Wow, this month’s #MomTalkTuesday topic is a tough one. Why? Because it’s a deeply personal one. One that really only needs to be discussed by and with family members. And I’m not talking about your Aunt Sally or Grandpa Jimmy. I’m talking about YOU and YOUR partner, and any kids you would like to involve in the conversation. I don’t care what input your sister, the lady at the grocery store, or even your best friend has to say about the issue. It’s NONE OF THEIR BIZ NAZ.
Because the decision to have (or not have) more kids has A LOT of implications- financial, emotional, professional, physical, and spiritual ones, and I could go on…. It’s a decision that requires a lot of thought and consideration. It’s also a decision that is going to be different for every family. What works for one might not work for the next.
Let me share a little bit about my story- and how I knew we were done having kids (because we are definitely done, LOL). For context, I come from a family of two kids, myself included, as does my husband. Even so, I always thought I wanted to have a big family. I’m talking 5-6 kids big. I always loved the idea of having a busy house and a full dinner table; I loved the thought of my kids having constant, built-in companions in their siblings. I truly imaged the more, the merrier. I was aware of the financial, professional, and spiritual implications that having 5+ kids would bring, but there was another little factor that I didn’t fully consider until I after I had had my first child. It’s a factor I refer to as my bandwidth, or in other words, the capacity I have to do something. And in this instance, that something is raising kids.
After I had Johanna, I began to realize exactly how much of my bandwidth she took up and how little I actually had left over. (Side note: I don’t mean for any of this discussion to take a negative tone, or to take away from the incredible love that I have for my two children. They are my world, and I would do anything for them.) The amount of physical, mental and spiritual energy I exerted each day in raising her was overwhelming. Most days, I found that I was absolutely exhausted and was unable to recharge enough to do it all over again the next day.
But, I powered through the sleepless nights of the first few months of her life, and before I knew it, she was one year old! Now here is where I’m going to be very candid with you: had it not been for our desire for Johanna to have a sibling to grow up with, we probably would have stopped at one child. But, with both Adam and I each having loved growing up with a sibling, we knew that we wanted Johanna to have one of her own. It was then that we decided that it was time to try for another child.
Do I regret our decision to have a second child? Absolutely not! But I can be honest enough with myself to admit that having two children is harder than having just one.
So, we got pregnant and gave birth to little Patrick. And honestly, things got a little crazy. There was a huge adjustment period in that the things that I once found manageable became… not so manageable. Things like grocery shopping, working from home, running errands of any kind, meal prepping, traveling and even showering were more difficult than ever before. Patrick is now 18 months old, and though I’ve gotten the hang of some these things, I can still admit that nothing is as easy as it was with one child. Do I regret our decision to have a second child? Absolutely not! But I can be honest enough with myself to admit that having two children is harder than having just one.
So- I know my answer to this question isn’t one that’s succinct and packaged all nice and pretty with a bow on top. You see, my answer isn’t “oh, our family just felt complete after 2!” or “we couldn’t have imagined our life without another child”; but rather, it’s that I couldn’t imagine being able to handle a third, LOL. And that, my friends, is how we knew we were done (having kids). I hope my honest can help you all be honest with yourselves one day when you are faced with the decision to have or not to have more children.