And then he was 1

Today my son turned 1. It was a bittersweet celebration. What is it about first birthdays that makes mom’s so nostalgic and sad? It’s a milestone to be sure, but it certainly isn’t the end. If anything it’s just the beginning. Yet here I am feeling wistful and excited all at the same.

A dear friend told me: “Embrace it. Look forward to the next phase of adventures.” Words of wisdom, ones I would do well to heed. I am deliriously proud of all that he has accomplished and become over the last 12 months. I am delighted by the joy and richness that he has brought to our family. I treasure each moment we’ve had as indivudual gifts. Yet I”m so very sad that he’s reached this milestone already. Where has the time gone? Why do I feel so strongly like if I’ve lost something?

It’s simple really. He very likely will be my last baby. We never planned to have more than two. It was how we wanted it to be. But now, as my youngest grows from baby into toddler, I’m conflicted. I don’t feel done. I’m not sure my family is complete. If this feeling scares me, you can imagine what it does to my husband. He’s ready to move forward. To him we are how we are meant to be. He has no longings for more. I do. The question is, where do these feelings come from?

My husband believes that no matter when we have our last, I will always feel nostalgic for more babies. He doesn’t think the longing for more ever really disappears for mothers. I beg to differ. I believe women know when they are done. Perhaps that’s naive. But what if he’s right? What if we decide to take the leap and as the new baby reaches his or her first birthday I feel just the same. Incomplete. Which is not to say that I don’t feel whole with my two beautiful sons. They enrich my life in ways that I cannot express in words. My family is what I always hoped it would be. Yet, still I feel incomplete.

It scares me to think I will never hold another milky soft baby, breathe the scent that is a baby’s delicious hair, snuggle so close together so as to feel that we are just an extension of one another. I cannot imagine never again feeling the intensity of emotion that comes from nourishing another infant with my body. Even when sleep was at it’s worst, even when I struggled to cope, even when I had my lowest day as a mother, a little part of me still felt the need for another baby.

The question is, will that ever go away? Beyond longing for all the babyness, (of which, for the record I am still quite steeped in, after all, he’s only 1!) I haven’t given a passing thought to the more real implications of having a third child. Could we afford more children, how would our lives have to change, what does that mean for my career. You get my drift. My son’s Godmother is currently expecting her third child. I keep telling her that she’s my science experiment. I’m watching closely to see all the actions and reactions that come from the new addition to her family.

For now, I’m not worrying. I have lots of time to decide. I’ll continue to celebrate all the changes that are yet to come in both my boys. I’ll enjoy this beautiful family I’ve created and revel in how it feeds my soul. When it comes time to make a decision, I’m certain my heart will guide me in the right direction.

In the meantime, happy birthday to my wee man. You light my soul. For that I’m grateful.

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85 thoughts on “And then he was 1

  1. sonya says:

    What an amazing post! Our kids are virtually the same age: my daughter is just over three, and my little guy is about to turn one next weekend.So this is what I think: your feelings of not being "done" are probably real to a certain degree. After my DD turned one, I felt really wistful and there was a strong yearning for another baby. It was, as you said, the feeling of being incomplete.Now, with DS, it's different. My focus is on the future, and my family feels like a "unit" now.I didn't know I'd feel this way. In fact, I didn't expect it: I was always open to having more than two. But I'm just happy with the way things are, you know?Follow your heart and your instincts. As you know with two kids, there's no limit as to how much your heart can grow to accomodate more pitter-pattering of little feet.:-)

  2. sonya says:

    What an amazing post! Our kids are virtually the same age: my daughter is just over three, and my little guy is about to turn one next weekend.So this is what I think: your feelings of not being "done" are probably real to a certain degree. After my DD turned one, I felt really wistful and there was a strong yearning for another baby. It was, as you said, the feeling of being incomplete.Now, with DS, it's different. My focus is on the future, and my family feels like a "unit" now.I didn't know I'd feel this way. In fact, I didn't expect it: I was always open to having more than two. But I'm just happy with the way things are, you know?Follow your heart and your instincts. As you know with two kids, there's no limit as to how much your heart can grow to accomodate more pitter-pattering of little feet.:-)

  3. Christine says:

    Thanks everyone for visiting and such lovely, supportive comments. It's tremendously heartening to hear that some of you knew when you were done, it gives credibility to what I'm feeling. I think as time goes by I'll have a better understanding of my own feelings and it will become clear to me what will work best for all of us. In the meantime, I suspect I'll have more posts on this topic!

