Complete: having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full: a complete set of Mark Twain’s writings. Finished; ended; concluded: a complete orbit.
The weekend just passed was one of those weekends where you don’t really do anything, but you get a lot done. No family or friends visiting it was just the five of us, and Saturday morning was focused on organising and decluttering. We seem to be a family that collects stuff, stuff in every room of the house, stuff we don’t use or need and stuff that doesn’t necessarily belong here anymore. For example, my bedroom currently houses an old car seat; which is no longer needed or used. Our youngest’s room has a bed guard and dismantled Jumperoo in it, sitting unassuming in the opposite corner to his cot; and our kitchen has umpteen unused gadgets covering either what little workspace we have or in nooks and crannies on the floor. And do not get me started on our garage, which unsurprisingly isn’t currently used for parking our car.
So, on Saturday morning, a visit to the tip was in order and the pram I’d first used when having our youngest (now broken) (pram, not youngest) was casually thrown into the boot of the car with a load of clothes and some other random bits and bobs.
Putting the pram into the car it didn’t hit me. Driving to the tip it didn’t hit me. Wheeling the pram over to the designated area it didn’t hit me. But driving past it, sitting there empty and broken, it did hit me. Hit me that it was the pram which had carried my last baby. I mentally went back in time and remembered using the pram on walks we’d been on, holidays where I’d pushed and rocked him to sleep in it; day trips, school runs, supermarket visits. And out of no-where I began to cry! I felt so daft for it was just a silly old broken pram…and yet it represented so much – and it was like saying goodbye to a part of my life that I’d never get back.
As we drove on to do our supermarket shopping (we really know how to have a good time don’t we?!) my husband asked me what was wrong. And so I told him that I was sad I wouldn’t be having anymore babies, and that leaving the pram at the tip had brought this home to me. And he sighed. And he looked at the road straight ahead and calmly said, ‘I’d quite like another baby.’ My eyes opened wide, as did my mouth! What! Another baby! That’s crazy! Or…was it…?
As we did the shopping we found ourselves excitedly chatting about babies, how amazing they are, how we’re awake all of the time now anyway so one more wouldn’t make a difference. We got a bit carried away (no, not that carried away!) and spent the rest of the day wondering ‘what if?’ and reliving happy memories of when our boys were babies.
And so, for the rest of the weekend, and even today, it got me thinking….thinking about how when you have children do you ever know if you’re done and would like no more? Is there a maternal switch that just turns off and you’re happy with your lot? Or as mums, do we always think…one more, maybe just one more?
I vowed, vehemently so, that I would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION YEARS have another baby after I had my youngest, and yet now he’s nearly two I find myself craving a newborn and being unbelievably broody – even though the PND I suffered afterwards was something I wouldn’t want to put anyone through ever again. I love babies, I love my babies, and could literally make a million of them if it was physically and practically possible. But it’s not is it, finances and the size of my house are all factors for a start. As is my mental health and our other children. I’m so fortunate to have been blessed with three amazing children, three healthy children whose lives are pretty fab at the moment. Deciding whether to have another baby or not isn’t just my decision, nor is it just mine and my husband’s…there is so much more at stake and so many more people involved and affected by it. (including my best friend, who firmly stated that she’d be moving abroad if I ever announced a fourth pregnancy)
In all honesty – even though I’m still clearly thinking about it today – as the days have passed since the pram went to a new home, I’ve become less enamoured with the idea of another baby. A sleepless night and eight loads of washing this morning later have helped confirm that opinion. I guess I know the reality of what having another child means, and that excites me and unnerves me all at the same time. It hard work, babies and children are hard work…and it’s relentless….and yet it’s all worth it and for me is the most wonderful thing in the world. And so I keep thinking – is our family complete, will it ever be complete, or will I always want one more…just one more…
Seems my decision at the moment, quite possibly isn’t a final one…
What do you think? Is deciding to have a baby ever an easy decision? Are we ruled by our hearts or our heads, and do we truly know when our family is complete?
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