Motherhood/ Parenting

Deciding Not to Have More Kids: No More Babies for Mama

Recently Bacon Beer Hubby and I came to a decision: no more babies. Deciding not to have more kids is a far more complex decision, conversation, and fountain of emotions than I ever thought it could or  would be.

I’m not having any more children. No more squishy baby faces. No more tiny baby toes to tickle or tiny  baby hands to hold my finger tight. No more baby laughs (baby laughs are amazing, and we all know it). No more baby smell (the good smell, not the smell of rotting bottles, or those hellish diapers that go all the way up the back and smell so bad the neighbors gag). No more baby snuggles, baby coo’s, no more babies. Right now I could even get nostalgic and weepy abut all the no more toddler moments.

Tucker is 16. Harper is 6. And, I’m not going to have another baby. Not because I can’t physically, I could, I’m just not going to. And, that realization is one that has finally hit me and I mean really hit me. And the emotions tied into that are as complex and varied as all the reasons why.

So, why? For the longest time I have said, “This Mama was not having anymore kids after 35.” I’m 37. The reason I set this deadline has nothing to do with the increased risks of issues in pregnancies after the age of 35. Nor is it in anyway a judgment of those Mama’s who wait until later in life to have children. The real reason is my Mama and Daddy had me when they were 23 and my sister when they were 29. (No, we don’t have some weird family bylaw capping childbirth ages.) My parents got “cool” in their 50’s. Once their daughters were out on their own my Mama and Daddy started going to concerts (ones I would have gone to if I wasn’t knee deep in Tucker’s toddler years). They went on trips, cool ones. They got a hot tub y’all. And, it clicked for me, their kids were out of the house and n their own and they were still young enough to have fun. I wanted that, and so I swore, “No new babies after 35.” Yet, now at 37 (breaking in on 38 way too fast) part of me thinks, “Well, maybe I could wait to do cool things a little longer.”

The day lil Harper came into this world. That’s right Mama is going to retire that super fashionable bandana (and giving birth).

But, kids are expensive. Seriously, the costs never end. And, we should probably be saving for retirement sometime before we die. Babies are expensive; all the doodads, equipment, and supplies. Toddler are expensive; the clothes they don’t grow out of in a week they ruin in a day, preschool, and you have to feed them. And, let this Mama tell you, when kids get older they are still expensive, and they can now ask for money. And, boy do they ask. Money for sports, money for activities, money for everything, every darned day (okay, not everyday, but man do they need money for something awfully often). Yet, part of me thinks, “We could afford another one, if we tightened the budget a bit. Who really wants to retire?”

But, you need space for kids. And, we don’t have another bedroom laying about just waiting to become a nursery. And yes, Harry Potter did live in a closet and he turned out okay, I mean he did save the Wizarding World. But, he didn’t seem too happy in the closet, and I think most people felt his closet-life was a bad thing.

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And then I have to take into account the other members of this family. Tucker and Harper are dead set against a new sibling. I have never asked them, yet they sure have made sure to let me know, this is a two kid family, and they are those two kids. Tucker has made sure to let Harper in on how much babies cry, smell, and break your cool stuff. Well played Tucker, well played. I am absolutely certain I could get the Beagle on my side, but the cats are more than content to no longer have to hide in fear of toddler love and snuggles.

All of what I have shared with you has been reality for a while. Yet, a part of me always thought, “Well, maybe, someday, maybe, possibly, we could have one more.” There is something about actually deciding to not have more kids, actually declaring it, that feels too darn final. So I dodged having that conversation with my husband, putting it off over and over. Finally, I brought the subject up to Bacon Beer Hubby. We were looking at old pictures of the kids when they were little, and I was feeling extra baby-feverish. I don’t even remember what off-hand wishful remark I made about having one more, but my Hubby’s response was pretty darned clear. NO MORE BABIES. I tried reminding him of baby laughs, baby snuggles, and soft, sweet baby feet and that Harper’s feet were no longer soft, and honestly a little stinky.

