A Life Stirred

The Baby Question

on August 4, 2015

Remember when you were a senior in high school?  Do you remember the question everyone asked you that year? What are you doing next year?  Family, friends, neighbors, fellow-church members, even the occasional chatty grocery store clerk, everyone wanted to know where you were headed.  If you had a plan, it was no big deal.  You answered the question and moved on.

But if you didn’t have a plan, it was the.most.annoying.question in the world!

Same thing happened senior year of college.  And then at each life stage there seems to be another similarly annoying question that everyone asks.  When are you getting married?  When will you start a family?  [Aaaaah!  Just let me enjoy my life for a minute!!]

And then you have a baby.  It’s a joyous moment.  But it doesn’t take long before someone asks the new question, the one that will follow you until menopause:  Will you have more kids?  

I'm pretty sure I was still in the hospital with this adorable squish when I got that question for the first time.

I’m pretty sure I was still in the hospital with this adorable squish when I got that question for the first time.

Before I go any further, I should confess.  I have absolutely asked that question to nearly all of my friends (and some strangers).  I’m just fascinated by family size, kid spacing, and my friends’ dreams for their family.

Actually, the question itself doesn’t bug me.  Not as much as the what’s-your-plan-after-college question did, anyway.  (Sidenote:  I had no plan, and there was only so many times I could say, “Haha, well, I’ll figure it out when I get there.”)

I think that question is generally asked out of a genuine interest…or an attempt at small talk.  Neither of which is annoying.

However, I’ve been hearing (well, reading) a version of that question on a few blogs and instagram lately.  Specifically, “Are you done?”  The comments to that question are always plentiful.  It seems like everyone has an answer…or rather, no answer.

Very few women have a clear we’re-done feeling.  And it got me wondering why.  Why does the desire for more kids linger in so many of us?  Why are there so many women who “struggle” with the not-done feeling?

Is it a lack of contentment with what we have?  Is it just part of being a woman (we can procreate so we feel we should)?  Is it that little kid clothes are just so stinkin’ cute!?

I mean, obviously, they are.  But I don't think that's the reason.

I mean, obviously, they are.  But I don’t think that’s the reason.

Or is it maybe something else entirely?

For the moms who still feel a pull towards the baby-stage, maybe that doesn’t necessarily mean birthing more babies.  Maybe it means adoption.  Or foster care.  Or serving in the church’s nursery (a place that almost universally needs more volunteers).  Or serving a new mom.  Or a million other ways to be involved in the baby stage.

Maybe that not-done feeling means you’re not done.  But it might just look different than you thought.

Obviously, this isn’t the universal answer for that not-done feeling.  Sometimes you feel not-done because you’re not done.  Everyone is different.  Just something to consider, I think.  I know I will be considering it.

What about you?  Are you done?  (And seriously, I’d love to hear.)

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4 responses to “The Baby Question

  1. Erin says:

    I read this post after a rough day with the kids today. Lots of yelling and not listening. Probably a day where mommy should have taken some time outs to cool down and gather some patience. If I had to answer this question right now I’d say I’m done after I get this one out…honestly I thought to myself today (while sobbing on the sofa)…I can barely managed two how the heck am I going to survive 3? But they wake up from nap and want to snuggle with you and have so much Grace for you and your prior actions that it’s hard not to think about having more. I really don’t have a final answer though, it changes daily, hourly, even by the minute… I blame prego hormones. It’s hard to say yes I’m done cuz I don’t feel like I’m done having kids.but then I’m exhausted by naptime and don’t want to do anything for the rest of the day. What would it be like to have 3 running around and be pregnant with a 4th? to say yes no more sounds so final and what happens if we change our minds? We are still rather young…there are ladies just starting to think about babies at our age. I just don’t have a solid answer to your question…So the jury is still out in the KOLB family. Maybe check back in a few months and I might have a final answer.

    • Carley Morse says:

      It’s funny…I thought of you when I wrote “Maybe you’re not done because you’re not done.” You are right in the middle of not-done. 🙂 Middle-of-pregnancy is probably not the best time to decide if you want to do it again. Give it time, lots of time. (And PS I want to meet Baby Kolb at Thanksgiving. I think we should figure out a way to make that happen. Of course, meeting a new baby might just make my answer to this question a little blurrier.)

  2. Cambrea says:

    I always enjoy reading your thoughts, it’s like we could be twins or sisters at least! Sorry, let me dial back the creepy…To answer the question, I am done. I agreed to a tubal ligation with our fourth baby and thought I would regret it. I don’t and I feel very content with the number of children I have. This is a complete shock to me and I am excited to be around babies in other ways, like becoming an aunt again next month!

    • Carley Morse says:

      Not creepy at all. I like knowing I’m not alone in my thoughts. I love that you are confident in your decision, and I love how you’re investing in other babies around you. I’m wondering, though, did you know in between the other babies that you weren’t done? I wondering if I’m overthinking all this (I may have a slight propensity to do that…ha!)

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