“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” ― Shannon L. Alder
This week I made some big decisions. They’re the type of decisions people don’t always share because it’s either too personable and/or vulnerable. Since I’m making vulnerability my thing as of late, I’ll share without reservation.
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved babies. I’ve always wanted a big family and I’ve continuously joked publicly and privately that if my husband allowed, I’d have a dozen. We have two daughters who keep us humble, thankful, and inspired. As they should be, they are the light of our lives. They’ve always been more than enough, but we’ve tossed around the inevitable question for many years of “should we have another?”
Let me be clear that I’ve always answered this question enthusiastically “yes.” But in the past year or so I’ve looked at a few paths I could take professionally and personally, and I’ve started to question what would be demanded, expected, and/or by default required of me. I love babies. I will never not love babies. I’d have a dozen and soak up that newborn scent for the rest of my life happily and greedily. But I’ve decided, in conjunction with my husband of course, that we’re not going to have another baby.
I expected to be gutted by this decision. Truly, I believed I’d be in fetal position agonizing over the inevitable what ifs when one concludes such a monumental choice. But do you know how I know this is the right choice for us? Since I’ve spoken it into existence I have felt more calm in my marriage and more conviction for what I want to be my career.
Despite believing this would be difficult, I found some easiness in the answer. Why? My husband. If I wasn’t already married to him I’d smack his face onto a billboard and place it in a major city on the most well traveled highway. The advertisement would read “World’s biggest believer in women. Marry this man who will not only give you the world, but demand you put some fire back into it.” This guy never fails. Since he’s mine and I’m clearly not giving him away, I’ll share one last thing about him: he thinks I’m the home run.
He has always told me that I’m the home run for us. He doesn’t want to always be the breadwinner or the sole provider. He believes my dreams are equitable and deserve to be attempted, earned, and shared. Moreover, he is providing me with the space and time to really go for some goals that have always felt lofty. I am deciding to do more for me, and as someone who would say selflessness is everything, this is a challenge.
But when someone decides anything, a path is paved for great possibilities. There are so many other decisions we’re making. Large, small, and everything in between. From home projects to finances, to child rearing to summer plans, the ability to decide is a gift.
What used to scare me is now becoming the reason I wake up. I hope you don’t avoid the uncomfortable conversations for I’m finding that’s where the true purpose resides.