Saturday, June 16, 2012

Settle Down. . . .

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?


  1. I don't have kids so I can't answer your direct questions, however, I have some thoughts. You bring up some great points. First, the desire to have a kiddo that looks like your husband. That is the only reason I would ever want my own instead of adopting. On the other hand, there are more years of time alone with him you would have to sacrifice (although only about 7). So here are my thoughts. First, you will have a grand-baby soon. Is this kiddo someone you will see alot? Could this child fill that hole of having a little one running around? Second, never forget, your husband comes first in your earthly relationships. I expect for a Mormon even more so. His needs and the health of your marriage relationship come first. How are those effected by a baby, especially with the other kids and your stages in life? There is nothing wrong with kids at our age, I have many friends who waited, but there is more to consider. I pray the answer comes quickly and clearly. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really enjoy your blog.

  2. This is such a personal and tricky subject. For me, how many children to have has been a real struggle as well. Being a very religious and spiritual person and believing in the importance of family, the pre-existence, revelation, etc., has really influenced my own decisions as well as Nate's. After my second was born, I was sure we were done. Then I had a very personal and spiritual experience in the temple during a time of turmoil and trial(that I can tell you about in detail some time if you'd like) that let me know we had at least one more that was meant for us. After she was born, again I was sure we were finished. Lo and behold, about three years later I started to feel what I call God tapping me on the shoulder. I resisted the feeling for quite a while, but after a lot of prayer and studying the nature of personal revelation and even more temple experiences, I knew that our family needed to grow. So here I am, pregnant with baby #4 and still not entirely sure we're completely finished.
    There was a wonderful talk given in the October 2011 general conference by Elder Neil L. Anderson called "Children". He repeatedly states that how many children to have and when to have them are sacred and private decisions to be made between the husband, the wife, and the Lord. He also encourages us to make the decisions with much prayer and great faith.
    So that's my advice to you. Pray and have faith. It's okay to be done having children and to enjoy all the new stages of your daughters' lives and to enjoy the time you have with your new husband. It's also okay to want to have another child.

  3. Well, I THOUGHT I was done having kids, but then I found out I was pregnant with Kolton. I was angry at first, but I am so grateful that Heavenly Father's plan is so much greater than mine! I have been thankful each and every day for him in my life!!

    I didn't have anything baby whatsoever. Everything I had had with my other 3 kids was given away since I was finished. It had been 7 years since I had a little one in my house and you know what? It worked out just fine. I bought new baby stuff, I changed a million diapers, and I haven't regretted one second of it. I am so happy he is here and that he is part of our lives!

    I didn't really choose when I was done having babies, my Heavenly Father did. Now, I have decided to be open to the possibility and play it as it comes. When I get married again, I will discuss the issue with my husband and then take it to God. If it's right, it will happen, if not, I am ok with that too.