I’ve been reading back through some old posts (here and here); posts that I put up when I was the mother to one child – one young child who slept through the night – and I am struck by how much time I had to metabolize the parenting experiences I was having. I had time to internalize them, to turn them over and carefully examine them from every angle. I had time to do research on what conclusions other parents came to about similar situations, and I had time to think about how I wanted to handle the situation if it were to arise again in the future.
I am also struck by how infrequently I do this anymore. Between the drop-offs and pick-up and daily feedings, and grocery shopping and meal planning, and spending QT with my husband, and my multiple jobs – did I mention sleep? – I don’t have time to check what Janet would do. I feel like I’ve gone from parenting with a purpose to parenting under fire. And it feels messy and ugly and like I am short-changing my kids. (Not to mention my husband and myself.)
Sometimes I wonder if I would be a better mom if I had fewer kids.
But then I see my children together. I watch with love Alice’s face light up when she sees Eleanor and Oliver each morning; I listen with amusement to Oliver and Eleanor send each other into giggling fits at the dinner table; I listen with pride as Eleanor offers to turn the light on for Oliver in the bedroom so he can cook; and I watch the gentle way Oliver feeds Alice her puffs and I know the answer.
No. I most definitely would not. (But I might have smaller bags under my eyes.)