I had always wanted 6 children, ever since I can remember I though it was the perfect size family. I grew up in a house with five children and loved being part of a big (ish) family and wanted to recreate that when it came to having my own. As time went by reality hit and I realised that 6 was probably not such a great idea, maybe if I started having them in my twenties it might have been different and maybe if I had the kind of babies that sleep all night from 6 weeks on I might still have thought it possible but as neither was the case we decided that 4 was the new 6 ( for us at least) and even now when people tell me I’ve a big family I don’t get where they are coming from. Four just seems like an average size to me and I slightly envy people with bigger families but realise that four is enough for us.
This realisation doesn’t stop me from looking at new babies and feeling a sadness that we won’t be there again and the very thought that ill never breastfeed again is almost enough to bring me to tears. The bonuses, for me, do outweigh the losses, being able to go places without a buggy is like being released from jail! Being at the stage where everyone can tell you what they need is pure joy, no more wondering are they hot/cold/hungry/thirsty/ smelly/wet/tired/overtired….it’s like the ‘second guessing’ part of my brain has been given a long holiday. And still…….
Our youngest (2 1/2) has been sick since Friday and went downhill very fast requiring a trip to Mid Doc (always a disastrous experience) over the weekend and his first ever course of Antibiotics. Because it was the weekend I had time to sit and snuggle him, to tend to his every need, in spite of the fact I was hosting a family lunch on Sunday for my parents and two Aunts. He was actually very easy to mind as he almost reverted to being a baby, all he wanted was to snuggle and fell asleep on my shoulder/ in my arms numerous times over the weekend. It is rare to have him so quiet and still, so despite my worry I loved spending so much time cuddling him.
Fast forward two days, the girls are back in school, Paul is back in work and homework needs to be done, laundry is waiting to be sorted and dinners need to be made and the novelty of this return to babyhood is wearing very thin. Carting a very big two and a half year old around while you do chores is exhausting, the very fact he can tell me, repeatedly, that he is hot/cold/thirsty/hungry is head wrecking and this evening as I tried to serve up dinner having this little man do a very accurate reenactment of the whiny ‘5 o clock witching hour’ that most babies perform was enough to shrink my ovaries for good!! So yes, six children would have been nice, but midwives of the midland you may stand down, I will not be need you. ( touches wood)