baby, family, motherhood, pregnancy

Are We Done Having Kids?

denfeldspring-112.jpgAre we done having kids? How do you know when you’re done? I’ve had this blog topic on my mind for oh, I don’t know, at least a year. And it seems like even longer than that I have had a pros and cons list running in my head.

Struggling to get two kids in the car for a playdate: con. Can’t handle trying to get another child in a carseat. 

Rocking a drowsy James in my arms before bed: pro. How can I NOT have another? This is too sweet! 

Going on vacation anywhere — on a plane or in a car — huge con. This circus is crazy enough as it is, I don’t think we could handle another. 

The thought of never again feeling a baby kick inside my belly, never nursing again, never giving birth and spending those two magical days in the hospital getting to know a newborn again? PRO — GIVE ME ALL THE BABIES.

I spend a lot of time trying to envision our family in twenty years and try to push all the incredibly hard times of the first year (and second year if I’m honest) out of my head and try to get a clear picture of what I really want. Do I want another baby or am I just nostalgic for what has come and gone? Do I see a bigger family sitting around our thanksgiving table in 20-30 years? What if Elodie and James absolutely hate each other when they grow up and they’re the only siblings they have? What if five years go by, or ten, and I live with regret that we never had a third child. You’ll never regret having a child, but you could regret not having one. I ask myself these questions over and over. And for a long time my answers waffled. Some days I was so sure I could not see us having anymore kids and other days I felt like we had to have another. I know I drove my friends and family totally crazy with my back-and-forth, and honestly I drove myself crazy!!

But James’ second birthday is approaching and I remember when he was an infant thinking that by the time he was two I would know. I’d be out of the sleep deprivation, things would be feeling more manageable and I would have a more definitive sense of what was ahead for our family. And here we are — just weeks away from James turning two and things are easier and more manageable (still hard for sure, but easier than year one and the majority of year two), and I still don’t feel the longing I would expect for a third baby. 

The truth is, after a lot of soul searching and many, many conversations with Corey, it feels like we’ve known our answer all along: Our family is complete. I truly don’t have that feeling that someone is missing from our family. I don’t yearn to be pregnant again and have a newborn again. I mostly just really mourn the loss of my child-bearing experiences. I so wish I could go back some days and relive them, but if I had another baby, I know when that baby is one or two or however old I would be sad again that I’d never experience all the wonderful parts of bringing a baby into this world again. While sleep-deprived life with a newborn is really freakin’ hard (especially when you have other kids to take care of), it is also pure magic. The newborn days with both of our kids are some of my most cherished memories. I will forever long for those days. 

So while we haven’t done anything permanent (yet) to solidify our decision, that day is most likely coming. For now it still makes me feel good to have the door very slightly cracked (like the tiniest sliver, guys), but I have a feeling we’ll be ready to shut it completely in the not-so-distant future. 

So what about you? How many kids do you have? Did you always know you wanted that many? Do you know you’re done? Was it a hard decision? I would especially love to hear from anyone who went back and forth between wanting to add a third and ultimately decided not to. Are you still happy with that decision? 

11 thoughts on “Are We Done Having Kids?”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing such a personal decision! Do you think part of feeling complete is because you had both a boy and a girl? I always wonder if baby #2 is also boy (we’ll know in a week!) that I’ll always have the curiosity of what it would be like to raise a girl and have that mother-daughter relationship.

    1. I definitely think this weighs in heavily! A lot of me has wondered about the dynamic of the family changing if we were to add a third and then there being two of one gender and one of the other … will someone feel left out? So hard to know. I am probably over-simplifying, of course boys and girls can all connect and be close to one another. Now I am dying to know if you found out the gender of baby #2 and what it is! Do tell!

