For many people, it seems to go a little like this: When you are dating someone seriously, people ask when you will get married. So then you get married and people ask when you will start a family. So you have a baby and people ask when you will have another. So then you have another and people ask if you will go for baby number 3. Who are these people and why are they so nosy?
And how do you know when you are “done”?
There are a few moms I know who, when asked if they will have another, responded before the question was complete. They answered with a resounding “NO!”. Then there are moms I know who already have three kids and know for sure they would like to have more.
And then there are those of us who are on the fence. We have two – a boy and a girl. Six years apart, which works very well for us. I find myself flip-flopping on this issue pretty much everyday. Some days, the kids are in rare form and I am just shy of pulling my hair out. Those are the days I’m certain one more kid would put me over the edge. Other days, when things are going swimmingly, I think “Heck – what’s one more in the mix?”
When I find myself in a quandary, I pull out the old Pros & Cons list.
One more kid = one more potential candidate to care for me in my later years.
One more kid = greater chance to be mother to the President of the United States (or maybe a doctor who can write me prescriptions in my later years).
Additional tax credit!
I would be able to continue building my stroller collection (I’m on stroller #12!) Yes, my neighbors have taken to calling me “Crazy Stroller Lady”. But in the nicest way possible. I think.
More toys = more mess. And we have a bit of a mess over here.
One more potential wedding to pay for.
Do I really want to return to the diaper and bottle days? I am SO close to transitioning from my diaper bag back to a purse.
My husband and I would be outnumbered.
There would be a traumatized Middle Child.
My car is a tight fit for three kids, but a minivan will never be in my future. No offense to my mom friends (nearly everyone!) with minivans. It’s not you, it’s me.
A friend of mine advised creating a spreadsheet to see if another child would make financial sense. I can tell you right now – no need to do so. Having the FIRST one didn’t make financial sense.
Another friend told me to follow my heart. A good idea, in theory. The problem is – if I made decisions with my heart, I would probably have 10 puppies, 8 kids, and would have offered to be a surrogate for any friend of mine who was struggling in that area.
A recent conversation with a friend who is in the same boat concluded with us agreeing that the regret at not having one would surely outweigh the regret at having one. From experience, I know there has never been a single moment of regret (white lies!), and yet I am REALLY struggling with this decision. My husband has already decided NO, but that’s completely irrelevant.
Coincidentally, this was the recent topic of an article in Parents magazine. According to the article, if someone asks you if you are finished having kids and you respond with ANYTHING other than a definite “YES”, you are not done. I guess we’ll see.
NOTE: I have a pact with a friend to start trying for baby #3 on December 1, 2009. I’ve got my eye on the chicken exit, but it makes me wonder… is pregnancy the new team sport?