When I was younger, long before I was an actual parent, I wanted a big family. My definition of big was four to six minions. Since then I have been blessed with three monsters.
After my first, Abby, I remember saying I had changed my mind about having more kids and that I might be a one-and-done. But I remember having this nagging little feeling in the back of my head telling me that I would need more.
Lo and behold, number two, my boy–Liam. Again I remember thinking, one of each should suffice. And the nagging little feeling persisted.
Round three, Ella burst forth into the world and I said I was done. And then the little nagging feeling… disappeared. Granted, it’s only been six months since I brought her home, but still. The nagging has not returned.
I hear moms talk about planning their last baby, being pregnant with their last, or simply holding their last baby and being sad. Sad that the new baby smell will fade and be gone forever. Sad that they will not breastfeed again once they wean. Sad that the tiny baby clothes will be boxed up forever. I remember having those feelings after my first two. That sadness was part of the nagging feeling that I wasn’t done. I would stare at them in disbelief at how fast they were growing and my heart would ache.
Holding Ella, I still can’t believe how fast she is growing. Half a year has passed with her on the outside! She has gotten so big. But my heart doesn’t ache when I think about it. My heart feels full.
I don’t feel sad when I think about weaning her from breastfeeding (in about 18 months or so 😉 ). I feel grateful. My body will be mine again.
When I think about her finally being out of the cloth diapers I have used for the last five years, I feel relief.
I will miss her being tiny. I will miss the new baby smell (but honestly, I still snort my other two like a line of cocaine… so…), but the more I think about the next phase of the parenting adventure, the more relieved I feel about being done.
I don’t have the sadness. I don’t feel like something might be missing. My three amazing monsters make my mommy heart feel full. That’s how I know I am done.
How did you know you were done? Or not? Tell me about it.