Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Where's the fat lady?

Today is Backwards Day at Works-For-Me Wednesday. That means that instead of sharing something that 'works for me', I'm going to ask for tips on something that doesn't 'work for me'.

I'm hoping that the more mature readers will weigh in on this issue. That doesn't mean that if you're young or feel young that you can't also help me out too though!

How in THE world do you know when you're done having kids? Was there a certain something that confirmed your decision? Do you regret not having more?

I really wish it were as easy as the fat lady singing.



Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

First, I LOVE the picture in your header of your girls in those adorable smocked dresses. Second, I am a mama of 6, soon to be 7, and I couldn't imagine my life without any of my sweet children. We believe God blesses us with each child as He chooses and we don't regret any that He has given us.

Scrawny Mommy said...

For us it was a little different. But my husband and I knew that we were done having kids naturally. I just felt absolute peace and contentment about it, as did he. We have actually adopted two children since we made that decision, though ... and we still think we might adopt one or two more. Best of luck in your decisions!

Angie said...

This was something I really struggled with for a long time. We thought we were done after two. Then, we redecided, and had a third. Then, we thought we were done, and then I thought we shouldn't be done. It was really something that tore at my deepest being. Seriously. (Especially since hubbers did feel that we were done.)

Then, I just looked a lot at our finances, our home, our schedules, etc, and I started thinking that maybe it was a good idea to be done. I still wasn't sure, but then the last several times I have had opportunities to hold babies, I realized that as much as I loved it, I kind of liked not having an infant anymore. And, that's what finally cinched it.

But, seriously -- only you and your family can really decide what to do. It is such a personal decision.

Overwhelmed! said...

Angie's right, this is such a personal decision for your family that I'm not sure advice from us will be much help.

I do believe that if one of you is adament about being done, the other should try to respect that.

We're working on getting licensed for a second adoption. My husband would like to stop after 2 but has said that if we end up with 3 (because of a sibling group of 2 placement) he'd be okay with that, but no more than 3. I'd like 4+ but out of respect for him, I'd be okay with 3.

Good luck on your decision making process.

chickadee said...

i'm afraid i can't help you. each time i thought we were done, a little while later i began thinking about another one.

i love the picture of your girls. they are so adorable!

Kacie said...

Are you wondering because of finances? Being able to provide for them? Energy levels? Missing out on a great son or daughter because you stopped? What are some of your thoughts?

I have no children (yet) so I can't be of much help. But, I have one little sister, and I always wished I had more siblings. My husband and I would like 3 children, but things change and ultimately, you have to leave it to God.

Cindee said...

I've never felt so at peace as when I laid the decision-making process about child-bearing at God's feet. He is the giver of all good gifts and I believe that He will provide whatever we need to care for the gifts he gives us. With respect to having more children, I used to worry about money, space, energy, health, and time. Sometimes I still start feeling fretful about those things until I remember that HE is the Author and Finisher of my faith, HE is Jehovah Jireh (my provider), and HE doeth all things well. I became very uncomfortable about the prospect of asking God to stop blessing us with children by taking any steps to prevent those blessings. Again, trusting God with my fertility has been a real blessing in my husband's and my life. Just seek Him and He will answer you.

Leigh said...

Your kids are gorgeous - why do you want to stop? :) Only joking!!!!

I have no ideas - I'm desperately trying to have them. Used to want 4, then 3, then 2. Now I'll be OVER THE MOON if I can just have one!

Susan said...

Your girls are lovely!! I am too young to give advice. I just know the Lord has the answer. My question to you is what did he say when you asked him about it?

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

My husband and I wrestled with this one. He actually wanted to stop after one! For me, I had to pray for God's comfort about that, and for many years, I did feel comfortable. Then he started mentioning "If" we had another child, so we talked about it, and did have another one.

I think that it HAS to be something you both agree on. If you desire more, but your husband doesn't (or vice versa), then wait until one of you gets peace.

Milehimama said...

We've been "done" after each child - but we remain open to life and God has blessed us with more each time I've thought "I'm done".

And I couldn't imagine life without any of them!

I don't think *I'll* ever say I'm done. I will trust God to make that decision - He does know what is best for me, after all.

I don't know your particular situation, but your children are all very young. It is the hardest and most overwhelming task when you have more children than hands and they are all under 5. I definitely would not make any permanent decisions during this season of your life and stage in parenting.

For us, being completely open to children has been a relief. Now I don't feel like I *have* to control my fertility (which ulitimately I don't have control of, anyway).

Don't know if this helps, but I've had 3 kids age 3 and under and it does get better! Right now I have 3 age three and under (again) but it's easier now than it was the first time around!

Leia said...

Right now we only have one, and even my husband wants at least one more, but he thinks that will be enough. I'd like to leave it (all of it, contraceptives included) up to God, but my hubs just isn't there (yet, hopefully). The thing is, while the Bible does say that children are a heritage and blessing from the Lord, it really doesn't say a lot else about them (other than "be fruitful and multiply"). But it _does_ specifically talk about submitting to your husband's authority, so I would say that the submission trumps the contraceptive decision.

