The "right" number of children your family should have
Every single day, I feel unqualified to write or talk about how hard momming actually is. I look around at friends with twins, or triplets or 4 kids or 6 or 7 kids and I watch them thrive as mothers. I watch their children fall in line like ducklings when their mama calls them. I watch their children play nicely. I see those healthy, well-balanced meals they pin or share on Instagram and I can't help but think "what is wrong with me that I can't even handle two kids?"
My children are free spirits who, while they have learned to listen and follow my instructions better (not perfectly), are still filled to the brim with curiosity (aka self destruction). At least once a day, one of my two beautiful offspring actively tries to kill themselves. Whether they are trying to put my keys in ignition (electrical outlet), or found some candy (ibuprofen) or are pretending to be an astronaut with the clear plastic bag that they feel belongs on their head. Every day, their amazing toddler minds create a world that could get them killed. They've trained me to be near them at all times. Frankly it's exhausting and I feel so unworthy as a mother.
Growing up all I wanted was to be a mom and now that I'm here, I don't feel like I'm very good at it.
I am in survival mode and not just for my lack of organization. There are some days I am barely treading water and I wonder what is wrong with me that I can't graciously manage being a mother of 2 kids, while so many other mothers are running around with 6-pack abs and 4+ kids in tow.
When people ask me if I'm going to have more kids, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. They mean well when they tell me, "you'll be glad you had more when they are older." I get that. Maybe when my kids are in high school, I'll wish our table was more full, but I can't think about then when I can barely get through today.
There is a pressure by many, especially in the evangelical community, to have more kids - a freaking quiver full of them.
But heaven forbid you have too many kids and turn out to be on TLC, or else you are viewed as freaking weirdos. SIDE NOTE: by "quiver" I am referring to a Bible verse in Psalm 127 comparing children to arrows, not the other (more exciting) kind of quiver. Boy, that could have been confusing for some of you.
I was at church a couple weeks ago and a very sweet pastor asked me if we were planning to have more children. I cringed as I apologetically told him that we were done and waited for him to tell me how much I would regret it. Instead of trying to convince me to have more children, he kindly responded with "You know? Everyone's quiver is a different size."
Now I know don't need anyone's permission but God and my husband's, but I want it! I want someone to tell me that it's okay to stop while I'm ahead and that I don't need to fill my entire minivan with offspring to be a good mother. I don't need to feel bad if my capacity is at two kids. Maybe someday my heart will change, but for now this is what God has for our family.
For those of you who feel like me:
I don't know what your "quiver" size is. Maybe you have half a dozen and feel pressure from the world that it's too many and they question how you can possibly feed all those mouths (btw, if this is the case, just punch the haters in the face). Maybe you have one amazing child and your family feels complete. Maybe you never got to meet your children, because they passed away before they entered this world. My heart aches with you, my friend. Whatever, the size of your family, people will have an opinion about it, but it's your family and your family alone. You don't need anyone to tell you that your family is perfect just the way you've made it, but in case you want that, here it is: Your family is perfect just as it is. In every stage.
Now, I want to celebrate you! What does your family look like?
How many kids? Are they of the womb (biological) or of the heart (foster, adopted or through marriage)? I love your families of all shapes and sizes, and I am constantly in awe of how God puts families together.