Bringing children into this world is quite the responsibility. Between the compromises that you will have to personally make along with joint sacrifices if you have a partner, parenthood is a very strenuous endeavor. Though some of us prefer not to 'plan' how many children we are going to have, others prefer to have a goal.
Welcoming subsequent pregnancies can be joyous and exciting; however, there may be moments where you don't know if you're truly ready to stop. Because of this tricky and complicated decision, we have compiled 10 solid ways to recognize that you're not done having children. It may not be an easy answer to find, but there are some signs to look out for.
10 JEALOUSY IN PREGNANT/EXPECTING PARENTS
Oh, the natural feeling of jealousy. Whether it's towards a pair of boots worn by another friend, a beautiful pair of earrings or... yes... the baby bump. A great piece of advice is, "You'll know you're done having kids when you see someone who's expecting and don't get jealous". And we've got to admit: They're right. It's one of the most 'light bulb' moments to see a pregnant and/or expecting parent and feel an envy like no other - as if you're not ready to stop expanding your family.
9 SADNESS AS YOUR CHILD GROWS
Inevitably you will mourn each baby stage as they pass you by. And yes, they do go by in the *blink* of an eye. So, be prepared. You will feel sad while packing up their baby clothes. You will feel sad when you prepare their lunch for their first (ever) day of school. You will feel sad while you pack up their boxes as they move away to college; however, this may not mean you want more babies.
Or, does it? If you're feeling an overwhelming feeling of sadness, towards the baby stage - not their particular milestones, perhaps it's time to think about having another baby to scratch the itch. If it's an appropriate time, of course.
8 UNSTOPPABLE 'BABY FEVER'
Oh, yes. 'Baby fever' is a very real thing. It can come up when you least expect it; at a moment's notice. You may be asked to hold a friend's child or you see a cute toddler eating their lunch at the park. Suddenly, you feel as though you'd like one of your own. Perhaps another of your own. When faced with a small child, it's hard not to love them and never want to let them go. But, if you're getting an incredible urge of Baby Fever anytime you see a child, perhaps you're not done having children.
7 MORE FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY
Children are no easy feat- you can ask any seasoned vet for that matter. Sometimes, having children can put a big damper on your bank account. This is very normal and, sadly, stressful. It can be a hard decision to welcome more children into your life if you're significantly financially strained.
But, the moment you have a little extra cash, and you're feeling ready for more children, it may be a good time to discuss this with your partner. Or, do it on your own, as a single parent, if you choose to do so. Having the opportunity to be financially stable is a great validation for having more children if you please.
6 CHILD ASKING FOR A SIBLING
If you already have children, don't be surprised if they ask for a sibling. Especially while they're young, any baby they see may trigger their questions and wants for a baby. Perhaps their dolls are their 'babies' and they must take care of them as they would if they were yours. If your child is asking for a sibling a lot, you may consider their opinion if it's the right choice for you. We are not advising you to take their lead on when to have another child, but we are suggesting that by them expressing how they feel is absolutely notable. What you want to do with their desires is in your hands.
5 PARTNER WANTS MORE
If you're having children with a partner, it can be difficult to want different things. Relationships take compromise and understanding. In order to succeed in many relationships, you must come at very important decisions with an open mind. If having another child is something your partner wants but you truly do not want, this should be a no-brainer. Don't have a child if you're not ready. But if you're torn between a yes or a no and your partner is convinced it's a good time, perhaps listen to their side of their story and reasons behind why they want to expand the family. Again, if your answer is a 'no' then no always means no.
4 ADDITIONAL FREE TIME
Expanding the family means more time and energy to invest on another life. Not only will you be taking them along family trips and scheduling them into classes on weekends and afternoons, but time is limited. And the more children you have, the less time you may have to yourself.
If you suddenly work a new job that has more flexible hours, or your partner decides to stay home full time, and you feel as though you're ready to have another or a child, then maybe it's the right time. Having more time, with your family, is always ideal.
3 LARGER SPACE
Listen- if you're aesthetic and lifestyle suits a tiny home- by all means! We absolutely love the idea of minimalism and 'less is more'. Because there's some absolute truth to that. However, if you have been living in small quarters and have limited bedrooms, it can be hard to grow children in a very cramped space for a long period of time. If you are a family who values larger space for additional privacy and leisure, perhaps when you have a home with more rooms and more space is it time to discuss having more kids, if that is what you desire.
2 YOU'RE WELL RESTED
Oh, to sleep. Yes, sleep. Some say you'll get it in the first year. Some say not for eighteen. But every family is different. Every child is different. And the moment you are well-rested, you begin to think better. You begin to see better. You become a more efficient, happy and loving parent. And when this happens, you may be able to make big decisions easier with a clearer mind-state. If this means expanding the family and having more children, well; welcome to more sleepless nights and a zombie-like state. But we can assure you- it's just a phase. It will not last forever. And, you may want more once you become well-rested once again!
1 YOU KNOW IT IN YOUR HEART
Let's be honest- sometimes when you know you know. And if this has to do with expanding your family and having more children, then that's all there is to it! There doesn't need to be a specific reason for your questioning. There also doesn't have to be a cut-and-dried answer. Sometimes, a decision can be made in a period of time. Other times, you can bite the bullet there and then and begin to try for a child. Some parents will know when it's time to stop procreating. And if it feels as though your time's not 'up' just yet, then so be it. Go with the flow. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy... parenthood.