How do you move on, when you know you have completed your family?(37 Posts)
I know I am lucky, two lovely kids. So how do I shake this sadness and move on?
I think that when children are still small even in the early primary school days it can feel a bit 'is this it?'. Though children are out of the house for part of the day you are still tied to the tyranny of school term dates, special assemblies, fetes (worse than death) and what you can or cannot put in a packed lunch.
As the children get a little bit older and more independent the freedom does start to come.
If you both want it then time for a discussion maybe? I suppose it depends how big the sacrifices would be.
I tried to convince myself. We have just had dc2, 7 years after dc1. I kept having miscarriages and just didn't want to put myself through that any more, but deep down I knew I wasn't done. So after a 5 year hiatus, we tried, and it worked and I am so happy!
Now those heartbreaks are so far away, I am wondering if 3 is what I want? Then I remember its not up to me....mother nature may have something to say about it, and I will be back to convincing myself that what I have is enough!
I agree that the feeling of almost mourning each stage is just natural, and I think its wrong to see t as a 'sign' that your family isn't complete. It would be quite possible to have 4 or 5 children and still feel the same as you do now when the youngest started school.
Really, deciding on your family is a mix of head and heart. Think about what you AND your dh want and balance that with the rational factors like money, housing, what kind of experiences you want to offer your children (and those don't just come down to money. Many people find they are able to do things and go places with 2 children of similar age which they couldn't do if they had a 3rd 'late' baby)
We have 2, but considered 3, and what tipped the decision in the end was our lives overall. I had continued working through having the kids and 2 had cost us loads in childcare . 3 would have meant seriously thinking about stepping back in my career and could have made things hard long term
I also wouldn't worry that you'll have regrets once you've made your decision. I can't regret a child i never had and didn't know. I think also once you're some distance in years from all this you it will feel different
I've wanted three children, since i was little. Im blessed that dh agreed and we have 3 healthy dc. I count my blessings every day.
With the 3rd i spent more time playing with her rather than jobs etc and doing things i never really enjoyed, but she does.
As i know she is the last, i do things differently, but am aware that when ahe goes to school, i will need to be doing something for me. Currently thinking a few ideas through.
As for moving on,i give things away or sell them with little regret.
Its nice knowing they are going to more children to be played with or worn etc
I thought I was done at 2
I had dc3 "accidentally" - she was a Mirena failure!
It was only when she was born I realised 3 was What I yearned for.
I had the 'sadness' after ds. I was ecstatic when ds had A vasectomy before dd2 was born. I was very ill, it was inevitable!
i've had to learn how to move on without having completed my family. i am very lucky to have what i have, i love what i have but i will always have to live with not naturally completing my family. i also have to accept being 48 despite looking and feeling around 38. weird stuff. i felt old years before i would have due to my body having early faulty fertility and thus making me feel old and washed up. it is normal to feel sad despite what you have, but you get used to it, it does fade :0
In my case 'going for a 3rd' wasn't to delay the inevitable.
DC1 was a contraceptive failure! i hadn't wanted children, but when she arrived i fell head over heels for her and then wanted another because i didn't want her to be an OC like me.
I thought i'd be crap at motherhood but i took to it like a duck to water and when i tried to tell myself to stop at 2 i felt an overwhelming sadness. I felt tlike there was someone still to meet ...
Could not shake the broodiness (the 1st real broodiness i'd had) and went for no.3.
Wonderful, wonderful experience, having no.3. I was confident in what i was doing by then from the BFP to birth and onwards. Lovely to see the 3DDs growing together.
After no.3 i felt my family really was complete.
I have 3 under 5 in my 40s.
We are tight for money.
But I'm still bloody!!!! I doubt we will have another though - mostly because of my age.
Ignore all this "go for 3" nonsense delaying the inevitable. The baby/pre school stage will end. Whether you have 1 child or 5 eventually the last one goes to school - in the same way I am sure you felt pangs at leaving school/university/moving on from a place you were happy in. Its life - stages come to an end and its fine to mourn them. The next phase is exciting though the places you can go and experiences you can have with older children - fab!
