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How I Talk Myself Out of Having Another Baby

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Let me preface this by saying I love my children. I have two of them — a 5-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy. They are funny and fun to be around, challenging and creative, and I can’t imagine my life without them. But … I’m done. The spinach stains on the wall, the bags under my eyes, the bills — I. Am. Done. But, well … I dunno … kids are so cute! And when I see a friend’s new baby and hold it in my arms and think to myself, “The sleepless nights weren’t so bad. I could change diapers for another two or three years, couldn’t I?”, I have to tell myself this: Hell no. And it is times like those — when I am enveloped in the sweet sweet powdery nectar of eau d’ newborn and dreaming about maybe having another baby — that I must recite all of the reasons I am done having kids. Perhaps if I’d come up with this list a little sooner, I’d have an only child. If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation, please, take a look at this list. Maybe you’ll agree (or maybe you won’t!) with some of the totally honest reasons I’ve used to talk myself out of having another kid.

1. I’m sick of being elbow deep in someone else’s sh*t. Truth.

2. It wouldn’t be fair to my existing children. Having another kid would mean spending less time with the kids I already have. No matter how much love I think I have to give, both of my kids are quite aware when I’m paying more attention to the other one — and they makes me feel super guilty. I don’t think I could divvy up my attention any more than I already am and still sleep at night (metaphorically or literally!).

3. I can’t handle any more germs. More kids means more classrooms, more coughs, more snot — ugh. My son just got over Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, which was as disgusting as it sounds. Oh, and head lice — now that was a nightmare. I am neurotically itchy just thinking about it. I swear, head lice nearly convinced my husband and I to move to Siberia (where they don’t have head lice, surely?).

4. Kids are so damn expensive. And, money woes are hard on any family. Not to mention, we’re already thinking about flipping a coin to see which kid gets to go to college.

5. My grocery bills are already outrageous. I spend so much money food, and I am sick of watching picky eaters shun my attempts at healthy cooking. I don’t think I could handle the grocery bills getting even higher or scraping an additional plate of asparagus into the trash.

6. I’m tired of battling little kids. Please tell me I’m not the only one who threatens her kids all the time (“Finish your chicken or no My Little Pony,” “If you don’t clean up this mess I’m not reading you a story,” etc)? As much as we cuddle and laugh, there is always something to fight about, and I hate it. It makes me feel horrible, and I would rather not go through it with another child.

7. My marriage can’t take any more stress. Yes, in love and we make a great team, but let’s be honest: I do a sh*t ton more work around the house and with the kids than he does (am I right, mamas?). Inevitably, that leads to arguments and laying blame, and that sucks.

8. We don’t have the space. If I had another kid, there’s no way we could stay in our apartment, and I really like our apartment. My kids share a room as it is. Where would a third one sleep — in the bathtub?

9. I’m so tired. My 1-year-old is just now finally sleeping until like 6 a.m. And no matter how hard I try, I never make it to bed before midnight. No way am I going through that up-five-times-a-night thing again. Mama needs to rest.

10. Childbirth. Fu*king. Hurts. Pushing 9-pounders out of my vagina — twice! — was the worst pain imaginable … and they say each baby is bigger than the last!

11. I’m worried I’ll have an unhealthy kid. My kids are healthy, and I could not be more grateful. But how could I be sure, going into it again?

12. Or a kid that’s a total terror. To be fair, my 1-year-old’s nickname is already “The Menace,” so I’m pretty sure I didn’t dodge that bullet.

13. I don’t have any “me time” as it is. I can’t remember the last time I finished a book (without pictures). I read about one page a day, if I’m lucky. Not just reading, but writing, too. Between work and my two kids, I’ve had barely any time (or mental energy) to open a Word document in ages. Another kid would mean even less me time than I already get.

14. I’d have to get a bigger car. Okay, so, I don’t have a car, but plenty of suburban friends weighed in with this point. More kids means more seats, more space for bags, instruments, equipment. And I’m sorry, but I’m not ready to be a mini-van mom!

15. Pregnancy just wasn’t fun. OK, so the first time around was (The baby kicking, the luxurious naps), but the second time? Not so much. There were no naps, and I was too busy to fawn over each kick and swirl in my belly. I pulled a muscle in my groin, I had acid reflux, heartburn, trouble sleeping — nope, don’t want to find out if it could be any worse a third time!

16. Middle child syndrome freaks me out. I don’t even know if that’s a real thing, but if turning my baby boy into a middle child is going to give him a complex, I’ll skip it.

17. I can’t deal with the weight gain. Breaking news: Pregnant women gain weight. And even if I were chasing after three kids (or four, or ten), there is no telling if I’d ever get back to my dreamy pre-wedding weight. I mean, who has time for the gym (or dieting?!) when they’re looking after kids and trying to get work done? Not me.

18. I’m over the daily drop-off/pick-up dash. Now that I have my son in daycare on one side of town and my daughter in kindergarten on the other side of town, I have to seriously move my a*s to pick them both up on time, and it’s stressful. I’ll gladly minimize that one as much as possible.

19. I miss my social life. Sooner rather than later, I would like to get my social life back. Like, be spontaneous and go out when I feel like it — and not have to be home by five to make dinner and put kids to bed, or secure a babysitter a month in advance. Wow, even just saying it feels liberating.

20. I feel guilty about the environmental impact. When I was pregnant with my daughter, someone said, “Having a kid is as bad for the environment as driving an SUV.” It’s actually worse. According this study I read, each child we bring into the world adds almost 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the parent’s carbon legacy. All those diapers, the toys, the food and water waste … and I’ve already had two kids. Oops.

21. My family is complete. I have two healthy kids already. And that’s what it comes down to, for me.

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