I’m here to change the tone a bit when it comes to the decision to stop having children.
My husband and I welcomed our third child a few months ago, and recently took measures (ahem) to make this little bundle of joy our last. There were no tears shed, no sadness at the thought of no more babies, we were just for all intents and purposes, done. I wondered if I should be feeling more emotional about ending this phase of our lives, the childbearing phase. It took me by surprise how easy the decision to be “done” actually was in the end.
There are feelings, of course.
I feel complete. Our family feels complete. Which plays a big hand in the ease of the decision.
I feel like life can move on now. Like we can press play, we can all move forward.
I feel relieved. Planning a pregnancy is stressful, as every mom knows. (In theory,) I never have to worry about getting pregnant, or when to get pregnant, or why I am not getting pregnant, or how am I pregnant?
Though it certainly is an end-of-an-era, I don’t see these moments with my third baby as a series of lasts. I see it as a never-ending series of firsts. The first time we go on a family vacation. The first time my middle puts together a full sentence. The first time my oldest reads a book. The firsts. I am okay with the new stage of life we are entering. I’m okay being done, because we have so much to look forward to.
Without a doubt I will look back nostalgically when these baby days have past. There is so much I will miss about having a little baby around. However, there are a lot of things that I am positive I will not miss. I am not going to miss uninterrupted sleep, spending hours on end trying to find ways to keep my milk supply up, the guilt and doubt babies can bring, the endless trial and errors spent trying get my baby to sleep, the fatigue, the post-partum recovery and so forth. Nope, friends, I will not miss all that; and it’s okay. It is okay not to love everything about motherhood.
My game plan is to look back with a stupid, silly ole grin on my face. How fortunate we were to raise three babies. How special that time of being ‘in-the-thick-of-it’ truly is. Because it is. It is challenging and wonderful and you learn a heck of a lot about yourself in the process. But the beauty of life is that we continually evolve and grow and we are not meant to be in one place for too long. With that inherently comes the act of moving on. In my case, today, that is moving on from having babies.
Today I am blissfully tired, today I am trying to figure out life with three, but today I am fully present and in love with where my babies are in the here and now. But tomorrow? Tomorrow is exciting and I am ready for whatever life has in store for us next.
So it’s okay not to be sad to be done.
It’s okay to be sad that you’re done.
It’s all okay. Wherever you are in the walk of planning your family, it is your path to take, and the beauty as they say, is all in the journey.