My youngest daughter is now 2 1/2. For quite some months, now, I’ve been getting the well-meaning (but totally intrusive) question, “Are you going to have any more kids?”
I usually mumble some generic, non-definitive answer because, in all honesty, I just don’t know!
I love having kids
I love having kids; really, madly, deeply, truly. I think I was made to be a mum – it’s what fires me and inspires me to be more.
I’ve made so many positive changes in my life because of my wonderful children, from tackling my negative inner voice to becoming a volunteer. They make me strive to be a better person so that I can be a better mummy for them.
When they hold my hand, my heart bursts with joy. When they stumble over to me with a freshly plucked daisy, I feel like the richest girl alive.
I am so blessed to be loved by these little ones of mine. They see me everyday (at my best and at my worst) and yet they steadfastly dote on me.
I know that some people struggle with the parenting thing, and that it doesn’t come naturally to them. But for me, when I derive such joy from caring for my children, doesn’t it make sense for me to have more kids?!
But then my practical, over-cautious nature comes into play.
Is it sensible?
There’s no denying it – kids are expensive. Financially, we’re only just surviving as a 4-person family; it would be foolish to stretch our budget further by adding another member to our family.
Plus, I very nearly lost myself after my second pregnancy; the depression and anxiety, which I’d managed to keep at bay for so many years, suddenly reared its ugly head again. I sank deeper and deeper, suffocating under the fear and intensity of it all. I couldn’t cope.
Somehow I managed to turn it around (meaning: God listened to my broken, tearful prayers and pulled me out of the swamp I was being sucked into). I’m terrified to risk it again. I might not be so “lucky” next time…
So you can see, I’m tying myself in knots! There is this ongoing, internal debate as I try to weigh up the pros and cons and make the “right” (is there such a thing?) decision. Are we going to have any more kids?
More kids – a moment of clarity
But today, I held my 3 month old niece in my arms. She’s petite and beautiful, and she has that unmistakable baby-smell that instantly takes you back to those early months of having your own children.
Her warm head nestled closely into my neck and her tiny fingers gripped around my thumb. She yawned a toothless, gummy smile, and suddenly I knew…
No, I know – it’s not the conclusion I expected either!
Don’t get me wrong – I love my little niece very much and baby cuddles are totally wonderful. But as she looked up at me with those deep brown eyes, I just felt a real clarity of thought; our family is complete. I am complete.
I don’t want those sleepless nights. I don’t want to uproot again to a bigger home. I don’t want to be pregnant again. I don’t want to have divide my time still further to accommodate another little person.
I don’t want to tamper with a family unit that is perfect just as it is.
I am so blessed with the children and husband that I have. I don’t need to keep searching – everything I want is under my roof already.
Who knows how another little human might affect the balance? As much as I love the baby smell and the prams and the tiny bootees and the milk-drunk cuddles, they’re only a rose-tinted memory.
I’d rather preserve the wonderful blessings that I already carry in my heart, and enjoy this precious gift of family to its fullness. I don’t want anything to jeopardise that.
So in answer to your question, “No. I’m happy with how things are, thank you very much.”