When is your family complete? How do you know when it’s time to put out the closed sign? For some it seems simple. After giving birth, often women declare they are ‘done’. I admire their decisiveness. For me, things are a little less black and white.
I have three sons. Even when pregnant with the third, I didn’t feel that it was my last pregnancy. Hours after he was born I declared to the midwife “I’ll see you next time”. Mr Wallace was horrified! I don’t feel ‘done’, but is our family complete? Is three children enough for us?
To be honest, I doubt I’ll ever have that overwhelming certainty that I am done having children. Even if there is a baby 4. I adore newborns, I cannot get enough of them. But lately my resolve to have another baby has wavered. It’s got nothing at all to do with the usual ‘kids are expensive/you’ll need a bigger car/you’ll need a bigger house/going on holiday will be hard’ arguments that people trot out against having a fourth child.
It’s not even being a huge pregnant lady, the sleepless nights, hours spent breastfeeding or endless nappy changes that make me question whether a fourth is a good idea. The thing is, I can see the light at the end of the ‘parenting small children’ tunnel. My boys are all getting older and with that comes, slowly but surely, increased independence. Slightly less reliance on me to physically meet their needs.
Perhaps I have reached parenting capacity
More importantly, my patience is wearing thin. I’m nearing my capacity to patiently respond to tantrums over the wrong coloured cup or the wrong shoes. There are only so many times I can answer questions like ‘are people meat’, or ‘did dinosaur’s exist’. I get they are inquisitive and learning, but it’s tedious some days. There are only so many times a woman can handle buckling squirming kids into five point harnesses.
Parenting some days feels rather dull. I’m tiring of trips to the park and pushing kids on swings. How many more games of hide and go seek or peek-a-boo can I enthusiastically play? Playgroup has been great. Yet I may lose my mind if I keep going every Thursday morning for years on end. I love reading to my kids, but I know where the green sheep is, and they know how much I love them. So let’s move on already, to bigger and better books.
I’m not in a hurry for my boys to grow up. There are adorable, funny things about each age. But maybe I’m ready to stop at three? Perhaps I ought to draw the line in the sand and say, my family of five is complete, even though I’ll never feel done.
Is your family complete? Are you ‘done’ having babies? If you are, how did you know?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT