My secret makes me feel ashamed. Ashamed and guilty. And ungrateful.
When I was 37, I got a surprise one Spring morning. I was going to be a mom again. For the third time. I was completely shocked and immediately broke down in tears, sobbing even. How dare God surprise me like this? I already had a 7 & 8 year old. I had to start over. All over again. And I was almost 40. And even though my husband (who is the most amazing, supportive person in the world and the best dad ever to boot), was excited and made me feel like it was the best thing ever, I had my doubts. But quickly those doubts turned into excitement. This was going to be fantastic, right? We had always teetered on a third, but as the first two boys got so much older, we kind of ruled it out. Well, someone had something else in mind for me. These are the moments we like to refer as “fate”, right? Hmmmm….
Fast forward nine months and one more healthy, gorgeous, GOOD, baby BOY. I did it again. I woke up at night. I breastfed. I struggled to get the weight off (not as easily the third time, btw), I sacrificed, I skipped showers and hair appointments, I changed the poop, I looked like a straight up HOT MESS. All the time. But I got thru the hard part, and now we’re in the toddler stage. Wait, did I say I got thru the hard part?
My secret is, on a daily basis almost, I say “what if?” What if I HADN’T gotten pregnant with him? I’d have been able to go back to school. I’d be at the gym more. I’d have more money because even though I work from home, I had to turn down more hours and more money because of the new baby. I’d have freedom during the school day while the other two were gone. As a family, we’d be able to do everything together, instead of the constant dividing and conquering we currently do now. I often times feel isolated from my friends who didn’t start over, and miss out on Girl’s Weekends, shopping trips, and stuff like that. Last minute drives over to Disney and the beach with the kids no longer happen, and I seem to lose touch with my older two constantly, and I resent it. I resent the baby. I resent God.
In no way, shape or form would I EVER choose to not have him, especially now that I’ve got him. He is absolutely delicious. I mean, I can’t even take the cuteness or the wonderful chance to be able to do it again. I always felt so hurried with the first two, as they were so close in age. This was my do-over. This was my chance to do all the things I missed again. This was a blessing. He’s my “stop and smell the roses” baby. And, it is waaaay different this time, on so many levels. Mostly good different.
But still, I find myself reciting the “what ifs” all the time. I know that as children and childhood do, this will go super quick. And I don’t want to wish my baby’s babyhood away. But I would be lying if I said I don’t often long for the times when life can be a little more about me. Selfish, I know. Anyway, that is my secret. And I feel better having said it.