As I sit here today and breathe in the sweet relief of getting through the newborn stage, I stare at my amazing family, and I know in the bottom of my heart my family is “complete.” Since our newest addition, Henry, was born, I have felt that we were finished with the baby making business forever, but for very different reasons. Mainly, I didn’t think we would survive creating another human. If you would have asked me one month ago if more kids were in our future, I would have had a list of snarky responses about why having more children would be the worse idea in the world — for us.
The sprint of two under two was something I was not prepared for, and I often felt like I was drowning the last two months. There were moments I even wondered if we had made a mistake. For I was genuinely happy with my little family of three and though I loved my new baby unconditionally, my life during these first two months was “not fun” and immensely overwhelming. Truthfully, the adjustment from one to two hit me much harder than the adjustment from zero to one. These feeling brought forth intense guilt.
I remember going to the OB for my IUD appointment, and having the OB remind me, “the beauty of the IUD is you can get it out whenever you want to have children again.” “Yeah, No,” I replied. “We are finished forever, and my husband will be taking more permanent measures at some point.” She sighed, “You might change your mind. You recover so nicely from having children. Your body was made for this!” She excitedly proclaimed. I could only laugh. Too bad my mental faculties weren’t “recovering” quite as well.
But even in that moment, I knew however SURE I was that I didn’t want anymore kids, I also knew one-month postpartum hormones running rampant was not the time to be making permanent decisions. I suspected my feelings might evolve. And I was SO right. I sit here today 2.5 months into this two under two business, with a wild, curly-haired, salty 21-month old daughter, and a sweet, smiley, innocent 2.5-month old baby boy, and my heart feels that bursting sensation once again. Is my heart bending once more for a larger family? Haha. NO WAY! Friends, my heart is complete. My family is complete.
There seems to be a presumption when people EXCLAIM they are not having anymore (or any) kids that it is because of the stress, money, time, etc. However, I think one of the most crystal clear deciding factors when determining the size of your family is when you feel your family is complete whether that means zero kids or ten.
I am not done birthing children because of the anxiety, lack of time, sleep, stress, and money. Yes, those are all valid reasons. Literally as I sit here writing this article, I look over to find my daughter covering her baby brother in coconut milk. Really child? What is wrong with you?! The thing is… I am now hysterically laughing. A month ago I probably would have cried. As the days tick on, my perspective alters, and yesterday’s migraine is today’s laughter.
So while I was so sure I was done with more children because there was no way I could add anymore crazy to this household and still maintain my sliver of sanity. Today I am finished having children because this is us. Today I am finished having children because our house is full with laughter and love. This is who we were meant to be. I am complete, and we are complete. Now rather than always looking forward to what is next, for the first time in my life, I find myself drenched in the moment. The truth is when it comes to the size of our family, only our heart can be the final answer to who our family is meant to become. No amount of logic will determine the size of your family. Whatever makes “sense” has to also be true to your heart.
My heart and mind are finally on the same page, and not because this has been so hard. It has. But because right now, it is just that great.
They say, “You might change your mind.” I haven’t. But I did change my heart.