Last weekend I was able to take some time for myself away from the babies and get together with my favorite gals. We made a reservation for Bacon Social House in downtown Minneapolis to enjoy the most delicious brunch. First up on the menu was the Bacon Flight. I ended up getting the “Miner’s Breakfast” with a chocolate chip & bacon pancake. I wish I could have one everyday. It was mouth wateringly delicious!
Needless to say, after brunch we went and saw Mean Girls at the Orpheum Theater just a mile or so down the road. It was the perfect mix of food, conversation, and show. During brunch, we were able to catch up and chat all things Mama, babies, spouses, work, sick kids, the whole gamut!
Are we Done Having Babies?
Out of all the topics that came up, one really got me thinking: babies. How do you decide if you’re done having more? I’ve had this conversation with several people, and had my own internal conversations as well. Here are 5 things I have thought about [in detail] in regards to being “done” having kids. After this sweet little one is born, of course! I polled the Band of Mamas, dug deep, and reflected on conversations I’ve had with other Mamas.
Affording Another Baby
People will tell you until you’re blue in the face that you’ll “Always Make it Work” no matter what financial situation you’re in. However, having another child means adding another layer of money to go out the door. Diapers, daycare, food, clothing, sports, activities, school lunches, all of those things. For us, having a third meant buying a bigger vehicle (stay tuned for a post in late November on our new whip!), moving out of our home someday soon into a bigger home, and rearranging our current home until then.
Money is important–we all need it, we can’t live without it, and we can never seem to have enough. So by adding another person, what will your life look like? I wrote it all out on paper before the baby was born, and that was one factor I knew we would be able to check off that we would be ok and be able to continue our life as normal.
Having a Baby Scare
A “scare”… you know… you thought you would wait until you were “ready” to try again, and then suddenly, your period never comes or is off schedule. How did you feel? Did you feel a surge of excitement, or a pang of guilt? I will be very honest here. Ross and I had discussed waiting a few more months to decide if we were “done.” This would mean that we could enjoy our summer and see where life took us. Well, God had other plans for us. When I saw those two lines, I felt scared. Can I do this? Am I ready for this? Quickly after, my feelings of uncertainty turned to pure excitement, but those initial feelings I had… those will never go away.
That’s how I know that after this third child, I am mentally prepared to shut down the baby phase and focus on being an active mother to the babies in front of me. I am prepared to soak up these last milestones and memories of being pregnant and ready to move forward with the next stages of being a Mama.
Both Sides are On Board
Both you and your spouse need to be 100% committed to having another baby. If there are doubts, it’s probably not the right thing to do. Just like you wouldn’t go buy a new house if it weren’t the right thing at the right time for both of you, bringing a life into this world needs to be a full promise by both parties. A few months ago I wrote this blog about The Thing No One Told Me Before I Had Kids… and I think this is so important.
What does your marriage look like? It will NOT get better by having another baby. If you’re lacking time for each other now, you will NOT have more time. Is your marriage strong and healthy? Then that’s another story! If you’re like me, we’re a work in progress, learning to be parents together while still loving each other day in and day out. Consider this!
Life After Baby
What is it that you are longing for? I remember someone asking me, can you picture your life with another human being later on? You have to picture your life past the initial baby stage. Babies are addicting… their smells, their stillness, their need. However, looking past that–into diapers and tantrums and school age, can you see yourself there and present? Or do you feel already that you are wearing yourself thin? Answer these questions honestly, and you might have another answer.
How you Feel as a Mama
What has raising children been like for you so far? Do you feel overwhelmed? Exhausted? Haven’t slept in years and that’s all you want to do? Ross and I… our kids have been ridden with all kinds of ear infections and tubes and influenza and strep and hand foot and mouth and ringworm and RSV and strep throat and seem to be sick… all. of. the. time. This was something that I thought about this time around. I love taking care of my babies, but it’s really hard having sick little ones… it’s so hard on me to see them like that. And scary sometimes!
Baby, Baby, Baby… I’m Still Not Sure
I think it’s ok to be unsure. You might always wonder, what if? But my advice, is to look at what you have in front of you. Is your family complete? If you can look at your family and think, something is missing… then it’s time to look at all the important factors and weigh it. Have you thought, I always envisioned a bigger family, or more siblings, or another 18 years to give someone else…? Then you have got some soul searching to do.
Get on board with your spouse and make sure it’s the right thing for everyone. Think about all of your kids, and your whole family–not just yourself. My grandma had 8 children, and by the time the last 4 were born, she and my grandpa were retiring–they spent time in Arizona for much of the year and my older aunts and uncles took care of the younger ones while they were in school. Now, obviously times are different, but I think… that seems to stretch too thin.
Can you Give Them All of You?
All your kids deserve love and affection and attention and care. Will you physically and mentally be able to take care of their well-being [and yours!!] if you bring another person into this world? People always say, You’ll never be ready. And I get it now. You might not feel ready until you have to be!
Hopefully some of these thoughts resonated and gave you something new to think about if you’re on the fence. 🙂