Episode 26: Done Having Babies? Changing Seasons of LifeJul 14, 2023
Hey guys! Welcome back to the Elevate Motherhood Podcast! I’m so glad you guys are here! As always I pray these words are a blessing to you. So part of my heart behind this podcast is that all of you listening can consider this podcast a conversation with a sister or friend who loves God and loves being a mom. I have a lot of wonderful women in my life even though my mom isn’t here anymore, but I feel blessed by lots of women and mom friends and I want to kind of provide that for you guys in a way if possible. I always want this podcast to be positive and encouraging as we navigate motherhood together!
So I was talking with my cousin the other day about how many emotions are involved as seasons of life change. We as Christians have the same emotions as everyone else but we don’t have to be led by emotions. So I’m talking about this in a positive way. In the past decade I’ve experienced so many changing seasons of life- in pretty major ways! As I know a lot of you guys have too.
Maybe we’ve changed from the season of being single to dating the person who becomes our spouse, the season of engagement, the season of being married, the single of being married without children, the season of becoming parents to one baby, then the season of being parents to more than one baby, the season of life of being done having babies and being pregnant, and just all the feelings involved as a season changes and you’re switching to a new season. Maybe also major seasons are working before you had kids and then the change after you have kids. You either are still working full time outside the home, or you’re staying at home full time and not working, or you’re working part time outside the house and part time staying home, or you’re staying home WHILE you’re working remotely. Just so much change and all the different feelings we experience in each season can be at play in our hearts!
My cousin and I were agreeing that we feel like it’s okay to sort of grieve a season of life ending while not taking anything away from being excited for the next season. In my cousin’s example she was going from being married with no children to having their first baby. And she was saying she’s a million percent excited to have a baby, they wanted and prayed for this baby, she’s all in on being a mom, and not to take away from that a bit, but she also was a little bit feeling grieving that season of life being over of her marriage with no kids and that special magical season with her husband. And OH I remember feeling exactly that same way! And it’s just okay to have those feelings! I don’t think we need to carry any guilt of like feeling sad that something is ending because that doesn’t take away from the positive feelings about the new next season. We carry enough that we don’t need to feel guilt about that! You can be an amazing new mom 100% excited and ready to be a mom (which my cousin is by the way!) but still recognize the feelings involved with one season closing.
I’m in a similar situation with my husband and I deciding we are done having children. You guys know me at least a little bit right now and I LOVE being a mom, I love love love babies and newborns and just the hands-full feeling of every single everything with young babies and kids. I just love it. And in full transparency here, I grew up thinking I wanted 4 kids! I really did plan that my whole life. I grew up with a family that had 4 kids and I always just thought that’s what I wanted for my future family. And as I was pregnant with my first I just had this feeling of I’m only doing this one more time. And my husband surprisingly felt the same way. We knew as we were getting pregnant the second time that it was our last. The whole second pregnancy I just knew I wasn’t going to do this again. We BOTH had amazing peace about it which I’m so grateful for. BUT EVEN STILL, us actually being done with the baby stage has been emotional for me especially but my husband too! We took a short trip with our kids over spring break and we brought no diapers, no stroller, no crib and it was SO WEIRD. We both were like- is it okay to feel equally happy about this new stage but also kind of sad we are out of that hustle stage with babies? And I don’t think being sad about some season of life closing means we are making the wrong decision. We both feel like we know that decision is right for our family for several reasons. We know there are pros and cons to however many children we have. I think even if we had 10 kids I would still feel emotional when that season of life of pregnancy and newborns is over. We know there are so many fun things to come with older toddlers and little kids and we are excited and ready and making plans and enjoying it so much! We aren’t sad about the new season one bit! But we are a little sad that the previous season of life is over. And I personally think that’s okay and probably good for us to just acknowledge it and sit with it for a second and then intentionally choose how we are going to feel act and think.
And another season of life change that I think a lot of moms relate to is changing from one kid to 2 kids. I shared a really sweet poem on my Instagram the other day that was for moms going from one to 2 kids. Usually you and that first kid have had such a special time together. Your life has changed so much *together* and they have had so much of your attention. And you KNOW a sibling will greatly affect their life for the better. We know that! Siblings are amazing. But still there is a feeling of sadness that one season of life is over. You may feel a little bit of guilt that your older child doesn’t really know or understand how their life is going to change. Even when you know its for the greater good, it can be a lot to process. I found a really sweet letter that my mom wrote to me when she was pregnant with my little brother. My brother and I are less than 18 months apart so I was like a little tiny toddler not understanding anything but I thought it was so sweet she wrote me a letter and it’s something I can still read to this day and have her words from that time. I’ll share both that poem and the letter from my mom on this blog post too if you want to see it.
So, now, what do we do when we have all these feelings? Focus on the positives and train our minds to focus on the positives. There are positives and drawbacks about having 0 kids, 1 kid, 2, 3, 4, 10 kids. Whatever is your current reality- you could be focusing and thinking about the negatives or you can be focusing and thinking about the positives.
Dr. Caroline Leaf is a great resource for training your brain to think how you want it to.
I personally believe feeling emotions makes us human but being led by our emotions or making decisions emotionally isn’t really what God instructs us to do. We know through God we are not lead by our emotions. We have sound minds. I try to not be double minded.
And I think as Christians we have to be careful about who we talk to about emotional things. If you talk to someone who isn’t a Christian and is always negative and not full of wisdom- what good is going to come from that? If you want to become a married, content, woman who lives a life of honoring God and reaping the benefits of his favor from a life spent closely with him- talk to someone who is married, content, a woman, and lives a life honoring God and reaping the benefits of his favor from a life spent closely with him. Talk to your husband. We always want to be on a team with our husband. It matters who you talk to. There is a fine line between gossip and seeking wisdom and it matters just as much what you say and seek as it does WHO you’re talking to.
One prayer I always have is – I thank you God that the best days of my life are still to come.
I actually remember someone telling me while I was in college that college were the best days of our lives and I remember thinking- well that’s a bummer! But I even doubted that then. And now as an even more mature Christian I would now think or even say- I’m not receiving that. I’m not believing that and I’m not going to speak that over my life. I’m believing that the best days of my life are still to come.
So if you were hoping that by listening to this episode you would get some great tips from me to know how to know when you're done being pregnant, I'm not giving you that I'm sorry. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer, I think it's different for every family and that's awesome. And ultimately, God decides, you know? I think you'll know when you know, I think there's peace from God for different things for different families and that's okay.
One thing is try to be on a team with your husband and be in prayer about it. If you're not on the same page, keep praying that God will change your hearts. Don't try to change your husband's heart necessarily. The peace from God will come.
I have honestly been praying praying praying about it for a while and one word that I felt like I received from God was margin. I felt like God was telling me that it's okay that I have margin and maybe it's not the capacity for another baby but maybe it's extra seats in my backseat someday to help my friends with lots of kids or maybe extra places at the table or extra hands to be a homeroom mom for less kids, whatever it may be, I know I can use that margin to be a blessing to others and to my own family.
And I think there's different peace for different families and that's okay. I have some friends who are amazing parents and I really do think they should have a million kids, and some of my friends are amazing parents and they want to have only one kid, it just doesn't matter. I don't think there's a perfect answer. And I don't want anyone listening to think that I think 2 is the perfect answer for anyone else. I'm receiving that message of margin from God and letting that be the answer to my prayer.
Another story I think is sweet I want to share with you guys. I had been praying, and part of my hesitation was my daughter. She is such a nurturing girl, always reaching for babies and wanting to love them and hold them, and I just love how God made her that way. So part of me wanted to give her a real baby in our family and let her help me raise this baby, and I felt sad that I wasn't planning to give her another baby. So after we saw my cousin's brand new baby my daughter was like IN LOVE with him wanting to hold him just in awe of him, and when we were leaving I asked her, "do we need another baby in our family?" (Knowing this was a loaded question I probably shouldn't have asked her) she said, "I'll be the baby." And I just felt like so much relief and gratefulness and peace from her answer. And I'm not saying like if your toddler didn't say that to you that you don't have an answer from God, you WILL get an answer from God in the form of peace and it will look different for everyone. I just thought that was a really sweet story.
I hope each of you can be seeking peace from God whether you're moving or going back to work or having babies, that it's okay to acknowledge your feelings as a human but then give it to God and not be led by our emotions. We are seeking God's peace and are driven by God's peace.
And every family will have different peace about different numbers of children and that's totally fine, wonderful, and beautiful. And we all have different margin and peace for different things.
Thanks for being here, friends. Until next time, let's Elevate Motherhood!
Letter written to me from my own mom when I was 17 months old:
This poem, "The First Year Again" is by Jessica Urlichs and she is an AMAZING writer. This print is purchasable from her Etsy shop and she has SO many amazing works that I'd love for you to check out! Click here to visit her Etsy shop.
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