I became pregnant with my 10th child when I was 41 years old.
Initially, I was totally mortified. In fact, I felt like a terrible disaster had occurred in my life. I dreaded my first prenatal visit. I avoided the grocery store. I was hesitant to face my cute, skinny friends who were already finished with bottles and diapers. I was convinced that my pregnancy—and our upcoming child—meant the end of my independence and freedom.
I wondered how I could go into public at my age carrying a carseat. I worried about the impact of another baby to my already busy family—our nine older children and my husband. I felt exhausted at the prospect of adding one more child to our home. In short, my 10th pregnancy sent me into a spiral of self-doubt. Surely, I reasoned, this baby would be nothing but a burden for our family.
But I was wrong. In fact, I was dead wrong. My pregnancy was not a tragedy, it was a tender mercy. My 10th baby was an incredible blessing that I did not anticipate.
Now my baby is almost 4 years old. He is everything to me. He is everything to my husband and to our nine other children. He is the light of our lives. We can’t begin to imagine a world without him.
He is the sparkle on our cold, dark mornings. He is a ball of blankets to hug and hold when we are lonely. He is the first person we all want to see when we come home after a long day. His toddler words and laughs and antics are the softest and sweetest and most comforting. He is the last smile we seek at night. He is the spice in our world. We love him dearly.
And, in addition to the fact that we adore him, all of our previous parenting skills have gone completely out the window. No more motherhood theories. No more trainings or teachings or natural consequences. He eats his ice cream first. He sleeps in our bed. He gets McDonalds nuggets for lunch. He stays up past 8pm. In fact, raising our baby is SO. MUCH. FUN.
When he wants a toy at the grocery store, I buy it. When he needs new shoes, we pick out the cutest ones. When he asks to ride the merry-go-round, I let him. This is my last chance at parenting, and I aim to enjoy every minute. Continue reading