are we done having kids?

photo credit: Shandy Mikkelsen

photo credit: Shandy Mikkelsen

Today I want to address a question we've been getting lately and something I think about often!

Are we going to have more kids?

The short answer: Probably not.

The long answer: Neither Eric nor I feel an overwhelming desire or calling to have more children. At the same time, I'm not feeling ready to shut the door completely. I'd like to wait at least another year to decide fully, knowing that even then we are in no rush.

As a mom, I'm always evaluating and thinking about what is right for our family on many levels, but definitely this issue. Should we have more kids? What is God's calling for our family? If I'm overwhelmed with two, does that mean we shouldn't have more? Why wouldn't I want to create another human life? Why do I still wonder what more kids would be like? The timing might not be right now, but how will I feel when Finch is 3? 4? 5?

Eric feels done for the most part (he's always wanted two kids), but he wants us to agree on it together. I think we both occasionally play around with the idea in our minds for a good 60 seconds before thanks. I always thought I wanted four kids ... until I had one. (And it's not her fault at all! She was the best baby.) Now I'm really happy with two. Rooney doesn't really have a say in the decision, but she has asked for more siblings - even though she and Finch fight over my lap as it is.

I think another kid would make the highs higher and the lows lower. I really want to love the two I've got well, to always be there for them when they need me (in reality knowing that I can't and won't), and in my mind that means stopping, so I'm not too stretched. Two parents, two kids. I think the level of stress we feel on a daily basis is just barely manageable (sometimes too much), but it's hard to know how much weight to give that factor because we're still in the little kid years and things will keep changing (getting better/easier, maybe?). I heard once that it gets a lot easier when your youngest turns 3. Who knows. I know the point of life isn't to have it easy or to always be graceful, but the postpartum period is really difficult for me and I don't know that it's fair to put my family through that again. I want to be a steady source of peace and calm in our home, and I want to be a fun mom, not a crabby mom. :)

Finances are also something we think about. We want to take family vacations and provide experiences for our kids. So we're trying to be practical and remember our goals, too. Like Eric's career goals, my desire for equally shared parenting roles, and sleep. Lots and lots of sleep...

All in all, I think we're done. Even if Finch had been a girl, I still think we would be done. But it does sort of make me feel like less of a mom because I'll have "only" two kids. My mom, sister and lots of friends have 3+. I try to remind myself that there is no perfect number. I've got to keep my own abilities in mind and accept that some people can handle a lot of chaos and I might not be one of them. Keeping my sanity should be a priority, even if it seems selfish. I think my gut says "done," but for some reason I'm grieving the loss of having a big family and realizing we'll never be the Bravermans. :-) I also usually prefer to make decisions with my heart instead of my head, so I hate being so "practical" about it, even if it's the responsible thing to do.

So, all signs point to us being "done." We would/could make room for another, sure, but we are really content. So, we feel pretty confident our family is complete.

I would love to hear how other couples made the decision to be done or to have more children, and if other moms of two also struggle with feeling less than other moms with more kids.