Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Head vs. Heart

Yesterday, I somehow managed to use my pent-up negative energy (stemming from the general ickiness I feel just before an upcoming thunderstorm) for "good". Well, I know in my HEAD that it was "good", but my heart hasn't quite figured this out yet.

After eleven years of raising small children, I have finally given in to what my BRAIN has known for two years, and have rounded up all of our baby equipment, ready to tote it off to the re-sale shop. It's all sitting in the trunk of the loser cruiser, right now. Just waiting for the final drive to Hand-Me-Downs.

Here's the thing: for some reason, the act of releasing all of the things I have lovingly collected over the past decade feels like MORE of a closure to the decision my husband and I made a few years ago than any medical intervention could.

Why is that??!!

And what's more, why is the act of getting rid of the baby stuff so gut-wrenching for me??!!

It's just STUFF, after all. All replaceable, should the need ever arise (and both my head--and my husband-- assure me that it WON'T).

Why can't I stand the thought of parting with things that we are DONE with?

Well, of course, the obvious reason is the memories associated with it all. I can still picture my first-born nestled into the infant sling. My second-born wailing away in the swing, while I frantically attempted to throw ingredients together for dinner. My last-born staring wide-eyed at me as I gently shook rattles to entertain her.

But, I have kept one small box of the "important" stuff... the favourite rattles, tiny books and dolls that my girls might like to have for their own children someday...

It's the "heart" response I'm having trouble with, clearly. I love babies, and no matter how sleep-deprived and blues-y I may have felt when each of my three girls were born, the baby-hood experiences in no way diminished the feelings I had of absolute, besotted, infant-adoration. Each time was the best time of my life.

My heart is finally clueing-in today that this part of my life as a mother is over.

And the heart is not happy about it.

Not. At. All.

My head knows that it's time to be done, though. My head knows that while the capacity to love grows each time a new baby is born, the ability to spend quality time with each child-- to give the very BEST of yourself to each child-- diminishes a little bit. I absolutely know that I am at the point where I have some balance in our family. The girlies are getting a little bigger, and a little more independent. And I'm FINALLY becoming able to make sure that each of them gets an equal part of me.

My head also knows that we have simply GOT to get the baby stuff out of here, or this house is going to explode. Growing girls need more grown-up things. And the more they grow, the less space we seem to have around here.

My husband wisely says that I need to learn to look at situations like this as POSITIVE change. He says that the world is finally starting to open up to us again, now that the family is complete, and the girls are becoming old enough for us to give them new experiences, take them to explore new places, and do more things.

He also says that I should be feeling happy to be "getting my life back" a little.

Well, I suppose all that's true. But today, I don't feel happy. Today, I feel strangely mournful, even though I know we have made the right decision, a decision that I am not going to regret.

Because for more than a decade, these little girls HAVE been my life. And I love my life. I just don't want it to.. slip through my fingers... QUITE so quickly....

1 comment:

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Gosh, reading this post makes me feel so sad! It is a happy/sad situation, I'm sure. Babyhood doesn't last long enough in my opinion. Children shouldn't be programmed to grow up so quickly! If I could have 10 babies, I would! ;)
I'm sorry you are feeling this way, but I know you and I know that you will bounce back and embrace your family with love and connection.

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