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Someone once told me that you know you're done having kids when you feel like you have one too many.

And after I had Jack, I totally felt that way. Not that I didn't want him, because I so wanted him, and loved (still do) him- every tiny, little piece and part of him. But, Jack made 5, and FIVE kids is a LOT of kids. (And still is.) Five is the new Seven. Really, it is.

And, yes, I realize that my baby is still a baby. And still very baby-ish. And I understand why the baby of the family is the baby of the family. I find myself thinking, saying, wishing "please stay my baby forever, please...just a little bit longer."

Because we're done having kids. We just can't have anymore. Because with every child there is more dinner to be made, more laundry to be done, more energy required to survive the day. More drama. More noise. More fighting. More arguing. More chaos. And even though I so want one more baby, I have to remind myself that I want to be a good mom, too. And that one more child could possibly send me over the edge.

But with every child there is more laughter. There is less selfishness. There is more family. More kisses. More hugs. More spirit. More snuggling. More action-packed drama. More wrestle-mania. More special moments. More memories. More tears. More love. And, so maybe, one more baby, wouldn't be so bad.

But Aaron is an old man. 40 this year. And we have a LOT of kids. And our lives are pretty crazy these days. And we have a 16 year old who will be graduating and starting out life on his own pretty soon. And a 13 year old who will be dating, and requiring a stone wall and mote around the house to keep the boys away. And that will be a pretty expensive thing to do. And let's not forget about our 3 little boys who have yet to completely destroy the house, and of course that will take some energy and focus on their part... and some patience, and really forgiving love on mine.

So, yes... maybe I should just get over wanting another baby. Maybe.

And, really, I am trying really, really hard to do just that. Urging my siblings and in-laws to please have another baby... and please let it be a boy, so I can give them all of my cute boy stuff, and enjoy snuggling their sweet, teeny-tiny baby.

But the "getting over it" part gets real hard when you have friends with cute babies that look like this.

And I have a real soft spot for ones that look like this. Because there aren't a whole lot of babies that are born with a full head of black hair, and when I see one, I think I should just take them home with me. "Um, I think that baby is supposed to be mine..."

And this girls entire website doesn't help AT ALL. Because not only are there the sweet baby pictures, but also the background music that makes me turn to my husband and say, "please, can we just have one more? Please, please, please!" And then he looks at me with that look, and I think he is going to say "if you want one more, then let's talk about it", but instead he says with a smile...

"I want you to be a good mom to our 5 kids. Not a crappy mom to 6."

And then I say "It's Ok. I still love you, even though you didn't say what I wanted you to say- and for that you owe me a 20 minute back rub tonight while I cry myself to sleep."

Meanwhile, it seems everyone is either feeling the bumps of pregnancy, or finding their family through the miracle of adoption. And while I am very, very happy for all of them... in fact, super happy for all of you... I am also trying to manage my cravings. And asking myself the questions...

Are we really done? And will I ever NOT WANT another baby?

If you have any advice, or insight, (or a baby with a full head of black hair, or a Japanese baby, that you don't want) feel free to share it... or drop the baby off at my house. Call for directions.


Rachie said…
Mandee, I cannot think of a better mother. You are so loving and caring and sweet.

I say just do it...What is one more?

Like you said, Parker is going to graduate soon and in 3 years he will be on a mission. Your house will start to feel empty pretty soon. You will nver regret having more, but you may regret NOT having more.

I am sure Aaron will be mad when he reads my comment.
Coco said…
I have always planned to have 3 (and only have one so far) but I wonder how I will feel knowing my last will be my last. Will I be ready at that time or not?

You seem like a great mom, and to have 3 boys as close together as you do, I know you are a great mom.

I have to say I agree with Rachie.
k8shoe said…
Yay! Let's be pregnant together.....then we can complain about all the aches and pains of getting fat. Ok, that part doesn't sound that fun so if Aaron won't agree, I'll bring my (most-likely) dark-headed baby over to your house any time you want....when "it" finally arrives.
Emily said…
Mandee-I can totally relate to what you are feeling. It would be 6 for us too if we take the plunge. Let me know if you figure out how to rid yourself of the baby cravings!
Hailey said…
Oh Mandee, I'm sorry about the pics! But you have to blame the photographer, not me! As for wanting more babies, I'm not to that point again YET. But I know it will hit in about a year and I don't know what I'll do! So, no help here, I guess... But I should bring the girls over some time, because they look pretty in pics, but they are little crawling tornadoes!
Deby said…
Hey there, I must admit I have occasionally thought about what it would be like to have another baby. Then I stop and think about the fact we have no more room in the house, no more room in the car, I have no time for myself as is (I still can't fit in my old clothes) and I need to give what I do have to my three beautiful kids and my hubby.

