When You Know it’s “Enough”


I fell down the stairs last night at 2:30 in the morning as I was scrambling down them to quiet Emil for the third time before he woke up hisย brothers Oliver (Milo NEVER wakes up) and really busted myself up. Luckily the stairs to the third floor are carpeted, otherwise I am pretty sure I would have broken something. My tailbone is sure bruised and I have a nasty rug burn on the inside of my right arm which keeps rubbing against my shirt whenever I try to do, well, anything. And I swear I got whiplash.

But you know, these things happen and it could have been worse. The thing is, right before this happened, I was having another one of my oh-my-God-I’m-pregnant-with-my-fourth-child dreams. I have been having them pretty regularly and they freak. me. out.DSC_0026


In this particular dream, I was taking the pregnancy test and waiting for it to tell me what I already knew while I could hear Emil crying outside the bathroom door (his real-life cries must have entered my dream world before I woke up) and Oliver and Milo bickering in the background. And I felt completely and utterly scared out of my mind as the little blue line appeared. And then I woke up and fell down the stairs and thought,ย thank goodness I’m lying here at the bottom of the stairs with a broken bottom and not a pregnant belly. Is that terrible?DSC_0061

When I was young, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I guess some people don’t know, and that baffles me in a way I can only compare to not knowing if you like chocolate. ย But kids aren’t exactly chocolate. Sure, they can be sweet and make you gain weight, but they are kind of a big responsibility. Unlike chocolate. But for some reason I thought I wanted four kids. And now? I guess my subconscious is struggling with that, because I don’t think I can handle four kids, yet I keep having these crazy four-kid dreams (correction: in one of the most recent dreams, I was pregnant with twins). We have decided we are happy with our family, and it will be so nice to move forward and out of the baby stage so that we can do fun stuff like travel (with and without them!). But I swear, every time I have one of these dreams, I wonder…DSC_0063

How do you really know when it’s “enough?”

19 thoughts on “When You Know it’s “Enough””
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  1. For me, two is enough. In fact, I am so positive of this that I made an appointment just today to have the Essure procedure, which is a permanent birth control. I have a ton of anxiety about it and dislike stuff like this…but not as much as I’d dislike being pregnant another time, and having to go through feeling like everything I am is put on hold to have another baby.

  2. Allison– I’ve never heard of Essure… I know what you mean, though. The thought of getting pregnant again puts me in a crazy state of anxiety. But I have my moments of doubt. I am so crazy.

    Good luck with your sterilization! Ha, ha! That sounded so ridiculous. But you should have a no-more-baby party or something. I’d show up and get you loaded. You know, because you’re not pregnant.

  3. If you figure out how to answer this question, let me know. I’m being 100% serious.

    I think I will be an old woman, 80 years old in a rocking chair, and still wondering “one more? Maybe just one more?”

    I am currently struggling with a desire for a fifth, really and truly. FIVE? That’s nuts. Except… Maybe just that one more…

  4. Oh man- so sorry you fell that sounds like a very bad night.

    I always wanted three kids and now I’m trying to work up the courage to move beyond one. It’s so much more work than I could ever have imagined, or maybe I make it more work but that’s what feels right to me as a parent and it’s hard to imagine I would be any different with a second.

    I think if you are the baby longing type (and I am), there’s always a piece if you that feels like ‘maybe more’ or gets that pang when you hear someone is pregnant… and then there’s just weighing that against your life and seeing what fits.

    I think if we ever make two happen that might be enough, but I do have that little hope for a girl so who knows.

    I totally thought you were going to say you were having a fourth though part way through this ๐Ÿ™‚ Hey, you’ve got time to keep it on the table.

  5. Oh Lauren, I will always be the just one more type! My four children (11, 8, 7 and 3) keep me so very busy that some days are a complete blur, but it is so amazing to be a part of. I am ready for my “just one more” but we are completely out of the baby stages and ALL of the baby equipment has been given away, thus the question of starting over or moving on to bigger (older) endeavors. Whatever you decide just know as a mother you can handle it all…even the midnight slip on the stairs and the resulting sore bum.

  6. Lauren, I remember what a phoenominal mother your Aunt Barb was (is) with her four children. She and Uncle Steve were super crazy busy with all the cooking, sports, cleaning, school, etc. Like you and Andrew, they were totally involved. I was amazed at how they functioned with loads of love and calmness as a family unit. Even if you decided on another, I know that child would be blessed! Sorry about your nasty fall on the stairs – glad they were carpeted!

  7. I know what you mean. I wanted three and ended up with two. Moving out of the baby stage definitely opens up options though. Life is a little easier. No more falls during the night, hopefully. You poor thing! I find when something like that happens, it is scary for a bit, because you realize how easily you can hurt yourself.

  8. Ouch! Hope you heal quickly! I am in a very similar boat with thinking I always wanted 3, but feeling so close to done at 2. I’m glad I’m not the only one that has anxiety dreams about it ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. This was such a great post. I loved it. I’m so sorry you fell down the stairs though! We have some friends who have been pregnant within in a few months of having their last baby and are now onto number 4. Part of me thinks they’re doing it right.. Get all the baby stage over and done with in a flash and then get back to a somewhat normal life. But I guess that only works if you STOP having babies. And seriously, 4 under 5 sounds terrifying to me.

