You should know by now that I’m not a “pinterest mom.” In our house, we are messy, unorganized, loud, terrors with hot glue guns, and live completely without monograms. We eat non-photographable dinners and rarely do anything Instagram-worthy. Our socks rarely match and we spend too much time on the couch. Still, from far distances I am most-obviously a “mom.” It may surprise you to discover this was not a place I ever pictured myself being.
When I was younger I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have children. It seemed like something I would probably just do one day, but when I imagined my future life children were not in the fantasy. A husband sometimes, but no kids. Looking back now, I realize my love of travel was actually an unacknowledged desire to avoid settling anywhere (something that still causes tension in my marriage today – sorry husband!). In fact, I never really gave family much thought until the pregnancy test came back positive.
Considering where I am now, I’m not sure I would have ever made the conscious decision to have kids. [Can you have two kids and still not be sure you want kids?] Don’t get me wrong, we did make the very deliberate decision to grow our family and adopt the little man (and might even do it again someday), but if the daughter hadn’t come along unexpectedly, I’m not sure I’d be the suburban mom.
Adjustment period aside, when the daughter was born I was perfectly happy being the mother of an only. There is a certain age where your “first child” becomes your “only child.” I’m not quite sure where that line is, but I’m sure we crossed it with the daughter. I grew up only and took away a lot of good things from the experience, so more kids were never an assumption for me. In fact, I didn’t make up my mind about having another child until watching my mother and her siblings after the death of my grandfather.
When the little man came along the daughter was seven. I was surprised how much more child-focused our life was after becoming a family of four. For some reason, the adult activities we always included the daughter in no longer made sense with two kids. An interesting phenomenon – I wonder if other people have experienced the same? Or maybe we were just too lazy to continue the same kind of activities with two kids in tow? Truth be told, I kind of miss our only-child household; it was easier to be something more than “just mom and dad” then.
On the other hand, being a family of four is pretty awesome. Is it possible to be feeling all of the different things about kids at one time? I’m not sure if I ever wanted them. I miss only having one. I love having two. I might want more. See, all the things.