An Uncomplicated Life Blog: How Do You Know When You're Done Having Babies?

Monday, September 11, 2017

How Do You Know When You're Done Having Babies?

The family planning struggle of determining when you're done having more children

After we had Otto, we agreed to wait a full year before we even remotely discussed having more kids. We had two babies under two, and I knew that first year would just be about surviving. When that deadline approached, it just so happened that one of my dearest friends got engaged, and asked me to be in her wedding. I looked at my husband, and said, "No baby talk until after the wedding!" to which I think he was relieved. Her wedding is this coming weekend, and as far as I know, there's no more need to delay the conversation. What I'm stuck on is how do you know when you're done having babies? I honestly don't know how I feel about adding a third child to the mix.

I think about having a newborn again and shudder. Some moms love that phase, but I don't. I don't enjoy how needy they are, and waking up every few hours. They don't look at you and know that you're mommy, they just scream out in needs they can't communicate. It's easy when you only have one because you can rest when they rest, but now that I have two other toddlers, it will just be a sleep deprived nightmare! However... that's a relatively short period of time. I really start to enjoy the baby by about 6 months, when they can coo and laugh and sit up and play.

I look at how close Henry and Otto are and I have mixed feelings. Three is a crowd, as they say - will they welcome in another little person to their play group or will they pick on him and make him the odd one out? They're such friendly and loving kids, I have a hard time believing that they wouldn't welcome another playmate into their bond, but you never know. If I have a third boy, will he be able to keep up with brothers who are only 19 months apart while he's the youngest by almost three years? Don't even get me started on the people who tell me to have another baby to "try for a girl." You get what you get and just hope that everyone comes out healthy.

Think these two look friendly enough to add a third into their baby-thug-club? 
I think about my age. I'll be 33 next month. I had Otto when I was 31. It feels weird to be so young and to already be "done" having kids! I have a lot of fertile years left, right? It's 2017, I could get pregnant all the way until 40! Done at 31, what?! And only two kids... I had always envisioned myself with three. But that was before I had any children at all, and was oblivious to how much work they are.

Right as I decide, YES, I'm ready and want another baby, I think about something stupid like baby weight. Ughhhhh, it was so hard for me to lose the baby weight, and get my abs back. It's stupid to think about something so vain, but it is a thought that runs through my head. And then there's breastfeeding. Another ughhhh. Some women make a billion ounces of milk, but not me. It's a struggle to keep up. I have to go out of my way to eat when I'm not even hungry and constantly have a bottle of water at my side. I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate breastfeeding, but I definitely don't love it. And I may have danced a little jig the last time I BF'ed both Henry and Otto. Freedom!!

And every time I decide, NOPE, we're done having kids, I get a nagging feeling like our family isn't complete yet. We have enough money, we have a big enough house, we have enough love to add a third, so why wouldn't we? When I packed away Otto's baby clothes, I honestly didn't cry because I thought, "Meh, I'll be seeing these again!" But now I'm not so sure. My fear is if we do decide that we're done having babies, I'm going to wake up when I'm 38, 39, 40 and have huge regrets that we only had two kids. You know, right at the cusp of realistically not having the ability to get pregnant easily again, but with a 10 year age gap between our oldest and the desired baby. And my husband would be almost 50. I guarantee you he'd NOT want to start over at that age! He'd be 70, paying college tuition. Ha, no thanks.

That's where I'm at. It's like I'm at war with myself, changing my mind every other day on having another baby. On the one had, "starting over" with an infant seems DAUNTING. The sleepless nights, the postpartum hormones, breastfeeding - all of it, ughhhhhhh. Then on the other hand, being done so young with the ability to have more seems strange, and not quite right. Having a small family seems strange. It kind of seems like someone is missing from the family, but the thought of an infant is terrifying to me. It's just become easy with the two boys I have, and a baby would erase all that ease. I wish I could birth a 6 month old and just skip the newborn stage. That'd be the answer to my dilemma. Alas, science doesn't work that way. So I ask you, how do you know when you're done having babies? Help me. Please.


  1. I was at the same point your were at last year, then bomb! We were surprised with our third baby. I got pregnant with her when my son was only 18 months. I cried a little from the thought of having three kids. I was scared. Then as the pregnancy progressed I grew more excited everyday. Now, she is here and her siblings love her. She was my easiest baby and fits right in. Though, having three kids is A LOT more work!

  2. You know where I stand. I think if you're going to have one more, the sooner the better so your kiddos will still be close enough in age to play... unless you decide you want 4, in which case you can wait and then ooo those last 2 out one right after the other. 😉

  3. i honestly have no advice, obviously. i've always wanted 3 because i am one of 3. but we were boy girl boy, so i think it was perfect. i had (have?) middle child syndrome but because i was the only girl i was special in that way. for a time i wanted 4 kids but now that i'm older and realise how much money they cost - not to mention time and attention - we've settled on 2. unlike you, we definitely don't have the money/house for more than 2 kids, but we definitely have the love, so who knows? we might not even have 1. i'm 30 now but who knows if or when i will get pregnant and if or when we'll be done. i've always heard that when you know you know, but that's not helpful at all. i always want other people to have more kids though, so i can live vicariously through them ;) and you make gorgeous kids, so.... ha. good luck with whatever you decide!

  4. You just described every conversation I have with myself and with justin every day. Not kidding. I could have written this. I also don't get when people are like, don't you want to try for a boy? Or worse, don't you want to give justin his boy? 🤦🏼‍♀️

  5. Wow these are very thoughtful insights. I always said I wanted a huge family but once we start having them, I'm sure I'll change my tune for the same reasons as you. So much to consider!

  6. This post was such an interesting read! I'm nowhere near that stage in my life yet (I'm not married yet, but my BF and I are planning on getting engaged soon), though I loved reading this since I totally wonder when I do have children, when I'll decide it's time to stop! How did you know at what point you wanted to start having kids? How long did you and your husband wait after getting married? That's something I'm trying to figure out now in my life! Best of luck with your decision :) xx

  7. I never wanted kids to begin with. So when I got pregnant with Rylan, I knew I wanted 1 more so he wouldn't be the only child. Bam we had Landon (unplanned too!) and after I had him I said I don't want anymore kids, fix me up doctor. I was 23! Although there are times I regret making that decision at such a young age, I'm also happy I did bc I couldn't add a third to the mix. Kids are a handful, expensive and sometimes I want to pull out my hair lol #boymom problems

  8. I always wanted two kids, then A came along, and I didn't want another one. Then EJ surprised us. We just knew that we were done. I've never had a desire to have more than two.

    We aren't outnumbered, which I like. And I have two hands so when I'm by myself with them I'm good. And in the game of social responsibility, we look at it like we basically replaced ourselves on the planet, so I'm good with that too. :)

  9. Girl! I was you 2 years ago (same age, same age gaps between kids and all). We decided not to have another baby, and then at 33, I got pregnant with #3 by accident. That undecided feeling I had had is gone now with our perfectly complete family of five. :-)

  10. It is so hard to know when you are done. Some days I think I would be ok with where I'm at, and other times I am not so sure. You boys are precious!

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