My youngest child is about to turn three, why do I suddenly want to have another baby?
My husband and I decided that we were done after two. We put a lot of thought into this decision. We started our family a little later than planned, and I had pretty difficult pregnancies, so it didn’t make sense to tempt fate again. Plus, two kids means that we aren’t outnumbered. It also means that we can stay in our city, where real estate prices rival Manhattan’s. And, perhaps most importantly, it means we don’t ever need to buy a minivan.
But this wasn’t an easy choice. I’m the third kid out of four in my family. If my parents had been as practical/ pragmatic/ sane as we are, then I wouldn’t exist. As great as my older siblings are, I think the family really hit its stride when I came along… Our house was always full of noise and excitement – sure, sometimes that noise was my boyfriend pulling up on his motorcycle at midnight – but you get what I’m saying. Now that we’re all grown up and have spouses and lots of kids, my childhood home is like Disneyland when we go (which is at least weekly, since we’re able to live 5 minutes from my parents).
A friend of mine with two kids once said that she only had her second in case something tragic happens to one of them. You know, an heir and a spare. Sounds a bit morbid to me but okay. And I know a lot of only children who have two kids because they hated being alone growing up (and still hate it to this day because it means fewer, if any, cousins for their kids and a lot of pressure on them as their parents age). I get that. Two is a good number. It’s manageable – especially when getting them dressed in the morning, paying attention to their eating and sleeping and pooing schedules without a spreadsheet and algorithms, and (and this one’s a big one) – worrying.
The what-ifs of motherhood can be overwhelming sometimes. There’s a nasty barf bug going around, what if they both get it? Imagine that times three or four? There are bullies on the playground, what if my kid is the target? What if my kid is the bully? What if my kid gets mixed up with the wrong crowd? What if my kid wants to experiment with drugs? What if my kid texts and drives or dates a guy with tattoos or wants a motorcycle or drops out of school to be a YouTube star? What if? What if? What if? What if?
One of my best friend’s just had her fourth baby and another had her fifth. The tiny little bums and the new baby smell send my ovaries into overdrive. Lucky for me, they are more happy to share them whenever I need a fix. And I get to go home to my quiet little 4-person house and sleep through the night – boobs and abs intact. Some people are built to have a lot of kids and I admire and envy that. But I’m just not – and that’s okay.