The Grief of Being “Done” Having Kids

My husband had a vasectomy. I was overwhelmed with four kids under six and I knew even though I’d keep having babies forever, it was time to be done. My anxiety was  through the roof and I was hanging on by a thread. I didn’t think I’d be the best mom to my other four if I added more to the madness.

So we decided to do it and I was only a little sad. That moment of holding a new baby on my chest felt like nothing short of an encounter with Heaven, but I thought, my arms are full and so is my heart.

I thought it would be easy because I had four already; our family was complete.

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Dear Son, You’ll always be my little boy,

Dear Son,

Today I wish I could go back. I wish I could go back and hold you as an infant. I wish I could smell your skin and rock you just a little longer. I wish I could be still and feel that moment just one more time.

When I look at pictures of you in your toddler years with your round cheeks and pudgy hands, I smile. Inside my heart breaks a little bit because I wish I could squeeze you as you ask me a billion questions in your tiny voice, just one more time.

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Why I Don’t Want to be a Perfect Parent

From the time I was a little girl, I had unrealistic expectations of myself. Part of it came from being a firstborn child, I think. I stressed about grades, my hair being just right, being “good”, and never ever disappointing anyone. Anything less than “perfect” was failing and torpedoed me into a shame-storm. It wasn’t “I messed up”; it was “I am messed up”.

I am a messy, scatterbrained, free spirit by nature, so I was constantly “failing” the so-called standards. Perfectionism was a merciless dictator in my life, and it manifested in stress, anxiety, isolation, depression, and eventually an eating disorder.

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Dear Kids, I wish you knew…

I wish you knew that sometimes when the house is dark and quiet, I come in and watch you breathe for a minute. I wonder there in the stillness if you know how much I love you. I think about the things I could have said differently, and I wonder if you let my mistakes roll off of you or if they stuck.  I hope and pray there in the stillness that you would know how deeply and widely I love you.

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