How do you move on, when you know you have completed your family?

(37 Posts)
rubberglove Fri 18-Jan-13 17:29:42

I know I am lucky, two lovely kids. So how do I shake this sadness and move on?

rubberglove Fri 18-Jan-13 17:42:50

AIBU to feel this way?

izzyishappilybusy Fri 18-Jan-13 17:43:44

You aren't completed - you know when you are.

WifeofPie Fri 18-Jan-13 17:45:34


not really in the spirit of the thread


juneau Fri 18-Jan-13 17:51:36

Are you really done?

If you are then I'd start making plans for the future - your future. What do YOU want from the next stage of life? Do you want to work, study, learn a language, learn how to knit, get fit, reconnect with old friends? Whose life do you envy and why? What would give your life real purpose again?

It's daunting rejoining the land of the living after X number of years as a mum. I'm already making plans for when DS2 starts school, so that when it happens it's not so scary. There's a mum at DS1's school who's youngest started school in Sept and she's a mess - floundering around with nothing to do and utterly bored and rudderless. I'm determined NOT to be like that!

Tailtwister Fri 18-Jan-13 17:52:06

I think it's quite common to feel sad OP. For me, it's really been my age which has forced me to accept we are done. If I was younger I might feel differently.

One of the things I considered was if I wanted another child or just another baby. I mourn the baby stage, but don't think I'd want to do the toddler stage again!

IslaValargeone Fri 18-Jan-13 17:54:26

I would be inclined to agree with izzy.
Is there a particular reason you are stopping at two? I presume by the fact you are sad, you wish to have more?
I only have one, but knew my family was complete.
If you don't feel it's complete and yet you can't have more, then I don't know how you reconcile that to be honest. Maybe you have to think along more 'shallow' lines for want of a better expression.
More money, freedom etc etc?

Schooldidi Fri 18-Jan-13 17:57:36

Please don't take this the wrong way but I don't think it's fair to ask if somebody is really done. A lot of us are finished having babies through no choice of our own. There are all sorts of reasons why another baby isn't on the cards even though we may want one.

I don't have any advice about moving on though, because I'm very sad about the decision not to have any more children. I need to move on as well but don't know how to go about it. The decision in my case was my dp's, not mine, but apparently it's not fair to get pg without his consent.

pinkdelight Fri 18-Jan-13 17:58:58

I think it's rare not to feel any sadness. Even if you're content that your family is complete, it's still the end of an era and the profound sadness at time passing. One of those times when we're more aware of our mortality. Sorry to get heavy - just a natural feeling. And worth pointing out having another baby won't mean no sadness later.

rubberglove Fri 18-Jan-13 18:00:28

The reasons are shallow I guess. Not enough space. We live in a nice area but can't afford bigger house in this area. I don't feel it is fair to uproot kids from nice school etc, just so I can have another baby.

I don't work, but now my youngest is about to start school there are some options which will mean more income, more freedom. Another baby will scupper this or certainly delay it.

Then there is health reasons as well.

rubberglove Fri 18-Jan-13 18:04:48

You see I think that is it PinkDelight. Sadness of time passing, the next stage meaning I am getting older. A baby won't change that.

And I know in my heart the best thing for my existing family is to stop. I do also get excited about the new stage. About the things I can do with dc now they aren't babies or toddlers.

pinkdelight Fri 18-Jan-13 18:58:31

Totally agree with where you're coming from, rubber. I'm focusing on the exciting aspects as much as possible - lost a bit of weight and looking more like 'myself' again, silly things like getting my ears re-pierced when I'd let them heal up (bring on the midlife crisis!), and signing up for courses and stuff to get me into the next phase. It's still deeply sad at times, but when I look at our home movies of me with the babies, I don't envy her lot so much. Not quite enough to want to go through it again. I guess this is why people go nuts for their grandkids!

rubberglove Fri 18-Jan-13 19:15:47

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.

Lambzig Fri 18-Jan-13 19:17:44

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.

rubberglove Fri 18-Jan-13 19:24:48

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.

marriedinwhite Fri 18-Jan-13 19:28:20

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.

redwellybluewelly Fri 18-Jan-13 19:36:03

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.

Bowlersarm Fri 18-Jan-13 19:36:05

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.

rubberglove Fri 18-Jan-13 19:36:14

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.

marriedinwhite Fri 18-Jan-13 19:39:17

Sorry to hear that *redwelly*. Good luck this time round.

Bowlersarm Fri 18-Jan-13 19:40:22

Sorry if i've missed it but how does Dp feel about it?

juneau Fri 18-Jan-13 19:41:26

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?

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. sad

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.

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.

rubberglove Fri 18-Jan-13 19:55:57

Dh has similar feelings tbh.

Bowlersarm Fri 18-Jan-13 19:59:05

Then maybe you're not ready to move on? Why not go for no 3?

kerala Fri 18-Jan-13 20:02:10

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!

izzyishappilybusy Fri 18-Jan-13 20:07:17

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.

fluffyraggies Fri 18-Jan-13 20:12:26

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.

bringnbuy Fri 18-Jan-13 20:21:23

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

weegiemum Fri 18-Jan-13 20:27:35

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!

Squeakygate Fri 18-Jan-13 20:38:16

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

janey68 Sat 19-Jan-13 09:01:48

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

DoItToJulia Sat 19-Jan-13 09:13:26

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!

BertieBotts Sat 19-Jan-13 09:26:03

If you both want it then time for a discussion maybe? I suppose it depends how big the sacrifices would be.

MissMarplesMaid Sat 19-Jan-13 11:22:34

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.

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