PARENTING TIPS

Thursday’s Thoughts : Deciding when you have had enough?

Florence and her baby

I’m nearing 40 and always thought that when I hit that celebratory birthday I’d know; I’d know that I had enough children. But when I asked friends recently, “How do you know when you’ve had enough?” they replied, “You just know it. It will hit you.”

Now I realise I am not big on numbers with the amount of children I have. While I am so extremely grateful for the two gorgeous girls we have, it’s not exactly the number we chose or intended to have. You see, I don’t have such a great track record with pregnancies — I’ve had a late miscarriage and also lost a baby boy to Trisomy 18, so being pregnant again honestly nerves me – medically.

But I’m still asking myself (and my husband) should we try for another one. I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Have you decided you’re finished having babies? When did you know you had enough children? Or are you still thinking of trying for more? Does it matter what age you are? How many is enough?! Please share your thoughts.

Vanessa x

PS The image above is of Florence who would love for us to have another baby. She’s baby obsessed!


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Comments (20)

Louise
April 28, 2016

It’s a question I ask myself on a daily basis. So many factors are involved. Do my finances suit a bigger a family is the I one I ask myself constantly. I think you need to follow your heart but be mindful of your head. Remember that you may regret what you don’t do more than what you did do.


April 28, 2016

I would listen to your inner being without letting your head get in the way, which is of course saying all sorts of things to you that are not you in the here and now. Very hard I know, hearing the hard journey you have had. A question for you (by the way age wise as long as you feel strong that is what is most important) if you were 80 and looking back at your life and you let fear/uncertainty (whatever you want to call it) stop you from having a third baby – would you mind? Or would you say I’m so glad I gave it another go? Whatever the outcome. I would read The Power of Now – it might help with your thoughts going round and round.


diana
April 28, 2016

I can so feel you!
I have 3 kids. I never thought, there would be so many (I blame Coutney on that, she made having many kids look so easy ;)), and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
But now I know, just like your friends said, that’s my number. I’m also very grateful for them, as just like you, my track record with pregnancies isn’t good, either. I had 3 miscarriages before our first was born.
And regarding age: I was 41, when I had my last baby.
I thinkd, Louise is right, you may regret what you don’t do more than what you do.


Ali
April 28, 2016

We have two children. A 5 year old boy who is in reception and a girl who was born last October. In total, I have been pregnant 5 times, had three upsetting mscarriages. I am so done! I have been incredibly lucky to be able to have these children. But especially my pregnancy carrying my daughter was filled with a lot of anxiety and fear, understandably!! I couldn’t go through that again. Being pregnant with my daughter was the most emotional time and physically it was pretty tough also. One child for each pair of hands😉That’s not to say I didn’t shed a few tears when I had to accept that it was time to let go of the baby grows and that it was time to now change the seat of her buggy😳 Wishing you the best of luck with whatever you decide!


Lottie
April 28, 2016

I know exactly what you mean. I always wanted four, but I’m not sure I’ll get there. I have had 7 pregnancies, two late miscarriages, two stillborn babies, two happy health babies (who are now 3 and 6!) and I’m currently pregnant with another. So far, all going well, but each pregnancy is so anxious and fraught with nerves it’s hard to relax and enjoy the experience. I’m 40 next year, and I think this is my last attempt – I just don’t feel like I’ve got the emotional strength to attempt any more. I feel so lucky to have the children I’ve had, it’s such a privilege to be pregnant at all, and while I’m keeping everything crossed this current pregnancy will work out, I treasure my two little monkey currently making my life mayhem! If I get a third little one, I’ll be overjoyed. Good luck with whatever you path you choose.


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living in Asia
April 28, 2016

For me, I am one of the older ones. Got married at 30, 1st at 36 and 2nd at 38. Just the way it worked out with meeting Hubby later in life. Now at 46. By far THE oldest Mom at school. This should of been for that other thread! I knew right from the beginning I knew my number was 2 kids and just happy and grateful for them now. I honestly DO NOT want anymore. haha sometimes I don’t even like kids. Let’s face it, it’s hard work. Maybe I’ve been stay-at-home Mom for way too long (over 10 years) and bit put off by it all. Just my honest response.


