I've written and re-written this post several times in my head, and every time I do, it sounds dumb. So I'll just put it out there-- How do you know when you're family is complete?
It's a question I've been struggling with since Brennan's birth. Before he was born, I was convinced that 2 was our magic number and we'd be done. And it certainly means we're done in this house since we've only got the two bedrooms and a third bed will NOT fit in there (we're not planning to move in the next 2 or 3 years anyway...but probably will in the next 4 or 5). But now? I'm not so sure. And who knows, maybe all of this confusion in my head is still post-partum hormones surging or something.
I love my peaceful little guy and my oh so sweet girl. And sometimes there's a part of me that wants another one or maybe two. But then the practical side of me kicks in. The part that reminds me that babies are cute and three-year-olds are fun (most of the time), but they grow up into kids that want to play sports and take dance and go to college. The dreamer part of me has big plans for our family. I want to do a Disney trip in a few years when they're 4 and 7 (so they'll remember it) with the dining plan included. I want to fly down there and stay at one of the resorts with a view of the castle. I dream of taking Cate and Brennan to Europe and exploring Australia or maybe Africa with them on vacations when they're older. We're disciplined about money here, and I believe we'll do those things. But I know that the more kids we add to our family, the more disciplined we'll have to be to do those things.
I love that with 2, they'll always have at least 1 parent at their soccer games/dance recitals/band concerts/etc. even if they both have an event on the same night. I love that with 2 we fit comfortably into a restaurant booth. Or in a small sedan (though we love our minivan, we don't need two). There are lots of things I love about just having two kids.
My heart is so full already. I'm blessed to have these two wonderful, healthy, beautiful kids. I love them equally and also differently (lovin' a little boy IS different than lovin' a little girl, but that's a post for another day). Add to all of this the fact that I refuse to use any form of hormonal birth control anymore. I've dealt with some of the nasty side effects and just don't care to do that anymore. I'm not a fan of the other forms of temporary non-hormonal birth control and after a lot of discussion, we feel like an outpatient surgery for my willing husband is the best way to go. When we're ready to do something permanent. Which we're not.
So I feel like I'm in limbo at the moment. I don't want another baby right now. Not next year either. And probably not the year after that if I'm being realistic. But I'm afraid to commit to a permanent form of birth control because I'm afraid I'll change my mind. I'm about 80% sure we're finished and 20% not so sure. I have friends that say they always knew they wanted x number of kids. Friends who already know their families are complete. But how? How do you know? How do you get to 100%? Is it when you're done with diapers and can't fathom doing it again? Is it when your kids are all in school and the thought of starting all over tires you out just thinking about it?
The question doesn't eat away at me or anything. I'm not stressed out about all this. I really just want to know how other families have come to be at peace with the size of their broods. Eric and I are praying for God's guidance on this one. That He'll make it clear to us when our family is complete. When B decides to get up at 4am to eat (instead of his usual 5:30), I think there's no way I want to do it again. When Cate snuggles into my side to read a book, I think that maybe I could. I want to be done with diapers but not done with cute little clothes.
For now, we're treating Brennan as if he'll always be our youngest. As he outgrows clothes, we give them away. We'll do the same with his toys and other baby gear. We've already given a lot of Cate's clothes away. And I guess, if God changes our minds, we'll start over and buy new things.
But seriously though-- for my few readers out there-- how do/did you know?
Linking up with Pour Your Heart Out today.