Earlier this week Allison Tate wrote a lovely piece that ran on the Huffington Post titled "The Change of Life." In it she talked about how she was getting ready to sign a permission slip for her husband's vasectomy, and how after four kids she knew their family was complete, but she still really yearned in some ways for more children. She couldn't fathom that the baby-making part of her life was really going to be over.
I know a lot of people related to it, because it can be hard to make the decision not to have any more children. Some parents debate it for years, and worry that they may someday regret it if they don't have just one more child. I, however, am not one of them. Not even close.
I have two children -- a 9-year-old son, and a daughter who just turned 4 yesterday -- and I'm as done having children as I can possibly be. I have no hint, no smidgen, no smudge of desire to have another one. EVER. It's not because I don't like being a mother; I adore motherhood and my children. But when you're done, you're just done. Here are nine ways you KNOW you're done having children.
1. When someone tells you she's pregnant you have to remember to offer congratulations instead of condolences. (It's a wonderful thing for most people!)
2. You start giving away all of your favorite baby clothes that you've saved "just in case", and you don't shed one tear.
3. When you see a pregnant woman you involuntarily wince imaging going through it all over again.
4. You use that perfect baby name you've been saving on a dog.
5. When people ask if you/when you are going to have more children you have to remind yourself not to recoil in horror.
6. When your children talk about wanting a baby sister or brother, you confuse them with talk of pigs flying.
7. The ones you already have drive you completely insane, and you just can't take anymore.
8. You've come to enjoy sleep, and aren't about to give it up again.
9. You just know. It seems ambiguous, but when you really are done, you just know.
How do you/will you know you're done having babies?
Image via paparutzi/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside