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When do You KNOW Your Family is Complete?

Started by Stacey , author of This Lil Piglet 11/8/2011 6:00:10 AM

I started my family in my early 20's, having 3 kids in under 3 years.  Looking back it seemed hard and I wonder sometimes how I had the energy for all that I did with 3 little kids in tow.  I remember being more than done having kids based on the circumstances.  Financially, having 3 kids in diapers, formula, baby food and the constant growing out of clothes, 3 children was more than enough.  

 

Now that I am in my 30's and remarried to my soul-mate under much different circumstances many happy memories of my children maturing, my opinions on being done having children changed.  My husband hadn't any children of his own from his previous marriage and treated my 3 kids as if they were his own but he missed their younger years and had always longed to experience having a baby and the experiences one brings to a family.  Our latest addition was born in May of 2010 and has brought enormous joy to this family, my 3 older kids just adore her, something we would not have experienced if I had not changed my mind on my family being complete.

 

Our Baby Girl is a year and a half now and we have been discussing the possibility of one last child, a sibling to our 4 other children but one closer in age to our youngest.  My husband really wants one more but I am on the fence about this decision.  Sometimes I think I would like one more and other times I feel like I am done having kids.  There are a few factors that I constantly consider, making me teeter back and forth on this decision:

  1. First and foremost, I am turning 35 in June and I always had this age in my mind as the cut off for having children.  Statistics say that after 35 women are less likely to become pregnant and if they do, have a higher chance of having a baby with defects.
  2. We are currently building a house, are not moved in yet and life has been total chaos for the past year because of it.  We are hoping to be moved in by Christmas but just when things settle down and we can start enjoying it, do we immediately start trying to conceive given my age.  I have barely spent alone time with my husband since the birth of our last daughter.
  3. With 3 older kids that constantly require transportation to school everyday, not to mention any activities they might partake in in the future, is this fair to our baby girl, let alone another new baby or is this something large families just get used to?
  4. I found it much harder to get my pre-baby body back; it was easier to accomplish in my 20's.  Energy levels are not as they once were either.
  5. As hard as it is to talk about, my labido just isn't as much as it was before baby girl was born.  Partially it's because of the energy having a young child requires, waking through the night and so on, and partially it's because we have been busy with other things, such as the house.  By the time Hubs and I have alone time, I'm exhausted.  Having another child will surely lesson our intimate moments.
  6. My mother had her last child (my youngest brother; 9 years difference between us) when she was 35 and because of the age difference he was much like an only child; us 3 older siblings are not as close to him.  Because of this my mother regrets not having one more child for him to play with and grow up with.  By the time he was old enough to remember, I was into my preteen years and although I tried to spend quality time with my little brother, I had other interests as any preteen would.  I worry about this with my own children because it's almost exactly the same scenario.
  7. We have everything we need for another baby and our vehicle is still large enough for one more without anymore additional costs.

At moments I find myself talking myself out of having another child and others I yearn to hold a newborn in my arms.  Already a toddler, baby girl is not such a baby anymore; time goes too fast.  Making the decision of if my family is complete or not is a decision that will be made in the next few months.  It's not a decision I'm looking forward too because it is a hard one and a final one as permanent birth control options have and will been considered. 

 

If you have already made the decision that your family is complete, how did you come to that decision?  Was it a decision as hard for you as it is for me?  If you have not made that decision yet

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Reply by Jayedee

11/8/2011 1:28:32 PM
i know! you should write to mrs. duggar and ask her opinion! ;-p

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Reply by Aimee

11/8/2011 1:54:14 PM
I am blessed to have had my youngest at age 43. The joy of having amazing-little-him in our lives far outweighs the obstacles.

Great post! I am done at one child. Here's why: Financially, we're strapped. We got married, bought a new house, furnished said house, had a premature babe, bought everything for her, then bought a new car all within 2 years. All.by.ourselves. Emotionally, I'm spent. I spent so much time in NICU with our girl, then battled PPD silently for 18 months. I have no help, save my amazing husband. Our family is either too old, too far away or too selfish to spend time with our daughter. I'm not sure my relationship could withstand another hormonal upheaval. By the time it does, there will be too much space between our first and our potential second...at the rate we're going. Our girl is now almost three and toilet training. There is no way I want to go back into the sleepless nights and diaper phase again. She likes being the center of attention and has shown NO interest in babies (though that may change). She wants for nothing, in terms of material goods. She has a good circle of friends in the neighbourhood that are similar in age and I have no fear that she will be lonely in the coming years. As long as I can provide her with what she needs...a little of what she wants...and ensure she is supported by good people, I feel content with our decision. :)

