When I was younger, I thought I would have four or five children. I came from a family of just two kids and big families always interesting to me. I wanted girls and boys. I wanted my daughters to have sisters and brothers and my sons to have brothers and sisters. That was the ideal family to me.
When I met my husband, I was excited that he wanted kids too. Lots of them. It was perfect.
We got married when I was 23 years old and waited about 18 months before we started trying to get pregnant. We had our first son in 2004 and then our second in 2006. That was when I knew. I only wanted one more child. I only wanted three kids.
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In 2010, we had our third little boy and when he was born I knew in my heart he would be my last baby. I don’t know the future but I knew that I was complete with my three boys.
My husband was in the Military and gone a lot of the time. I couldn’t see having a big family since this was the case. Keeping up with three boys was all I could handle. Even that was difficult most days. I know others have done it, but I knew with my personality, three was all I could handle.
I also knew I wanted more than two children. Three started sounding like the perfect number to me. We could still fit in one car, we didn’t have to get more than one hotel room and I know feeding three teenage boys in the future will be a challenge all by itself.
The feeling with being done with children is an interesting one. It is something I think most mothers feel once they have hit that number. I have friends who have felt this way after one child, after four and after five. I even have friends that knew they never wanted children to begin with.
Moms just know. We know when we are not done. We know when someone is missing. We know when we are done having children.
I know this when I see a friend with a new baby. I know I am no longer planning ahead for that part of life. I remember when my boys were that small and I think about how someday in the future my own children will have babies of their own.
Before I had my third baby, I knew I would have another one. I could feel it. I knew my two boys would have another sibling. I knew that we would be a family of five eventually. I knew that I was not done with my pregnancy and newborn days.
After he was born, I didn’t think this way about having a fourth child. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if he had a forth but it doesn’t go beyond that. I don’t feel like anyone is missing at our table.
If you are struggling with if you should have another baby or not, you most likely are not done having children. Those of us that know we are done don’t really struggle with that decision. We know. We know that we were meant to have the amount of children we have, we know that our family is complete.
My youngest little boy is five years old now. Strollers, newborns, diapers and how to feed a baby are all in my rearview mirror. Those days seem far behind us now and with each year, I know that we made the right decision stopping after three kids. I know I can be a good mom to these three kids.
What about you? How did you know you were done having kids?
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