50 Reasons We Are Done Having Babies

50 Reasons We Are Done Having Babies

After my son was born (number three) I obsessed about if he was our last or not. I thought about it all the time, talked about it, made lists. I asked people: How do you know when you’re done having babies!? I really wanted to know if this was the end.

Tired of it consuming so much brain space, I vowed not to actively think about it anymore and just checked in with my feelings each day. Every day on the calendar I wrote a Y (Yes, I want to have another baby) or N (No, I don’t).

At first, it was really 50/50. Then there would be bursts of up to 5 Ys in a week. Then no Ys for a few weeks. Eventually, I stopped keeping track. The solid, resigned N days drowned out the sweet sighs of the Ys.

It started to feel like the end of the road. It was both terribly sad and hugely exhilarating.

I asked my circles: If you’re done, how do you know you’re done? What signs, what reasons, what led to that decision? Then I made a list.

50 Reasons We Are Done Having Babies

50 Reasons We Are Done Having Babies

  1. Our family feels complete.

  2. Pregnancy complications are be a burden and make it difficult to parent others.

  3. We just knew.

  4. When I think about being pregnant, it doesn’t feel right.

  5. The thought of starting again with a baby makes me nauseous.

  6. We fit well in our vehicle now.

  7. We can all fit in one hotel room.

  8. Every child is more of a financial responsibility.

  9. The age gap if we started again at this point would be too big.

  10. We don’t want to go back to no sleep.

  11. I want my body back.

  12. Potty training again would be like taking the ring to Mordor.

  13. I’m so done with diapers.

  14. I’d like to devote some of my time to a personal passion or pursuit now.

  15. We are tapped out.

  16. My partner is tapped out.

  17. I am tapped out.

  18. The risk of another postpartum mood disorder is too great.

  19. I don’t have any more energy to give to another child.

  20. It’s time for more date nights.

  21. It’s time for vacations.

  22. It’s time to move on.

  23. More kids would make travel prohibitive.

  24. Too many bodies and souls to care for.

  25. Too many bodies and souls to worry over.

  26. Another child means you roll the dice again…it could be anyone.

  27. We are struggling with the number we have now.

  28. My body could not sustain another small human climbing on me.

  29. After my last was born, I just felt fulfilled in every sense of the word.

  30. When I look at all my pregnancy/newborn stuff, it feels like another life.

  31. Thinking about getting the baby clothes down is not exciting.

  32. My last pregnancy was an accident and it’s been a strain.

  33. Newborns are cute but give me so much anxiety.

  34. When I see a stroller or baby, waves of relief wash over me. It’s not mine.

  35. I just felt too old.

  36. We had kids until we couldn’t anymore.

  37. So many miscarriages; my heart hurt too much to keep trying.

  38. We don’t want to be old parents.

  39. God gave us a sign.

  40. When I see a baby, it doesn’t make me ‘hungry.’

  41. Fewer kids is better for the earth.

  42. We have overpopulation problems already.

  43. The carbon footprint of each kid is significant.

  44. The quality of care we could offer with another would be too low.

  45.  I can’t imagine starting the chaos clock again.

  46. We’re ready for the next chapter.

  47. I’m ready to be done missing out on things because of babies.

  48. I feel at peace having my body to myself and moving on.

  49. Before my last, I knew there was another. After, I felt complete.

  50. We miss our relationship, the way it was when we had time for it.


Image credits: IvanJames JordanS. Faric via Flickr: CC

8 thoughts on “50 Reasons We Are Done Having Babies”

  1. What is the purpose of this article? To comfort? entertain? sway? ?? What if it is right for a family to have another child and God really hasn’t told them not to add more children to their family, but they read 50 reasons not to and decide not to because of it. And then the future comes and it’s too late, and they regret it. Where is the list of 50 reasons to say yes to more children? Having children may not always be easy, but there will come many times when it is worth it. I could easily write 100 reasons couples might list of why to have more children. The world is all the time, in so many ways, saying no to children. How about more yes-es!?

    1. Jennetta, I don’t think the post was anti-baby, but just the perspective of one person. I didn’t take offense, & can think of 100 reasons in favor of more children too! Why not post your list?

  2. Agree with Jenetta…What really is the purpose of this article?? For any expectant mother of a “surprise,” unplanned pregnancy, this is nothing but discouraging.

  3. And yet, sometimes life finds a way, or things change, or people change. A little humility now can save one from a lot of humiliation later. When I think things like this in my own head – incontrovertible, definitive statements that can’t be assuaged in any way – I wonder who it might hurt down the line. In this case, I hope that there is indeed never a fourth child of this author to read these words. That would be heartbreaking. Furthermore, this is heartbreaking to those of us who have experienced a loss and feel that the love in our hearts could welcome a thousand precious children.

    Mothers have to be flexible and work to accept the challenges that mothering brings. It’s okay to feel done, fulfilled, complete, and I wish that peace for everyone, but maybe you don’t want to fly quite so close to the sun.

  4. Why all the shaming? The decision not to have more is no less valid than the choice to have another.

    I think you feel in your gut when it’s time to be done. You just don’t want to do it again! But another rational reason for the list is that you want your kids to get a chance to do big kid stuff. Crafts, legoes, family trips. We want to take ours camping and to the nation’s capital. Not so fun with a baby along. We just want to move into the big kid stage and actually enjoy it instead of always putting off the big kids’ wishes for the baby’s more pressing needs.

    Also I haven’t slept through the night since 2009. LOL.

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