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Reply by Stacey

author of This Lil Piglet 11/8/2011 2:30:09 PM
Thanks Cee! It seems you have responsibly put a lot of thought into it as well and your little gal will be just fine. :) We are financially okay so that isn't a factor as much as how busy we are is. For us, we are moving to a farm where she doesn't have little friends she can play with. I do have friends with kids around her age that we could have play dates with but nothing on a regular basis. There are groups we could join as well but to be honest, extra groups/activities means even more driving which is one of my cons to having another child so I suppose that one cancels itself out; either I have another as a playmate with limited extra driving but have the extra that comes with having a 2nd child, or I don't and I sign her up for activities and have extra driving....either has it's challenges. As it is now, I drive the kids to school and pick them up from school everyday. Living on the farm this is a 15-20 minute drive one way in good winter driving. The older kids also want to be in their sports, so add that driving on. Large families have their pros too and you just make it work. I'm still deciding.

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Reply by Stacey

author of This Lil Piglet 11/8/2011 2:35:45 PM
Aimee, this is so sweet. Sometimes I look at it from a similar point of view. Things would work out, they always do; making the final decision is that hard part.

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Reply by Stacey

author of This Lil Piglet 11/8/2011 2:47:59 PM
Jayedee, LOL! Yes I'm sure she is pro-child but I believe that has more to do with religious beliefs. Going from 4 to 5, although busy, is a far cry from 19 and has nothing to do with religion for me. In fact, once you have 4, adding one more isn't really that big of a deal; I come from a family of 4 siblings myself. From experience it depends more on the ages of the other kids at the time. Where a lot of people with more than one child have said they found it hard to go from 1 to 2 children, I found it much harder going from 2 to 3. I've concluded that was because my kids were all under the age of 3 at that time, all in diapers and I only have two hands. Add on full-time shift work (both their dad and I) and it was hard both emotionally and physically. Part of the reasons I was done having children at that time. How was it you came to the decision that your family was complete? What were your deciding factors? If you haven't decided this yet, what factors will you consider? I'd love to hear more about your deciding factors.

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Reply by Sara

11/8/2011 2:57:08 PM
I don't have kids yet but we are thinking about starting our family very soon and have been discussing how many kids we want to have. My sister-in-law told me after her 4th child that whenever she would make sure she had all the kids with her she would count... 1...2...3...4... and then she always felt like she was missing one, like she needed a fifth. So, I guess you just know? haha! Easier than it sounds, I'm sure! However, being the oldest of 2 by 6 years... the age gap really does make it hard to connect and I always wished that I had had a sibling closer in age to me (and so did my sister!)

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Reply by Angela

11/8/2011 2:57:34 PM
I decided out family was complete when I was pregnant with my second child. Both my pregnancies were difficult and I spent the last month of each on bedrest. I also knew that my energy level was only enough to handle two. I have no regrets. My daughters are now in their twenties and on their own.

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Reply by Kimberlie

11/8/2011 3:21:39 PM
Wow! We could be twins. I'm in a similar place, just turned 35, have 2 older boys 8 and 6 and one little guy (born in May 2010 too). Most days I'd really like to try again for a little girl, a playmate for my 18 month old, but having just turned 35, I'm feeling that I may be too old to be pregnant considering the increased risk of birth defects and all the sleepless nights with a newborn (I love my sleep =)). To make the decision even harder, my husband will be deploying for 6 months in January. Do I want to be pregnant while he is gone, taking care of my 3 boys alone, or do I wait until next year after he returns, which puts me at almost 36. I want to do the best for my family as a whole and am trying not to make decisions lightly. Life decisions as big as these are soo hard. If you figure out a definitive answer, please pass it along!

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Reply by Stacey

author of This Lil Piglet 11/8/2011 4:40:23 PM
Sara, your comments about how you both wished you had a sibling closer in age just pulls at my heartstrings. This is exactly one of the things I am struggling with; do I deny her of that? She is not the only one to think about however; I have to think of the family as a while. Can we handle another or not? I'm just not sure.

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