My husband and I have two kids, and for us, that's enough. In fact, we are so sure that two is our magic number, he recently underwent a procedure to make that number a little more guaranteed. Yep, that's right ladies — my husband just got a vasectomy.
I'm totally happy with the decision, but I'm surprised to find how many other people — women, in particular — are not.
News that my husband had a vasectomy is often met with one of two reactions from other women. Either they are shocked that I should want to limit my reproductive possibilities, or they make sad faces and try to sympathize with poor me, who must be "so sad" that my husband doesn't want any more kids.
In fact, they're usually so stunned to find that the decision was just as much mine as it was his, they follow up with questions about how I must have wrestled with the thought before committing.
Are you kidding me?
Truth be told, there was no wrestling with the decision at all. It was quite a simple one, for both of us.
One day when we were cleaning out the basement, I held up the old stroller and said, "We don't need this anymore, do we?" He agreed that we didn't, and that was that. Baby factory closed for good. Of course, we had a couple of short conversations about it after that, but nothing deep and difficult. We were in agreement.
Our girls are ages 5 and 6. We've used up all the bedrooms in our home and all the seats in my small-ish sedan. As a family of four, we fit pretty perfectly into the life we've created.
Not to mention, we're both pretty thrilled to be past the baby stage. No more bottles, strollers or diaper bags. We've changed our last diaper and we sleep through most nights. And for us, that's fabulous.
Don't get me wrong — the years my girls were babies are a time I hold close to my heart. They were adorable, gorgeous babies, and I hold every snuggle, cuddle, cry and coo as a treasured memory. But I'm OK with those years being in my past.
I love where we are now. They still need me, but they're starting to learn independence. They're turning into smart, funny little girls, and we can sit down and have good conversations. They're discovering the world, learning how things work, and I'm right there to help them through it all.
Plus, I'm less than a year from enrolling my youngest into kindergarten. Soon, I'll have a few uninterrupted hours a day to accomplish work, check items off my to-do list, and, let's face it — maybe even take a nap. I'm excited about that. I don't want to go back.
Is that so wrong? Does an absence of desire to fill my house with babies make me less of a woman, less of a mother? I don't think it does, though many seem to disagree. In fact, I think it makes me a better one.
I know my limits. I know what we can handle as a family, and I know that adding another child would take away from the ones we already have. A stressed-out mama does nothing to enhance the lives of those precious little girls. I'm a better mother to them when I'm living a life I can manage, and knowing that I don't want any more babies does not mean I love the ones I have any less.
The next few years with my children are big ones. I'm excited to help them navigate through school, homework, friends and sports. I expect to be busy, as I'm entering my "mommy taxi service" years. And I'm happy to do it all without lugging around a heavy baby carrier.
Nothing against the mamas of big families — I admire you ladies a great deal. But I'm smart enough to know that life isn't for me.
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