I have spent the past six years of my life planning pregnancies, being pregnant, having a newborn, and then planning for the next baby. Those six years have given my husband and I a focus and a common goal. I have lavished in the excitement and attention that each baby brought, and a lot of the time my identity was tied up in the baby stage. We have let things go and lived in survival mode knowing we had a damn good excuse.
We are finished having babies, and all four of our babies aren’t babies anymore. So, now what?
My mother always said, “You will know when you are done.” She was so right. After having our twins, no, before they even arrived, I knew with all of my being, that I was finished having babies. My husband could have easily been persuaded to have one more, a shot at one more boy, (we have three daughters). But I knew I was ready for our next stage in life and I sent him off to close the baby-making factory.
I had been so eager to move the baby gear out of house, rehabilitate and strengthen my body, and feel the freedom of not being pregnant, breastfeeding or lugging a baby around that I didn’t really think about what the other side would look like. Or better yet, the path of destruction we had created during our baby phase.
Once our twins were born and the dust had settled, I immediately started focusing on my career and myself. I figured that I had given so much of myself in the past six years that I deserved to have all of the attention for a while.
Months passed, my business was booming and my body was banging, but my family and home was quietly crumbling. After a rather exciting few months with my blog’s success, I started to realize that my marriage was in trouble and one of my kids was really struggling. It felt like my world was crashing down around me and I knew that my denial of responsibilities was partially to blame.
I pulled back with my work, despite the impact that would have, and focused on my family. My husband and I had some very honest conversations about our relationship, and our roles as parents and began to breathe life back into our marriage. We put safe guards in place and we now have weekly date nights to reconnect and focus on each other.
Our four-year-old daughter who was struggling got some much-needed attention, and we (with the help of a counselor), changed the way we were parenting her. She has since bloomed into a confident little person.
Our home that was so over stuffed with… well stuff, is being purged, and projects that were left behind are being finished. I have also created a schedule for my home-run business, so that I have protected blocks of time to both work, and focus completely on my family.
When we finished having babies, I knew I was ready, but I didn’t realize the chaos that would be left in the wake of the baby stage. I thought that not being pregnant anymore would be a much easier transition, but coming out of a state of constant excitement was a lot more work than I had anticipated.
Life will always have it’s moments of upheaval, but having some kind of balance, structure and organization in my life will make sure that all of my plates keep spinning.
Photos by Sarah Martin Photography