Something I’ve been asked many times since having Lily is whether or not we are done having babies. And the honest answer that I always give people is that I truly don’t know. Two seems to be the magic number of kids for many families these days, understandably. The world seems to be built for a family of four – restaurants have a multitude of tables for four when going out to eat, the default number of travellers in a room is four, and the ‘million dollar family’ is one son and one daughter.
I have been blessed with two healthy kids – one son and one daughter. And I am lucky that I have the ability to have more children, as there are so many women that are not able to. But there is still a part of me that feels sad that this could be my last time nursing a baby throughout a night, my last time dressing a babe in itty bitty baby clothes, or using the infant toys that have been played with by both my children. And those baby snuggles – that is something I will never tire of. I have a hard time trying to figure out whether these feelings are simple nostalgia or a sign that we’re not finished growing our family.
I am a woman that is usually very in tune with myself – I trust my gut, and I trust my instinct. But in this case, I just don’t trust my feelings, as they flip flop every other day. The thought of never being pregnant again makes me feel sad (and my pregnancies were far from ideal), and my babies weren’t magic unicorn babies that were easy-peasy (there were actually family members that were surprised we got pregnant after caring for colicky Andrew). So why the confusion?
I have spent a lot of time chatting with other moms about this, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer or consensus. Some moms I have talked to say that ‘they just knew’ when they were finished having babies, whether it was at one kid or four. I haven’t gotten “that” feeling yet, so does that mean I’m not finished with baby-making? I worry that I’ll never get that feeling, so I just keep popping out babies – what if I just become the Michelle Duggar of the north? Or even worse – what if I regret not having more children?
I realize that living life and making choices sometimes comes with regret, that you made the wrong choice. And I’m okay with that. I think of it as a learning experience if I made a decision I regret. But I don’t know if having more kids is a type of regret that I’m okay with having.
There are SO many reasons I can think of to have more children – more love, more giggles, more fun, more family! I love being a mom. My kids are hands-down the most amazing and rewarding thing that I have done with my life, and seeing the bond growing between Andrew and Lily makes my heart burst with love. Knowing that Ryan and I created these two incredible little beings, and that I grew them in my belly seriously takes my breath away when I stop and think about it. But – and this is a big but – there are cons too. So, bear with me as I work through my crazy!
My concerns about having more kids are:
- financial constraints of adding a third: more kids = more money. I probably wouldn’t end up working, because three kids in daycare (even before/after care) adds up pretty fast…and I’m a social worker. Not a profession known for their large salaries. We would need a new car, new house…and kids ain’t cheap.
- the worry that I will be spread too thin: I already have moments where I feel like I’m not giving both my children enough attention, and that Andrew has lost a lot of my time since I’ve had Lily. Those feelings would probably grow and become more intense if I feel like I’m letting two children down.
- changing family dynamic: we have a boy and a girl, and it just seems so equal, so balanced. With a third child, someone would always undoubtedly be left out, regardless of gender.
- we are blessed to have two happy, healthy kids: I know this seems dark and doomsday-ish, but…both our kids are healthy. What if there was something medically wrong with potential baby? Not only would that be absolutely heartbreaking, but it would undoubtedly take time and attention away from the other kids.
Sigh. After all that rambling I still don’t have any more clarity on the issue. Maybe we need to sit down and talk about it some more. Maybe I need to just trust my instinct and see where that leads me. As of now, I’m waiting for that ‘feeling’ or ‘sign’ that leads me in either direction. How did you know that your family was complete?