after the last baby: thoughts on being 'done'
Many women know before they ever have their first child, how many children they want, or how many they plan to have.
Many others feel most comfortable leaving this open to whatever they feel God/Source/The Divine has in mind for them.
Some, like me, think they know exactly how many children they want - and then change their minds along the way - several times!
I am an only child, and I loved it that way, growing up.
I initially thought I didn't want kids at all. Then, at age 18, I had my firstborn, and thought I was done.
One baby seemed to be a handful for my older, financially stable parents - so I figured, surely, I was already in over my head.
If I could have gotten a tubal ligation at that point, I really might have done so...but gosh, what a different life I'd be leading, and what a different ‘me’ there would be.
At risk of sounding too romantic - (or too logical? Take your pick) - I believe that having and raising children profoundly shapes and defines you, not only as a a parent, but as a person.
From pregnancy and birth to the teen years and beyond, the relationships you form and develop with your children are some of the most powerful and potentially transformative bonds known to humankind.
Motherhood can be the most intense personal growth journey of our lives - yet we don't even realize what we're embarking upon when we commit to it.
One thing that many women are not prepared for is the strange and powerful mix of emotions that may surface, often unexpectedly, when we decide not to have any more children.