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The Benefits of Being Done Having Kids

The Awesome Thing That Happens When You're Done Having Babies

If the thought of being done having babies makes you want to clutch tiny onesies and cry a little, I get it. It's sad when that sweet baby-filled chapter of life comes to an end. It's hard to watch all the firsts become lasts and to longingly look at other people's newborns knowing you'll never carry a brand-new squishy little human out of the hospital again.

It feels so good to be able to dream — and plan — based in reality and not in unknowns.

But as someone who has definitively completed that chapter, there's also something awesome that happens. Yes, you get to throw away, give away, or donate all those annoying baby items that have been cluttering up your house the exact minute your little one grows out of them. And that is pretty awesome, but that's not the best part. It's that you can finally make plans.

You know all those family trips you haven't been able to take or had to hold off on because you've had a baby or been pregnant or thought you might be pregnant or weren't sure if you'd have a newborn? The ones you've been dreaming about, just waiting for your little ones to be not so little. Waiting for it to be worth it or for it to even be physically possible. Even the ones you decided not to wait on, only to have to cancel or reschedule because you got pregnant or your baby arrived earlier than anticipated. You can finally make those plans.

Because when you're done having babies, all of those (well, most of those) what-ifs and unknowns disappear. There will always be the unexpected to squash your long weekends or other, bigger things that force you to adjust course. You'll never be able to predict those. But as much as anyone can plan for the future, once your last baby has entered this world (and you close the door on any more), you can safely get on with your life.

You know exactly how old your kids will be and that you'll be able to enjoy a cocktail (or two or three). You know how many plane tickets you have to budget for and how many car seats you need to lug. You know how many more years you should wait until your youngest will be able to handle that big hike and how quickly you need to make Legoland happen before your oldest loses interest.

You can tentatively mark that backpacking trip you've always wanted to take but had to wait on until everyone could carry their own pack in your calendar for five years from now. That Disneyland visit you wanted to make sure they all would be old enough to remember. The couples getaway you didn't want to be pregnant for. All of it. Even if the plans are firmly in your brain and not booked online, it feels so good to be able to dream — and plan — based in reality and not in unknowns. And that's a perk you'll get to enjoy long after you've given away the last baby onesie.

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