Then maybe you're not ready to move on? Why not go for no 3?
Dh has similar feelings tbh.
For me - wanting a baby when I had a newborn was hormones - it passes after 3- 4 months,
wanting a baby when the oldest one is going to preschool/school etc is life crisis - what else can I do, I know how to have babies, I've had the practise..
wanting a baby when you have a sleepless 18 month old - that's dedication to having another one.
I'm now at the preschool, thinking about school with our youngest stage, although a baby would be nice in some ways I know that much of it is insecurity about my future and fear that something will happen to one of them, neither good enough reasons to gain more bags under my eyes.
Hope you come to some resolutions soon.
I understand how you feel OP. We always wanted a big family but my health prevents us having any more. We have 2, a girl and a boy, and I'm starting to be asked if we're going to have any more.
When we first realised that we couldn't have any more children I started a thread asking for advantages of only having 2. I reread it from time to time and although the sadness is still there I'm beginning to feel a little more positive about it.
Oh, it's you RG, I hadn't realised when I posted up-thread.
Someone else mentioned a midlife crisis - it sounds like that could be what you're going through. Have you considered it from that point of view?
Sorry if i've missed it but how does Dp feel about it?
Sorry to hear that *redwelly*. Good luck this time round.
See that makes me think I might regret it, not going for another. However it would affect us financially and our choices. Not impossible but we would have to make sacrifices.
I didn't feel finished. I had number 3 when Dh really didn't want another baby. Ds3 is gorgeous and we are fine. It may have been a close call though if there had been a problem with either myself or the baby. Difficult call.
Im pg with our second, its a bit different as weve never really done normal as dd was brain injured at birth meaning lots of hospital and therapy. Second time around we want to just enjoy having a newborn, being a family.
But there will without a shadow of a doubt be a sadness that we don't have a third. We are sticking at two for various reasons including my age and also because we know we want to travel, have enough £ to send dc's to private school, my career is just taking off after a career shift following redundancy, dh wants to do a second degree.
Maybe talk it through with a friend? A friend of mine wrote herself a letter of all the things she wanted to do when stuck in sleepless nights and nappies and then todler taming. Now hers are a bit more grown up she is working through the list. Which each new thing she does she appreciates her rediscovered freedom.
OP - I'm 52 and getting two dc was a struggle. I couldn't face the thought of another late miscarriage and dh and I didn't want to go for the third at the same time.
I love my life and when dd was 3 or 4 I was ready to move on and went back to work when she was settled in reception. In many ways I'm glad I did and I compare myself to other women of my age who haven't gone back to work and with teenage children flying the nest they seem to have very empty lives - not least the lady whose husband has left her at 49 for 33 year old and who has not worked for 20 years and finds herself facing a pensionless future.
Having said all that though, on reflection, I regret deeply and wholeheartedly not having the courage to go for three. I look back and sometimes it breaks my heart - it might have ended in tears but I so wish I had tried.
In perspective, financially and space wise it would not have been a problem and would not have affected any choices we had to make. But if ds2 could have survived I would be happier in a caravan with 9 children than with my life as it is now.
I suppose life is a series of stages we have to move on from. When I had my eldest I mourned for my carefree pre-baby days, for my figure etc. Now I wouldn't go back.
OP, I too totally get how you feel. DS is 10 weeks old (we have a DD, nearly 3) and I would have another one in a heartbeat.
DH feels strongly that we should not have more than 2 children for environmental world resource reasons, just replacing ourselves, and we cant afford it or a bigger home, particularly as we have to fork out £10K for fertility treatment if we wanted to try for another.
It makes me feel very sad and each moment with DS a bit loaded as its the last time I will get to do this baby stage.
I too feel a new lease of life recently. Yes I feel a deep nostalgia for certain aspects of babyhood, but I also have more energy now and have found a hobby which may lead to a career. I really feel I would be giving up a lot to go back to babyhood.
Yet I will miss having a pre-schooler at home. I will miss my dd when she goes to school, I really enjoy her at the moment.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.