I love having a large family. I love seeing how all the kids interact together and watch the different bonds develop. I love the noise and mess. It’s hard work, but I enjoy that too.
After each of my babies, I knew I wasn’t done yet. I knew I wanted many more kids. I wasn’t sure I’d ever stop wanting more kids.
Everyone always said to me – you’ll know when you’re done and if you don’t know then, you’re not done.
After my 4th child, I knew I wasn’t done.
But I was in a predicament. I was a single Mum. So having a 5th would not be easy and would also mean that no matter how that happened, number 5 would always be a half-sibling to the others. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I probably had more of an issue with that than any child would. I wondered how it would affect the dynamic, how would the other kids feel, and how would this child feel. Even though I was cautious, I knew I wasn’t done. I still wanted one or even 2 more kids.
I started to resign myself to the fact that I might be living the rest of my life feeling incomplete as a Mum because I didn’t have those extra souls I yearned for. I thought that that feeling of “DONE” was supposed to come immediately after having a baby and I didn’t get the closure of choosing to be done.
It seemed like fate had chosen for me.
With time, things started to change and shift in my mind.
I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel about 18 months ago. Zero time for myself gradually turned into a few minutes here and there and then a few hours. I started getting pieces of myself back. My youngest was no longer co-sleeping, I had a space in the house that was mine. From time to time, a little one sneaks into my bed in the middle of the night, but there are no bassinets or cots in my bedroom, and it feels fantastic.
Of course, as Mum’s, we never admit any of this stuff to anyone. We never admit that we’re enjoying those moments when we’re not Mum. Often we’re labelled selfish if we do anything for ourselves. So I kept it to myself secretly enjoying the moments to myself during the day and plodded on with life.
As more time went by, the yearning and wanting another baby weakened. I was enjoying life how it was.
Then one day, I realised I hadn’t had any of those feelings, the desperately wanting another baby. I hadn’t felt that for a very long time.
Was this it? Was I “done”? Or was I just relishing a little bit of freedom?? Would those feelings eventually return?
Today, on Mother’s Day 2020, I can honestly say – nope, the feelings have never returned.
I am done.
Post continues below….
Let me tell you this, when my youngest was born I was a single Mum raising 4 kids under 10. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Caring for a newborn and a toddler and get two other kids to school on time was a challenge like no other. But, it was also one of the best things I did, it shaped me into the mother I am today. It shook my world upside down and made me stronger. And it gave me some beautiful memories.
As much as I love babies, I can’t ever imagine going back. I can’t imagine going through a newborn phase again. I enjoy not having to change (or purchase for that matter!) nappies. I love that we can jump in the car to go somewhere without piles and piles of stuff. I love that there are no baby gates, bouncers or swings to navigate around the home.
I love that my youngest walks along, holding my hand rather than me pushing him in a pram. I love that my kids are now little people, who can chat to me, have opinions and make decisions with me.
I love where I am in life. A place that’s still exhausting but not excruciating zombie-like exhausting.
I love the different things we can do. The fact that all 4 kids can now ride bikes or scooters and I can jog alongside them – or maybe even get a bike of my own.
I love that they can take themselves off to the toilet when we’re at home. My only role in that task is to occasionally wipe a bum or do a quick toilet check to make sure everything went in the bowl. And if it didn’t, I love the fact that I can clean it up immediately rather than having to wait for time and then completely forgetting.
I love that everyone eats the same food, that I do not have to puree anything. That I can bring out a serving board of food and everyone can help themselves.
I love the dynamic of our family.
I love that I feel complete as a Mum. That I know, in my heart, that I couldn’t imagine bringing another baby into the world. I don’t have a yearning to do it anymore.
I love that it is so clear in my mind. That there is no doubt. That I chose I was done.
So now, we’re moving onto the next phase in life and who knows what that might bring. I know for sure one thing it won’t bring! There is so much to look forward to in this next phase. Further down the track, I might find myself as a fur baby Mum, a step Mum or even foster Mum. For now, I am content watching these four little souls I created grow into young men. At 13, 9, 5 and 3 I’m still in the trenches and knee-deep in kids and that suits me just fine. Right now, I feel like I have the best of both worlds, a little one still young enough to want to cuddle me and my eldest – a teenager, who, just between you and me, still likes to give me cuddles IF his friends aren’t around! Plus, I get little moments during the day for me and to bask in the wonder that I’ve created.
And, if you’re wondering if I might change my mind, there is one final moment that cemented my decision – I was able to sell the baby gear (change table, cot, pram etc.) without feeling sad. I wasn’t attached to them anymore. I knew in my heart that I was done and I didn’t need to use those items anymore, it was someone else’s turn.
Happy Mother’s Day x
How did you know you were done?? Let us know in the comments below.
Kirsty is the founder of That Noise Is Mine.
An established blogger, writer and business owner raising 4 children independently. Kirsty is determined to succeed in this new life forced upon her.