How Do You Know When Your Family Is Complete?

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big family
Why many parents choose to stop having kids.

Religion. I have a friend who is kind, patient, loving and an amazing mom. She is a strong Christian, and felt called as a young adult to go off birth control until she heard from God that it was time for her to go back on it. The result? At one point, she had five children under the age of 3. (I didn't even realize that was possible.) I thank God daily that He has never put a similar conviction on my heart.

Stamina. This, I think, is the category that I fall under. I have an 8-year-old and a 15-month-old, and I'm 7 months pregnant with our last child. We could probably afford another child. Unless there's something my husband isn't telling me, our marriage is rock solid. I'm surprisingly healthy for someone who enjoys sugar and red wine as much as I do. I try to be a strong Christian, but have never felt guilty about using birth control. (Side note: Have you ever heard the joke about the man in the flood? He climbed to the top of his house and sat there as the water rose. A boat came by, but he refused to get in, saying he had faith God would save him. A helicopter came by, same response. So, of course, the man died. He went to heaven, came face to face with God and said, "What the hell? I had faith you were gonna save me, and I drowned?" God cocked an eyebrow and responded, "I sent a boat and a helicopter; what more did you expect?" This joke illustrates my thoughts on birth control. I think God gave it to me for a reason.) But I know, without a doubt, that I will do everything in my power (and that includes blackmailing my husband into a vasectomy) to avoid being pregnant again. For Some Couples, One Kid Is Enough

I guess it boils down to one simple fact: I'm tired. I have loved being pregnant with each of my children. But it would take a miracle for me to voluntarily do it again. And sure, I know that God has a sense of humor and may lead me to adopt a child someday. But for now, I think that once I have this baby, my family will be complete.

I miss my ass. I miss wine. And I really, really miss sleep. Maybe that's selfish, but I'm gonna give all three of my children as much love and energy as I can muster until they go away to college. Then I'm going to take those accumulated tax returns and travel the world with my smoking hot husband.

But with three great kids to come back to, I know my heart won't be lacking in love for the children I didn't have. And maybe having that much love, so much that you're full to the point of almost bursting when you look at your kids, is how you know that your family's complete. And if so, I'm there.

How about you, readers? What made you decide your family was complete?

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