And someday when the kids are grown and gone Bob and I will take wonderful vacations and spoil our grandchildren rotten.

Go and enjoy your friends babies. Give them the much need rest that new mothers never get. Hold those precious little bundles from heaven and dispense your sage advice (being the mother of five) to the mothers who might feel at the end of their rope.

If you do talk Aaron into it, I hope you get a little girl. ;)

I ditto Deby.

I think you should read this family of 17 kids.

I continue to awe on how she could manage herself including writing her own blog!!!
Anonymous said…
this post, like so many of yours, strikes a strong chord with me. i too have a 16 year old, and a baby, five kids all together, two teenagers and three little people. my husband is 41.....

when i had my second, i wondered if i would ever really feel that i was done and didn't want another. 14 1/2 years, two adoptiotns,a nd another pregnancy later, i'm still wondering. i can think of lots of reasons we could or should be done, but i don't feel done or want to be done, at least not on most days.

when all is said and done, this is what it really comes down there another child that is meant to be part of your family? that makes the decision about another pregnancy easy. prayerfully search out the answer to that question, and then you will know what to do. if you are meant to have more, the Lord will help you manage being a mother of 6.

and you don't have to hurry up and decide. you are young, and 40 really isn't very old either.
Anonymous said…
p.s. my japanese babies aren't babies anymore, but could i drop them at your house for an afternoon while i enjoy some sanity? jk!
Anonymous said…
ya, i'm with julie s.

it's never ever about what we want (i know that very well) and i photographed julie s.'s fam and have heard her story and i know she knows that very well too.

if you feel through the spirit something is right, you pray for that confirmation and you do it regardless of age, business, etc.
if you feel something is not right through the spirit, then you pray for contentment and happiness with what the lord as already given you, and like alma said, not desire more than what the lord has alotted you. (and then you stop looking at blogs about babies!) love ya mandee.
Anonymous said…
ps- 40 is not old!!!
pps- everything doesn't have to be done RIGHT NOW. in 5 years you will have only 3 kids at home, in school all day. and aaron will be like brigham young's main child bearing years age. you don't have to be "done" or "not done" you can just live one day at a time.
ppss- if you really want to be pregnant, you can definately surrogate for us. definately.
brooke said…
You have the best blog. I want that baby with all the black hair.
Alifinale said…
That is a toughy. I fear for that time when you need to decide. But I like what Kelly don't have to decide right now. And I am just starting with this baby stuff so I am sure I will want to drop a baby off lots of times.
Mandee said…
Kelly, in 5 years I will be 37!

Really, I think we are done. I just have my moments and cravings.

And like Deby said, I am happy to offer my arms to any baby whose mom needs to take a nap, or run an errand!
Anonymous said…
37 isn't too old!
k8shoe said…
Julie's mom had a baby at 42 and 47! (And by the way, those babies turned out normal).
Anonymous said…
yep so did every woman in my fam and every celeb on earth. your view on young/old are warped girl!
Jaime said…
Mandee, I totally understand everything you are talking about. Michael and I had this conversation before little Charley was born. I felt like I had everything under control with the first four and then along came our suprise. Charley has been a joy to have around and I wouldn't change anything but there are days I feel like I am not the greatest mom around. We are done for sure but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't sometimes wonder if there was one more up there waiting for their time. I am sure you will do what is best for you no doubt.
Likely said…
I wish your baby holding arms lived closer to me! I am going to need you really really soon!
Monica said…
Hi Mandee,
It was so good to see you at Steph's shower. I have enjoyed reading your blog so much!

As you know I am in the same boat as you with 5 children, Shelby's 3 siblings and my 2 little boys. All my big kids are gone and the house is just as crazy with only 2 kids. I really don't know how I managed 5. And so I guess that is my point... We really can do anything with the Lord's help, but also this decision is such a personal one, We cannot let anyone decide for us. I have been blessed to know that I am done and know that if another child is meant to come into our lives, then s/he will.

In the meantime, I borrow my friend's and there is no lack of friend's babies right now!!

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