As I put away laundry, I can’t help but notice the pile of outgrown clothes just keeps growing and I continually ponder the same question, “Where should it all go?” Do I keep them in totes in case we have one more? Or should I give them to friends/family as hand-me-downs or donate them to a consignment store? I just can’t help but get a little sentimental while holding those tiny onesies one final time up to my chest and marvel how they ever fit in such a tiny ensemble. “Were they really ever that little?”
Waves of emotions wash over me as I begin to reminisce the not-so distant past. The onesie that was once too big is now too small, and it triggers the memories of all those precious milestones- first smile, first steps, first words. My pelvis twinges and I feel my ovaries start to dance as I remember that new baby smell, their soft, smooth skin, and that big toothless grin. Something I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about lately is, “How will I know when I’m done having kids?”
As my children grow up and become more independent little people, I secretly long for the days where I was constantly needed. You see, there’s a void inside of me that I’m not sure will ever go away. And in this space is where my desire to have more children resides. I feel this strange sense of sadness when I realize my body, which has housed and pushed out two pretty amazing kids, may never do so again. I only planned on having 2 kids. And now I have 2 healthy, awesome babies, one boy and one girl. The perfect ratio. Better than I ever imagined. More than I ever hoped for. So, so blessed! So why in the world do I secretly (sometimes) want more???
There are times, when I see or hold a newborn, I long to have another baby of my own. I miss that sweet, innocent, cuddly stage. As my friends have babies and I hold them in the early days of their life, I feel an emptiness inside of me grow for a short time and I’m briefly overcome with a touch of jealousy.
BUT then…. there are times when my kids are acting like wild hellions- running around naked, leaving a cracker crumb trail, refusing to nap, breaking everything in sight, screaming at the top of their lungs, or crying because who the heck knows why! (Man, I’m giving myself a headache just typing about it) Yep, in those moments I wish I’d had a hysterectomy!
Whatever the case, I spend a lot of time folding laundry, dissecting every pro and con.
- Another kiddo to love on
- Another live-in, life-long friend for our kids to play with
- I’m still young
- I love my kids more than anything
- They’re so cute
- They’re so funny
The cons are more complicated:
- Misery of pregnancy
- Additional wear and tear on my body
- Sleep deprivation
- More diapers
- More crying
- No social life
- Cost of daycare/food/vacations/cars/college/weddings
Then there’s the scary what-if’s:
- What if I’m pushing my luck?
- What if the baby isn’t healthy?
You see, the problem is, and what I tend to forget, is that babies don’t stay babies. They grow up. So, I feel like no matter how many kids I have, I’m always going to miss having a ‘baby’.
How many kids do you have? Do you want more?
How did you know when you were done having kids?
My life already seems stressful and hectic enough as it is, do I dare add another child to this fragile infrastructure?