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The Last Baby- When is your Family Big Enough

I never wanted children.  When I got pregnant with E, I was 19 and not responsible.  I had my life planned out in my head only to have to change everything.  I decided that my mistakes shouldn't dictate how I would be a mom, but enhance how I raised him.  I never thought I would get married and I never imagined becoming a stepmother to my husband's daughter.  Ultimately we decided the two children we had was enough, but I wonder sometimes how we came to decide two was enough. 
What I did learn is that there is no step anything with being her mom and no greater joy that I have than watching them grow. I miss the baby phase and there are days I wish we had another child, but I have come to realize that our lives were meant to be the parents to two.  Both of our kids are the perfect replications of us.  I could not ask for better children.  They both are smart, determined, and gearing for a future they chose for themselves.

How to decide on more children?
First take a look at your financial status.  Love and care is important, but being financially responsible is also important.  Raising children is expensive and costs just as much in money as it is in time.  Are you willing to invest both in raising another child?  Be honest with yourself. This is the hardest step.  I know when we decided it was hard to look passed the want and self imposed need to realize that bringing a baby into the family would not be fair to the baby or our family.

Secondly take a look at your age.  Will you be able to be physically active with a child?  Will you be able to participate in all the things you did for your other children without sacrificing your own physical and mental health?  I am by no means saying there is an age limit on being a parent, but do you really want your child's life to be restricted based on what you can physically and emotionally contribute?

Lastly are you looking to expand your family because of a feeling of empty nest syndrome?  Do you only want a child because you feel empty and need someone else to dote on?  This isn't a healthy feeling and bringing another baby into the picture may cause more harm than good.  What happens when this child grows up and the feelings return?  Do we not start back at the beginning with the first look?

These examples may sound cold or somewhat uncaring when I look back over the words, but I am being real.  As real as a mom can be.  I have to look passed the selfish urge to be a new mom again because it does not fit with what our family needs.  My husband knew from the start of our relationship that no more kids were in his future.  He has his little girl and his little boy.  Me?  It took some convincing and when he got a vasectomy I was so angry. I wanted that picturesque family with the dog, the 2.5 kids and the picket fence.  It was hard for me to be okay with his decision to ultimately make the final decision in having more kids.  

Almost six years later, I still struggle with the feeling or needing to express a nurturing bond with another living thing.  This may never go away, but I look at my life and know that while having another child may have been wonderful, it wasn't meant to be.  There are so many other areas in life where I can express that nurturing I want to express. My children will always need me despite my fear that they won't.  I will always be their mom and no matter where they are or I am in life there is nothing is more important to me.

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