When are you “done” having kids?

By January 8, 2019Community, Jen Robbins
How do you know when you’re “done” having kids? Or are you ever really sure?
After having my first, I was hooked on the #momlife.  After the initial completely life shattering adjustment, I loved being a mom so much that I thought – let’s do this!  Let’s have 4!  Since I had a boy, of course I wanted a girl next, and I wanted my kids exactly 18 months apart, and oh can they have dark hair and light eyes like me?!
To get serious for a moment, we unfortunately learned that we don’t have a lot of say in how our lives go ahead, through a number of different complications.  While we were lucky enough to have a fairly steady, “easy” road with our firstborn, it wasn’t all so rosy and we quickly learned “life happens”.
But it seems for many of us, we either have a number in mind, a longing inside, or the knowledge – WE ARE DONE.
I once mentioned to a co-worker my dream of 4 children, and he said “Wow, you must have a great financial plan to afford to send 4 kids to university!”   While I’m not particularly known for planning ahead nor for my sound financial style, I had honestly not thought about university too much.  When I said as much, he went on to say he found it highly irresponsible to have children without planning for their education.  (Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got a few bucks slapped away in an RESP.)
When the subject came up in parenting circles I also heard things like, “I don’t want my kids to have to share a room,” or “I don’t want to get a minivan”, as reasons not to have a third or fourth.  I don’t believe that these families ever really wanted more children, though… those are just details on a list.  My experience was that this is not a decision you make with your head or your bank account, but a feeling in your heart and soul.
When you have two girls and a boy, people are always assuming we just kept trying and now we have a girl and we are done.  (That’s a blog post on its own!)   But the truth is that my perfect little schedule didn’t pan out, so by the time I had my 3rd daughter I was 35.  Sure, 73 year old celebrities have babies all the time, but the truth is that things definitely change when you’re in your late thirties with growing responsibilities.  It’s tiring.  Not to mention that my third child was a lot less textbook than the others and still doesn’t sleep through the night… before I knew it I was 38 and did not feel like starting all over again.  Every moment of my life was full in every way… and I was truly done!
But… don’t be surprised if you see me with a wee baby puppy in a few years.