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?