April 28, 2016

I’ve been asking myself the same question. My daughter is 17. I raised her on my own, but I am now happily settled with a new partner and am getting the pressure from friends with young children to just go for it. I feel like the decision to have another (if I can at 42) and the decision not to are both the right one! Are these emotions a physiological part of aging?


Nomi Olsthoorn
April 28, 2016

So sorry to hear that Vanessa! I had my babies late (at 36 and 38: finding mr. Right took a while!) and although we tend to get pregnant straight away, I also had three (early) miscarriages before now being 32 weeks along with baby number three, at age 42. We never thought twice about our first two (even though the first miscarriage was between those two), but after passing forty I suddenly became very concerned with the statistics and risks. I definitely felt like we were nearing our last attempts to have a third baby, given the stress this time round! But all is well (so far), and fingers crossed it’ll stay that way. We always tried to approach parenthood as a blessing, not a right, so we were cautious about insisting on a number, but having said that three feels complete to me and as well as looking forward to meeting this baby, every day closer to the end is also a little goodbye to being pregnant.


Whitney Kaye
April 28, 2016

I have a different perspective in that the women in my family are baby making machines. My husband and I come from families of 7 siblings, my two older sisters have 6 each, and we want a big family also (currently pregnant with 3rd). BUT I have seen 6-7 pregnancies and children take a toll on the physical and mental wellbeing of my mother and sisters. I have told my husband that I need to maintain my health, mental and physical, otherwise we will not be able to continue to grow our family. So life doesn’t go as you planned and there is nothing wrong with accepting what is and also prepare for what you want. It is about the wellbeing of you and your family.


Alison
April 28, 2016

First: I LOVE the topics you guys have been featuring on the blog lately, I found the post about what age to start having babies to be so refreshing and the comments underneath so thought-provoking and positive. This post is no different, these topics help me, and I’m sure many others, feel heard and empowered.
I just had my first baby two weeks ago at th age of 28. As a woman who has always envisioned a family of at least three kids I was struck hard by how quickly I felt like “nope! Never doing this again! One is enough!” And then EQUALLY as struck by how quickly that faded. By ten days postpartum those thoughts had all but disappeared. The interesting thing to me is how personal that decision seems to have become now that I’ve been through the nine months and 36 hour labor. While my husbands feelings on the matter are of course extremely Important and valid, and the future of our son being an only child or having siblings weighs heavily, I now feel the decision is – at the end of the day mine. Is that selfish? I don’t know. I do know the nine months were hard, I know my career feels put on hold because of them, I know the labor was traumatizing – but that’s as much as i know. Only time will determine how my feelings evolve on the matter.
Xo


Anna
April 28, 2016

I’m so sorry to hear what a hard time you’ve had. My story is a little different. We tried for many years to conceive, finally having our baby girl last summer when I was 36. Unbelievably, despite all our fertility struggles and my mother’s sad history of miscarriages, the pregnancy was smooth and perfect. I loved every minute of being pregnant.

I always thought I would want lots of babies and having enjoyed pregnancy so much was sure I’d want to try again within a year of having our little girl. But (big BUT)… this year has been SO HARD! I thought I loved babies but our lg is an unbelievable handful. So much crying, so much misery, so much sleeplessness, unable to put her down ever without her crying, unable to leave the house without her screaming non stop. Friends have these gentle easy going babies and I’m like, what went wrong?? I can’t believe that after all our years of trying it turns out that I am not a baby person AT ALL! Don’t get me wrong, I love her so much. But having always thought I wanted lots of kids I now spend 50% of my time thinking I can never, ever do this again! I guess when she grows up if it gets easier I might feel differently… but by then I may be too old to conceive again. So my answer is, maybe for me, it turns out one is enough!


Lisa
April 28, 2016

Love the honesty in this post. I am done (I had my tubes tied so that’s that!!!! No regrets) )I have FIVE under 7 btw.)


