When you can finally say goodbye to sleep-free nights because you won’t be having any more kids.

Remember the last time you had to push your baby out of your birth canal? What about how intense the pain was, and how you felt your entire being was being ripped apart?

And how you promptly forgot about the pain once bubba was safe in your arms?

What about that ache for another baby once your older child started toddling? Oh, how you longed to sniff that amazing baby smell once again, or feel a tiny newborn resting on your chest

It seems like an endless cycle doesn’t it? Your older child leaves babyhood behind, and you start feeling broody all over again.

Well, unfortunately (or fortunately), there will come a time when this cycle will absolutely have to stop. Whether you’ve produced one, three, five or more babies ― how do you know when you’re done giving birth? These 10 signs may tell you that it’s time to stop…

1. You have a mild panic attack when your period is late
The mere thought of seeing two blue lines on that stick is enough to make your stomach churn.

And if you do, indeed, have to head to the pharmacy to purchase a pregnancy test kit, you act like you’re a spy on a secret mission ― you buy it and run out of the store before anyone you might know spots you.

In fact, these days, getting your monthly reminder makes you sigh hugely in relief and gives you a spring in your step.

The mother who knows she’s done having kids hears a newborn cry and thinks, sleepless nights, sore boobs and endless diaper duty? No, thank you!

2. You pass the baby store without taking a peek
One of the perks you’ll enjoy when you’re in the throes of new motherhood is having licence of buy all those adorable bibs and mittens, baby crib mobiles and infant toys.

But there will come a day when you’ll forget what the pros and cons of the different diaper brands are, or gush about the latest bouncy chair on the market.

Nor do you want to.

3. You cringe when you hear a newborn cry
When you’re dealing with stroppy toddlers, a newborn’s cries sound like music to a mum’s ears.

Says Valerie Ng, mum to Gabriel, 4, and 5 months pregnant with her second child, “I remember how Gabe used to lie in his crib and just look up at me. He’s so active and loud now ― I miss that side of him as a baby.”

While Ng is ready to welcome another baby, the mother who knows she’s done having kids hears a newborn cry and thinks, sleepless nights, sore boobs and endless diaper duty? No, thank you!

4. When someone tells you she’s pregnant…
You smile and congratulate her, but are grateful that it’s not you! Nope, in your opinion, morning sickness, stretch marks, backache and swollen ankles are not a good thing.



5. Nothing is ever saved “just in case” any more…
You may have vacuum-sealed piles of baby clothes and kept those rattles and toys for years, but now you finally feel ready to dump them on…um, we mean give them away graciously…to someone else.

And while you were sorting those little baby hats and booties, you realise that for the first time, you aren’t shedding a single tear.

When you find out a colleague or friend is having a baby soon, you start listing all the items you could possibly pass to her… Stroller? Check. Crib? Check. That strange rubber duck thingy that tells you if the bath water temperature is safe? Take them all!

6. You start looking at stylish furniture
Instead of bookmarking the children’s product section of the Ikea catalogue you’re perpetually hogging, you’re now browsing sleek and very breakable furnishings from Taylor B, as well as Crate and Barrel.

You’re so ready to ditch that plastic bedside lamp for a fine porcelain one, and exchange that foam play mat for a luxurious 100 per cent wool rug.

While you were sorting those little baby hats and booties, you realise that for the first time, you aren’t shedding a single tear.

7. You don’t feel the need to hold your best friend’s baby
Sure, that brand-new baby scent is intoxicating. But you know what’s equally overwhelming? The lingering smell of baby spit up and the bright yellow consistency of newborn baby poop.

Nope, it’s just not worth it.

8. Your home moves on
You look around you and your home no longer looks like it’s set up to deal with a wailing baby or a wandering toddler.

Gone are the childproof fittings and baby toys. These have been replaced by Lego bricks (that no longer pose a choking hazard), video games and a beautiful study area for your Primary school-going children.

By the way, you look at the clock and realise that you no longer watch it as obsessively as you used to when your little ones were on a feeding-and-napping schedule, and boy, is that a relief.

Indeed, your home ― and your life ― is in a very different place right now.

9. You take on something new
Now’s your time and you know it. While you once had to worry about being out past 7pm when having dinner with your girlfriends, you now don’t think twice about signing up for that weekly evening guitar glass, since it’s always been your dream to learn how to strum.

Doling out $200 on those new Nike trainers? Sure, since you know that you can and will make that commitment to working out regularly because you now have more time on your hands.

You also realise that you’re starting to call your child-free friends once again, setting up high-tea sessions and shopping dates.

10. You’re content
Ultimately, you look at the children you’ve already had and you feel complete. They are the ones that you were meant to have and they are enough.

Giving birth was an incredible experience. But you’ll also cherish this wonderful phase because you’ll get to watch your kids grow up. Perhaps, it’s now time to move on…

Photos: iStock

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