  4. Christine says:

    Thanks everyone for visiting and such lovely, supportive comments. It's tremendously heartening to hear that some of you knew when you were done, it gives credibility to what I'm feeling. I think as time goes by I'll have a better understanding of my own feelings and it will become clear to me what will work best for all of us. In the meantime, I suspect I'll have more posts on this topic!

  5. Christine says:

    Thanks everyone for visiting and such lovely, supportive comments. It's tremendously heartening to hear that some of you knew when you were done, it gives credibility to what I'm feeling. I think as time goes by I'll have a better understanding of my own feelings and it will become clear to me what will work best for all of us. In the meantime, I suspect I'll have more posts on this topic!

  6. Christine says:

    Thanks everyone for visiting and such lovely, supportive comments. It's tremendously heartening to hear that some of you knew when you were done, it gives credibility to what I'm feeling. I think as time goes by I'll have a better understanding of my own feelings and it will become clear to me what will work best for all of us. In the meantime, I suspect I'll have more posts on this topic!

  7. Allison says:

    Happy birthday to your little man. I don't know if a mother ever feels done, or if the longing is always there. But I do know that after our second comes along, and turns 1, I'll be feeling exactly the same way.

  8. Allison says:

    Happy birthday to your little man. I don't know if a mother ever feels done, or if the longing is always there. But I do know that after our second comes along, and turns 1, I'll be feeling exactly the same way.

  9. Allison says:

    Happy birthday to your little man. I don't know if a mother ever feels done, or if the longing is always there. But I do know that after our second comes along, and turns 1, I'll be feeling exactly the same way.

  10. Allison says:

    Happy birthday to your little man. I don't know if a mother ever feels done, or if the longing is always there. But I do know that after our second comes along, and turns 1, I'll be feeling exactly the same way.

  11. Capital Mom says:

    First, happy birthday wishes!Second, I am so done! I thought maybe three and then I got pregnant with my second. And now I know I can't do another pregnancy or that first year again. I want sleep too much!But I would sleep feel doubts sometimes. Until I got food posioning and I just knew I was done. Give yourself some time to settle in with two kids (and no baby) and see how you feel.

  12. Capital Mom says:

    First, happy birthday wishes!Second, I am so done! I thought maybe three and then I got pregnant with my second. And now I know I can't do another pregnancy or that first year again. I want sleep too much!But I would sleep feel doubts sometimes. Until I got food posioning and I just knew I was done. Give yourself some time to settle in with two kids (and no baby) and see how you feel.

  13. Capital Mom says:

    First, happy birthday wishes!Second, I am so done! I thought maybe three and then I got pregnant with my second. And now I know I can't do another pregnancy or that first year again. I want sleep too much!But I would sleep feel doubts sometimes. Until I got food posioning and I just knew I was done. Give yourself some time to settle in with two kids (and no baby) and see how you feel.

  14. Capital Mom says:

    First, happy birthday wishes!Second, I am so done! I thought maybe three and then I got pregnant with my second. And now I know I can't do another pregnancy or that first year again. I want sleep too much!But I would sleep feel doubts sometimes. Until I got food posioning and I just knew I was done. Give yourself some time to settle in with two kids (and no baby) and see how you feel.

  15. A Crafty Mom says:

    Happy Birthday to him – that is really wonderful πŸ™‚ I have heard many women say they didn't feel "done" after baby xyz was born. And, honestly, I didn't really feel like our family was finished when we had two boys. When we became pregnant with our third, it felt very right. And now our family of five seems – although challenging – just like it should be. And do I feel done now? Absolutely. My husband had a vasectomy before our daughter was six months πŸ™‚ I felt no sadness at any of her milestones – no "I'll never do this again" or anything like that. I never get twinges when I hold a baby – nothing at all. So this feels right for us.I think at some point everyone knows what feels right for them. And having a third, or fourth, is just not possible for everyone. Three is hard. Three is expensive. We need one of ours to get a scholarship to university or we're going to be in the poor house :)Enjoyed your post, as always!!

  16. A Crafty Mom says:

    Happy Birthday to him – that is really wonderful πŸ™‚ I have heard many women say they didn't feel "done" after baby xyz was born. And, honestly, I didn't really feel like our family was finished when we had two boys. When we became pregnant with our third, it felt very right. And now our family of five seems – although challenging – just like it should be. And do I feel done now? Absolutely. My husband had a vasectomy before our daughter was six months πŸ™‚ I felt no sadness at any of her milestones – no "I'll never do this again" or anything like that. I never get twinges when I hold a baby – nothing at all. So this feels right for us.I think at some point everyone knows what feels right for them. And having a third, or fourth, is just not possible for everyone. Three is hard. Three is expensive. We need one of ours to get a scholarship to university or we're going to be in the poor house :)Enjoyed your post, as always!!