Kerry
April 28, 2016

I am expecting number 9, our little surprise baby he kept himself a secret until 16 weeks! I really wanted 10 (mad I know) but after number 8 I felt my body was tired, it was almost begging for no more baby’s. I had just accepted that my baby days were over when we found out about number 9. When he arrived we will have 5, 6 and under. I’m looking at having to my first c-section (I’m more than a little terrified!) and I’m going to have my tubes tied at the same time. I’ve realised I would go on forever I love baby’s, I love children but I need to take time for myself and my husband. Financially we are very comfortable, we own our own home out right but unless you have unlimited money it will become an issue. I don’t want to loose the comfortable lifestyle we have built ourselves. In the end for me it has come down to a choice between a child I long for but don’t know and the children I already do know and cherish.


Emily
April 29, 2016

The number thing is interesting! When I was pregnant with my second I strongly felt like he was not my last baby but we had not decided for more. My husband felt it was impractical to decide we wanted 3 when we didn’t even have 2 kids yet! He wanted to see how it went and how we would cope.

I’m now 13 weeks pregnant with number 3 and I’m completely done. I feel very keen to get through the pregnancy and to have the baby in my arms, but I am so ready for this to be the last.

My guess is you intrinsically want another but it’s a tough stressful road… Perhaps you should just give it a shot?


April 29, 2016

This topic came at a weird time… I am 33 and have to healthy, great kids, boy and girl who are 6 and 3. I have two siblings and so does my husband. When we met we agreed on two for sure, and probably three. Now that the girl is also in daycare I so enjoy feeling myself again and getting back to work. I still have time for another one although my husband is 42 now. But we decided to enjoy life now and make a final decision later.
Then, 2 weeks ago a dear friend told me that she had an abortion with their 3rd… Mostly she talked about being too old( she is 40). I was very supportive as I know it must have been devastating for both of them.
The thing is, it has been in my head almost every day. It’s so so sad I just can’t get over it and had to share.


Gemma
April 30, 2016

I am sat here nursing my fourth, we have been talking about this topic in our house a lot lately, how do you know when it is time to say enough?? My heart and head are in two different spaces and I am aware that hormones are stirring both up! I have had several miscarriages and a strong feeling of ‘pushing my luck’ or am I just trying to put obsticules in the way? The only big thing that sticks out for me is time, I am a firm believer that your children need you more as they grow not less, will I have enough time to be the mummy I want to be?? My nan always said to me that this is the best bit, you do not know it at the time but it is, I don’t feel ready for it to end!


Holly
April 30, 2016

This is a question I have been asking myself daily since my last child was born a year ago. I spend my days thinking about these ‘last times’ that I’ll do things and my heart starts to ache.
I have spent my career looking after children and imagined my future filled with my own but sadly my husband doesn’t feel the same way. He adores the two we have and feels that our family is complete with two. My head agrees with him as our life is pretty perfect and I’m able to be a stay at home mummy which I love. I also know that I don’t want to spread myself thinly between my children and husband but my heart can’t help feeling that I’m just not done… I guess only time will tell.


Chloe
May 31, 2016

I am 37 and have an 8 year old boy and a 5 year old girl, both in school, I work from home, so life seems fairly well balanced right now. I really thought that was it. We sold all the baby stuff, prams, buggies, highchairs, cots and we have given away all the younger clothes. But the last 6 months I have had symptoms of early menopause and now I can’t shake off that feeling that its now or never (although it may even be impossible) for baby number 3, and can’t bare the thought of the baby days over. I’ve also had 2 miscarriages and 1 of the births very traumatic with a long physical recovery on my part. So I feel I should count my blessings and not rock the boat and cherish every moment with my two. It’s so hard though! x


MissF
June 17, 2016

An Amazing topic, i have been thinking lots about this lately. Me and my husband have one daughter together and he has
Also one daughter from earlier relationship. The kids have 1,5years age difference so they are the best of friends and there is no need for a sibling… I am wondering am I selfish since I want to have one more of mine and my husbands child? That is my wish, but finances are in the way.. If we have one more child we will have to pay 2,5childrens costs and that might be to much for us:( must I give up on my dream because of that?


Marty Dick
September 3, 2019

When I was 39 and my first 3 boys were 17,20 and 22 I found I was PG again. Just a few weeks before I turned 40 I had the most beautiful boy and he is now 41 and a firefighter. He turned out to be a real source of joy for me and kept me from becoming a sour old woman.


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