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Nearly a decade ago, KP and I become open to starting a family. It ended up taking us 2 years of trying before I got pregnant with my first child. During that time, when my life was measured in fertility cycles and single pink lines, I once tried to image myself in a future time of life, at the end of family building. If we were blessed to have any children at all, how would we know when we’d be done having kids? That stage of life seemed so far away, so impossible. There I was, deeply longing for the fulfillment of the fertility I believed I was supposed to have – how could I ever long for its cessation? The thought was impossible to imagine. 

But now? Almost 10 years later?
Now I have three kids. That I love dearly. And I am DONE. 
I think?
No, wait.

I’m sure.
I’m sure I’m sure. 
I think. 

Geez. This is hard. 

I mean, no it’s not. I’m sure. I’m done. I have to be done. I can’t handle another pregnancy. Well, maybe I could physically, but I can’t handle the anxiety. I can’t handle the worry of all the things that could go wrong. I can’t do the physical handicap, the mental mush, the seemingly incessant crying that rattles my brain. 

Sure, there’s something magical about new babies. Their smell, their love, their cuddles, all their firsts. I’m going to miss that. I miss it now…but I’ve been too busy to let myself think about it much. 

It’s probably better if I don’t think about it. 

My baby turns 1 in a couple weeks. 
And I’m pretty sure he’s my last. 

All his firsts are my last firsts. 
I’m both so ready to be forever out of this baby stage of my life, and also so hesitant to let it go. 

What’s it like to be a mom of only bigs, and no littles? 
What’s it like to not have to change diapers?
To not have to give baths? Or put on anyone’s shoes? 
To be able to think on my own again?
I know I’ve had gaps in there where I haven’t had to constantly, every single moment, be on diligent high alert about what the baby could possibly be putting in their mouth this time – but I can’t even remember what that’s like anymore. 

I know plenty of women my age still get pregnant and have babies, and that I’m not out of the woods of a surprise popping up, but still, I’m feeling too old to do this anymore. 

So I have to be done. I really need to be done.

So why is it so hard to 100% close that door?
I’ve been selling baby stuff as Freddie’s ages out of it. I want this stuff out of my house. I want to move on.
I really, really, don’t want to be pregnant again. I don’t want to put my life on pause again. 

I can’t pretend that I’m not just a little bit sad too. 
Sad to be saying goodbye to this stage of my life.
Sad because I love baby snuggles. 
Because baby laughs are so pure and bring so much joy. 
Because after this one ages out of all these wonderful stages, I won’t get them again. 
I can’t bottle them up.
Pictures and videos don’t suffice.
It’s now and then never again. 

And that’s hard to say.
And I can’t bring myself to say that.
Not yet. 
But I should be saying that.
I SHOULD be done. 
It’s time to be done. It really, really is. 

But it’s still hard. 

So unless an unexpected life unexpectedly pushes itself into existence – I think I need to say that I’m done. To believe that I’m done. To continue on living as though I’m done.

I need to move on.
This is my family size.
I’m extremely blessed.
Health and happiness. We’ve got a lot.

So how do you know when you’re done having kids? 
I don’t know. 
Maybe you don’t ever know. 
Maybe you just wait until your body tells you it can’t be done.
Or maybe you try your best to make a choice and stick with whatever happens…until your body tells you that you’re done.

But really, I think I’m done. 

I should be done. 

Most likely.

We’ll see.


But I’m probably done. 



Related Post: What is Tully About? Probably More Than You Realize 




4 Comments on How To Know When You’re Done Having Kids

  1. Oh my goodness. I know you wrote this a year ago, but I found your website somehow (I think researching ultimate bundles???) and poked around because you seemed cool and then saw this … and it really hit home with me.

    I knew having kids would be hard for me based on what doctors had told me growing up (fertility related stuff) and yet when it took two years to see a positive test, despite all the treatments I’d allowed myself to be subjected to, I wondered if there would ever be a time when I wasn’t charting, wasn’t on some kind of supplement, wasn’t avoiding certain medications, wasn’t … wondering. After our son was two we tried for another that never came and hard things happened and, suddenly, I quit the crazy train that was fertility treatments. And I’ve spent the past two years wondering something new: are we really, truly, DONE? Am I okay with this? And as the answer has become more YES than NO, the tracking, the incessant THINKING about fertility and pregnancy and breastfeeding and baby things and toddler things and preschooler things has become … just … MOM things. And I’m starting to cling to every “last first” as you said. With the scary realization that every first my kid has may well be the only first I ever get. And every stage I master will be the last time I am in that state. And it makes me want to cry. But it also makes me want to jump for joy. It’s all so confusing.

    So thanks for putting into words how I feel!

    • Oh I’m so glad you found this post then! And yes, I wrote it almost a year ago, but it has taken me a very long time to even still come to a final decision. I know many women seen to just know they are done, but it’s been a lot harder for me to accept. It’s a totally different mindset to be closed to fertility when you’ve been open to it for so long. Honestly, it’s taken me this entire time since writing the post to really come to terms with it and ahem, final decision procedure is happening tomorrow, so I guess this is really it. It’s good. It really is. My sanity honestly might not survive another child, but it’s been a very slow acceptance for myself. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about this post recently. I might write an update post to it some point soon.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Thank you for this post. This is exactly what was/is going through my mind. For the last 5 years I was either pregnant or planning my pregnancy and I loved it. From the plan to have another baby to pregnancy, even labour and all the motherhood. I never thought I would find myself so fulfilled in being a mom. I have 3 daughters – a 4year old, 2.5 and 2 months old. So life is pretty crazy:)) my last daughter was “now or never” so before I had her I was sure she would be and feel like the definetely the last chold. But after she was born it was so hard to close this baby part of my life. Even though I knew that having another would be and is a terrible idea, that basically I couldn’t handle another, that I want to focus on those still small kids I have. I felt like I was mentally disturbed to not beong able to definetely close this chapter. So thanl you for this hobest post. Im getting there to accept that its over and being happy about it. Its all good.

  3. I know this is old but I found this searching “I’m done having kids.”
    I have been done for over 4 years. Was sterilized after my 4 year old was born
    I have had 3 pregnancies, 3 c sections and am raising 2 amazing daughters
    We only ever wanted 2 and after my 9 year old and I both almost died and she was born 3 months early at under 2lbs, 8 months in NICU and 4 surgeries then the next baby dying 3 hours after birth, we took the eventless, healthy pregnancy/baby and ran with them.
    We only wanted 2. Now we want 3 but we want to currently have 9, 6 and 3 (the 6 year old would be turning 7 in June)

    We are now done with diapers/pull ups (even at night), they can shower themselves, next school year I will no longer have anyone at home during the day…
    I’m excited but it’s kind of sad. I’m 7 weeks post full hysterectomy so I couldn’t have more if I wanted, but its bittersweet
    My doc pushed hysterectomy instead of treatment (Adenomyosis) because I was already finished using my uterus, but it still almost feels like the decision was taken.
    I cringe at the thought of me and pregnancy again and cwnt figure out how people handle being outnumbered, but mix loss with end of firsts and take away the possibility.

    I have to say, I’m much more excited about entering this new stage.
    I cant wait to have teen daughters
    I cant wait to be able to go back to school and focus on building up.
    I’m so glad I am now able to work on weightloss without pregnancy
    I can start being myself again and my kids join (my 4 year old is interested in everything I am, so I have a little partner and i try to get the special needs 9 year old interested as well but she is already at the point she would rather spend time alone watching videos, listening to music in her room… both my husband and myself were like that and she is close to the tween years)

    I love babies, miss it but I’m loving the independence that comes with them getting older.

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