It’s official: No more babies at my house. My youngest turned four recently (nature seemed to recognize it’s significance, too) and man, oh man, do I feel like we’ve all turned a corner. I’ve turned a corner, as a mom and a woman. After four years of study, I’ve finally graduated beyond new mom status and yes, it feels really good.
Life is now back to regular programming. No diapers. No bottles. No mashed up foods. No naps. No need to worry about all the random things you worry about with babies and toddlers. (Ok fine, I still worry, but not about all that baby stuff, you know?)
Just when I was feeling on top of the world with my youngest turning 4, nabbing a new job and becoming just a ‘mom’ (rather than a ‘new mom’ or ‘mom of 2 under 2’), I got a wacky question from someone I thought knew me better than they apparently do: “So are you thinking about maybe having another baby?”
Huh? It was like I was sideswiped. Hit and run in one of those red plastic cars that two year olds drive around patios.
“No, I’m good. We’re good. We’re happy with what we’ve got here.”
As the words shot out of my mouth. I then unexpectedly felt guilty about not wanting to bring another blessed gift of joy into our family. And I don’t really feel guilty about much, so this unfamiliar guilt disturbed me. (As though it’s anybody’s business anyways, what happens or doesn’t happen in a woman’s uterus…) But I started thinking.
I’m cold. What woman doesn’t want another baby after a few years? Everywhere I look these days, most friends and family members have three or four kids. Why don’t I want that? I mean, sure, another baby in our family has crossed my mind, i.e. “What would it be like if we had three kids here?!?” but then the thought whizzes out of my head in about 1.5 seconds, and I don’t even give it a second thought. I hold my adorable, cutie pie, 6-month-old niece and oooh and ahhh (she’s SO CUTE!), but then I give her back and I forget about that baby smell. Why? Why?!?
Now I was starting to really wonder why I wasn’t feeling that pull of “I just want one more baby” that so many women talk about after having one or two kids. And then I had an idea about why that feeling isn’t in me.
Having two babies within a two-year period may’ve done me in. Although I never planned to have my kids so close together, I will shamelessly say that I handled it. Like, HANDLED it. On my own at home, with a husband who has a very busy and demanding schedule, without extra help, while launching a business. I’m not the first or only woman in the world to do it, and I’m not the last. I’m not claiming to be some kind of anomaly (hello! so many women do it!), but I am proud of my efforts and commitment to rise to the occasion of hunkering down and handling two babies under the age of 2 years old and not really missing much of a beat in the life or career department.
Because as much as I love my babies, I also love other areas of my life… and having another baby would require hunkering down that I just don’t see myself doing again now that everyone can pee into a toilet.
All the hunkering down, smashed into an intense two-year period, seems to have shut down that yearning of “Oh, maybe I might want another baby.” I like to think of the old chocolate cake scenario: treating yourself to chocolate cake is delicious, but if you eat slice after slice after slice — all in one sitting — you’re probably not going to want to even look at another piece of chocolate cake for a very, very long time.
Yes, babies are the chocolate cake in this strange scenario. Because they’re both so sweet? Let’s go with that. (Yes, I’m writing this late night and am having a major sugar attack right now, ok?)
And now that my
chocolate cake baby is 4 years old, I’m excited to move forward without diapers, bottles, wipes and burp cloths. And that’s nothing to feel guilty or strange about. Bring on the school years. (But let’s slow down getting to the teenage years, yes?)
Did you struggle with whether you should try for one last baby?