I’m currently the stage in life where many of my married friends are on to baby number three. Four, if they’re over achievers. I came from a family of three children, so did Erron, and going into marriage I always thought I’d have a family of five. I also thought comprise couldn’t be that hard, which shows just how much I knew going into all of this. Anyway, Shep is almost four and half and Charlotte is two, so if we intend to keep up the two year baby trend, we are already behind schedule.
Once Shep was sleeping through the night I was basically ready for the next one. It wasn’t really a question of if we would have another child; just a matter of timing. Thankfully, once Erron finally decided to board the baby train, sweet-talking him into next one was no big deal. He was as obsessed with being a parent as I was, so 26 months after Shep arrived, we got sweet and sassy Char.
Flash forward to present day, in the lobby of the physical therapy room: Shep’s therapist is giving me the run down of how the sessions went and I kid you not, both my kids are rolling around on the floor. Just, rolllllling around, like they thought the place was one giant grassy knoll. I half-heartedly tried to get them to stop, but every time I reached down for them, they’d just roll in the opposite direction. It was nap-time for Char, Shep had been in therapy for roughly 2 hours and they. were. done. So was I. I’m standing there, focusing on his sweet therapist’s face, trying really hard to listen to her words…but the tiny bodies that keep landing themselves on her feet are distracting me. It’s like this every Tuesday. But yesterday, in the back of my mind I heard the warning bells (which have been ringing for months now) kick it up another notch: I have hit max capacity. It’s not that kids can’t have seasons like this, mine are two and four, and we reside in Crazy Town a good portion of the time. It’s just that yesterday I realized I’m not ready to voluntarily take up permanent residence there for the sake of keeping up with my life plan or the Jones’s. I’m officially tapping out.
Maybe it’s the fact that ‘spirited’ is an adjective I’d use to describe both children. Or, it could be because Shep literally talks every minute of every day and Charlotte’s still not a great sleeper. Maybe it’s all we’ve been through in the last year. Whatever the reasons, I know it’s time to quit pretending baby number 3 is even up for current consideration and start waving the white flag. The jig is up.
While I’ve been able to admit out loud to friends that I’m content with our little family unit, I feel guilty every time I say it. Being a parent is such a blessing and the responsibility it carries is a big deal. Especially if you subscribe to the philosophy that you’re trying to raise up men and women who will go out into their worlds and change it for the better. I look at moms of three or four and sometimes feel like I just can’t cut it. God only knows what kind of kids I’d be sending out into the public if I keep adding more ‘arrows to my quiver’, as they say. After talking over a tough day with another mom, I’ll pause and wonder if she’s thinking, “Allie, it can’t be that bad… you only have two of them!” What is that? For starters, Shep and Char may only equal two bodies, but factor in their giant personalities and the party just got a whole lot bigger. Secondly, what does it matter if my Crazy Town looks different than my friend’s Crazy Town? CRAZY IS STILL CRAZY when you’re living there, regardless of the population. So I’m not the mom who can embrace an enormous level of everyday chaos. I need my one-on-one time. This is what works for us as parents, and it works for my kids, so I just need to own it. I’m owning it: Max capacity people. Now, Erron and I are never-say-never kind of parents, so ask us again in several years and our hearts may have shifted. But we’ve jumped off the two, even three or four year baby track, and at this point I’m doubtful we’ll be buying any more tickets. My heart will always melt every time I see an Instagram photo framing a precious bunch of little siblings, all close in age, and watching Char slip out of the baby phase can slay me in a hot minute. HOWEVER, we are overflowing with love and entertainment at the Weig house. Also, last night, Shep snuck into our room at 2:00 AM, and I woke up in Charlotte’s bed so…I can still pretend we have newborns without trying too hard.