I love my children, every one of them.
I have three of them.
You think that was enough right?
I mean, I feel incredibly blessed to have the three healthy children that I do, but there is still some part of me that thinks about what it would be like to have another baby.
However, after weighing the pros and cons, I have decided that it is better for our family to not have another child. And here are the reasons why.
One of the obvious reasons not to have another more baby: I already have THREE
First, I do already have three kids. And every time you have a child, you don’t gain another heart or another set of hands. Each child needs your full time and attention sometimes. When you are paying attention 100% to one child, this means that you are paying zero to the rest.
This becomes less of a problem as children get older, but you still cannot ignore your children completely (or you shouldn’t, sometimes I do). I will say that as your older children get older, they are more helpful with the younger kids then when they were younger themselves. So it can actually be easier to have more children, the more children you have, because there are just more hands all the way around.
But still, there are times when your older children need and deserve your full attention and when you have young children or an infant, it gets really hard to be able to provide that to them.
I want to be able to do MORE
Next, I want to do more stuff. You know, I’ve adjusted to life with kids. Before I had kids, I ran all over the world and often I did it at the drop of a hat. It is much harder to do that now because kids come with so much stuff, and they need food, and clothing, and sleep. Plus, they just cost so much money.
The more babies that I have, the longer it will be before I can return to some semblance of a life of travel, even if the kids go with me. We are getting to the point, within a 12-month period, where none of the children will require diapers or naps. I can’t possibly tell you how freeing it will be to finally be done carting around a diaper bag, and having to plan our family activities around who needs to take a nap!
Obviously I’m still going to be packing extra clothes and the never-ending bag of snacks, but things will just get much much easier.
If you throw another baby into the mix when everyone else is already past diapers and naps, it could have the side effect of holding everyone else back.
Or, this could mean that everyone else goes on to do awesome things and you end up getting stuck back at home or at the bottom of the ski slope with the youngest child.
This might be an okay situation for you, especially if you and your spouse are on the same page. But if you have an adventurous spirit and you are ready to get out there and get going, then having another baby may not be the best bet for you and that is yet another reason why I’m not going to have more children.
I want to spend the time that I have with the kids that I have doing the most that I can with them.
I’m really ready to have my body back
Next, pregnancy is just super hard on your body. And I want to have my body back. I loved breastfeeding, and I didn’t particularly mind pregnancy. But as I get older, things are hurting more and I don’t recover as quickly.
Especially as you get into your 30s and towards the latter end of your 30s and early 40s, things just don’t go back to the way that they were. Skin is less elastic. The spine is not as strong and bones are not as dense.
At some point when your child bearing duties are concluded, you will want to spend some concerted effort in investing in your physical health. Working on getting stronger, lifting weights, maybe doing high-intensity aerobic activity. With nine months of pregnancy, plus the obligations of nursing, this can really set you back in as you get closer to 40 & beyond.
Us women really can’t sit back and push off getting into strong physical shape. If we don’t do it in our early forties, we risk never being able to get to a good level of strength and fitness, especially if we leave room in there for us to suffer a serious injury due to being weak.
Resurrect relationships before it is too late
I would say the same is true with bodies as with relationships. When you have a young child, it is very difficult to invest much and your partner. Both of you are focused on raising small children and getting them the things that they need.
And in many cases, this means that partners are unable to invest has much time and in each other as they might otherwise. Sure, you can go on dates or get out and do stuff together without the kids, but there is just not as much energy and emotion left for each other.
After the youngest children get to a place of self-sufficiency, parents need to invest time into each other. If they are unable to do so, or continue to push that investment in each other off until later, they may find that their children are graduating from high school, and they have an empty nest but no desire to be together anymore because they no longer know who each other are.
More kids means more money spent
Next, some practicalities. Having more children means greater financial burdens on the family. The more children you have, the more medical bills you have, the more food you need to buy, the larger house you need to have, the bigger car you need, the more college funds you need to plan for.
Practically, it would be nice to get to a place where I would know when that the majority of the financial burdens would be ending. I don’t think it cost that much more to feed four children children rather than five children or even six children, but when we are talking about car insurance for multiple teenagers, especially boys, fees for sports, orthodontics, and then the dreaded college education’s, we may be into a place where we are unable to adequately financially support the kids that we have.
Luckily, the children don’t all come at one time, so the expenses should be staggered, but eventually it could get to the point where there are a lot of financial needs and difficulties in spreading the money that you have out.
More people on earth means larger carbon footprint
Socially and environmentally, it can be a good idea to think about the global impact of having more children. Each human, especially humans that are born in First World countries, tend to have a significant carbon footprint. Think about all of the wasted food, batteries, plastic, clothing, shoes, books, all of the trash that is associated with a child and then into adulthood.
Every single person that you bring into the world is going to create garbage, until our world as a whole figures just how important it is to reduce our consumption and recycle.
In the United States, more humans means more cars, more housing needed, and employment. More people in our country just means more of a burden on our already struggling healthcare and education systems.
I can’t selfishly ignore the impact the children I have upon the world. I can justify it with the ones that I have, but I can’t go on and say that continuing to have more is good for the community and the environment.
It’ll be hard to say goodbye to having babies
Yes, I would love to cuddle and nurse and raise another child. I believe that I have enough love inside of me to raise another kid and do a really great job at it too.
I don’t think that having another child would destroy my family or harm it in any way. But I do think that I have been extremely lucky this far to have healthy and happy children, and as we all know when it comes to labor and delivery, we cannot always control the outcome or what we are given.
The risk of complications in pregnancy do increase as we get older, and it feels a bit like tempting fate to keep having children at this point. And I’m not just talking about genetic abnormalities such as an extra chromosome. Twins or other multiples also seem to happen more naturally as women get older. When we are talking about having another baby, I was thinking only of just one at a time, not two or even three.
Spend that time instead exploring some new adventures
Instead of having more children, I think for me it is time to start investing my extra time as it gets freed up from the burdens of having young children into myself. Focusing on eating healthy, working out consistently, getting involved in activities that help me feel confident and satisfied with my lot in life.
Building relationships not just with my partner but with my parents and siblings and longtime friends. Investigating how it is that I can have a lasting impact upon my community and how to be the best possible role model for my children.
I’m excited about the next stage of my life, though I know I will mourn what is lost in being a mother of young children. I think I will always enjoy the curve of a new baby’s head and I will always miss the way that they smile, and the way that they cling to you with 100% confidence that you will love them and take care of them.
There is nothing in the world quite like cuddling a baby to sleep, watching their little body relax against you as they are carried away into dreamland.
But all good things come to an end, and new and wonderful things await. And this is why I will not have any more children.
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Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, ages 8, 6, and 3. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Emily is a full-time mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the computer screen when the kids are occupied or sleeping. She started this blog in April of 2019 and is proud that the blog is now paying for itself. If you want to know about her journey as a blogger, check out out her post about failing her way to blogging success.