Thursday, July 29, 2010

Family Size

Expanding our family is something Michael and I have been talking about a lot lately.  Michael was ready for a second child way before I was.  Since Evie turned one, actually.  It was me--the woman who said she wanted four children--that took forever to wrap my head around the idea of a second child.

Finally, while Michael was at Basic Training, I decided I was ready to start considering the idea.  I saw my cousin juggle her newborn and toddler the same age as Evie, and it didn't freak me out.  I actually started to get excited about the idea of having another person to love.  Michael and I talked about it and decided to start trying this fall. 

Fast forward four months, and we're fast approaching fall.  And now I'm freaked out again.  I know we've gone through a lot of changes lately with the move and all so if we push it back a few months due to stress, that's no big thing.  But that's not really the problem. 

It's not the timing that I'm concerned about.  It's the second child altogether.  After having Evie and realizing that my need for order was never going to happen if I had four children, Michael and I decided we'd only have two.  Once he joined the Air Force, it made even more sense to us because we'll be moving around a lot, and it would make trips home a lot cheaper.

Now--and I can't even believe I'm even thinking this--I'm considering not having any more children altogether.  I hate the idea of Evie being an only child, which is the biggest con on my "having only one child" pro/con list, but it's becoming more and more appealing.  Never having to deal with sleepless nights or teething or baby-proofing or breastfeeding for 12+ months sounds great.  I hadn't minded those moments so much at the time, but now that those moments are in the past, I'm not totally opposed to keeping them there.

Go figure that now that being an one-income family is not an issue, and I can stay home without guilt, I'm so confused on the baby issue.

Some of my reasons for not wanting any more children seem a little selfish (even to me) or goofy, but they are valid enough reasons to have me totally confused on what to do.  I love that I've finally started getting my pre-baby body back, and I dread the idea of having to do this all over again.  I like that I can have a guestroom catch-all room in my three bedroom house.  What do people do with their junk when they have more than one child?

I relish the thought that I could start using my degree or get my Masters Degree a lot sooner than anticipated.  As long as I have babies/toddlers/preschoolers, it's important to me that I be a stay-at-home mom so going back to work now and putting Evie in daycare is not even an option to me.  I love staying home, but I hate that I spent so much time and energy on a degree that I'm not even using and may not use for another four or five years.

But one huge reason for not having another child is that I love my family just the way it is.  I know that I have enough love in my heart for more than one child, and I know if we decide to go that route, I'll run with it and never look back.  But to us, Evie is perfection.  Why mess with a good thing?

Reading through this, it seems like I'm leaning towards stopping with only one child.  But that's really not the case.  There are just so many pros on both sides of the decision, and it's confusing me so much my head spins every time I think about it.  One day I say "no more, we're done" and the next it's "okay, I think I want to try for one more". 

I know we can put off this decision for awhile, but we both do agree that if we are going to try for a second, we want it to be soon.  I don't want my children to be too far apart in age, and for all the "pros" to having one child that I listed above, soon or never are pretty much the two choices I've got.  It's not like we'll take away the option to have another in the future if we decide not to now, but I just don't see that happening.

I really needed to just sit here and organize my thoughts on the issue.  And now that I have, I'm asking something of all you parents out there.  Leave me a comment (on here or Facebook) with your thoughts on family size.  I know I'm not the only person in the world to have trouble taking that step from one child to two.  Every parent has made the decision, falling on one side or the other in the end. 

Although this is a personal decision that Michael and I have to make by ourselves, I need some perspective and some lived-through-it-advice.  Thank you!

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