Featured Journal Kids Motherhood

Do I Want More Kids?

Written by Leslie Means

My husband, Kyle and I were up past 1:00 am last Saturday night.  That definitely falls into the really late category for a couple of thirty something’s with two little girls under the age of 6.  Usually our evenings end not long after we tuck our girls into bed.  The nightly routine includes Kyle falling asleep on the couch right after Jimmy Fallon’s monologue and me retreating to my computer to work on my website.

It’s a fairly routine system in our household.   

It wasn’t always that way, of course.  If you’re a parent, you’ve been here too.  The early years with potty training and late night feedings and screaming babies are a blur.  And when you bring two baby girls into the world less than two years apart, you can double the amount of time before you’ll see a normal schedule again.

But back to 1:00 am.

We stayed up late to watch a movie because we wanted to.  We knew we would be tired in the morning, but we didn’t mind.  We knew this kind of tired would be easily solved with a Sunday afternoon nap.  It’s this kind of tired we missed so very much during those really early baby years. 

Because the baby years kind of tired, the one where you can’t keep your eyes open because your sweet baby girl needs your attention at 3:00 am, is tough to handle.  You do it, because you love your babies and you wanted them so badly.  You couldn’t wait to see their little face and tickle those snuggly baby toes and hear that precious baby laugh.

But you’re pretty excited when they can clean their own toes and use the toilet and feed themselves, too.  That’s where we are.  Finally, after six years, Kyle and I can come up for air.  Our girls are old enough to care for themselves and play together and give us moments of peace on a Sunday afternoon for a nap.

It’s a good place to be.

But lately, I’ve been hearing the sound of a clock.  At first, the ticks were faint, but as the years zoom by at a speed I’m failing to recognize, the clicking turns into a loud clunk. 

The clunk is now clanking on my biological clock.  And I’m trying to give myself an honest answer; do we want any more kids?

I always thought I wanted a large family.  I’m the youngest of four girls.  In my teenage years when my friends and I would get together for sleepovers, I was the one that said I’d have at least three kids, probably four.  But I also claimed I’d be living in New York City with those children, working on my dream job, living with my dream husband and spending every other weekend with my extended family. 

Most of that story is true.  But New York City ended up being Kearney, Nebraska.  And four kids ended up being two.  And I wonder; do I really want more kids or am I afraid to let go of a dream I thought I once knew?

Did I soak in the baby years?  Did I bottle up those silent moments in the wee hours of the morning with those innocent beings?  Am I afraid to say I’m done because I want to hold on to a time in my life that I know is fleeting?

I’m not sure. 

You all told me it would go fast and it has.  Those really tired moments, the ones where I couldn’t keep my eyes open because my tiny little girls needed to be rocked, or held or fed or hugged – are gone.  Just like that, they’re gone.  And I’m afraid when I wake from my afternoon nap, the next chapter in this life will have passed, too. 

And I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that routine.   

 

 

About the author

Leslie Means

Leslie is the co-founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well.

She is married to a very patient man. Together they have two pretty fantastic little girls ages 8 and 6 and one little dude born March 2017!

When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

23 Comments

  • Some people are great parents and I think you might just fall into that category. I think if it is not a financial burden and you always wanted a large family then maybe lean towards yes. But ultimately that is a difficult decision and only you and your husband can make it. I have said to myself if I had known my kids would grow up to be such great people I would have had more. I’m at a very different place as my last one is about to graduate high school and some days I really wish I had one more…but I think as the last one will head to college…maybe at this juncture in our lives, we should just get a hot tub!! It’s all about choices!! Best of luck with your decision! ☺

  • I always thought I would have 3-4 kids too. Then I felt the same way when I had just two. Yet anytime we talked about permanently stopping having babies it made my heart race and I knew I wasn’t ready to be done. And now that we have our 3rd I feel our family is complete. My indecision on 2 kids or 3 meant our older two were 7 and 4 when baby #3 joined our family. I am definitely sad to close the chapter on the newborn years in my life, but I don’t feel that anxious feeling that maybe we aren’t quite done yet anymore. Three was our number, good luck in making the decision! It can be harder than you think.

  • I “feel” done. As soon as #3 was born, I knew we were done. I didn’t feel that way after #1 or #2 so I took the feeling seriously. And now my baby is turning 3 and it’s bittersweet but I feel good about where we are and have no desire for another. It’s a hard decision though when you are on the fence!

  • Thank you for this post, Leslie! I’m feeling exactly the same way. I truly and wholly feel that we’re missing our #3…we don’t and have never had that ‘we’re complete’ feeling. I’m in a little bit different boat because after being inseminated for our first and a surprise second, we’re not entirely sure that a third is even in the cards for us. We’re trusting in God’s plan without question and just praying for clarity, but it is still so difficult when you feel helpless and without choice in the matter…we can’t just decide to have another.

    But as I’ve been reflecting the past weeks about the WHY for #3 and the feelings of anxiety when I consider the possibility of it not happening, your words are helpful and encouraging. While we DO want one more sweet babe…if it doesn’t happen for us by the end of the year (our agreed timeline of what’s best for our family), this will certainly help us to be content with His journey for us and to work toward letting go of our attachment to these early years. Thanks again, and best of luck to you as you discover your own path as well!

  • What a perfect article for me today. The baby years kind of tired is my life at the moment, as my baby has decided he no longer requires sleep. After another sleepless night I’ve been trying to figure out what I should do, and you just gave me the answer. I will grab another cup of coffee and cherish these really tired moments. 🙂 Thank you!

  • My dearest friends always told me if your questioning being done don’t do anything permanent. My husband and I had always discussed 3 but just when we were ready to go to the Dr for a snip snip we found out #4 is on the way. God has a way of helping out

  • I’m in a life group with my church and in this group there are young couples and “old” couples (well past reitrement years). We are expecting our first baby in just a few weeks. We were told by one of the “older” couples that they had decided in their lifetime to only have two children. For them, they look back and wish they had more. At the time for them they thought it would be the more financially wise choise, but from what I observe with people at that stage in life it becomes more about the emotional rate of return with larger families. I like this article because I am on the fence with 3 vs 4 kids, and know that the decision can really only be made when the time comes. For me, I think one of the deciding factors will be how I think I will feel later on down the road, and if I feel like it will all have been worth it.

  • I am a 50 something mom of “gasp” 5. Kind of funny…we had 3 kids in my 20’s, no kids in my 30’s and our last 2 in my 40’s. I never felt comfortable with permanently ending my fertility. One thing I heard over and over when I was pg at 40….regret by moms who wished they had had more. So….if you are not quite sure…just don’t permanently close that door. Children are such a blessing…even, no especially the hard times grow you and mature you . Thanks for sharing!

  • Such an interesting topic–thanks for writing on it! I have dealt with infertility my entire adult life and choosing to procreate has never been a choice that’s mine to make. My choice looks more like, Do we continue to pursue adopting/fostering children and when do we call it quits? We have one daughter by adoption, one miscarried little one in heaven and four foster children reunified with biological families. Your column helps me think through such issues with friends even though these decisions are not within my power to make.

    • Thanks Rebecca – hugs to you. I have such perspective from women who can’t just “get pregnant” when they want to. Honestly, that is in part why I hesitate for the third. We’ve been so blessed and lucky thus far – what if something else would happen? Not sure I can handle it.