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Ect., Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions, Twins/Toddler Tuesday

How Do You Know When You Are Done Having Kids?

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Even though I just had twins, my first week back at work I was asked by several people “So, are you going to have any more?”  REALLY?  I did just have TWO babies people.  Still, this is a question all parents face and so it is the topic of today’s post.

I suppose your answer to this question will depend a lot on your personal situation.  You might “feel” done but cannot use birth control for religious reasons.  You might want more but are infertile and do not have the ability to get pregnant (the easy way).  Maybe you adopted and can’t handle going through that journey again.  Then there is your financial situation, do you have space, money etc.

For me, the space/money/time thing is irrelevant.  If you know in your heart you want a baby you will find a way to make it work regardless of your situation (generally speaking, not in every case).  But how do you know?  How does anyone know?

Deciding you are ready for your first is a really big decision and usually not taken lightly.  Your whole life is going to change, do you feel ready?.  Then for number 2 I think it gets easier.  Since you are along for the ride with #1 what’s an extra seat?  Plus, two children seems to be the socially accepted norm.

But what happens when you get to the higher numbers?  At three you are now outnumbered.  Studies show that mothers of three children are more stressed and less happy than those with fewer children or, wait for it, those with more children.  Then, if you start to get into 5 or more people will look at you like you have never heard of birth control or you are Michelle Duggar.

I suppose you could say that if you are not sure if you want another baby then that is your answer, you don’t.  But then you come across an old maternity shirt lingering in your closet, a tiny newborn diaper that fell behind the dresser, or realize it’s time to pack up the crib and it hits you.  How can you be done?

I have read lots of articles about mothers who knew that x child was there last.  Which meant that as that child went through every first, it was the “last first time”, meaning it was a joyous but somber occasion.  I never set out to have a specific number of kids, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted kids…but then I did.  Now we have three.  Since I never made any decisions luckily I am able to experience the twins’ childhood with complete joy since even though it may be my “last first time” I have left that up in the air.  Although as they get older and Daddy talks about the dreaded “V” word I can’t help but think about it.

Would I love to be pregnant again. ABSOLUTELY!  Would I like to have another child?  Truthfully, yes.  Does Daddy? NO!  Could we afford it/make room/take care of him or her?   Well, it wouldn’t be easy.  Could I even get pregnant again????

Whenever I see a baby or a pregnant woman or a newborn I get struck with baby fever.  But then when I am exhausted and June is crying in the middle of the night even though she is 14 months old, I think, how could I go back to the beginning?  Truthfully, I was really longing for another baby for the first year after the girls were born.  I think having a baby in front of you does that.   But as they get older, and more challenging, you start to rethink.  Not to mention, as you start to taste a bit of freedom again, and the sweetness rolls across your tongue, it makes the alternative seem less appealing.

I suppose at the end of the day it isn’t just up to me.  It is up to Daddy.  Since I know he didn’t plan on having three kids I should just thank my lucky stars that I “snuck” one in and walk away while I am ahead.  He is a great partner and father and I love him more than anything, and it pains me to see him unhappy.  He would be very unhappy with another child.

But the heart wants what it wants.  I feel like if I had just one more I would be done.  An even family of six.  I could walk away from the whole baby experience in a positive way, unscathed and happy (but is that really true?)  I could list off a thousand reasons I want just one more but does that mean that I could/should? In the meantime I am going to put a pin in it because I think I would have a breakdown if I knew 100% there was no chance we would ever have more (ignorance is bliss) and throw the question out there to you.

How did you know when you were done having kids (or that you wanted more)?  What factors influenced your decision?  What advice would you give to someone in my shoes?

 

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of three children and expecting #4. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

16 thoughts on “How Do You Know When You Are Done Having Kids?

  1. We’d like to have more kids if we could afford it. And having gone through CS for both my kids due to pregnancy issues scares me. We’re done for now but who knows in the future! 🙂

    Posted by The Vanilla Housewife | June 4, 2014, 8:15 am
    • Yeah, we agreed to never do treatments again. Not just all the money but the time and stress involved has left me with psychotraumatic stress so it would have to be a fluke of nature I suppose, but who knows right?

      Posted by Shannon | June 4, 2014, 10:04 am
  2. Hey! Do you have a link or a reference to a study that shows that mothers of 3 are more stressed and unhappy than mothers of more or less than 3? I certainly can testify to that, having been on both sides of 3 children.
    I just gave birth to a singleton after twins and I have to say that it was an excellent decision. I just appreciate the beautiful simplicity of having one child in a way that I didn’t before I had twins. Everything feels like a piece of cake after twins ha!ha!

    Posted by Veronique | June 4, 2014, 8:16 am
    • Yes, it was in Time Magazine, just Google it. I would imagine after twins one baby would be a piece of cake, although I would still have three kids to care for 😉 thanks for commenting.

      Posted by Shannon | June 4, 2014, 10:02 am
  3. This sounds like something I could’ve written a few months ago. Even though I can relate so well to what you are saying, I have no advice for you. I would continue having kids even after baby four if hubs was on board. But the desire to have now is not something I can put into words. It’s a feeling that I don’t know how to explain. But hubs is done so we are done.

    Posted by MommaNeedsCoffee | June 4, 2014, 9:07 am
  4. I am 44 and recently had a hysterectomy, so no more pregnancies for me! Having said that, I would definitely TAKE a child that needed a home if I thought my husband was up for it. In fact, I’d love to adopt a not-baby (slightly older child) – I think I would find that a really gratifying experience.

    I don’t really see my daughter’s firsts as “last first times” however. I get a LOT of joy out of the babies of my friends and acquaintances (and I can hand them back when they cry or poop!). I have a brother getting married soon and look forward to being an auntie. And someday our kids will probably make us grandparents. So I focus on staying healthy so I can enjoy that later.

    Posted by butterflymumma | June 4, 2014, 10:42 am
  5. It’s a hard call. I love being pregnant. My partner and I both wanted more than one child. Right now, he feels like 3 would be good and I feel like 4 would be good. We’ve agreed to take it one baby at a time and see how things go after our little Peanut is born in September. I guess there’s no answer.

    Posted by mommytrainingwheels | June 4, 2014, 12:35 pm
    • Truthfully I think the more you have the less difference it makes. 1-2 is bigger than 2-3 and the way I see it now with three one more isn’t really that much (especially after twins)…but I know not everyone would agree with me. I hope it works out for you matter how many you have.

      Posted by Shannon | June 4, 2014, 12:39 pm
  6. After my second child was born, I kept wondering what a third one would be like. The first two are such little characters that I couldn’t stop wondering and eventually we had a third. He’s almost 9 months old now and I can honestly say that I don’t wonder about a 4th. I just know in my heart that I am done, done, done. The three I have are wonderful, life is crazy and hectic but I am so glad I got to see who my third was.

    Posted by Dr. Mom | June 5, 2014, 12:52 pm
    • Thanks for sharing. I am happy that you are happy. I definitely wonder what the next would be like and yes I am guilty of picking out names, but I also have to remind myself that it’s the being pregnant I really miss most and even having another that would only be temporary. Best wishes.

      Posted by Shannon | June 5, 2014, 4:36 pm
  7. We are the opposite here – hubby wants another and I am 99% sure I do not. I don’t want to go through treatments again and I like the number we have.

    Posted by Theresa | June 5, 2014, 2:53 pm
    • Oh for sure. We have agreed no more treatments. I am so scarred from the first time, I can’t even think about going through that again. But in our case #1 was au naturel so in the back of my mind I wonder if it might be possible to do it again??? As long as you are happy that’s all that matters 🙂 thanks for reading!

      Posted by Shannon | June 5, 2014, 4:38 pm
  8. Timely. I’ve been wondering about this myself. Two feels good, but I want to leave the door slightly ajar so if I feel like going back to newborn stage in a couple of years, it’s an option.

    Posted by Sarah @ Pearls of Willsdom | June 6, 2014, 9:02 am

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