My cousin and I were talking over the weekend about how we feel about being done having kids. She mourns leaving baby-making behind. She grieves the loss of more babies. She misses the infant stage so much it brings her to tears. Her kids are 13 and 18, for the record.
She said she misses the bond most of all. That bond that an infant has with his mother. The fact that you, the mother are needed for just about everything, all the time.
I pointed to Olivia, who’d told me five times in the previous thirty seconds exactly what she was doing and where she was going.
I said, “I think I still have that bond.”
My cousin laughed and agreed. “You have the bond but more mobility. The best of both worlds.”
And she’s right. Olivia doesn’t need me to see to her physical needs the way she did even two years ago (Hello potty training, you are a wonder of wonders.) but she still needs me emotionally. She needs to know where I am, what I’m doing and how she can get to me anytime we’re in the same vicinity.
Alyssa, at ten, is much more independent, unless we’re in an unfamiliar setting, then she needs to be next to me until she figures out where she fits into the new environment. She wants to sleep in her own room these days, which is awesome. I’m proud of this independence, this self-reliance and I want this for her.
I do not miss the infant years. I have said before that the infant years are so, so hard. Even with a text book baby like Alyssa, that first year was incredibly hard. She fussed when she was supposed to, she slept fairly well, she was a good eater but it was just hard. I am truly glad I don’t have to go through another newborn/infant stage.
That said, I admitted to Amy that if circumstances had been different, it Tom and I had met when we were younger and if we’d have the financial capability for me to stay home with the kids, I might have tried to convince him to have a third baby.
But as it is, I have always felt like the two I have take everything in me that I have to give and I don’t know how I’d stretch myself to accommodate a third child. I realize, though, that we do what we have t do. Love is infinite, it grows and if a third child had happened, we’d have made it work.
Here’s to being in my forties, though and not having to worry about that sort of thing.