One and Done? Two and Through? One, Two, Three or More?
In my mind, I have the perfect family. A mom and dad – still totally in love, a boy, a girl and a dog. When our son was born (our second child), my husband was not only beaming but he had a sigh of relief on his face. I cried my eyes out when my son was born (much harder than I did when my first was born). I was thrilled to have a boy but I knew that by having a boy, it meant our family was complete and we wouldn’t have another child. For the first year of my son’s life, I insisted that I put him to bed. My logic to my husband was that since this was my last baby, I was going to cherish every minute of it. However, saying that and believing it has taken much longer.
I have BINS of kid’s clothes in my basement, neatly organized by age and gender… just in case. I’ve held onto every single toy from infancy up… just in case. But my son is over three-years-old and we seem to be getting farther and farther away from even the remote chance of changing our minds. My sister has a two-year-old and a newborn and my brother’s wife gave birth to their 4th child just over a year ago. I’ve VERY gradually started to hand down toys to them. (But of course, I have written my name on the bottom…. just in case). There is no just in case in my husband’s mind. We are done. And over time, I’ve seen this decision as the right one for our family. Below are some reasons why I believe this decision is right for us, but I’d be interested in hearing from others about why you choose to or choose not to have more children.
1. We both work full-time and have no intention of changing that. While some people with three kids continue to have a dual working household, the thought is totally overwhelming!
2. We like to travel, whether to visit friends or go on vacations. Traveling for four is still doable – both financially and in terms of accommodations.
3. Paying for college for our children still “feels” like a possibility. Both my husband and I are grateful everyday that our educations were paid for and want to give that to our children.
4. Children are exhausting and I’m not sure my husband and I have the stamina to start over again with an infant.
5. We have two amazing children and consider ourselves extremely lucky. I’m not sure I’d like to take the risk of our luck shifting.
There are of course other reasons that pop into my head on occasion but really it comes down to quality of life and how complete our lives feel right now. However, at a recent gathering with friends, I was fortunate to hold a four week old baby, and learned another friend was 15 weeks pregnant. By the end of the night we learned another was 8 weeks pregnant. As we left, I desperately wanted another baby. My husband asked me on the way home if I was okay with the decision we made. In theory I am and with all logic, I’m okay with it, but when I let logic slide and love and future impact take over, I’m not okay.
When did you decide to stop having children and do you ever regret that decision? What inspired your decision?