Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Are you done?"

It has come to light that, upon Louis' birth, there are those who believe we will or should be "done" having children. Apparently there is a quota we will have filled or a maximum we have attained. I think this may be stemming from having two each of boy and girl, and thus have the elusive quality known as "family balance." Which we screwed up with Rachel, and have now re-attained.

To hearken back to my Scottish forebears: Bullocks.

"Are you done?" Why should we be? Well, children are expensive. We've gotten to the point though that we know what we need. And, more importantly, what we don't. We need a new car seat for Louis; to be done after him goes against my principle of getting one's money's worth out of something. I admit, though, that might be the only new thing the kid gets for his first year of life. Besides diapers, of course.

Another reason is the chaos that ensues from lots of kids. Right. I'm not convinced by this, either. Do parents of one or two never have days of chaos? Where the kids are never sick at the same time, or feeling housebound, or both want to play with the same toy? Where they both need help doing something at the same time or want You the Star of Their World to read them different books at the same moment? Where there are never any scheduling conflicts?
Do you live in Lake Wobegon or just have a really serious head injury?

Okay, it's rough on the mother's body. So is aging and gravity. I've covered this before. I personally don't have that as a reason. I can understand those who do, I'm just not in that group.

But the deprivations a child will suffer if you have more! Like what? Kids grew up to be productive citizens for years without ballet lessons, violin lessons, art classes, competitive sports teams, Mommy and Me crafts classes, baby yoga, and karate lessons. Really.
And how much more valuable is a sibling, anyway?

I'll admit I can understand the argument to allow more time between kids than we have in the past. Yes, it would be nice to be in a larger home. I really don't want to have triple bunks; making a top one is tough enough. Can you imagine squeezing in to a middle one?
Postpone, sure. But quit entirely? I don't get it.

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At 5:20 AM, Blogger The Story Of Us........ said...

I clicked on the triple bunk link. Kole saw it on my screen.


Me: "It's a bed honey."

Kole: "I want to sleep in that house!"


The little window to crawl into the middle bunk must look fun to him...or look like a window?? LOL

Of course after the excited yell here came Daxx and lo and behold...

Maybe that could be a Christmas present in your house. LOL

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Kristina said...

Until you just decide that you don't want any more children, have at it!

My dad always said, "After 3, another one is just more icing on the cake." His point being, after you get used to not having enough hands to hold onto all your children at once, you can just keep adding children!

Most moms of "large" families can control their children with a look (most of the time LOL), so who needs enough hands?

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Heather said...

The thing is, Kristina, is I don't see myself getting to the point of "I don't want any more."

When Rachel was about three weeks old, I realized I missed feeling a baby move from the inside.

And your dad has a point. Once you have more kids than hands, they start policing themselves. Chris Rock was one of the oldest two of many. His point was, "Mom and Dad raise the first two. Then they raise the rest."
We seem to be doing that, too.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Kristina said...

I understand. I love carrying a child, giving birth to him and loving him and marveling at the way our family seems to come together like a jigsaw puzzle that was missing lots of pieces and is slowly being "finished". However, I do know a family that after 14 kids had to stop because of the wife's health.

So, I guess that's what I meant by the when you decide comment. I guess that's not much of a choice, though.

I totally agree with the self-raising thing. Even the little ones get into it. After you have several children, there is always someone who just wants to sit and look at the new baby, or play with the toddler, or help the new reader read...

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Melanie B said...

I got the you can be done type comment when I was pregnant with baby#2. The nurse at my GP's office upon learning I have a girl said, "Maybe you'll have a boy and then you'll be all set." Of course, I thought of the best response long after we left the office: "I was thinking more along the lines of three or four of each."

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Catherine said...

It's so funny how things work out sometimes. I wish I could be on number 3 or 4 right now. I never wanted a gap larger than three years between my children. But between health problems and deployments for my husband (leaving again in the spring), my first two were over 3 years apart, and my second and third (God willing) will be at least that far apart. People often ask me if I'm done (if they don't know me very well). I usually reply wistfully, "gosh, I hope not." My health problems have brought the fact that it is not up to me into crystal clear focus. Usually that either prompts a conversation or a strange look and a quick exit. Oh well.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Milehimama said...

Oh, I am so gonna use that line next time someone asks me if I'm going to have any more children.

I'll stare at them incredulously and say, "Are you kidding? I just bought this car seat. It's good for at least four more children. Waste not want not!"


I don't think I'll know that I am done until I actually am done! When menopause hits, I'm guessing that will be my clue... Ultimately, I can't control my fertility, and it is such a freedom to stop trying to.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Milehimama said...

Oh and my husband is going to build a triple tier bed - he told the boys it's just like sleeping in the Navy and they bought it LOL

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Peanut Butter Kisses said...

I never knew they made triple bunks. I love it! With two more coming into our family, this just might come in handy.

As far as the done feeling...nope, don't have it.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Peanut Butter Kisses--Shelly's the one who's mentioned triple bunks to me. :)

And why are children about the only good thing people are "done" with? Nobody's ever done with or has a lifetime's worth of chocolate, sunsets, money, books... They're only "done" with things that they deem (or have been) destructive, like alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.

I realize there are health issues for some--that's another kettle of fish. But if not, I don't get it.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Amy said...

I don't know what I would say to anyone who told me I "should be" done having children.

What happened to it being my choice?

Granted, I don't think I'm going the Duggar route, but I couldn't imagine making the choice to stop at two - after all, I've heard the transition from one to two is the hardest, and the rest are (as someone above said) "icing on the cake".

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Kasia said...

The best response I've heard to "Are you done?" was by a husband who was asked that at work. He stood up and said "Am I done what? Am I done f***ing my wife? No, actually, I'm not."

Not that I would ever have the nerve to say something like that...

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Amy--My OB says the same about the transition, too. She's got four boys. Of course, I'm pretty sure she has a nanny and a housekeeper too, but that's another story. :)

D3 says eight. His father gets a weird pitch in his giggle with that, but if we get a bigger house, I'm out of arguments against it.

And Kristina--14, IMHO, is enough to silence just about anyone. I hope the wife's health is sound, even if they had to stop before they wanted to.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

In response to the health of the mom of the 14 children: yes, she is great. I think that, after stopping, she wasn't dissappointed, because shortly after that, her older children started having grandbabies for her!:)


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