and disbelief. I had wanted to become a mother more than anything in the world, and it was kicking my butt! I did not think I could/would have another baby until she was seven months old. Those first months were harder than I can even remember. I was in a daze most of the time.
I am starting to think the answer to my question might be a one-at-a-time type of thing. When giving birth I have to focus on one contraction at a time. If I think about more I start to loose my mind. When I was approaching transition in Melody’s birth, I looked up at Chad and with panic in my voice said, “How am I going to have the 3rd baby?!” He kindly reminded me to try to focus on the contraction at hand, and nothing more. (He was prepared for me to freak out about more contractions, but not about more births!) He was right. When I focused on the contraction at hand, I could do it. It was horrible, but doable. Maybe the trick with the “How many kids do I want?” question is the same answer. One at a time, baby.