Monday, October 15, 2018

Regurgitated Sentiments

I don't hate small talk. One of my favorite parts of making small conversations in the grocery store, parking lot, or post office is making people smile.

Because I usually have my kiddos with me, many times the conversation is geared around them. Because my husband and I grew up in this small town, many of the people aren't strangers, but aren't friends, they are more like familiar acquaintances.

This can lead to questions that mere strangers might not ask. Like "So, did you and Chad decide to stop with 3?" I was talking with an old coworker of Chad's in the hardware store parking lot. It was cold, it was windy, I was trying to wrangle all 3 kids into the store. My mouth went into automatic mode and replied "Oh yeah, we hit 3 and decided we were tired enough." We both chuckled and parted ways, he to his truck and us to buy our tarp for leaves.

I know I've read that and heard that sentiment multiple times, so my mouth took over while my brain was busy and spoke without thinking.

And I regret it.

Not because of the coworker, that doesn't matter. But because of my kids..."we were tired enough"...ugh

There is no denying we are tired, like 99.87% of the adult population. But I just equated the worth of another child to the importance of me feeling well rested. And I don't like that. Especially I don't like that I said that in front of my kids.

I'm not afraid to talk about why we are done having kids, but my mouth doesn't always let my brain remind it of that, it just wants to continue the conversations and make the other person smile.

I'm therefore going to take this moment to set the record straight, and maybe next time I get asked this question my mouth will refrain from regurgitating sentiments other people have said. (And note, this will be my reasoning, as I can't speak for Chad, but know that we are in complete agreement on this subject)

We have 3 amazing, energetic, bright kids.
The youngest 2 are one year apart in age.
From the time I got pregnant with my 2nd until 2 years after my 3rd was born (3 years 9 months) I had emotional hardship. I was never diagnosed with depression, because I never went to the doctor about it. But the woman and mother I was for those years, I don't recognize. I have never been in a place so scary, dark, and hopeless feeling.
During those years, I experienced panic attacks for the first time.
I had intense episodes with anxiety like I had never had before.
My social anxiety skyrocketed to a point where I thought I had lost my ability to be an extrovert.

I am terrified of ever going through that again.

It was a no-brainer for Chad and me, I never wanted to be pregnant again. So we decided to be done having kids.

My youngest is now 3 1/2 and I have had moments of questioning our decision. Brief seconds of, "I love babies so much and I wonder what we could have had next". But like those unwanted bad dreams you can't forget no matter how hard you try, I remember losing myself to the hormones and how I can't do that to myself or my family ever again. I have 3 little ones depending on me, it's not okay to tell them "I just can't get off the couch today, just leave me to cry. I know we have no clean clothes, I know we have no clean dishes, no I don't have anything in the house to eat." No. That would be irresponsible of me.

So instead, I'll love on my 3 precious gifts from God and remind myself...
I'm not too tired to have more kids, these 3 kids deserve the best me I can give them.

Mrs. Troyer