  17. A Crafty Mom says:

    Happy Birthday to him – that is really wonderful πŸ™‚ I have heard many women say they didn't feel "done" after baby xyz was born. And, honestly, I didn't really feel like our family was finished when we had two boys. When we became pregnant with our third, it felt very right. And now our family of five seems – although challenging – just like it should be. And do I feel done now? Absolutely. My husband had a vasectomy before our daughter was six months πŸ™‚ I felt no sadness at any of her milestones – no "I'll never do this again" or anything like that. I never get twinges when I hold a baby – nothing at all. So this feels right for us.I think at some point everyone knows what feels right for them. And having a third, or fourth, is just not possible for everyone. Three is hard. Three is expensive. We need one of ours to get a scholarship to university or we're going to be in the poor house :)Enjoyed your post, as always!!

  18. A Crafty Mom says:

    Happy Birthday to him – that is really wonderful πŸ™‚ I have heard many women say they didn't feel "done" after baby xyz was born. And, honestly, I didn't really feel like our family was finished when we had two boys. When we became pregnant with our third, it felt very right. And now our family of five seems – although challenging – just like it should be. And do I feel done now? Absolutely. My husband had a vasectomy before our daughter was six months πŸ™‚ I felt no sadness at any of her milestones – no "I'll never do this again" or anything like that. I never get twinges when I hold a baby – nothing at all. So this feels right for us.I think at some point everyone knows what feels right for them. And having a third, or fourth, is just not possible for everyone. Three is hard. Three is expensive. We need one of ours to get a scholarship to university or we're going to be in the poor house :)Enjoyed your post, as always!!

  19. Sharon says:

    First of all – Happy Birthday! It is bittersweet and I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I are going through this too. I would love to have a third where as he's happy with two and feels our family complete. I keep reminding him that if his parents felt that way, he wouldn't even be here but to no avail.

  20. Sharon says:

    First of all – Happy Birthday! It is bittersweet and I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I are going through this too. I would love to have a third where as he's happy with two and feels our family complete. I keep reminding him that if his parents felt that way, he wouldn't even be here but to no avail.

  21. Sharon says:

    First of all – Happy Birthday! It is bittersweet and I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I are going through this too. I would love to have a third where as he's happy with two and feels our family complete. I keep reminding him that if his parents felt that way, he wouldn't even be here but to no avail.

  22. Sharon says:

    First of all – Happy Birthday! It is bittersweet and I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I are going through this too. I would love to have a third where as he's happy with two and feels our family complete. I keep reminding him that if his parents felt that way, he wouldn't even be here but to no avail.

  23. Loukia says:

    I feel the same way. I think about this every single day. Every day! Sometimes, I do feel completely complete with my two boys, and happy that I'm done.. but then… I'll see a baby… and then all I want and all I think about is having another child, another sweet baby… there is nothing as sweet as a baby, those first few months, the wonder of it all. It's the most amazing thing on earth. And once you go through it, getting pregnant, giving birth, it's so hard to imagine that you're done. That you only go to do that twice in your life! The most amazing thing on earth! And then they grow so quickly, and time passes and although we don't forget, we yearn for that feeling of holding our newborn freshness in our arms… and it is an ongoing battle for me, yes, no, yes, no… should we, shouldn't we? Well, my husband is pretty much sure he is complete with two, but me… I don't know. And I'm not getting any younger, either. Sigh. Toughest choice on EARTH. But it's also true, that even if you – or I – have another baby – will baby fever ever go away, really?

  24. Loukia says:

    I feel the same way. I think about this every single day. Every day! Sometimes, I do feel completely complete with my two boys, and happy that I'm done.. but then… I'll see a baby… and then all I want and all I think about is having another child, another sweet baby… there is nothing as sweet as a baby, those first few months, the wonder of it all. It's the most amazing thing on earth. And once you go through it, getting pregnant, giving birth, it's so hard to imagine that you're done. That you only go to do that twice in your life! The most amazing thing on earth! And then they grow so quickly, and time passes and although we don't forget, we yearn for that feeling of holding our newborn freshness in our arms… and it is an ongoing battle for me, yes, no, yes, no… should we, shouldn't we? Well, my husband is pretty much sure he is complete with two, but me… I don't know. And I'm not getting any younger, either. Sigh. Toughest choice on EARTH. But it's also true, that even if you – or I – have another baby – will baby fever ever go away, really?