    I know I want to have another baby, not just for us but for Gus because Craig and I are both only children so Gus’s family is TINY, but I’m still always asking…do I really want to go back to that little baby place? I’m in SUCH a good place right now, so much better than I was for the first year of Gus’s life. I think the answer is that there is no answer and you just make it work no matter what you do?

    Good luck. I think you are really fantastic, fourth baby or not. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Four has been my number for quite awhile now too, but we are only starting on number one and I wonder how we will know in the future. I saw we’ll take it a day at a time and decide but already wonder. Growing up without a really close and involved family I really desire to make one of my own and to have many children so as they grow and find partners and even have kids of their own we will create a large and close family ourselves and for them, but the reality is a bit harder. Can we handle that? Physically, financially, just overall? I don’t know, but it’ll be interesting to find out and I’ll be interested to see what you all decide. I always thought it would be a gut feeling, but even now with our first on the way I’m not so sure anymore. Regardless, I’m glad your fall didn’t do you more harm.

  11. I’ve never commented before, I have been stalking your site for a few months. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon it, but now I read it daily and aside from serious envy (too many things to list! And if my kids saw the new playhouse outside they’d have envy too!) I love your blog. I have 2 girls, turning 9 and 7 in October. I always wanted 4 too, but then my pregnancies with them were so rough and then they both ended up having special needs – my first has Cystic Fibrosis (you’d never know, she’s very healthy thank God) and my second is doing great now but had a very rough start to life before we finally figured out she had SPD (sensory) and got her therapies. So I felt like there was only one of me, and I wanted to be able to be a good mom and as it was some days I’d lose it. But the years went on, and over the last year or two, I kept thinking about that One More. I am only 32, so I figured I would wait until my later 30’s to say for sure that we were done. Then in March we unexpectedly found out we were expecting. One night of panic but then the JOY…I was already in love. We lost that baby, and now I don’t know whether to try or to let things be, and just be the best mom I can to the 2 wonderful girls I have. Not to mention they will be so much older, that it will be like having a single child when they are teens and then grown ๐Ÿ™ So then I think…maybe Two More?! ๐Ÿ™‚ Many moms I think just never know until the time is over.

  12. Brynn– thank you for your comment! And trust me, a blog is just that, not real life so please don’t feel envious in any way. Our lives have all the standard ups and downs too! I am so glad you enjoy reading, though.

    I cannot imagine what it is like to have two special needs kids– I have often felt that feeling of “there is only one me” and I spread myself so thin among my boys as it is, but you must be going through so much after what you have been through over the past 10 years!

    And as for having a baby later when your girls are older– that baby would be super super lucky and you would also have lots of help from your girls, I’m sure! So sorry to hear about your loss. Miscarriage is never easy. Hang in there, and I’m honored that you have been following. Hope to hear more from you!

  13. Oh no! Sorry about your fall friend! I always thought we’d have 3…but now that we have 2 I feel like our little family is complete.
    Feel better soon!!!

  14. Hi Lauren. Thanks for stopping by my blog – always lovely to see someone new! What cute boys you have! If the Huzz and I had got together when we were younger we’d definitely have more than our 2 kiddos I’m sure, but to be honest my 2 are enough for me to handle!!
    Hope your bruised behind gets better soon!

  15. I always thought I’d have four children, it’s such a nice round, even number. But my third baby, quite simply, kicked my butt. By the time I could even fathom having another child, I was almost 38 and my husband was laid off from his job. We talked a lot and finally decided to be done.
    I can honestly say now I don’t regret the decision to stick with three kids. At the time, it was a little bit sad to let go of possibilities and dreams; but now as we take our children to tennis lesson and swim practice and a million other important, little things, I cannot imagine juggling another child in the mix.
    Good luck with your decisions and I hope the stairs treat you nicer in the future.

  16. People ask and I say, “I don’t know.” We take one kid at a time and see what life throws at us. We’re inclined to have a larger family, but that may not be in the cards… or it might be!

  17. Lauren,

    If you decide to make Andrew get the “snip,” just make sure you take him home immediately following the procedure. Mom was assigned to take me home, and, heavily under the influence of Triazolam (sp? sleeping aid that takes the edge off), I insisted that right after the procedure we go right to Sam’s Club. Seemingly OK and feeling absolutely fine, I managed to go shopping for “things I needed for the business” and racked up a $285 bill with the following: 10 lb. bag of choco chips, $20 XL loaf of goat cheese, $30 in trash bags, $15 in hummus, 4 bags of Morton Water Softener Salt, and so on…….Just be careful

  18. Oh my God, Jon, I just died laughing! A costly trip, huh? At least you know you guys are done now. And you don’t have to make that same trip twice…

  19. Ouch!! So glad it wasn’t worse!

    So yes, how do you know? Well, I know for us that just having that question in our minds that never seems to be definitely answered is the answer in itself. Does that even make sense? Haha!


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