Wednesday, April 6, 2016

why we will stay as a family of three

Two point two children.  The national average, as read somewhere, at some point in time.  Grew up with one sibling, and so did the mr.  So, because I'm a creature of habit, I always thought that I would also have two children.  But I also thought I would be a stay at home mom.  I also thought that only children were nightmares, spoiled, selfish, and socially challenged.  And well, some are.  But many aren't, something I became aware of in my fourth year of teaching.  Suddenly I was surrounded by families of three, and they were freakin' happy.  And their kids, amazing.  And that really is an understatement.  And that is when the wheels started turning.
Maybe, just maybe, you don't have to do things a certain way, just because. Maybe, just maybe, you can decide to have as many children as you want to have, not the number society thinks you should have [and when I mean society, I mean people being blatantly rude to you when you say you only want ONE kid].  Now, by no means am I knocking on big families - have at it.  For some, the more the merrier is a true statement.  But here's why it's not for us:
Time.  Turns out, I love teaching.  But, as with anything, being good at something takes time.  I've worked extremely hard to be where I'm at professionally, and I wouldn't change any of it.  I literally feel that I'm the luckiest person to be teaching where and what I am, and get paid a good wage to do it.  However, returning back to the classroom when Everly was four months old was merely impossible. And it has taken me three years to start to feel okay with being a working mom. And that really isn't an exaggeration.  Three years people.  There were days when everything would make me mad, or sad, or frustrated.  Jealously really doesn't start to explain the feelings when you want to be the parent at home, and aren't.  But then, one day, I snapped out of it. Three years is how long it took me to not just be okay with being a working mom, but really embrace. And not just embrace it by telling everyone around me that I was happy to have this balance in life.  But really live it, and mean it.  Being okay with something like this must be more than just words you tell others.  An understanding that this is exactly how you want it to be, not something that had been done to me. Pity party over, and seeing the life I had and everything to be thankful for was right now; three years.  Do I want to start that clock over?  No.  I don't.  Not with any ounce of me.  Easier the second time around, sure, I'm sure it is.  Because you do realize that you aren't physically going to die being away from your child, again this is not an exaggeration, those maternal feelings are real.  But here's the deal. The fact that there are twenty-four hours in a day isn't changing any time soon.  And even if I can go back to work easier in round two, I'm now going to be juggling my precious six hours a day I get to be 'mom' by two.  And for me, after giving all of my attention to 100 students a day, dedicating six hours to one is plenty for me.
Money.  We live a very comfortable middle class life.  And we have this on one full time salary, and one part time.  We love to travel, and find ourselves always planning our next adventures.  We currently have a list of our next destinations lined up and ready for us.  Our common hobbies of photography and vintage treasure hunting are not always cheap, but we are still currently enjoying them, and paying our mortgage.  Go figure.  I was raised knowing that education was always my first priority when young, and working and paying for things would come later.  My parent's taught me responsibility by juggling honors classes and competitive sports, not flipping burgers.  And I want this to be the same for Everly, if she chooses.  So, that boils down to having a hand-me-down car for her one day.  Paying for car insurance, one day.  Paying for college, one day. And even a wedding, if she chooses, one day.  If I even multiply those numbers by two, well, that's a whole different story. And for us, this just makes sense.
Relationships.  I was a 'mommy monster', and so is my daughter.  However, there is one big difference, even though she is her mother's daughter, she is also so head over heels for her daddy. Over spring break I was with Everly during the day, doing many of the activities she normally does with her dad.  However, this break was different.  Now that she is three, and the living embodiment of a chatter box, the entire time she was sharing little stories of what she does, and how she plays with her daddy at these locations.  He was her every story.  And for the first time, this made me melt through and through. With not even the slightest twinge of guilt or envy; because we have built something here.  A day that is filled with both of her parents, every minute of the day, sometimes together, and sometimes apart. And she is experiencing this part of her life with us, and it feels really good.
So, we are happy.  Just the three of us.  And when people ask, as they do daily, when I'm going to have another, I say, "we are lucky to have one."  And we are.

Really freakin' lucky. 
And when people tell me why I shouldn't just have one, or comment, "one and done, huh?!?" [like we decided this because my child is satan's spawn, which couldn't be further from the truth] I just smile. Because we made this decision long before Everly ever arrived, and we kind of feel like we are in on the best kept secret: the family of three.

4 comments:

  1. Love you, love your family of three! And I always love reading your innermost feelings, as you put them so beautifully in words. ♡♡♡

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  2. Beautiful explanation! You are lucky, indeed. Your little family is simply amazing!!

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    Replies
    1. thanks bethany, miss you and those adorable girls of yours - playdate soon :)

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