“We are most definitely done!”
That has been my answer to the commonly asked question of whether my husband and I are having more kids. That has been my answer since I had my third child almost four years ago.
I say it with such passion and emphasis, that no one would sense any inkling of uncertainty. In reality, uncertainty is always present.
The truth is, I get sad when I think I will never have those quiet, middle of the night snuggles with my newborn baby. I let out a longing sigh when I think of never having a baby fall asleep on my chest after nursing. I miss those tiny baby fists, the swaddling, and even those boisterous baby cries.
My heart wants another baby. I want to get a nursery ready, pick out names with my husband, and enjoy all the milestones that follow. That first smile, those first wobbly steps, and everything that comes after it.
As my youngest starts to creep into the pre-school years, I am realizing that I miss those diapers that I was so eager to get rid of. I miss that baby bouncer that we just gave away after taking up space and collecting dust for 3 years.
My heart was made for motherhood; however, the truth is, I think I could have 50 babies, and I would still feel this way every time I think of or see a baby.
My head, on the other hand, has other plans. My head can step back and see things logically. It sees our family has reached max capacity.
What do you do when your head and heart can’t agree on whether your family is complete?
There is no right or wrong answer, and even the most final decisions may waiver; however, when your head and heart can’t agree on having more kids ask yourself these 5 questions.
1) How will having another kids impact your other children?
Do you feel that your kids need more focused attention, or do you feel that they would benefit from having another sibling to love?
If we had another baby, of course my children would be head-over-heels thrilled. They love to play together, and are true friends.
For me, I look at our busy lives now. I have a hard time making it to all of my kids events due to overlapping schedules. I WANT to be at all of their events, or at least as many as I can. I want to give them one-on-one time, which is hard for me now with having three kids.
Also, I feel that I don’t have enough attention to go around. When I hear one of my children say, “You never pay attention to me. You are always with my brother!” then it realize that our family may be complete.
2) Will it be good for my marriage?
Do you feel that the love for a new baby will pull you together, or would the stress from added chaos push you apart?
There is proof that my husband and I are pushed to the limit. We constantly have those who-is-doing-more discussions. It sounds something like this:
- Me: Last night I made the kids lunches, scrubbed the toilets, and gave the kids baths. I didn’t sit down until 10:30 pm!
- Husband: Oh yeah? Well, I coached our son, then went to the grocery store to get milk, then walked the dogs.
I don’t think there is an end-goal to these conversations. I think we are just trying to prove that we are pulling our weight and can’t fit in anything else. After a busy evening, we often collapse on the couch and hardly have enough energy to mumble hello to each other.
Now that our kids are getting older, we are starting to find time to reconnect, and I actually think I like this guy I married.
3) Will it be good for ME?
Do you feel spread too thin already, or do you feel that an additional life will only add more joy to your life?
Although I feel that being a mom is the greatest blessing in my life, it can also be freaking exhausting. When someone is screaming at me for milk, and another kid needs his bum wiped, and the other is late for wrestling practice, I just can’t handle it. I turn into impatient “Mean Mommy”, and then comes that inevitable wave of mom guilt.
Make sure you consider your own sanity. I enjoyed the beautiful mess that the last 8 years brought on; however, I feel that I have earned the chance to take care of myself sometimes, too.
4) Will having another kid impact our family goals?
Would a newborn baby make achieving your family goals or plans challenging, or would a baby fit right in?
Until recently, we didn’t really have any “family goals”. Then, we recently flew to Florida to family and go to Disney World. For the first time, we had an incredibly relaxing vacation. The kids were well-behaved on the airplane. They were joys at the amusement park. We had the opportunity to truly bond as a family. Since it was such an enjoyable trip, going on more family adventures in now in our future.
As much as I adore babies, I am realizing that I love school age kids, too. I am finding out how different my kids’ personalities are, and how much I enjoy interacting with all of them.
5) Is it even a realistic option?
Consider your financials, your health, your age, and any other ways having another baby could impact your life.
It is important to consider all other aspects in your life. Really let your head think it through.
Does your head and heart agree, or are they still hashing it out?
Right now, my head wins this debate. If my heart puts up a bigger fight, my head might eventually give in. And if that is the case, my head and heart will have to join forces and debate this with my husband.
If you found this helpful, share it! And follow me on facebook for more discussions on simple parenting.