It happened again today, the question.
“So are you guys done?”
Oh. Right. Done having babies.
First of all, you need to know that I enjoy closure in most cases. Arguments, discussions, movie endings, Friday Night Lights. Yes, give me resolution.
But this issue about when to put your (perfectly capable) reproductive parts into voluntary retirement? That’s a beast of a different burden.
I live in Utah. Our state motto is “Industry” which we take very seriously when it comes to baby making. Large families are common here, even expected. People don’t bat an eye at families driving 12 passenger vans down the freeway with all the seats filled. So when I roll around in my not-minivan with just three? I get that question a lot. It doesn’t help that I’m raising all boys either. “You’ve got to get your girl, don’t you?”, well, no actually, I don’t. I’m a girl, the dog’s a girl. That’s plenty for us.
I like having three kids, I like the fact that they’re all boys. I’ve answered more than once that if I could be guaranteed another boy I might be swayed into having a 4th. This is not to be discriminatory against girls by any means, I’m sure they’re great. It’s just that I know boys, you know? I’ve been riding that train for 8 years now. And I’m a good boy mom, I can say “penis” out loud with a straight face and I do it often.
I loved being pregnant, and I loved having babies. I even loved giving birth because that is some crazy stuff to actually watch and experience a human growing inside and eventually exiting YOUR body. Biology is cool!
And that moment where you get to meet and hold this pink creature for the first time? Ugh, the magic and relief of it all. I count those reunions as some of the happiest, most treasured moments of my life.
I don’t miss lugging around a car seat, or all the extra baby gear that I got rid of earlier this year taking up space in my attic. I even start to feel a bit claustrophobic when I think about having a another baby in the house. They’re like tiny, clingy spider monkeys always taking up your spare hip and invading your personal space. I can’t even think about nursing without a little flareup of PTSD. But let’s be real, all that stuff isn’t necessarily terrible either. It’s just one of those things where you realize how much work and personal sacrifice goes into mothering an infant in that first year after the fact. You guys, it is SO.MUCH.WORK.!!!
We’re getting to a good spot these days. My oldest is turning 8 in a few weeks and my youngest turns 3 a few days later. The end of our Huggies investment is nigh (I wouldn’t recommend that stock if you’re looking for a good return BTW, unless you like poop). I no longer look at pregnant women and babies with googley eyes. They’re still adorable, but I mostly think they’re adorable from a distance and I’m glad that postpartum isn’t something I’ll likely ever have to be again. Plus I realize that all of that diaper money now goes to food and clothing and sporting activity 10x over. Big kids are expensive, way more expensive than babies and they talk back too.
Our baby making days are over barring some sort of biblically epic sign from the heavens (or a true act of negligence on our part in the birth control department, which I’m pretty sure is how I got here so let’s not completely rule that out until the vasectomy is scheduled and complete).
Sure it’s sad, but it’s also super exciting too. We’re on to new and different adventures with three happy and healthy kids who can brush their own teeth, have full conversations, and swing solo on the playground at last. Well, almost. Still working on the potty training, tooth brushing and pump yourself on your own damn swing issue with the two year old…but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
So it comes back to closure and really, what’s that? I’ll always miss that weird rolling feeling of a baby turning inside, or the heavy weight of a newborn on my chest, or nuzzling a fat wrist and chewing on some sweet baby rolls. I made some pretty epic babies!
But the fact is, I’m already counting down the days to when my oldest can babysit the other two, what kind of magic is that anyway? I can’t wait to find out!