My Kids Needed to Know Why I Can’t Give Them Another Sibling

Image Source: Jeannette Kaplun
Image Source: Jeannette Kaplun

Not a day goes by in which I don’t feel thankful to be a mother.

For my husband and me, having children was something that we fought hard for. It took us years to have our firstborn and after our second child was born, we secretly hoped for another baby. But it wasn’t meant to be. I’ve made peace with that and my two miracle babies have blossomed into wonderful tweens that inspire me every single day to be a better person.

Now that our kids are older and some of their friends have been surprised by an unexpected sibling, more times than not I have found myself explaining that our family of four will stay that way. It’s become harder and harder to explain, though, because the simple answers that satisfied them when they were younger just don’t cut it now.

So I’ve been more open about how complicated pregnancy is for me. I’ve explained to them that it is hard for me to not only get pregnant but to stay pregnant. Out of necessity, I am oversimplifying something that is much more complex, but this honest approach not only has allowed my kids to understand why they won’t have a new baby brother or baby sister, but has made them realize why I always am in awe of their existence. Expanding our family by other means could have been an option at one point but right now it is not something we will be exploring.

Thankfully, their reactions have been nothing but supportive. My daughter was surprised to learn that I spent two months on bed rest while I was pregnant with her, and that I was not allowed to pick up her older brother for months until she was born. My son, for his part, said he forgave me for that and now understands it wasn’t a matter of not wanting to hold him, but rather a medical necessity. He even said he can’t imagine me being on bed rest for a few months given how busy and active I am now!

All kidding aside though, leave it my 9-year-old girl to look me straight into my eyes and say, “You went through so much to have me.”

I did, and with no regrets.

While I let them know that I would do it all over again to have them, I don’t think I can go through it again for another sibling. With that, my daughter gave me not just a hug, but the peace and acceptance I needed to feel from her.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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