I do not have babies on the brain. I repeat…No. More. Babies. And, it feels great. This decision crept up on me. I never thought I would “cave.” But, cave I did. Not, in a bad way, just in an “I’ve made peace with myself and Mark” kind of way. I thought I might feel sad, but I don’t.
Okay, I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic getting rid of all my baby stuff, but mostly I’m feeling relief that this “thing” isn’t hanging over my head anymore.
Let me backtrack. After Jake was born in 2005, Mark and I had this tug-of-war with one another. Yes we will have a third child, no we won’t have a third child, yes, no, yes…and so on. Well, it was more like Mark will go for the third, and then Mark won’t go for the third. I’m not sugar-coating this when I tell you that it was absolute torture for me. TORTURE. I’m talking pill popping relief kind of torture.
That’s all over now, because my decision has been made definitively, and it’s a big fat NO on number three. I’m sure some of it has to do with Mark’s passive agressive “genius” with giving me emotional whiplash on the subject, but mostly it has to do with me and me alone.
Many of you know that this is a big year for me. Forty is fast approaching. Six months and counting, to be exact. So, I’ve taken stock of everything in my 39th year. This is the year that I’m committed to getting my shit together. Health, marriage, sex, career, body, mind, serenity, sense of self, peace, yada, yada, yada….
As the years have gone by, I found myself saying things like, “I’m giving myself until I’m 38. No, now it’s 39. Okay, until I’m 40. Alright, 42 is my absolute limit for having that last baby.” But, you know what? I don’t want another baby.
I love my boys, and I loved their baby and toddler stages. And, little babies are the sweetest and smell the best. However, the thought of doing it all over again, into my forties, is so not appealing. Like I said, it’s time to get on with my life. You know what else? The older my boys get, the more I’m realizing that I’m going back to school right along with them, and quite frankly, the first time was enough.
Ultimately, I just can’t wait to get out of my thirties. That may sound nuts to you, but it’s the truth. I had my kids, moved to the burbs, set-up my house, became entrenched in “Mommy World,” was often too tired to have sex much less think about it, and on the whole, lived in a state of near-constant crankiness. It’s taken me almost ten years to get out on the other side of that tunnel, and I’m not going back.
Little by little, that baby tug has lessened it’s grip on my heart. Really, it’s my uterus that usually felt the tug, but sometimes it was hard to tell the difference. I can actually pin-point when the tug started to shred. We took the boys to California for two weeks this past summer, and had the best time. A fantastic adventure. The thought of having a baby with us during that trip, would have felt like an interruption or an inconvenience. And, not in my usually rationalized “good way.”
Now, I could list all the thoughts that I’ve had to date, about why my baby factory is officially closed, but I won’t. Because, it really doesn’t matter if I’m no longer the sole source of entertainment for the boys, or that I can actually wear clothes without spit-up and applesauce stains, or that air travel is now relatively painless and almost “schlep-free.” It just matters that I don’t want to have another one. I’m done, and I’m okay with that.
Make no mistake, it was not okay when Mark was dictating the decision. I had to embrace this notion for myself. I know a lot of you ladies out there can certainly identify with this.
As a woman, I originally felt outraged that Mark thought he had any say over my body and how many children I wanted. My feminist instincts were in an uproar. Really, sometimes marriage just sucks and you have to deal. You don’t always get what you want. And, that’s okay, because neither does he.
There’s that saying, “you never regret the things you do, but the things you don’t.” I used that one over and over with Mark. Only, I’m not so sure I’d agree with that statement anymore. At the height of our “third baby tug-of-war,” I thought we might end up divorced over this issue. Now, that would have been a regret. Who would have benefitted from that? Certainly, not the two boys I already had.
Life is too short (trite but true). I want to enjoy my delicious two boys, neurotic bitch of a dog, and MY life NOW. I’m looking forward to my forties and finally feeling settled with myself. And, I’m also really looking forward to enjoying my Husband more. (I’ve already gotten a head start on that one.)
So, maybe Mark was really just clairvoyant and knew all along that if he waited me out, I’d see the light. Because, for once I’m not arguing with him. Two is definitely enough.
What’s the right number for you and how did you know?