Q of the Week : How do you know when your family is complete?

Guest post from Heather S.


When I was pregnant with my first child, I swore I would never have another.  I held true to this statement up until my daughter was about a year old; and then I fell in love with her.  My husband and I started talking about the idea of a second.  Two children felt right to us.  We wanted our daughter to have a sibling, we wanted the experience of creating and raising another child.  We felt our family was not yet complete, so we went for it.  


When I was pregnant with my second, I swore I would never have another … and this time I meant it!  I called the insurance company, and when my husband got home from work one day I told him for 20 bucks, a day off of work and a bag of frozen peas, we could be sure this never happened again!  My husband logically said to his very pregnant and irrational wife, “Don’t you think we should wait until the baby comes?”  Agreed!  So three weeks after baby number two arrived, the appointment was scheduled for the old “snip snip” and it was a done deal.  


We both knew our marriage nor our mental health could survive another child.  


We have never regretted our decision.  


For many women, knowing when your family is complete is not so easy.  For some, it is an internal struggle about what feels right vs. what is practical.  For others, they have strong feelings of having another, (or not) but their partner may have different plans.


I have several friends who are trying to figure out if their families are complete.  As they are all approaching 40, they feel as though they are pressed to make a decision soon.  


-My one friend has 2 girls, ages 3 and 6.  She has always wanted a large family.  She would keep reproducing in a second except that her oldest daughter has special needs.  She is torn between being more available to her, or feeling like her family is complete.  This decision is highly emotional for her.  Every time she sees a baby she wants to hold, smell and feel the baby.  She is such a natural mom.  

-Another friend has two boys; age 3 and 5.  She doesn’t feel as though her family is complete either.  Life is easier now and she isn’t sure she wants to do the “baby thing” all over again.  She is at a turning point in her career and can’t afford to be on leave again for the third time if she wants to have an edge in her field.  Her family doesn’t feel complete, she has always felt and dreamt of three kids.  She is torn. 


-A third friend has one child who is 13 months old.  She wasn’t sure she wanted children at all.  She thinks about having another, but when she does, she thinks in terms of what else she could possibly give up … the spare bedroom, part of the family budget and her body again.  She realized recently that her family is complete, as she was focussing on what she would be losing instead of gaining. 


What about you?  Is there another being in the universe calling your name?  Is it a done deal?  How do you know when your family is complete?  How do you work out a compromise if your partner has a different vision?


 Heather is a life coach for moms, a middle school counselor and a mama who is committed to rocking her mojo! She has two extremely “spirited,” independent and strong-willed children who test her, teach her and exhaust her…several times a day!  You can read more about her at My Mama Mojo.