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  • How do you know when you’re done having babies?

    Question: How DO you know when you’re done having babies? Do you ever know for sure?

    How do you know when you are done having babies?

    Asking for, well, someone…

    Because at the end of last year, Florence turned three and a funny thing happened.

    Despite spending a lot of her second year feeling broody, I suddenly wasn’t. Despite being pretty sure that her turning three would be enough to spur us on to thinking about adding another small child into the mix, it didn’t.

    I actually felt the complete opposite.

    I’m not sure when it changed, but it did. The balance tipped; I went from not-so-secretly wanting another to furrowing my brow slightly, at the thought.

    There is definitely a toddler tipping point once you’ve waved goodbye to the baby days. It’s a point when things seem to get a lot easier. So my three-year-old plays with her sister a lot more and needs me a lot less (she still needs me an awful lot, but there’s about .5% less urgent need, so I’ll take that). We can all go to cafes and sit having brilliantly random chats about life, rather than running around and around cold cup of tea number ten million. I now longer take half of the house with us when we – eventually – leave the house. We go on the tube without a pram, which is an absolute breeze. In short, it’s a LOT more fun.

    Also school for my second is a year and a half in the distance and with two children in full-time education, I’ll have five whole days to myself. What will I do with all that time?! I could do anything. Or at the very least, visit the shop without anyone demanding Kinder Eggs and then sit in our silent house checking my watch until pick-up time.

    While I don’t think it ever gets easy, two seems a lot more manageable and practical. Everyone gets a bedroom! Everyone gets one of my hands! And having had one averagely bad sleeper and one still-terrible sleeper, I’m pretty sure any third baby would refuse to sleep at all, and would instead be up all hours of the day and night, happily prising my exhausted eyes open with Sophie la Giraffe clutched in their chubby baby fists. Which surely is enough to make anyone run around screaming ‘I’m done!’

    I wrote before about indecision on the inevitable third baby question, and even as I wrote that I really wanted another. But now, it seems like reaching three has made me realise two might be our magic number.

    But even as I write this I’m like, OH CHUBBY BABY FISTS and there’s a tiny, tiny part of me that can’t quite imagine never doing it all again, especially as everyone I know seems to know for sure when they’re done having babies. And everyone else has three or more. Do you ever know for sure, if you’re unsure?

    More posts…how to shake off the parenting blues and in praise of Tamara Ecclestone

    3 Comments

    1. Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 5:32 pm

      I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting a newborn of my own – ever – but I know I have reached the point where adding another child may not really work for the wonderful family we have. This parenting lark doesn’t seem to get easier it’s just that the challenges are different – less avout sleep deprivation than attitude-induced mental torture – and I don’t think I could juggle all the challenges of all the children at all the ages at the same time. I will always cherish and miss the baby days and wish that I had a rewind button so every third Saturday I could take my existing children back to milk-drunk new-baby-fragrance curled-up-leg days – but I would struggle to parent the three I have in the way I try to with a fourth.

      Instead of being too sad that the last baby is starting school in September we are welcoming this new stage of life by all going on a long haul flight. Mental?!? Maybe.

      And I couldn’t sleep train or potty train again…

    2. Emily
      January 15, 2018 / 11:10 pm

      YES! To all of this. Thank you for articulating it so well.
      Love you xx

    3. January 16, 2018 / 4:26 pm

      I’d *like* three but it’s not an option – no space; no money; very little time left on my body clock – so I’ve accepted that this is us. Matilda, on the other hand, insists that there should be three sisters in this family and is not quiet in her campaigning.

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