Even Though You May Be Done Having Kids, It May Make You Sad Anyway

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shutterstock_174960920It really shouldn’t have been that hard of a decision. They were only pants after all. It was the middle of winter and I had decided to do a purge of my closet. Outdated pieces were tossed in the donation bin with the greatest of ease. It was actually a very simple and enjoyable process. That was, until I set my eyes on them. The pants. Three pairs in all. What is my problem? And, why am I suddenly on the verge of tears? It was then that I realized just how special they were.  They weren’t just any pants. These pants represented a part of motherhood that I would never again revisit. They were my maternity pants. And I was “done.”  Wiping away tears, I left them in my closet. That is where they would stay. For now.

I distinctly remember the first time that I uttered those words. It was May of 2012, and I had just brought my newborn baby boy home from the hospital. Exhausted, overwhelmed, and in the beginning stages of postpartum anxiety, I felt pretty certain that this was it.  “I’m done,” I declared to my siblings, who were there visiting with us. I was 38-years-old and trying to endure the challenges of a newborn along with the feistiness of a two and a half year old girl. My husband and I were just getting by financially. We had reached our limit.  A few months later, I stood in my daughter’s dance studio while a couple of mom’s discussed the topic. One of the women wanted to know how it was that you came upon such a crucial decision. I said that you just know. I explained that while it may not be an overnight process, it will happen. I told her how, in my case, I was pushing forty. And tired. And needed more money. And I had a traumatic experience in the hospital. And a whole bunch of other reasons that I was using to convince nobody but myself. Walking home that day, I felt like a complete hypocrite. And liar. Hours later, in my daughter’s closet, I almost tripped over no less than ten large sized bags. All filled with baby clothes. The clothes that I was never going to get to use for a baby again. Because I was “done.” But here they stood in the closet, taking up way too much room.  A hypocrite I was indeed.

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