The most enjoyable sound of all was the one of my inner voice. A sound that's often in hiding during this peak time of day. For most moms, the peak is that evening bustle during dinner preparation when hungry kids are underfoot still whining over lingering homework assignments. Their time to procrastinate drawing to a close. On this night my house wasn’t nearly as full.
With two kids out for the night, I got to experience what it would’ve been like to have a two child family. The kinds of families that I used to think were boring. I felt sad for those moms who had two children, especially ones of the same sex. Looking back, they were on to something. I was just too jacked up on hormones to realize the pace of motherhood to come. I actually thought the toddler years were going to be my most rigorous. As my younger two inch closer to double digits, I realize just how wrong I was.
I get it now. I know why couples stop at two kids. Two is manageable. Four is madness. I think I was still feeding off the half-life of those new mom hormones and got pregnant back to back. The hormones that induce a delirium so powerful that they gloss over the reality of a workload to come. Motherhood is one those situations that you have to experience firsthand to understand the conditions. The same with marriage or a career. A bigger family isn’t just a little more food and a little more wash. Having four kids is an experience like no other. Well, except compared to those Duggars.
Now I wouldn’t change my harried life because that would mean I’d have to give up a child. I say this under the same guise as expectant parents who say, “Boy or girl. It doesn’t matter.” Of course I wouldn’t (or couldn’t) give up a child now. But it’s natural to wonder what could’ve been with different pairings of personalities. A simple family of four instead of the overwhelming one of six. An experience I sometimes get temporarily, on weekends or while running errands, without the whole quartet. And sometimes lowering the decibels is enough to make me delve back into the madness.