Discuss pros and cons with your husband (including giving God control over even your fertility), but ultimately, let him lead and rest in the knowledge that you're being obedient to God by being submissive to your husband's authority.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

We're wondering about that too... Are you getting a lot of pressure from people about trying for a boy? We get that all of the time - it started even back when I was pregnant with Becca! I know my hubby would like a boy, but I don't want to have another one just for that reason. I'm finding that 3 is a lot to handle and am not sure if I could manage 4 kids. But on the other hand, I don't know that I'm ready to say that Becca was my last baby either... In any case, we'd have to wait at least another year before we could start ttc if we decided to, so we've got some time to think it through.

Good luck with your decision! :)

Janelle said...

We struggled too! We both wanted 4 before we had kids and then started to re-think it once the boys started rolling in. Before our third we were set to discuss, but called it off since I was already preg!

Then after the third we went back and fourth for several months and couldn't decide. In the end we determined that God had put the desire of 4 in our hearts so we went ahead with trying.

And we would love to have a house full of grandkids! Our 4th is due is due in March. Now we both are at total peace that this is our last one. Good luck with your decision process.

Alicia said...

Hi! I don't guess I'm really considered "mature" in the age sense of the word but I do know that I am pretty sure we are stopping at two kids. The only way I can explain it is that we just "know." I do not have any desire to have another child and neither does my husband, and we are both enamored with our two boys so we are perfectly content.

We also look forward to the days when we will be without diapers and scheduled nap times and feeding around the clock. We're excited for vacations and Little League and sleepovers. I will say that I am one of the odd people who prefers the toddler stage to the baby stage, so I'm sure that is part of what fuels my decision.

Finances are also a big deciding factor for us, although not the main one.

I think the main thing is that you need to just follow your gut. If you still have a desire for more children, then have more! But if not, that's okay too.

Anyway, sorry for the long personal comment! I found my way here from 5 Minutes for Mom. :)

I Was Just Thinking.... said...

What a loaded question!!!
I would say I'm mature, age-wise, I don't know about mentally/emotionally but here's my two cents.
We thought we were done at 3. But inside I felt incomplete. We had our 3rd in 1996. When I turned 40 (in 2000) I went through few months of grieving, thinking my body was done reproducing. Emotionally I wasn't ready because I had this empty feeling that someone was missing. Come 2003 and I end up pregnant, after I had gone through the grieving and came to grips and contentment with 3. The 4th was difficult because I had reached the place ready to get a job. But 3 years later, it was the best thing that happened.
Now, after reading, listening to twoedgetalk.com, I am wanting to keep the options open for more, however many that may mean. But given my age (47) I don't know if that means any.
Children are a blessing, plain and simple. As my dad said, years ago, if you waited to be financially secure to have kids, you never would. For us, finances isn't the determining factor.
If God blesses us with more I will be happy and I will live that door open by not shutting it with birth control. We're leaving it with His wisdom.

not up to code said...

I am finding that the older and less dependant on me Jack gets (now 2), the less I am thinking about another baby. I am really enjoying the fact that my schedule is more flexible and we are less tied down with all the baby stuff.

I still wonder if we should or shouldn't do the snip-snip. But then, the whole pregnancy, breastfeeding, and sleepless nights are really hard on me considering health issues. Maybe I should stop while I'm ahead. Can you tell I'm still torn?

My suggestion is to wait until Becca is a little older to make the decision. She still has lots of baby left. And you have the time to make the decision.

Amy said...

I didn't really have a choice- two doctors told me in no uncertain terms that I would not survive another pregnancy. Case closed.

Accepting that decision? Well, that I still struggle with. But I'm coming to see how God's plan is working in our lives, and how the timing of other things in our lives has perfectly worked out around when our children were born. Jobs, houses... it seems to all be coming together. So I guess I'm saying that I had to find peace with it and open myself up to seeing the "big picture" before I knew that this was really where we are meant to be family-wise.

Jamie said...

A few weeks after the birth of my first 3, I was ready for another go round. After #4, I didn't have that feeling. I also had had 4 c-sections, a very bad pregnancy with the last and my doctors were leaning toward me being done, too. I love holding babies, but the thrill of being almost out of diapers and sleeping through the night and pre-K in 2009 and having the house to myself is a lot better, lol. I still see us fostering and maybe adopting in 5 or 6 years, though. I wouldn't mind 2 more by that way.
Even with all of that, a lot of praying was involved.

Anonymous said...

As far as having more children, it would be good for you to do a Bible study on the subject. Perhaps you should skip over to AboveRubies.org and also read the book by Nancy Campbell titled Be Fruitful And Multiply.

My strong advice would be not to do anything permanent or something based on anothers advice. Many woman (myself included) were pushed into making a decision that we now seriously regret.

God Bless!

Jenny is Live & in Color said...

For me, I just lost the "itch." When my 3rd girl was about 18 months, I thought to myself, "I can't do toddler-hood again!" And I knew I was done. I used to want to have another one every time I saw a newborn or a pregnant woman. Now, I'm content to hold the baby, love on her and give her back to her mom. I am so done.

Mom2fur said...

