Family Life

I Am Absolutely, Positively Done

We’re heading towards the end of the school year here. We have three weeks left, and then it’s summer vacation. Before you know it, it’ll be September and I’ll have a 5-year-old in kindergarten and a 3-year-old starting preschool. I think it’s officially the end of the baby era.

On the one hand, it’s been five long years of middle-of-the-night wakings, dirty diapers, breastfeeding, spitting up, learning to walk, learning to talk, and generally just keeping them alive. Sometimes it seems like each day drags on and I can’t wait to have both kids in underwear. I dream of the day when I no longer have to police their bottoms and hands. I can’t wait to live with people who can pick out matching and seasonally appropriate clothing for themselves and get their own damn bananas for a snack.

But then it seems like it can’t possibly be over already. That’s it? No more oohing over a cute fluffy butt or eagerly anticipating fluff mail? No more baby rolls to tickle and snuggle? No more wispy, sweaty hair pressed up against my cheek at night? No more tiny little toes to kiss, one by one, as they go to market and eat roast beef and do all sorts of improbable things?

What's cuter than baby toes?

Throughout my twenties I never really thought about having kids. I was busy with graduate school, my career, and having fun. I had a series of on and off again relationships, none of them with partners I considered to be husband, let alone father material. I certainly wasn’t in any kind of rush; I had lots of time.

Even when things got serious between hubby and me, I was still kind of ambivalent. We got married, and I was still focused on just enjoying our lives together. I think it was right around 31 that suddenly every baby I saw, every ultrasound on Facebook, every time I heard about another friend getting pregnant, evoked an overwhelming desire to magnify our love and grow our family. I was 33 when my first beautiful girl was born, and 35 when my youngest came along.

I feel like a lot of things were put on hold when our girls were born, especially for me when I quit my job to stay home with them. I don’t have any regrets though. It was the right decision for me. I love that I was able to witness their first words, their first steps, and all their other firsts. I don’t regret the lost sleep and the extra pounds. Motherhood has taught me more about myself and my character than everything that came before.

But now that I have a newly minted five-year-old and a two-going-on-three-year-old, I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to make plans for next year without a backup in-case-I’m-pregnant plan. I’m ready to sleep through the night and sleep in on the weekends. I’m ready to go travelling with my family and maybe even enjoy a weekend away just with hubby. I’m ready to trade in nursing and diaper changes for school pageants and karate classes, the crib for some glorious space and privacy in my own bedroom, and clingy toddler tantrums for independent play outside.

Big girls play independently.

I’m done. Absolutely, positively done. Our family is complete. It’s time to give away all those baby clothes and pass along the baby gear. It’s time to talk about more permanent methods of birth control.

But then I see your newborn baby in my Facebook feed and I start rethinking my decision all over again.

Your newborn baby makes me think about having another.

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  • Oh my this is exactly where we as a family are at and I thought it was just me and it would blow over but then my other half has hinted at babies too even my 12 year old son was cooing over prams the other day. I have 3 lovey boys aged 10 , 12 ,and 14 and a little girl who was definatly the last who is 4 and off to school full time September. Not sure if I am mad or not .

  • This week I’ve decided to part with all things baby. Never thought this day would actually come. But then again, after having my boy 17 years ago, I didn’t think hubby and I would have another baby….then my girl came along. She’s going to be three in August, and she’s a very tall 3 too. So today, all the bottles that have been sitting in the cupboard for a while, her diapers that she’s outgrown (still potty training tho), and my cherished bugaboo stroller are headed out the door to an expecting friends house. Sad day for me…..
    And yes, all the babies in my news feed get me thinking…..but I’m pretty sure I’m done.

    Oh and her receiving blankets were turned into pillow cases for her toddler pillows over the weekend. It’s the little things right? lol

    • Yes, I want to move all that stuff out too. (But I’m a little afraid that will mean a positive pregnancy test!) Clever idea to make pillow cases, I’ve been using mine to cover the cloth seats of the girls’ kitchen chairs.

  • It is difficult, sometimes, to decide that your family is complete. There are challenges in raising babies to toddlers to scholars. There is joy, as well, in knowing you are the center of their world as they are in yours. You enjoy the smiles, kisses and the good times. You tend to forget their being sick, difficult, and even the things you cannot possibly control.

    • Very true, Elva! Their world gets bigger and it’s hard to let go of being their entire world, even when I know it’s what needs to happen.

  • I’m right there with ya. My youngest will be turning one in a couple weeks, and it’s bittersweet but I’m so ready to have my girls be a bit more independent. I do still get a mild case of baby fever whenever I see a sweet little one, but then I remember that my daughter still wakes up 3 times a night and I’m walking around like a zombie. I love my girls, but I’m definitely done. 😉