  25. Loukia says:

    I feel the same way. I think about this every single day. Every day! Sometimes, I do feel completely complete with my two boys, and happy that I'm done.. but then… I'll see a baby… and then all I want and all I think about is having another child, another sweet baby… there is nothing as sweet as a baby, those first few months, the wonder of it all. It's the most amazing thing on earth. And once you go through it, getting pregnant, giving birth, it's so hard to imagine that you're done. That you only go to do that twice in your life! The most amazing thing on earth! And then they grow so quickly, and time passes and although we don't forget, we yearn for that feeling of holding our newborn freshness in our arms… and it is an ongoing battle for me, yes, no, yes, no… should we, shouldn't we? Well, my husband is pretty much sure he is complete with two, but me… I don't know. And I'm not getting any younger, either. Sigh. Toughest choice on EARTH. But it's also true, that even if you – or I – have another baby – will baby fever ever go away, really?

  26. Loukia says:

    I feel the same way. I think about this every single day. Every day! Sometimes, I do feel completely complete with my two boys, and happy that I'm done.. but then… I'll see a baby… and then all I want and all I think about is having another child, another sweet baby… there is nothing as sweet as a baby, those first few months, the wonder of it all. It's the most amazing thing on earth. And once you go through it, getting pregnant, giving birth, it's so hard to imagine that you're done. That you only go to do that twice in your life! The most amazing thing on earth! And then they grow so quickly, and time passes and although we don't forget, we yearn for that feeling of holding our newborn freshness in our arms… and it is an ongoing battle for me, yes, no, yes, no… should we, shouldn't we? Well, my husband is pretty much sure he is complete with two, but me… I don't know. And I'm not getting any younger, either. Sigh. Toughest choice on EARTH. But it's also true, that even if you – or I – have another baby – will baby fever ever go away, really?

  27. Charlotte says:

    I can tell you the feeling did go away for me. Unfortunately it was after baby #6. So take that for what it is worth.

  28. Charlotte says:

    I can tell you the feeling did go away for me. Unfortunately it was after baby #6. So take that for what it is worth.

  29. Charlotte says:

    I can tell you the feeling did go away for me. Unfortunately it was after baby #6. So take that for what it is worth.

  30. Charlotte says:

    I can tell you the feeling did go away for me. Unfortunately it was after baby #6. So take that for what it is worth.

  31. Chantal says:

    I thought when I had my 3rd that I would automatically feel done, and I don't. But realistically I know that D2 is our last. I am just too old to be pregnant again. That last pregnancy wasn't fun. My neighbour has 3 sons and she said that she only felt done once her baby was 4 years old and her life started to get easier. Then she knew she couldn't go back to the baby days. Maybe that is how I will feel. Also, controversially I think that I might have felt "done" if I had had a daughter… I love and adore my son (you know that) but it is true.

  32. Chantal says:

    I thought when I had my 3rd that I would automatically feel done, and I don't. But realistically I know that D2 is our last. I am just too old to be pregnant again. That last pregnancy wasn't fun. My neighbour has 3 sons and she said that she only felt done once her baby was 4 years old and her life started to get easier. Then she knew she couldn't go back to the baby days. Maybe that is how I will feel. Also, controversially I think that I might have felt "done" if I had had a daughter… I love and adore my son (you know that) but it is true.

  33. Chantal says:

    I thought when I had my 3rd that I would automatically feel done, and I don't. But realistically I know that D2 is our last. I am just too old to be pregnant again. That last pregnancy wasn't fun. My neighbour has 3 sons and she said that she only felt done once her baby was 4 years old and her life started to get easier. Then she knew she couldn't go back to the baby days. Maybe that is how I will feel. Also, controversially I think that I might have felt "done" if I had had a daughter… I love and adore my son (you know that) but it is true.

  34. Chantal says:

    I thought when I had my 3rd that I would automatically feel done, and I don't. But realistically I know that D2 is our last. I am just too old to be pregnant again. That last pregnancy wasn't fun. My neighbour has 3 sons and she said that she only felt done once her baby was 4 years old and her life started to get easier. Then she knew she couldn't go back to the baby days. Maybe that is how I will feel. Also, controversially I think that I might have felt "done" if I had had a daughter… I love and adore my son (you know that) but it is true.

  35. […] I’d read about my friends who weren’t done, and I’d read them to the tune of: I’M SO DONE. And I’d […]

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