You’ve gone down the parenting trail and maybe, just maybe, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. You’re leaving the buggy days behind, and are firmly strolling toward a life with (hopefully) more sleep and less nappies when, bam, the question starts to come up; should we have another? You always thought you were so set on already having enough but when the sight of a newborn still makes your ovaries groan, you have to ask… how DO you know when you’re done having children?
If, like me, you always thought that you’d just ‘know’ when you’d completed your family then let me break it to you… either we’ve not reached that magic number yet or there’s no magical stop button issued by your body. Welcome to a world of ‘what if’. Now then, obviously that isn’t for everyone. My friend reliably informed me when pregnant with her second that this ‘was it’. They were done. Boy or girl, the two kid life was the life for them. She had her baby and felt complete. Pregnancies done, family made, now time to enjoy it.
And oh my god if I wasn’t the biggest bit jealous at that.
Because the reality is, I often come back to a comment my mum made to me. That you don’t know. Just one day, adding more kinda stops becoming an option for your family life. And that you’ll always have a little bit of you that does the ovary swoon when a newborn babe is nearby. Which is lovely and all but when you’re trying to make a decision about whether you should add another child to the family, it’s not all that helpful. Thanks anyway mum.
Let’s give some context here, I’ve shared a lot in the past about deciding to take our family from two kids up to three. One to two: a no brainer for us. Two to three: considerably more thought (mostly on the side of my husband who, despite being one of five kids himself, was perfectly done and dusted with a boy and a girl; a classic ‘pigeon pair’). And if you are considering that jump yourself, let me tell you this. Yes, there are things you should consider before you have a third child. But mostly, it absolutely f*cking rocks. There’s not a moment where I look at my kids and think, this was a mistake. Although I have been known to get a bit sweary about how nothing in this world is set up for families of five. Literally nothing.
My husband is well and truly done as a family of five. And I am too… (ish). Logic tells me that we’re done. Three kids fit in the car. We’re just about to come out of the mild extortion that is nursery fees. We can finally do day trips without needing a pushchair (although I miss that bag/coat/snack carrier so very much at times). And the big one, we actually get a full night’s sleep these days. Albeit one that ends at around 5am. Our children are all fortunate enough to have their own bedroom, and we don’t want to move which would mean someone would have to share (probably me, for the next 18 years). So logically, I know that we’re done. We’re done. If my husband is reading this… we are done.
But that doesn’t stop that teeny voice at the back of my head. You know what it’s saying? Four is nice.