Your daughters are precious angels! I love that picture!
Now, me...I would have loved to have had 8 kids. I have four. After my first was born, I kept having this weird feeling of another baby in the house when he was about a year old. I can't explain it. I would say something like, "Michael is in his crib and..." And then I'd realize there was no other child. I swear to you, this sense of someone 'missing' happened with my first three. But when number four came along, I knew I was finished. I didn't have that feeling ever again. (And boy, did I cry my eyes out after my six week checkup. Just sat there in my car, in the parking lot, bawling. I just 'knew' I was done.) So I guess what I'm saying is, you'll just plain know. Some women know after just one child...or know they don't want any in the first place. Some are still feeling that urge...look at that family with 17 kids!
The important thing is...don't let anyone else dictate this for you. You really have to know in your own heart of hearts what you want!

Michael - Lover of Amy said...

You don't. My wife and I are in our 30's and have not started. We are trying, and we are on the waiting list to adopt a baby girl from China.

We know a Christian singer (Steven Curtis Chapman) who has three kids with his wife. When the oldest was in her teens she started talking to them about adoption. They had three kids and Steven used to say we had Eenie. Meenie, and Minee, we don't want no Mo.

They have since added three beautiful girls to their family (all born in China).

You never know when you are done adding kids to your brood. :)

Marie said...

I have been wondering the same thing. I was certain I was done, being both happy and overwhelmed with the two I've got. But lately I've been seeing lots of pregnant women and babies, and for some reason the thought of not having another makes me sad.

Dawn said...

Originally we had planned on only having two kids, no matter what sex they were. We had two boys and we were done having kids. I didn't even feel bad that I didn't have a daughter. In fact, on the few occasions I sort of thought about having another baby I thought it would be fun to have another boy because my boys are so darn cute. Then one day at work I was talking to a lady who had adopted several girls from China. Another woman made the comment to me, "You should do that. That would be a good way for you to get a girl." Well, right then I knew that I wanted another child, a girl. It took a few months to convince my husband, but finally he agreed and we adopted our daughter two years ago. I had one time, about a year ago, where I had a strong desire to adopt another child, even though I knew we couldn't afford it. The feeling only lasted for a couple of days and then went away and I haven't felt that way again. Now I know in my heart we are truly done having kids. I think you will know for sure. If you have the urge to have more, let it go for a couple of months and see if you still have it. If you do, talk to your husband about it. Sometimes we get baby hungry but it's only a brief feeling. I think you will know in your heart whether you should have more or not.

Cindee said...

Me again. I saw a book mentioned in the comments and it made me think of another one that I found very
helpful as I worked through this question. It's called Letting God Plan Your Family. I believe it's out of print now but it's still
available used at Amazon.com.

Anonymous said...

Coming from my own thoughts on this, if you aren't sure you're done, and if you have doubts about regrets, you're not done. :) Boy, thanks. I needed to hear that too. I haven't had a baby in a few years, and I wish I had, and I wish I'd started sooner. I just didn't know it then, when I was young. Fertility passes too quickly though at the time it seems overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

As a mother of nine children, I often attract comments from people who deeply regret not having more children. If one spouse doesn't want more children and one does, please carefully consider the pain of the one who is denied the opportunity to love one more child. Most stable marriages can withstand the blessing of another child, but I know of many marriages that died when one partner insists that there will be no more children--even if the other is somewhat ambivalent. As for finances, please keep in mind that they change over time, and your ability to maintain the budget varies over time.

Lisa said...

I think, I guess I'm mature. &:o)My oldest son just turned 20 today... Does that shoe me in? It's funny how we count on God to take care of all our little problems, but we don't want to leave this momentous decision to Him. Who knows better than He does what's best for our families? What wonderful people He may have in mind that you alone must be the mother to? Giving your will to His Will blesses you like nothing else can. The only thing I have ever done in my life that I absolutely KNOW was the right thing was having our children, because they are the exact and precise result of God's action on our family. Every one a blessing. We have eleven, treasure every one of them and will take more if He sends them.

Martie said...

I am a mom to 9, and I can tell you, letting go of child-bearing has been so hard for me (can you tell?). I don't know if I could ever really feel finished. But with my last I had a c-section, and the doc said my insides are definitely done having babies. I guess the decision was made for me. I hear ya, though! I just wanted to tell you that I understand how hard it is to know. I also wanted to tell you what a great joy my 9 children are to me. I am so blessed to have them. I wish you the very best as you make your decision! Martie

Sileena said...

Well, I have 4 girls. With the 3rd my husband said he was done because we had lost 2 boys before her and in between the other pregnancies. Although, she was premature and we had new hurdles I had the nagging feeling of desperately wanting a boy. By then the Dr. acknowledged that I would need help to carry a boy and agreed to help if I tried again. I convinced my husband that I wanted to try once more and we were successful but only found that out after we lost him as well. I wanted to have another baby and was overjoyed to know that she was a girl because I figured my chances were higher of not "losing" her. After she was born my husband, again, said he was done. With so many emotions involved in losing babies I agreed. My point is, every couples decision needs to be their own no matter what your friends or family say or think.