For a while I was hurt, mopey, and a little heartbroken. Heck, part of me wondered if he didn’t want another baby with me. Of course, a part of me had long ago realized that door was closed, for all the reasons I held myself. But, maybe I thought there was still a window open in babyland. I certainly didn’t realize my husband had closed that door himself. So, I asked him why. And, his reason wasn’t one that I had on my own list. And, it wasn’t me either. His reason was he didn’t want to go through all the worry, stress, and fear again. The worries something will go wrong during the pregnancy, or during childbirth (Harper’s birth was traumatic for my Hubby, he goes pale anytime he recounts the story). All of his fears came tumbling out, SIDS, the trips to the ER when the kids were little and sick, all the moments he had worried (way over-worried) and fretted over what could happen, what could go wrong. He admitted he loved babies, he loved raising our kids together, but he didn’t want to go back and do it all over again.

So sweet, brand new baby Tucker looking so itty bitty. (He was not itty bitty, that’s a 6 to 9 months onesie packed accidentally. Tucker was 10 lbs 2 ounces of not at all small baby.)

I think in my heart I had long ago realized we weren’t going to have any more kids. But, as the day rapidly approaches that Tucker will graduate and go off into adulthood a part of me longs for the days of babyhood. And then, I look at Harper, who may only be six, but is already so grown up. I look at my babies, and they aren’t babies anymore. They don’t need their Mama like they used to. Tucker no longer looks at his Mama as an all-knowing, all-powerful being anymore, and, the day will come soon enough that Harper won’t either. It goes by so damned fast. And, as I sit here and look at it (and yes y’all, I’m blubbering as I type) it’s not the fact that I’m not going to have anymore babies that makes me cry. It’s that my babies aren’t babies anymore. That time has gone.

I am not going to have any more kids. No more babies. And, that was a complex, emotional realization. But, it will be okay. Because, no matter how old my kids are, they will always be mine. They may not smell as sweet. Their feet my be downright offensive in odor. Whether Tucker and Harper are 16 and 6 or 46 and 36 they will always be my babies. I’m not saying I am ready to let Tucker slip off into adulthood. Or, that I won’t steal every snuggle I can from Harper. But, I’m not going to have any more babies and I think I am okay with that.

I’m not here to tell you how fast it goes. We’ve all heard that a millions times. What I will tell you, is that some random day will come and you will go from maybe someday to deciding not to have more kids.  The day will come  when you realize you’re not going to have any more babies. And, for a moment there will be this hole, this void, as that door shuts. You will cry a little to yourself that the children you have are going to grow up and leave you. And no, Mamas, they won’t need you like they used to. They won’t have sweet soft baby feet, or deep baby belly laughs, or tiny hands that grab your finger and hold tight. They won’t crawl into your arms and fall asleep while you breath in deep to smell their sweet baby scent. It happens. And, it’s okay to mourn that. It’s okay to cry a little. But, after you have that cry, go steal a hug from your babies, because no matter how old they are, they will always be yours. They will always be your babies.

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37 Comments

  • Reply
    Tess Chupinsky
    March 28, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    WAHHHHH! My baby just turned 7 months old and I packed up and taped shut a box full of newborn-6months clothes and was so surprised by the emotional roller coaster I was riding while folding and packing them one by one. You love to watch them grow, learn and shape into themselves, but boy is it hard to “let go” of each phase!

    • Reply
      Mama Ally
      March 28, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      It really is! The older Harper gets the more I miss the baby and toddler years. And Tucker is going to graduate and move out, I can’t even begin to process that yet!

  • Reply
    Barrie Bismark
    March 28, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    No more babies…mixed feelings for sure. My baby is three. Part of me is glad, part of me is sad.
    #dreamteam

  • Reply
    Sandy KS
    March 28, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I had my last child when I was 29 years old. I stopped having children after my daughter because I had two bad pregnancies out of three. I decided I was not putting my body through that anymore. I still wish I could have babies, but all these years I am ready to spoil my grandbabies.
    Sandy KS recently posted…Chocolate Chip Pancakes RecipeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mama Ally
      March 28, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      I’m going to settle for the babies of younger friends for now, grandbabies are a bit off!

