Menu

True life: I honestly don’t know if I want more kids

Are we done? Is our family complete? Do we have room in our home and our hearts for one more?

True life: I honestly don’t know if I want more kids

Tell me this has happened to you: you’ve JUST had a baby―heck, you may even still be rocking those super-stylish, mesh hospital underwear—and someone asks the shocking question, “Do you think you guys will have another baby?”.


This happened to me. There I was, with a crying baby on my hip and my toddler wrapped around my legs—still adjusting to my untamed postpartum hair and wearing maternity pants months after giving birth—and I politely said, “We’re not sure!”

I may have had a smile on my face, but inside I felt like crying at the thought of doing this all over again.

This question may shock you, it may make you laugh, or make you panic… until one day, it doesn’t. One day, it will become an actual thought; a question that swims around in your head every single day.

Are we done? Is our family complete? Do we have room in our home and our hearts for one more?

This has turned into a daily internal struggle for me. Like a seesaw, my mind wavers from side to side. Although some phases are harder than others, there’s beauty in all of it. Enough beauty to keep you coming back for more.

Phases are fleeting and milestones flash by in a blink of an eye. Watching these tiny miracles learn and grow is my biggest life accomplishment—and it is such a privilege to be able to do this. So, why wouldn’t we want to add another little wonder to our world? Right?

Yes, those middle-of-the-night wake ups are ROUGH. You know, the one where you go to console your baby but the second you do, they fall right back to sleep on you? Then you go to put them back in their crib and as soon as their body hits the mattress, they’re screaming again? Yeah, it’s difficult…until they don’t happen anymore.

Not realizing when that last middle-of-the-night snuggle with my baby will come, I can’t help but wonder: will I ever get to do that again?

Your infant begins crying from the other room. Their cry is piercing and helpless…until one day it isn’t. Your baby’s cry changes so incredibly quickly and transforms into that of a baby who knows exactly what they want and how to let you know. You will learn their “tired” cry, their “hungry” cry, their “I just want you to hold me” cry, and almost as quickly as you learn the difference, they are able to tell you their needs with their words instead.

Yes, it’s hard to spend so much money on clothes and shoes that they will grow out of in a month’s time. It feels as though I am constantly going through their closets to switch out a size, sometimes before I even get to put them in an outfit I’ve been excited for them to wear.

But as I sit in their rooms and close the bins to store those too-small items away, I can’t help but feel emotional: Will I ever need them again?

Yes, there have been and will continue to be moments and days when they don’t get along, when things are hard. However, I can truly say that there is absolutely nothing more beautiful than watching the love between your children grow for each other. The sparkle in my youngest’s eyes when my toddler enters the room is pure magic. Hearing my 3-year-old ask when the baby is going to wake up from his nap because he wants to play absolutely melts my heart.

I can’t wait to see how they learn from each other and enjoy life’s moments side by side. Yet I sit here wondering: will there be another to add to the mix someday?

Is our life beautiful as a family of four? Yes. I know that it is. If you are wondering the same thing about your family, you can rest easy knowing that regardless of the decision you make, your family will be exactly what you need, too.

But what I’ve realized is that it’s okay if you don’t really know if your family is complete just yet. If you are questioning the idea of bringing another baby into your family, like I am, it may be worth exploring, it might be worth sitting with it for a while.

Sure, not every day is perfect. There will be days we may even wonder what we were thinking having another. But for me, at the end of the day, that delicious baby smell beats the smell of the thousands of dirty diapers I’ll change…the screams of laughter far surpass the tantrum tears I’ll deal with…and hearing my little one say, “I love you, Mama”, well…absolutely nothing will ever be better than that.

Maybe adding another bundle of joy to our already wild life wouldn’t be half bad after all…

You might also like:

After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

Keep reading Show less
News