“Are you done having kids?”
It’s a common question. The question starts after the first kid and never stops until you start complaining of hot flashes.
My answer: Yes. Done. Final answer. You will not change my mind. Why do people try to change your mind? I’m not saying this in a mean way. This isn’t a post where I explain how offensive it is to ask this question. I’m not offended. I am just sure of my answer.
I love babies. I do. But I love handing them back to their mothers more.
I made a list. How to know when you’re done with babies – BAM let’s go:
You’re at peace in the Target infant section.
You don’t hear a clock ticking. You don’t feel anything. No, wait – you do feel something. Relief. You walk through the infant aisle at Target and you’re relieved you’re not starting all over again. I know better than to swoon at the newborn clothes. You can’t trick me Target, not in that section anyway.
You push your youngest to grow up.
Are you done playing with these barbies? No. Are you done playing now? No. Are you done now? Hmm, I don’t really play with those anymore. SOLD! TO THE STRESSED OUT WOMAN PUSHING A STROLLER AT THE GARAGE SALE.
Your frequent flyer miles go up.
You’re not the asshole on the plane anymore. Stop – I’m not calling parents that bring their toddlers on a plane assholes. You’re not. I actually feel sorry for you. I’ve been there. I know how you feel and I’m tearing up just thinking of it. You feel like an asshole. Booking a flight with the kids doesn’t scare the living hell out of you anymore because iPods are the new babysitter on a plane.
You break out the red lipstick and heels.
Smokin’ hot dates are back! Fire! Having older kids relieves the dependency on parents. You can’t go on dates with a baby. Those milk-filled boobs have your kid’s name all over them. If you didn’t breastfeed, that’s cool – your kid’s name is on the dark circles under your eyes. Go reserve the best table in your city. Get drunk at the bar together. Grow out that mom haircut. Take a last minute trip to Costa Rica. Let your sexual goddess be free. Your body is all yours now. Oh, but you might want to muffle that sexual goddess. Your older kids know what you’re doing. That’s gross.
Your minivan love cloud has lifted.
Did I really drive that? Was my car really this messy? Go buy something sporty. And that soccer mom minivan is not considered “sporty.” I’m talking about a car that’s impossible to fit a carseat in. Genius idea – leave the minivan for your bum teenager. Evil, hilarious, and cheap.
You begin purchasing white couches.
It was a lost battle from the moment you peed on a stick. White couches do not mix with kids. Don’t even look at the Pottery Barn catalog. Toss it. And while we’re at it, toss that Victoria Secret catalog too. Lies, I tell you. Lies. You’ll never have nice things. Not while your kids are eating cheerios and taking a dump in their diaper on the couch. You’ll get there one day. On that day, you’ll only have yourself to blame for the red wine stain.
May I just say: the pool becomes relaxing again.
Your kids are masters at swimming by now, they might even be Red Cross certified. Sit back, grab a magazine, wave at the newbie mom in the ankle deep water, and float away. Welcome. Your older kids will still push your raft over. I didn’t say parenting in the pool becomes a vacation.
You take naps.
Let me rephrase that. You take naps when you want to. None of this sleep when your baby sleeps. You can sleep in on weekends. You can even bribe your kids to make you breakfast in bed for the small price of a destroyed kitchen.
You leave the teaching to the professionals.
Don’t cross the street without looking both ways. Brush your teeth before bed. Just use a calculator to figure out the tip. That’s the extent of explaining life lessons to your kids. I don’t even know what common core is. It’s best to let it go and let the teachers explain how 7 + 5 = regrouping ten ones as a ten, that equals 12. Here’s my way – I counted on my fingers. Maybe it’ll stick with your kids.
I had babies young. My 20s is a era gone. I wasn’t like most 20-somethings. I never explored different cities with a backpack. I didn’t go to dive bars with friends. I wasn’t able to focus on a career I was actually good at. I survived early motherhood. I miss parts of it but life goes on. I am at peace watching my two daughters become women. I can go back to being just me – whoever that is.
Yes. Done. Final answer.