Real Mom Mondays: Is One Enough?
As moms, I think we can all agree that by the time your first child reaches his or her first birthday party, the questions of: "Do you want more?" or "Are you trying for number two?" roll off the tongues of everyone from your grandmother to the cashier at the grocery store. I know that I am guilty of it myself. Which makes me wonder...why do we, as humans - strangers even, feel that another woman's reproductive plans are any of our business?
Now that Olive is two, I find that the questions have exponentially grown. I am honestly not offended by these questions. If anything, I am confused as to why the lady at the dry cleaners actually wants to know. I think for the most part it's just chit chat. Perhaps she's killing time until the moving rack brings the clothes around. Whatever the reason, I wonder if she really wants to know the answer. If it's anything other than, "Yes! We are actively trying", I am guessing she doesn't give two hoots. I think if I went into great detail of why we are not ready for another child yet, it would actually make her very uncomfortable...bored even.
When Olive was six months old, I told Brett that I was ready to consider baby number two. Somehow - the window passed. Now that window feels more closed than open (but not locked either...) and I am not sure how I feel about it. I love my family of three, and while I know that bringing another bundle of joy into the world would be a great blessing, I wonder how it will affect the balance that the three of us have created.
Additionally, I wonder if I could handle it. Between all the "b's" in my life - Brett, BURU, Little Bee, and let's not forget my bipolar, I am just not sure I am capable of taking care of another little life at this point. Honestly, I feel like I am just getting the hang of taking care of one little human.
So I ask myself (and of course I ask Brett) "Is One Enough?" Am I really in the "mom's club" with an only child? Or am I sort of on the sidelines because I couldn't possibly understand what it means to have two, without actually having two?
It's a weekly thing for a mother of multiples to tell me that, "It must be nice to wear heels...wait until you have two" or "How do you find the time to put on make-up? Oh that's right...you only have one!" I just smile at these questions, knowing that she absolutely has it harder than me, but also desperately wanting to tell her that flats legitimately give me blisters, and that I am mostly wearing yesterday's make-up with 2.5 minutes of touch-ups while Olive sat in my lap.
Encounters like these remind me that we're all struggling - all trying to justify our decisions - our life choices. Somehow my heels and bad make-up job make that mom feel not great about herself. It has nothing to do with me really. Just like she is absolutely not trying to tell me that I don't know what being a mom is like because I only have one child. I am the one who is questioning if 'one' makes me a mom or not. I am pretty sure the answer is yes.
We are so hard on ourselves. Let's stop. How about we start 2015 with the permission to enjoy whatever phase of life we are in. It doesn't matter if you are one child or five children into this game we call motherhood, just be happy with the blessings that you have been given. And just for kicks, let's be happy for other mommy's out there too.
So you're desperately trying for a second and you run into Fertile Myrtle with her brood of three at Target. Smile knowing that you are just where you should be in this life. So you haven't showered in days and you run into Perfectly Polished Corporate Cortney dropping her little one off at school. Cut her a break knowing that she is probably dying a little inside that she is missing the school play because of a board meeting that afternoon.
The bottom line is, when your mom told you to, "Never judge a book by its cover", she actually meant to say, "Don't judge another mother by her...well - just don't judge another mother. Period."