In our marriage I am very much heart and my husband is very much head, on this occasion head over heart has conquered. On a reasonable day where hormones don't get the better of me I can completely accept this and rationalise that it's the right decision for our family. Other days I catch sight of a bump or a newborn and my heart whispers, one more, just one more!
The fact is that as hard as they are, I love the baby days and I love being a mother. Since having my babies I have never felt more certain of who I am and that this is what I was meant to do, they are such a huge part of my identity. For almost 6 years I have been pregnant or with a babe in arms. As the baby of our three gets closer to turning two this summer the baby days are well and truly drawing to a close for me. Normally by now I would be expecting our next one, or in the case of our gap between number 2 and 3, I'd be doing up the poppers of tiny baby grows and snuggling a newborn. Having babies has become my normal, but I can't just keep on having them! Saying goodbye to something you adore is always so hard, I really wish I could just wave this off merrily without looking back over my shoulder, I might just have to settle for 'see you later' and reminisce once in a while.
Not long after baby number three I really felt like our family was complete but that was when I still had a little baby and hadn't begun to miss the baby days which literally pass you by in a sleep deprived haze of gurgles and night feeds and nappy changes. I wish I had savoured them more instead of some days wishing them away with the hope of a full nights sleep on the horizon. Photographs regularly remind me as they pop up as 'memories' that it wasn't all hard with teeny toes and little sighs and sleeping babes with arms above their heads or in my arms that I'd give anything right now to re live. Of course these moments change into first steps, first words, and into amazing little humans which are just incredible to watch as they learn and grow bringing new, amazing things to savour each day. I love the children dearly that my babies have become, they teach me so much and of course just because they aren't babies any more I'm not any less of a mother, more of one if anything as I help them navigate this complicated world of ours.
What it all comes down to if I am completely honest is me feeling frightened and scared on the cusp of the unknown, just like that new mum bringing home her first baby from hospital that I so remember being . Having spent such a long time in the baby days, it is my safe zone, my normal, somewhere I feel comfortable and a phase that 3 babies in I feel like I have mastered most of the time.
As the babies get older it's truly beautiful, but so hard letting go a bit and giving them wings and I'm learning to enjoy this little by little. I guess I just want a pause button, a rewind button even, so I can hold onto these days just a little bit longer. Regardless of whether we had another baby, the baby days are going to pass me by eventually and I really have to let them go at some point and accept that they are coming to an end. I'm getting there with it, slowly but surely, and I know it's the right decision for us, financially, emotionally and spatially!
Life is getting easier, it baffles me (and my husband) that this daunts me but quite possibly I have been so consumed by the demanding aspect of 'baby days motherhood' that I have lost myself a little and don't know what I'll do with myself. That would certainly explain a little part of why I am clinging onto this phase for dear life. The fact is there is always the next phase and I know I won't be any less busy, just different busy and just like the baby days I'll find my comfort zone in this next chapter which I have no doubt will be an exciting one. There will be time for me, with more than enough of me to go round which makes accepting the end of these days just that little bit easier, i just need to turn the page...