When I was pregnant with Harrison Fox I was always asked if I would try for a girl after I had the baby.
I hadn’t even pushed the second one out yet and people were already trying to rent out my uterus again. The question was always asked innocently but even so, each time it was asked it felt extremely intrusive. I could’ve taken the easy way out and said, “Maybe!” but, in true KJ form, I always responded with, “Hell no, I don’t want a girl. I think we are done after this.” Since Fox has been born I’ve been met with the same question or prying/intrusive comments about more children to which I reply, “Fuck no, I’m DONE”… at which time the recipient of this news looks at me like I’m an asshole, a heartless monster of sorts.
But hear me out.
I don’t like kids. There, I said it.
I usually like my kids and I like their precious friends because they’re special and smart and well-tempered and disciplined. But overall, I’m not a kid person. I never babysat well or enjoyed it, no less. I love being a mama to my boys. This love and adoration does not, however, change the fact that this baby/toddler time I’m living in is incredibly challenging, and I’m not interested in doing it a third time (legitimately makes me question my abilities as a human being). This doesn’t discredit the great gift that these early years surely are – I have loved even the truly maddening moments. That, however, doesn’t mean I want to spend more years of my life in baby/toddler survival mode – because as awesome as it is, it’s equally grueling and can suck.
When I explain this to people, I’m looked at with the harshest judgement as if to say with their eyes, “What? You don’t like kids? You’d rather do other shit someday besides change diapers and get yelled at by tiny people? HOW DARE YOU, MONSTER!” But frankly, it’s the truth and it doesn’t make me selfish or an asshole. I think that it’s healthy to have boundaries, even when it comes to having children. I know myself, I know what I want for our future, and I know that it does not involve more babies. We want to travel, we want to save, we want to have experiences together, we want to do things beyond just being parents. We want to LIVE, DAMN IT!
Myself aside, I want to be able to give my bebes as much attention as possible. With two babies – because let’s face it, toddlers are still babies – I can already feel myself spread thin. They both need all of my attention, sometimes at the exact same moment, and it can be a challenge giving each what they need mentally, physically, and emotionally. The less children I have, the more attention I can give to each individually. I realize, as I hear this response often, that “well, the older children help with the little ones,” but if I’m being honest, I think that’s bullshit. Sure, older children help with the littles, but that’s not their job. It can surely build character and prepare them for children of their own, but if I remember my own youth correctly, they have enough shit on their plates. For anyone who lives this particular reality daily and it works for you, this is not a judgement – I am happy and applaud you for what works in your family; however, in my little family it wouldn’t be what I want for my kids. I want to give my babies my best and I know that for myself that means not spreading myself too thin.
I was only 95% sure prior to Fox’s birth that I was done having children. Then after the wild ride of his delivery and having a csection, I can confidently say that I do not want to get pregnant again. I love being pregnant and I already miss it – but, gosh, not again. My csection was so traumatic and I don’t want to go through it again. No, really guys. I don’t want to go through it ever again.
I’m ridiculously blessed with two boys and the most amazing husband. If we were to get pregnant again, I would love the shit out of that baby – all babies deserve love and a chance at life (I’m strongly pro-choice, deal with it). That being said, I do not wish to become pregnant again and will be hitting that birth control hard AF until we feel ready to take permanent steps (but damn, we’re too young for that now). Don’t get me wrong – part of me wants more kids. My body says FILL MY BELLY WITH BABIES, KARLY. My kids are are the coolest, and they’re gorgeous… Who wouldn’t want to make more precious babies like that, to mold and shape into equally precious and wonderful adults?
Me. I’ve bumped from 95% to 100%. I’m done.
The conception of my firstborn was very, as we like to say, miraculous. God gave us a miracle baby in my Johncarl, and though parenthood was thrust upon us ahead of our schedule, it was perfect because He knows us better than we know ourselves. We had our second son with intention, and when I look at him I no longer feel like there is a piece of my heart or my family missing. He’s here and he’s just as wonderful as his big brother. And that’s plenty enough for me.