Sometimes it can be difficult whether or not you are sure you're done expanding your family. With influences such as family, friends, partners, and even social media surrounding your every move, it can be hard to tap into your own core wants and needs when it comes to such a personal choice.
No matter the decision, you're often making the choice with a partner. If you are a single parent, it can still be a difficult choice to make without the help or support of someone else who will be just as involved. Considering the difficulty of such choice, we have targeted 10 ways to tell if you're truly over having more children. They may not apply to every individual but they may resonate with some. So, read ahead to figure out if you're done or maybe not so soon.
10 YOU ARE NO LONGER JEALOUS OF EXPECTING PARENTS
This example may click with so many parents. When we are in full-force "baby fever" and see babies in happy parents' arms, we often get a rush of envy. Often, whether we know or see a pregnant woman or expecting parent ready for their adoption, we get jealous of what they're about to experience.
However, it can be the moment we see a pregnant woman and think to ourselves, "Oh my gosh, I absolutely never want to experience those days ever again," that have us realizing we may be done having children.
9 YOU HAD A COMPLICATED PREGNANCY AND/OR DELIVERY
Depending on the severity of complications, these can and do arise during pregnancies and deliveries. Sometimes they can be so traumatic that it may haunt the parent and influence their decision to stop expanding their families by conceiving naturally. Though there are options to have more children other than becoming pregnant yourself, having a traumatic pregnancy or delivery may hinder your want to have more children.
8 YOU’RE TAPPED OUT OF PATIENCE
Patience is a virtue and when you become a parent you are tested far beyond the limits that you may have thought you had. Patience is an incredible quality to have in order to be a happy and healthy parent. This quality will also reflect off your child.
They will likely be able to listen easier, grow into less anxious individuals and be grateful for your love and compassion; however, there is a limit. Sometimes, the parent is done with a certain stage, realizing that they are unable to take it on if they were to expand their family any more. And that is okay, of course.
7 YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO SACRIFICE MORE TIME
Becoming a parent will have you playing a balancing act with your time. Time management is a completely new term when you welcome a child into your life. From meal time to bath time to work and date-night, it's very hard to balance your schedule when you're fully responsible for another human being.
Some parents realize that they do not want to compromise their personal time by adding another child. The older the child gets, the easier it becomes to get away for some "me time" and perhaps a date night or two. It's okay if you're ready to stop having small children take up more time than you'd like.
6 YOUR FINANCIAL STATE IS NOT IDEAL
Children are not cheap. They are not easy. And they will add to your bills in more way than one. From purchasing more food to leaving the lights on during the day as you asked them not to, you're likely going to be more financially strained when you have more children.
Even if you are well-off, you will save an abundance of money if you decide to stop reproducing, adopting, or fostering. Frankly, the fewer children you have, the more money you have. Though this may not matter to some people, it can be a factor that influences you into no longer expanding your family.
5 YOU’RE LACKING SUPPORT
It takes a village, they say. Though, we may not have as much support as we'd like. This certain concern may be enough to have you re-thinking your decisions on having more children. It's nice to have a grandparent or friend close by to help when you're in need.
Whether it's for emergency trips to the doctor or a night you're able to go grab some drinks with your partner, it's always nice to have support nearby. Even if this support means a partner that's able to listen well to your feelings and concerns; the lack of support may be enough reason to stop having more children.
4 YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS SEVERELY STRAINED
Children can absolutely put a strain on relationships. It's an incredibly fragile time while raising a child. From the vulnerable stage of infancy to the angsty ages of teenagehood, parenting with a partner can have its moments.
If your marriage or partnership is strained already, you may want to wait a few years or call it quits to expanding your family. The relationship may deserve some extra R&R and it's okay if this means no more children; for now or forever. Every family dynamic is different.
3 YOU EXPANDED YOUR FAMILY TO MAKE OTHERS HAPPY
Were you the parent who had their first child, just adjusting to breastfeeding, nap schedules and perhaps find the time to wash your own hair (finally)? Yet, suddenly your mother-in-law asks when the "next" is coming? Perhaps these questions did in-fact influence your following pregnancy/adoption. It's okay if they did because often we feel external pressure from friends and family.
"Well, we had our children close in age. So, it's the best way to do it," they may say. And, you may have listened. Though this may have been a great decision for some, having one child or eight children could look incredibly different for differing families. Do what's right for you. So, if the only reason you're considering expanding your family is for the benefit of others, stop now. Before they're running other aspects of your life - if they aren't already.
2 YOU THINK IT WILL MEND YOUR PARTNERSHIP
Many partners believe that by having another (or a) child may bring the spark back into a relationship. Sometimes without realizing, they believe it will mend their problems. This is an incredibly toxic belief that will often bring more tension and negativity not just into your partnership but into the now child's life that you've brought into the world. Of course, the child should never be resented, but you should never believe that expanding your family will repair the woes of your marriage or relationship.
1 YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO
There, we said it. You truly don't always need a reason for not wanting to expand the family. Your current one or the number of children you have may feel perfectly right to you. And, that's a beautiful thing. We believe that when you know it's right — it's right.
Whether you have one child that you unconditionally love or 12 and want more, only you know when it's the right time to stop having children. Every family dynamic is unique and that's what makes families so special. So, listen to your gut. Take in these moments (even the "bad" ones) because they're all fleeting before our eyes.