Hubby and I have been married for about seven years and our sons will be six and four in a few weeks. Everywhere I go, I get this awkward look from friends and family. If I gave them the rare opportunity to listen to them, I know they’ll say the obvious, ‘you guys aren’t getting any younger’, ‘will you have a girl at least?’, ‘hope there aren’t any fertility issues?’ in our culture that think you’re not done till you have a boy and a girl, a lot of mums feel unnecessary pressure to keep up with this.
After the birth of my sons, I suddenly realised being a mum is not an achievement but hard work I wasn’t ready for. My life has changed so much, I’m scared I might never be myself again. I don’t live my life to please people so I’m under no pressure to have any more kids that I can’t take care of. It’s not only financial demanding but it drains your emotionally and physically.I’ve a lot of respect for those who have more kids than their dining chairs but these are the reasons I think I’m done.
Fragile Health – We never know what’s wrong with our body till there’s a baby inside us. Then the doctor says your blood pressure and blood sugar is climbing or the scan reveals a uterus in need of a few repairs. Delivery may be traumatic and you’re still in pains three months after the baby is here. You vow that if you had the chance you’ll not go through this journey anymore. With so many women living and coping with health-related issues brought on as a result of birthing a baby.
Sleep deprivation – I miss my good night sleep, it’s been a while I slept through the night with no little feet pounding into my room and whisking me away from Dreamland. Sleepless nights aren’t something I’m looking forward to. It’s also annoying when the baby is awake and crying in the wee hours of the morning but it’s only you who wakes up while your hubby snores off as if nothing happened. Even now my boys are much older, I still get the sudden knock on my door, ‘mummy, nightmare’. Am I ready to deny myself a good night snooze because of a new bundle of joy?
Career Interruptions -Since I work from home, my career has been on pause-modes for longer than I wished. You have a baby and all your dreams and ambitions seem to go on slow-motion or a complete screeching halt because there’s so much you can multitask when there’s a baby who’s depending on you for everything. You like your baby but you hate that you don’t get to do what you enjoy doing. Your day is all about diapers, nursing and cuddling and you’re desperate to get done with this phase and move on to other serious issues.
Delegating my core responsibility – There are a lot of women who just churn out babies every other year but push these little ones off to the crèches as soon as these babies are ninety days. I always wanted to be a mum but it’s so demanding and exhausting. Why have more kids and you can’t really take care of them in the real sense of the word. The nannies and family relatives we hire to take care of our kids can’t give them the warmth and love like we’ll do. Why have a baby only to drop them off at 5am at a crèche and pick them up at 9pm on your way after work?
Less quality time with my kids –Any more kids is less quality time with the kids who are already here. We’ve kind of settled into a routine and how do I reschedule all of that to take in any more child. When you’ve got more kids, some child is abandoned while another get more attention. You want to have a chat, pray with them, sort out their homework, read a bedtime story each day with each child but with more kids, you’ll end up dropping a few tasks to keep up with what’s urgent and important. It’s also less time for yourself.
Finances – gone are the days when things were cheaper and you could skip tracking your expenses for a month and you could still stay afloat. Now every dime that is spent needs to be accounted for. After facing the dilemma between a pay cut and being asked to go at work, my finances took a nose dive and I’m unable to financially support another child. It’s not only the medical bills or the baby layette for the first two years but with everything overpriced, I’m counting my cost much closely
My Space and Time – Since I became a mum, there’s always something milling around me, I can count the days I didn’t hear the word. ‘mummy’, those were the few times I was away on training or time alone for a weekend away. I can no longer just pick up my bags and go anywhere, I’m constantly thinking and planning for my kids. Don’t knows when last I yawned out of bed without being woken up by some child. A new year is beckoning and even though I’ve great plans, there’s so much I can do because I’m no longer single.
An Absent Father– You get married and have kids hoping you both will raise your kids together but when you get married to an absent father, you know you’re on your own, to raise this kids alone. Some men still hold the archaic idea that raising kids is solely the woman’s responsibility and do nothing more than making their meagre contributions to the upkeep for the home. It could be overwhelming if you have to keep up literally with everything while your spouse does little or nothing. For many of you who got married to guys who are hands-on, you have no clue what many women out there are struggling with. Why bring more kids into this world when they won’t know the love of a father? The kids who are already here long to see their dad more often than once a week.
Less Energy and Strength –No one told me as you age, your strength wanes. After laying two eggs and popping two active sons, I think my body has changed forever. With a reduced energy, how am I supposed to keep up with another child. I’ve tried to keep up my energy levels with workouts, eating healthy foods and catching up with my sleep but won’t I get back to square one if I’ve to cater for another baby? After such a hectic week, full of deadlines and tasks yet undone, I don’t have the requisite energy to even keep up with the kids already here.
Less Opportunity To Help the Less Privileged Kids – it’s possible to go through life thinking about only you and your kids when there are millions of children out there who don’t have a tenth of all your kids have. The more kids you’ve got, the more you constantly think about your kids and no consideration for those who have nothing. It’s that time of the year and most of us are online looking for holiday deals for our kids, presents and planning Christmas parties for our families. Why have more kids when a child who’s here already is going to bed hungry tonight?