Now What?

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In every parenting journey, there is a moment when the unthinkable happens.

You decide to stop having children.

For our family, the curtain call came five months after our daughter was born. No more babies. Slowly, our lives adjusted, my body mostly returned, and our careers settled.

But a question has increasingly haunted me: Now what?

If you’re an older Millennial perhaps this sounds familiar? You work hard in school, in the workplace, in the fertility grind. You dream, dream, and dream of the perfect life with the brick McMansion and the white picket fence.

And, poof!, one day you realize that you are no longer in want.

But you belong to a generation that could never grasp contentment, even if it were the latest social media craze. It seems for those of us who have found security, we don’t know how to be still.

There is another identity to brand to Facebook.

There is another empty product to purchase.

There is another device to escape reality.

But I have come to this strange place in life where I am ready to slow down – to, dare I say, be grateful for what I don’t have: the job that steals my motherhood; the husband who lusts for power; the children who long for attachment.

The pathway to moving forward, however, is anything but clear. What drives you when the big stuff is already within reach?

I may be an adult, but I still feel like a child at times. The world remains scary. Risks mean carrying the weight of two little people now. Luckily, my husband readily assists.

And when we feel unnecessarily entitled, our kids – with the most expectant blue eyes – wake us up to responsibility.

You’re here. The day is new. We need you.

And suddenly adulthood doesn’t feel so bad.

One Year Ago: The Last Eleven Pounds

4 thoughts on “Now What?

  1. I used to be nervous about it but I have fallen in love with the stability that has come with deciding we are done having children, we’re enjoying our marriage and we’re hitting the daily grind. Now, we’re just enjoying the small things in life… time with each other, watching our kids play sports, taking family vacations. It’s wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an encouragement! It’s always a battle – this sense of being excited for more autonomous children (and all the fun activities) and also the realization that I’ll be older. As you suggest here, you’ve just got to enjoy the stage regardless. Thanks for the reminder!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “What drives you when the big stuff is already within reach?”

    Great question. When the moment came after I reached the big stuff — I’m a tad older than millennial — I realized the big stuff isn’t what actually drove me. What drives me now is utilizing the resources He’s given me to make life better for others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am always grateful for your “older and wiser” insights. Kidding about the age part – aren’t we all inner Millennials in the blogging world?! For myself, I have gotten really good at setting lofty goals. My greatest recent revelation has been the transformation of that “big stuff” into two living, breathing little people. As you note, it’s the legacy and time, resources, mental space now that require consideration and investment. I, too, am excited to use the gifts, but sometimes I feel grossly unprepared for all the selfless acts. But, you know, what better way to say you’ve lived your life? 🙂

      Like

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