Not What I Planned: A Mother’s Reflection on the Fears of Parenthood

Ever since I was young, I’ve always knew I wanted kids with my future husband. I had it all planned out: married by 21, enjoy being a married couple for 5 years and then have 1-2 kids and be done by the time I was 30. That was my plan… when I was 12. Seemed about right to me at that age and in the back of my mind I’ve always had that list.
Well, I wasn’t married at 21, instead I was 23. Not exactly has planned, but not far off considering I was 12 when I made that goal. My husband, James, was an on the rise Professional MMA fighter and I was excited to see what adventures the next 5 years would bring us!

First exciting venture was purchasing our first home together about 6 months after we exchanged our wedding vows. The process was fast paced and at times overwhelming. Though at times we wish we didn’t rush into home owning the way we did, we were young and eager to start our lives together in something we could call our own.

It was around this time that my husband stopped fighting. Thankfully, it wasn’t due to injury, but instead he really felt lead to dedicate that training time to our marriage. Though it was a hard decision, it really was a huge gift to the both of us that we now had so much time together to just focus on us. Vacations, date nights, time just to be newlyweds!

Little did we know at the time, but that time was more important than we thought! A few months after our first anniversary, the conversation of having kids arose. I’ll be honest, at first I was not really on board with the idea. Married one year and already thinking of kids? This is not what I planned! I wanted more time. I’m 24; I surely have plenty of time to have a child or two before the age of 30. But whoa, he is throwing numbers out there like 3-4!

Just to make it clear, my husband did not force me to birth any children. I did come around and decided that I liked the idea of being a young mom. By the time they are grown I still have plenty of years to travel the world with my husband or even better yet with him and our children.

Fast forward, we had two girls before I turned 27. We had them close and I’m so happy we did. They are now best friends and perfect play mates for each other. I remember one night talking with James about how perfect our lives were. He agreed and even said that he was happy if we decided to stop at 2. Our girls have filled our lives with so many blessings and so much joy we just could not picture it any other way. That is, until I turned 29.

Not to long after my 29th birthday I remember this sudden urge to have another child. An urge I never felt for my first two. It was such an odd experience. Was this the “ticking clock” or “baby fever” that you always hear about or was this a genuine feeling? I prayed about it, discussed it with my husband and even spoke to some people at my church that have larger families. The idea of having three for some reason always terrified me. This was an emotion I definitely did not plan to have!

That brings me to tonight. I am currently writing this while my two girls sleep in their bunk beds with my 2 week old newborn fast asleep on my chest. Turns out, three is not as scary as I once thought. The peace and closeness our third daughter has brought to our family amazes me. God has really opened my heart in ways I didn’t realize could happen. In ways I didn’t realize I needed!

So don’t be like me and hold onto the list you made when you were 12 with such a tight grip. By no means am I saying goals are bad, but what I am saying is that they are not as good as what God has planned. Learning to not be so self-centered and self-goal oriented is actually what has brought more peace and comfort in life.

With this in mind, I am turning 30 years old next month. My first instinct before the birth of my third child was… “AH! I still managed to get one of my goals completed”. However, now that she is here, I don’t feel that way. At this moment, no I don’t think more are coming, but I’m also not willing to say that they are not. It has taken me many years, but I find peace in knowing that my life is not going to go as I plan, but instead it’s all in God’s hands!

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