Photo Credit D. Rollo

 

…I suppose that is the question. But really, is it even a question? For me,  it’s more of an internal struggle I have with myself on a daily basis. It seems to me that when you’re a woman between the ages of 25 and 40, questions about having children are the most commonly asked of you:

“When are you going to start trying for a baby?”

“When are you going to give Junior a brother or a sister?”

“A third?…Congratulations?”

“Do you want more children?”

“Are you finally done?”

My husband and I are three babies deep at this point, having had our third child in June 2016. I’m still, technically, in the postpartum stage of having him yet I still find myself face-to-face with these truly personal questions. When did it become anyone else’s business besides mine and my husband’s? Maybe, quite simply, we just don’t have an answer…we truthfully just don’t know. So many of my close friends have told me, “You’ll know. You’ll just know when you’re done.” But here I am, 3 babies later, and I don’t feel that way at all. Why? Every day, every minute, every second older that my youngest gets, the more done I feel but I can’t help but feel truly sad over this realization. It’s like I’m mourning the loss of a child that never was. I know, in my heart and in my brain that we should be done. Our new home houses the five of us quite comfortably and adding another little one to the mix will just screw up that perfection. We eventually want to see our children go to the colleges of their choosing, beginning their lives, and following their dreams…adding another little one to that mix is like adding 6 more figures to that whopping bill. We want to see our children fall in love, get married, and start families of their own…adding an additional two little feet to that daydream and suddenly all I hear are cash registers ringing in my ears. Lest us not forget all of the money spent on an additional child between now and then: hospital bills, additional healthcare and dental coverage, another mouth to feed, another body to clothe, school expenses, activity expenses, CHA-CHING CHA-CHING CHA-CHING….

Why am I not happy with that answer though? I should feel free!! No more morning sickness. No more scary fast deliveries. No more sleepless nights. No more breastfeeding struggles…

…I want to cry. It’s closing a part of my life that I’ll never get back. No more pregnancy test anticipation and excitement. No more little baby kicks and hiccups in the womb. No more new baby smell. No more swaddles. No more coos. No more first steps.

Don’t get me wrong, with every size clothing I pack up and give away, I feel enlightened, renewed, free of items I’ll no longer need; free of items taking up valuable space in our lives, but that means no more itty bitty baby clothes, car seats, bouncers, gyminis, and high chairs. Please tell me this gets easier.

So…I suppose..there you have it? No more babies for us? I don’t know, but what I DO know is that we’ve been truly blessed, so undeniably lucky to have these three amazingly beautiful and healthy children. Each one of them brings their own unique qualities to the table. Watching their personalities, senses of humor, and temperaments blossom is like opening a gift. What does our future hold with these amazing little people? They are such treasures to us. So for now, I will go hug my babies and hold them for as long as they’ll let me. I’m going to soak up every last second of their childhoods. I just ask one thing of you: please handle me with care for a while. Closing a chapter on one’s life is never easy but looking ahead I see so many fun and wonderful adventures to come: Soccer Mom, Dance Mom, PTSA, personal chauffeur, amazing family vacations, driver’s licenses, Proms, graduations, college acceptance letters, engagements, weddings, retirement, grand babies??!! None of us ever really know what the future holds, but I suppose what shall be, will be…

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