Endurance Riding

Jan 08 2018

Because Why

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When I was pregnant this last time, with my third child, at 35 years old, I had some very different reactions when my husband and I first announced our pregnancy. Of course, there were the typical “Congratulations!” “So happy for you!” “Wonderful news!” reactions.
But then there were the whys. Why would you want another child (when your other two are 12 and 15)? Why would you want to bring another child into this crazy world? Why would you want to have another child at your age? Why would you want to start all over again?
And then there were those who wanted to know if this pregnancy was an accident (maybe surprise would have been a better word choice).
No, Asher wasn’t an accident. He wasn’t a surprise either. (And no, we weren’t trying for a girl… not sure how you do that, actually. You get what you get, right?)
Maybe I wanted another child because I couldn’t imagine sending my children off to college before I turned 40.
Maybe I wanted to know what it’s like to actually make a baby — to go to bed with the man I love and consciously make a baby (because yes, the first two were surprises).
To do it. To do it on purpose.
Maybe I wanted another child because I am terrified, fucking terrified, to leave my childbearing years behind me, despite how I always claim I’m not afraid of getting older.
Maybe it’s because I’m terrified, fucking terrified, to be alone, and I’m acutely aware everyday (thanks to my smart ass teenager who always reminds us all just how old Dad really is) that my husband is 15 years older than me and may leave me behind earlier than I’d like, but hell, at least I’ll have a child still at home.
Maybe I just missed the experience of child birth. The rad, spiritual, painful, uplifting, fucking empowering experience of child birth.
Maybe I missed that newborn stage. That newborn smell. Those little faces they make, the sounds they coo, the cuteness, the smallness, the helplessness.
Maybe I just wanted someone to need me so badly again that his life, his entire existence, literally depended on me.
Whatever the reason, here I am, sitting in front of the computer, trying to get a moment to myself while my newborn sleeps. I haven’t showered yet today. My shirt smells like curdled milk. My hands were covered in poop earlier. My hair is a mess. I cried over a broken electric tooth brush yesterday. I am far from the sexy woman my husband made love to when we first created Asher. And I have several loads of laundry to do, thanks to the dirty cloth diapers that have piled up in our bathroom.
And now, ask me again, why. Why would I chose all these sleepless, exhausting nights (and days) to the life I used to live just a year ago — the sometimes glamorous life of a career woman, who had such an exciting hobby (insert photo of me galloping on the back of a beautiful horse through a stunning field with my hair blowing in the wind).
Shit, I don’t know why. But I can say this with utmost certainty. I wouldn’t change all these sleepless, exhausting nights (and days) for the life I used to live just a year ago.
Jakob was the one who turned me, a young woman who never wanted children, into a mother, one week after my twentieth birthday. And while I still have no desire to attend any Mommy-and-Me classes, and I am still mostly clueless about the “right” way to raise a child, I couldn’t be more proud to be “Mommy.”
So I’ll take the half a dozen or more diaper changes today, tomorrow, and for the next few years. I’ll take the shirts covered in my own soured breast milk, and the bags under my eyes, and the piled up laundry.
I might even write a love note or two for my older children’s lunches, in between nursing the baby, feeding the horses, and trying to stay sane.
And P.S. I will gallop on the back of a beautiful horse again, with my hair blowing in the wind.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Because Why”

  1. Marijanne Nicholson 08 Jan 2018 at 4:38 pm

    I loved this… I had all your questions when I had not one late life child, but 2 of them… Would I do it over again… prob not, because I was also a single mom after the 2nd one but I too miss the over the top tender moments of staring into my babies eyes as the learned who I was… that first smile, that first snuggle and the love I felt as they tugged gently on my breast while nursing… there is nothing in the world that can match that love…

    Truly hope I can meet up with you someday… hugs…

  2. Cindi Faulconer Floryon 08 Jan 2018 at 4:57 pm

    As always well said. Ps I love the F bombs…..

  3. Elizabeth Funderburkon 08 Jan 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Love it. I’m so happy for your family.

  4. Kendra DiGraziaon 08 Jan 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Can’t wait to read more of your baby/motherhood blogs!!

  5. Kristy Coppon 08 Jan 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Just. Plain. Sweet. (and amazing!!) ❤️

  6. Gary Gregoryon 08 Jan 2018 at 7:04 pm

    LOVED it baby! Brilliant!!

  7. Kristi Righetti Carlsonon 08 Jan 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Beautifully stated. Genuine, honest, real! Keep writing. ❤️

  8. Noelle Hendriksenon 09 Jan 2018 at 6:55 am

    You invoked laughter, tears, and applause from my corner! Keep on, JayaMae Gregory, for everything you do it seems to me it’s for the best reasons and with love!

  9. Diamond Coveon 09 Jan 2018 at 10:07 am

    Great article and you spoke your mind. Well done.

  10. Russell Davison 09 Jan 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Awesome, extraordinary in person, speech and writing, despite the “F-bombs.”

  11. Susan Forreston 09 Jan 2018 at 6:12 pm

    I sympathize with u! I too had a late child at 38! My son is 7 yrs older! He left at 18 to join the Navy. Thank Goodness she is still with me at 27. I know she wants happiness and marriage but it’s not happened yet. It will I got married late! I love your post. Thank u!

  12. Jessica Broderickon 10 Jan 2018 at 10:02 am

    So Beautiful!

  13. Lantana Ahmedon 10 Jan 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Read it. So beautifully written. Reminds me of my situation. I had my last two in fact after a ten year break.

  14. Kim Graziano Manwarrenon 10 Jan 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I ran through a few adjectives in my head to comment on this blog eg. Awesome, fantastic, wonderful etc. I landed on real. Thanks for being real!

  15. Willis McCarthyon 11 Jan 2018 at 9:32 am

    Many “maybes'” in your self-reflection of motherhood & raising children, but that’s parenthood. I’m sure you don’t have to be reminded that all children are different, including identical twins. And how we raise each child is different, though certain requisites of love, commitment and discipline remain steadfast with our conviction in proper upbringing of youth. You’ll return to endurance riding, and probably sooner than you think. Because despite each parent being the most important individuals in a child’s life, I am of the opinion, the stong opinion, that it takes a village to raise our most treasured belonging(s) . . . And after reading your post, I know you and your husband will do just fine with #3. Much peace and happiness, Willis

  16. Terri Bennetton 15 Jan 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Love what you said. You said it so beautifully. Enjoy

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