Megan Gale, 42, took to Instagram recently to talk about her family plans...
“Shaun and I have (un)officially said we’ve closed up the baby making shop,” wrote the mother of four-year-old River and nine-month-old Rosie. But just because they’ve come to a decision about not having any more children, doesn’t mean she feels completely at ease with that. “(Meaning he’s happy as is – done and dusted) I guess, for the most part, I am too… But as a woman.. my god being pregnant and giving birth is such an incredible experience and an absolute gift that I’ll admit.. I’m finding it a little challenging to get my head (& heart) around the fact that this is it.” And there, right there, is where Megan nails it. Because choosing whether to have – or not have – more children is a decision that not only involves the head, but also the heart. And the two don’t always agree with each other. Like Shaun and Megan, I also feel I am ‘done’ having kids. I can’t actually imagine re-entering the sleepless nights again, nor trying to find myself (in all senses of the word) under piles of laundry, bursts of crying, or thunderous waves of exhaustion again. But, that’s my head speaking. While my head has firm ideas on whether or not to have my children, so too does my heart. You see, I’m definitely a ‘baby’ person. And when my heart is free to daydream, I can only imagine the utter joy of welcoming a baby into our family again or watching in pride as my toddler takes their first steps. But then, my head chimes in again. Do we actually want to start from the beginning again with a newborn? As a mother of three, would I have enough time (let alone energy) to care for my kids if I had another baby? Sure, other people have done this trot countless times before, but could I? And do I really want another baby? Or do I just miss the days my own children were babies? Besides, is there a point at which I will ever feel totally ‘done’ with having babies? For some people, the whole idea of ‘shutting up shop’ is so black and white. They have a child (or children) and just know their baby days are over. I envy such people. They walk around saying statements like, ‘There’ll be no more buns in this oven’ with such certainty.
And then there’s me. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel 100 percent certain that my ‘shop is shut’. After all, my head can affirm such a statement, but then my heart, like an over-excited puppy, comes bounding in, saying, “But, babies!”, and off I go again. I don’t actively yearn for another baby at this stage, and my head pounds in with enough reason (most of the time) to quiet my heart. But then, there are times when my heart will gasp, realising this may mean I’ll never live those heady, intoxicating days of having a baby again. Logic doesn’t cut it at those times. It can’t. While my head and my heart continue tugging me in different directions, I can’t say for certain whether my ‘shop is shut’. But what I do know is that the joy, craziness and laughter my children bring to my lives fills not only my head and my heart, but also my home, with all the love I could ever ask for. Words: Evelyn Lewin