  2. I had all these feelings back when my two were about the same ages as yours are now. Looking back on it I’m not sure why I felt the pressure to make a decision around the time my youngest turned two? Maybe it was because the two I had were about that far apart in age? Not sure.
    I waited a year and a half longer while I considered the option of having another. I’m glad I had that time to really enjoy the ages my kids were (same as yours are now….little but no longer babies). It was so so nice to fully enjoy them minus distractions and really go out and seize the day with fun activities.
    But then…..
    My oldest started full day Kindergarten and my youngest began half time preschool and oh man…..all the feelings!!! While I was thrilled with their independence and my new free time, I just knew I wasn’t done mothering someone tiny. That window of life for that time just felt so fleeting in the big picture of things now that my two were both transitioning to the next stage.
    Our third is due in a couple weeks now. While it isn’t for everyone, I’m so glad I kept that door open for my future self just in case I changed my mind;)

    1. I must admit I have wondered if I will find myself feeling the same when Elodie is in Kindergarten and James in preschool! Truth be told, we are in no real rush to make things permanent — and for this very reason. I think we need more time and space to just enjoy where we are at before making any big decisions. I really am enjoying these ages and I imagine will continue to as they grow … But will always mourn the loss of my sweet newborn babies (even if they didn’t sleep! haha)

  3. I’m with you mama. I have a 3 year old (turning 4 in August) and a 2 year old (turning 3 in January). They were 17 months apart. When my second was born I didn’t feel I would have anymore, but thought I would know by the time he was turning 2 if we would want a third baby. I always wanted my kids close in age. Well, 5 months before he turned 2, I got the baby fever, I fought it thinking they are still so little. But then the month before I begged my hubby to let’s jist let it happened. Sure enough, the day my son turned 2 is also the day I got a positive 🙂 I was sooo happy! I’m currently 15 weeks pregnant with #3 and the excitement for both of my kiddos knowing there’s a baby in my belly just makes it even more exciting. I’m due in Sept.

    1. Awww that is so sweet! Love hearing this perspective! 17 months apart would be so tough! I could barely handle 24!! HAHA So happy for you 🙂

  4. We have 3, we always knew we wanted three and when our baby turned one I thought I wanted a 4th because adding a baby to love seemed easier than shutting the door on this part of our life. We took a family vacation to the beach and came back feeling good about our family of 5. It felt good and complete. Now hubs is making it permanent and our baby is 16 months.

    1. It will always be hard to shut the door on the baby years, right? As hard as they are, they are also so wonderful. When I look at James he does still feel so little… Maybe I can’t imagine wanting another baby because he still sort of feelings like one? It’s so hard to know! Luckily, we’re in no rush to really close the door and make things permanent … so I guess we’ll just continue to wait and see if our heart changes and we decide there is room for one more in our family!

  5. We have been at the exact same place, except that we have Two girls with nearly 4 years apart. Our youngest daughter at the same age as Elodie. When she was almost 2 years old my husband even got an appointment to make it permanent and I began to have second thoughts. Both because I was unsure of having a third child
    and I do not like to change something that fundamentel in the body. So I told him to cancel it. I then did som research about preventing in a natural way instead and found the billings method which we have used since for preventing pregnancy and for conciving our third child – which we are sure will be our last but very much planned child. We moved to a House that is twice the size as our old one which was one of the cons – not having enough space (or what we Think is enough space as it is very independent how People feel about this) Our girls will be 4 and 8 when the baby arrives and they are so happy and cannot wait to meet their babybrother or sister. If we had a 2 year old we would not consider another child now. It is too hard with more than one in that hard period I think.
    So maybe you will feel different in a year or two 😉
    The 4 year gap is perfect for our family, the girls play together everyday all the time the eldest is’nt in School. And the parents have had their full night sleep in more than Two years and are ready to bring in the third <3
    My husband is an only child and always wished for at least one sibling and I have a sister. So we are giving our children more siblings which we love even if vacation and car situation gets more complicated. We have also talked about buying a caravan for our vacations to make it easier and cheaper with three children – instead of flying around the World (which we have done a lot with the Girls). We will see about the caravan, not really my thing as a grownup but I LOVED it as a child 😉

    1. Aw, just love this perspective! And honestly, this is a reason I am not ready to make things permanent so-to-speak. Even at two, James is still young and I realize that with a couple more years and things changing so much each year with jobs, home, etc. we might be in a different frame of mind and end up wanting a third after all. WHO KNOWS! I guess we’re not in a rush to close the door, although deep down my gut is telling me our family is complete. Only time will tell!!

  6. Exactly only time will tell. We also felt complete with Two girls a year ago. If we both had time consuming jobs I am not sure we would have added one more. My husband has his own Company and I am a part of it (part time) otherwise there would not be enough time.

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