Is it just me or is it normal to feel indecision and doubt, after making a decision?
The day I told my husband I was absolutely sure that we were done having kids, the last thought on my mind before I fell asleep that night was, ooh, wouldn’t it be nice to have three children? Then I slapped myself silly (in my head) and rattled off (still in my head) all the reasons we agreed on two kids being just right. Small ones don’t outnumber big ones. Arms always full anyway. We don’t need a bigger car because we can fit two car seats in there nicely. We don’t have enough bedrooms. I don’t really love being pregnant for 9 months (I only enjoyed the second trimester). I didn’t want to be pregnant with the boys still so young, and feel like I can’t give them my all. My oldest needs a lot of attention right now. I am 37, and by the time we do try and have another, I’ll be close to 40 – isn’t that too old?
All very good and legitimate, nothing-to-be-ashamed-of reasons, my head rationalized with my heart (and uterus). But but but. Wouldn’t it be nice to try for a little girl? What would it be like to have THREE? I miss baby coos and snuggles. All my friends having another, their second or third, some, their fourth or fifth. Surely, we have space in our hearts and home for a third. And other strange, funny, baby-fever talk (in my head).
This went on for months. Until last week when I started packing away toys that the boys stopped playing with. I didn’t stop at toys. Out went the Bumbo, the exersaucer, baby clothes, tiny shoes and mittens and socks. Then the baby bottles, breast pump and all its accessories. I did not feel sadness, or a lump in my throat like before.
I felt relief. I felt glad for the space cleared for newer toys suitable for older children; room made in the closet for tees and shorts, not onesies. I felt no twinge in my empty belly, just contentment in my full heart. I felt no envy when I saw mothers with newborns. I was happy to sniff baby heads, and just as happy to hand them back to their parents.
We are four. Just the way we’re meant to be.
How did you know you were done having children? Or are you?