Last week I went out for a happy hour with several women I worked with before Ben and Karina were born. They’re all mothers, but unlike me they stayed in their full-time, 9-to-5 (not that anybody works 9-to-5 anymore) type jobs.
This weekend, my nephew stayed overnight with us. He’s about 2.5 years younger than Karina and Ben, so I had a brief glimpse of what life might have been like if we had left the let’s-have-another-baby door open.
When Robin and I decided that I should quit my job, and that we felt good about a family of “just” three kids, I at least made those choices based on gut alone. No pro/con lists, no carefully reasoned arguments – I just felt my way through. Maybe Robin would be able to tell you about how he assessed the risks and benefits, or maybe he just would say that he knew it was no use to argue with me. In any case, here we are.
At the time, I was completely convinced that I couldn’t handle life under other terms. If I tried to work or tried to mother 4 kids instead of 3 (actually, back then I didn’t even really believe I could deal with 3), I would lose my mind. I’d be a failure.
This week convinced me otherwise. Our life would be so very different, but I think it would still be recognizable. If I had believed then that I could do it, I really think we could have. It feels good to have that confidence. When the next game-changing choice comes along, maybe I will feel more sure that God will provide for us no matter which path we are called to take.
It also feels really good to have no regrets about the direction our life has taken. Because of those choices, we have been blessed with so many unexpected friends and opportunities. I may not have known at the time why we went this way, but I know it now and I am so, so grateful.