Some people aren’t sure whether they’re done having kids, while others are more certain. Discuss how you know whether you’re done or not.
Before my husband and I were even married, we both wanted the same number of kids: Four. Each of us are products of large families—I’m the youngest of five, he’s the youngest of six.
Our parents have even more siblings: My mom (8), my dad (11), his mom (6), his dad (8). Four seemed like a nice, manageable number—not as big as our parents’ generation but enough to have the fun upbringing of a boisterous house.
Yes, we would have four, we eagerly decided… until we had a kid.
And overnight I was fine with just having one child. Who was I kidding thinking I could handle more than one? How did our parents manage on their own raising a zillion kids?
A few years passed (two-and-a-half, to be exact) when parenting felt easier. The newborn and infant phase was over. Even the Terrible Twos (which technically should be called the Terrible Eighteen-Month-Olds) faded away, and I considered a second child. I wanted my eldest to have a sibling, and I wanted at least two. I just needed the time to break me in and convince myself that I can handle this pregnancy and baby thing all over again.
Well, you know how that goes: I end up with not two kids, but three, when I welcomed the twins. I sometimes wonder if that was the universe’s way of making me have just one kid shy of my original plan of four kids.
When did you know you were done having kids?
Now that I’m a twin mom, I jokingly (thought sometimes not) get asked whether I’m done having kids. (One woman even rudely and blatantly asked, “So when are you going to tie it up?”) The implication is that twins on top of a preschooler is more than anyone can handle. So they’ll ask, “Any plans to have more?” with a joking smile on their face. Well-meaning, and I smile along with it.
“No!” I’d say. Or “Talk to me in a few years!” with that exasperated face meant to evoke that this is enough for me.
Others, after finding out I have three boys, ask whether I’d want to have another baby, to have a little girl. I’m sure most families with same-gendered kids get this too. As if the next child would be a guaranteed girl. Or that families aren’t balanced if parents don’t get to raise both sons and daughters. After all, some parents truly do feel gender disappointment to some degree.
I can understand why parents would want to keep trying for that favored gender though. I have an uncle who welcomed five sons before finally adopting a little girl. I’m guessing they really wanted a girl in the family.
Why I’m done having kids
For me? I’m blessed with three boys. I prefer three boys over three girls, but had I been given three girls I would have been okay with that too.
So no—I’m done having kids. Never say never, and I know these things aren’t always planned, but if I could help it, I’m stopping at three.
- I like our family unit right now. When it was just my eldest, I struggled as a new mom, convincing me for a short while that I couldn’t handle more than one child. Yet the feeling that I wanted more kids kept tugging at me. With three kids now, I don’t have the desire to expand my family at all.
- Money. We’re balancing okay with three kids right now, but any more than that and this living with a tightened belt wouldn’t let up anytime soon. Personally, I want to loosen that belt.
- Nine months of being pregnant. My first pregnancy was smooth, but carrying the twins tore my body up, complications and everything. I still stuffer from periodic symptoms of cholestasis over a year later. If by chance I actually wanted another kid, I’d only agree to it if I could incubate the baby outside my womb! In other words, fat chance.
- My age. I’m 34, and from the research I’ve read, many complications arise after the age of 35. Of course this isn’t always true—many women give birth past that age. Still, considering I don’t have a strong desire for more kids, my age doesn’t make adding to our family any more appealing.
It’s interesting to hear how other people determine the number of kids they want and when they were done. Some are open to it a lá Dugers style. Others have a set number in mind. And still others want to have that favored gender and will keep trying. Some knew they wanted only one, and others might already have one yet are struggling for more.
Tell me in the comments: When did you know you were done having kids?
Read more topics on parenthood:
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- How to Have a Social Life (Even If You Have Kids)
- You’re Not Alone: 7 Supermom Things I Don’t Do Either
- How to Handle Raising a Child with Health Problems
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