Are 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?