  • Reply
    Christie Brown
    March 29, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Aww it’s a tough decision to make, but you have to trust your gut. Hold on tight for the emotional rollercoaster. You’re completely right though, your children will never stop being your babies. Remember that. 🙂

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

  • Reply
    Blair villanueva
    March 29, 2017 at 1:51 am

    That decision might be tough, but if its necessary then better not have one. Anyway, if you change your mind, you can choose adoption. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching
    March 29, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Good for you, and a reframe is to think of this as your gift to the environment. Population growth is such a problem and I am sure the earth’s limited resources deeply appreciate your consideration!

  • Reply
    Nina
    March 29, 2017 at 7:18 am

    At the end of the day, you just have to do what is right for you and your family. Making this decision seems right for you all. Then you can focus on the two kids you already have.

  • Reply
    Chelf
    March 29, 2017 at 7:39 am

    no more babies or no babies at all… mixed feelings for me as well. We havent had kids so far and at the moment it seems impossible to head over to that direction. I try not to overthink the situation though, just cherish life and see where it takes us..

  • Reply
    Divya
    March 29, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I definitely haven’t started the baby-making process. My husband is in medical school and we have to consider the best time to start trying so he can be involved in the early years of his childs life.
    It’s such a tricky thing to have realistic, practical conversations around stuff like this. Ideally, we’d just follow our heart and do what we want. But, I guess there’s gotta be a balance.
    Still, I’m sure you and your husband will be happy with the decision because at least you have your other little ones to love on. <3

  • Reply
    Amber Myers
    March 29, 2017 at 8:39 am

    I know what you mean! I had two because that’s all I could handle. I only have so much patience. And I like my sleep.
    Amber Myers recently posted…Say Goodbye To Bottled Water With ZeroWater–Plus Giveaway!My Profile

  • Reply
    Pat
    March 29, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I made the same decision 2 years ago. Those hormones for sure sent you on a rollercoaster of emotions. But I am very glad in hindsight as I do enjoy a little more time for myself. And seeing a friend who just had another baby and is struggling with the sleepless nights, I feel very confident with my decision!

  • Reply
    Siyana
    March 29, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I’m sure you are an amazing parent and your kids are blessed for everything they have! They always will be your babies and you will always be their mamabear. And hey, you will have your kids’ babies and I assure you, you will be even happier as a granny then!

  • Reply
    Ana John
    March 29, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Not a mother yet but I think I do understand the roller coaster ride of emotions you must have gone through. But the decision you made is really good in the long term!

  • Reply
    Chelsey
    March 29, 2017 at 10:36 am

    We are here right now! Completely on the fence. Part of me just wants to commit and get rid of our baby gear, the other half of me is holding out. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Reply
    Jen
    March 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Great so you either make me laugh or make me cry! We made this decision when my “baby” was 3. When I was about 30 I wanted more kids oh so bad. I cried and cried. It was for health reasons for me. But oh a mama’s heart can break. Now they are older and I am glad I didn’t. Thank you for sharing.
    Jen recently posted…Analytical Grammar It’s a Love Hate ThingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Ola
    March 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I am not a parent, but I can see that being one is a loooog roller coaster ride of emotions. Such a bitter-sweet job. It’s always best to be aware of our limitations though and stay within them. I’ve noticed that people who refuse to acknowledge and obey their limits either fare badly or end up losing their minds. LOL! Be proud of your decision.

  • Reply
    Jacqueline
    March 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    That’s a tough decision especially if you wanted more babies. You might end up with an oops baby..lol. Was Harper an oops baby? I’m thinking possibly given the age gap between Tucker and Harper. Still, I can understand your reasons for coming to this conclusion.
    Jacqueline recently posted…5 Mistakes To Avoid When Becoming A Fashion DesignerMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shorikka
    March 29, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Great post. I only have 1 child and I dont want anymore but I do feel bad.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    March 29, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I never had babies of “my own”, but I’ve raised my two stepsons for most of their lives. No one, nothing, ever prepared me for how bad it hurts to have your kids grow up and turn into adults. My husband and I talked a lot of times about adopting one, but I think at 50+, it’s time to let go of that. We just might foster, though.

