Thursday, August 15, 2013

Griveing the end of babies.

Anyone have a time machine I could borrow?
I've written previously about not having more kids when I was questioning whether we were ready to find a permanent birth control option. The birth of our second daughter made us deal with complications from pre-eclampsia and then - for almost a year following her delivery - our family waded through the rough waters of post-partum depression. We made our decision when things started feeling "back to normal." I was feeling like myself again and like I finally had a handle on being a stay-at-home mom to two small children. There was no doubt in my mind that our family was complete with our two daughters, but I still grieved the phase of life that we were leaving behind.

Fast-forward two years after opting for a permanent form of birth control. In the last month, I have had THREE friends - with kids the same age as my own - announce they are having their third baby. And this morning, when I saw the latest announcement online, I was overwhelmed by tears.

Sometimes, I honestly think I'm crazy. Every rational part of my mind tells me that I am crazy for thinking this, but... when I see those friends having three babies, I wonder what is wrong with me that I felt like I could only handle two. I question how capable a mother I must be if I felt like two was my limit. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW that sounds dumb. I KNOW it does. But just because something is dumb, doesn't mean our minds won't think it - and won't try to believe it - anyway.

And a tiny little part of me wishes I could have another baby. I feel like I'm doing a good job now. I don't feel overwhelmed all the time. And I ADORE my children. I have moments where I clearly see how quickly my children are growing, and I grieve the fact that I won't have more of those "baby" experiences.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that once you love children, you always love children. No matter how sure you are that you are done having babies, there will always be a small part of you that sees a newborn and is instantly transported back to those indescribable feelings of joy and love that you felt when you looked into your baby's eyes. It's a reminder that life moves on - the impermanence of everything. Maybe that's really what we have to make peace with... not the fact that we won't have more children, but the fact that we will all get older. There will always be phases of life that we move in and out of, no matter how hard we may try to hold on.

So, new moms. I am happy for you. I sincerely am. Just promise that I'll be able to scoop up your newborns for a few hours and delight in all that newborn goodness. Then, maybe, I'll remember how tired I was those first few months and I'll gladly hand the baby back to you. ;)


  1. Pssst. You'll get over it. I see babies and I'm just glad I don't have to deal with them. I loved the adventures we could have as a family once everyone was old enough to travel without half a ton of specialized equipment (car seats and distractions and so on); and without whiney walkers, picky eaters or early bedtimes. I loved seeing my daughter become someone who I honestly believe is smarter than me. I love having an adult daughter who is an equal and a best friend. Greg is off on the uhon (strike that! make it the) brock scholars freshman retreat this week and last night, she came over to have dinner with me. We ate interesting food and drank wine and got caught up and I can't imagine a better age for both of us to be. :-)

    1. Sounds wonderful, Alice! And yes, even though I miss the babies sometimes, I am still amazed at how each age continues to out-do the last one. Just when I thought it couldn't get better, it does.