I have had a thought plaguing me for over seven months. It's a thought that makes me cry and go into an almost depression like state. If I were a doctor, I'd diagnose myself with a pre-midlife crisis syndrome. But since my doctorate is only from WebMD, I'll explain.
I have three beautiful daughters and for the past three years I have been counting down the days until my youngest was in school full time. Well, those days now equal less than three months and the knowledge that I won't have to worry about a sitter during the day any more is liberating and brings the sensation I'm sure Kate Winslet felt as she stood on the tip of the Titanic, arms spread wide, wind on her face and a handsome man breathing his warm breath down her neck, unadulterated attractive freedom! So when I remarried earlier this year, my mind reset into a past phase. My mind said, "Well Heidi, you're married now, time to have kids." Panic attacks set in quickly when I realized my body was "nesting" and my emotions were preparing for me to have another baby. This was something that my hubby and I discussed quite deeply before we were to wed because he is 13 years older than me and is to be a grandpa this year. We had decided that the option was on the table, but that it was not to be acted upon in the first year as to limit the amount of drastic adjustments we would in no doubt face while blending our families together. Unfortunately for me, my body and mind didn't read the memo.
When my youngest was born, my then-now ex-husband and I had decided we were done having kids. This was something that killed me inside. Our marriage was only a business transaction at that point and I felt it was one more thing that had died as a result. However, circumstances led me to needing a cesarean for delivery and when it came time to conveniently make an end to my fertile womb, something frightened me to a degree of silence and I only quietly wept as I was stitched up. I chose to not have the procedure. For years I thought it meant that I was not finished having kids and weighed that knowledge heavily against the men I dated as a deciding factor of if I would marry them. It was a bit of a challenge weighing it against my hubby because it seemed that the likelihood of us having kids was very slim. But I realized that regardless if we were to have kids, I wanted to be married to him, and so, here we are today.
This is what I am now stuck between:
~On one side of me lies the innate, "programed" way of life as a traditional wife and mother and the very strong desire to have a little one running around that looks like my hubby. A very good way of living.
~On the other lies my job and the ability of advancement, all my kids being independent, a full night's sleep, weekends where it's just my hubby and me, and the knowledge that I could possibly only share my life with him for another 30 or so years. Another very good way of living.
I am torn, not between the two, but at the realization I may be ready to leave the baby making phase behind, let my kids grow up and identify myself as someone more than a mom with young kids.
I'm only 33 and my mom was 36 when she had her youngest and my older sister is pregnant with her fifth the same time my baby sis is having her first. So it's not like the idea of having more kids at my age is far fetched. AND Bruce Willis just had his forth and he's 57ish so thinking that Handsome is too old to have kids at 46 is not really true, also considering his brother of 40ish and just had his first.
So this whole rant now leads me to this blog's question, When did you know it was alright to stop having kids?
I spoke about this to my sister(in-law) just the other night because like I said, it's been plaguing me. She at 30 decided four years prior she was done having kids and adamantly expressed how she did so with the reason being, "she wanted to enjoy her husband". I feel the same way. I relish in the nights where it is just us two in a quiet home, free to run here or there or even naked around the house without the chance of a child interrupting our bliss or cutting the evening short by way of the babysitter's curfew. It is very probable that in ten years, Handsome and I could take off at will for any destination, just us two without the shadows of whining kids darkening our fun. (Not to say that family vacations aren't a bucket of fun!) Yet, I look at him and almost cry because I don't have a kid that looks like him.
Would it be all that terrible if I didn't have any more kids? Would it be all that hindering on my adult life to have another? I DO NOT KNOW!! What I do know is that the more time that goes by it leaves me feeling more and more reassured that my family is good enough the way it is and that I may be ready to switch from the diaper phase to the high school phase and not realize it, and this scares me. What are your thoughts on this? Did you just know you were done having kids or was it a struggle for you too? I feel very frightened at times when I contemplate this life altering decision (which doesn't need to be made today, it's just an imminent decision).
So I ask you, When did you know you were done having kids?
-or- When did you know you needed to have one more?