Thursday, February 2, 2012
As the fabulous posts for next week's Family Size Blog Carnival roll in (yes, there's still time for yours!), I continue to reflect on our family's size. What I keep coming back to is how, for me, having only one child was much more of a handful than having three. Much of the challenge with one was rooted in my own lack of experience, confidence, and perspective. I thought for sure that those newborn nighttime fussy periods would last for decades, that potty training would forever make me a captive in my own home, that my toddler would never eat a green vegetable. All of these concerns took up a lot of mental energy, energy that with more kids naturally goes elsewhere.
With one child, there was a lot more boredom, a lot more endless winter afternoons, a lot more time to stew over my parenting approaches and question my tactics. With more, I gained knowledge, trust, and perspective, but I also gained helpers and my kids gained playmates. Days got busier, fuller, more fun, more rewarding. I learned to let go of the silly little things that once irked me, like toddler nightwaking or picky eating. I learned to take better notice of the passing of time with my little ones. I learned to remind myself that even on those tough mothering days, those days when nothing seems to go smoothly, that I chose this job, this privilege of mothering three precious people, and it's up to me to do it right.
"Yes," I answer to the passersby: "Full and fulfilled."