  • Reply
    Shakirah Iman
    March 29, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I have given myself a time limit if I do not have or am pregnant with another child by the time my son is 10 I am done.
    Shakirah Iman recently posted…Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age a Book ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anosa
    March 29, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I know this is a hard decision but I respect it. I heard from my friends that it is more difficult having babies when you get older so I guess you made a right decision. You have already kids to take care then so enjoy the moment with them in case you really decide not to have an additional one.
    Anosa recently posted…Finding associations to famous people in the North EastMy Profile

  • Reply
    Marsha
    March 29, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    My boys are 8 and 10 years old and although I’d love to have a daughter, I’m done. I just play with other people’s daughters lol. I haveadequate the decision to not have any more kids because frankly, I want to get back to me too! I don’t want to completely lose myself so as my kids get older, I’m making it any point time do more for myself Anand that’s just fine.

  • Reply
    Valerie
    March 29, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    If more people would think about this. Lol. I’m trying for one this year.

  • Reply
    Andrea Broom
    March 29, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    While I haven’t started the baby making process or even on the mindset of that. I think it takes a brave person to say they don’t want more kids. PROPS to you.

  • Reply
    Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.com
    March 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    When you finally decide to stop is such a hard decision. When I originally had my son. I thought he would at least have a sibling from me. Nope… he likes the idea of being an only child. It has grown on me.

  • Reply
    Danielle
    March 29, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Aw thank you for sharing this hard decision with us. It must have been very difficult but sounds like you know what you’re doing.

  • Reply
    Milica
    March 30, 2017 at 1:01 am

    I have to admit reading this blog post made me a little bit emotional. This is something I am thinking about a lot recently. My son just turned 5 and everyone are asking me “are you planing on having second baby any time soon”. The thing is, I do want one more baby but it’s never “the right time”. My husband and I seam to always have some other priorities we have to take care of…and time flies and I am going to be 35 this year. Already 35! Hopefully, my son will have a sibling in a near future. 😊

    • Reply
      Mama Ally
      March 30, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      It does fly by so fast, and waiting for the right time seems to be so right, yet the time doesn’t come sometimes. I hope you find your right time!

  • Reply
    Chrissy
    March 30, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Aw, this is such a sentimental, but sweet piece. Thank you for sharing your experiences. While I’m not a mother, I’ve often heard similar stories like these and how hard it can be.

  • Reply
    Patrick
    March 30, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Isn’t it rather nice that you still have the somewhat freedom of choice to make your decision about having a child or not?

  • Reply
    David Elliott
    March 30, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I can imagine that this would be a pretty deep realization when you came to that fact. I remember when I was thinking about having more kids with my ex. We both wanted them. I just knew that having them with her would not be a good idea because of how volatile we were as a couple. When that fact it me it was pretty hard. It was a difficult decision even if I knew it was the right one deep down.

  • Reply
    Laura Dennis
    March 31, 2017 at 9:06 am

    It is a tough and very personal decision. We stopped after 3 and it was a good decision. There are days (my last is 16) that I wish there was just one more kiddo…. and then reality kicks in. (The part where you are paying for college.)

  • Reply
    Mamapedia Contributor Spotlight: Ally Greene – The Mamapedia Blog
    April 5, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    […] would have to say it was the post I wrote about accepting the fact that I’m not having anymore kids. I cried writing that post, […]

  • Reply
    Family Friday Link-Up Party #22 - Rock Your Homeschool
    April 21, 2017 at 8:17 am

    […] is Jen’s turn to pick a featured post from Family Friday Link-Up Party #21!  She chose Deciding Not to Have More Kids: No More Babies for Mama.  Jen could really relate to this post and said it was one of the hardest decisions she’s […]

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    Family Friday Link-Up Party #22 • This Chaotic Bliss
    April 21, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    […] is Jen’s turn to pick a featured post from Family Friday Link-Up Party #21! She chose Deciding Not to Have More Kids: No More Babies for Mama. Jen could really relate to this post and said it was one of the hardest decisions she’s ever […]

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