The more the merrier?
Back when I was
naive younger, I had visions of having a large family…at least four kids. I’m not exactly sure why I wanted so many kids. Maybe it was because I felt I grew up as an only child since my brothers were seven and nine years older than me and already out of the house by the time I was ten. Or maybe it was because neither of my parents are very close with their families, so holidays were never big, grand events with lots of extended family around. Whatever the reason, in my mind I saw myself with all these cute little kids and a happy husband, living a perfect, happy life.
My life, so far, really is not that much different than the picture I just painted. I have a happy husband, a dog, one cute little kid, and can say that we are living a happy life. However, I also have a career as a lawyer; and a young lawyer at that. Yeah, that piece never really entered into my mind when I was planning out my huge family.
Scott and I have always planned on having at least one more baby (and I have even entertained the idea of three.) The other day on Facebook I saw that a couple who had their first baby one month before us, is now pregnant with their second. Their children will be 25 months apart. And it seems everywhere I look, people are now having their second babies. This has planted the question of when we should try for a second baby in my head.
Shortly after having Decker, I had said that we should start trying for number two once he turned two. However, that doesn’t seem plausible at this point. Besides the fact that I feel like we are just now getting to the point where Decker is a bit easier to take care of, I also have to consider my job situation. In January, I started working at a very small law firm…a firm so small that it is not even bound to the FMLA. And I’m now at a point there where I am starting to get my feet a bit more wet in taking on my own cases and actually somewhat knowing what I am doing. The last thing I want to do is disrupt my career by being pregnant with no job (which already happened once, as I was laid off when I was 6 months pregnant.)
So then I wonder, well when SHOULD we get pregnant? The plus side to having babies close together is that you a) can get all your pregnancies out of the way and know that you have your body back for good (and start planning your tummy tuck ) and b) because your children are closer in age, they will have more in common and play together. The negative sides to having babies close together is that you a) have to simultaneously care for multiple children at demanding ages, b) because your children are closer in age, they will compete and fight more, and c) the closer in age kids are, the more expense there seems to be…i.e., 2 kids in college at once, going to prom, driving, etc.
And then sometimes, I think about what it would be like to not have another baby. To know that I never have to worry about telling my boss I’m pregnant. To know that I have my body back to myself for good. To know that I never have to deal with breastfeeding or sleepless nights with a newborn.
I admit, these thoughts have crossed my mind lately. I think how attractive it is to know that parenting can only get easier from here on out. I think about how it will be great when Decker starts to go to sleep later because then I will have more flexibility with my time.
But then I think about how I never want Decker to be alone once we are gone. And how I want him to experience the closeness of a sibling and learn the importance of sharing everything with his brother or sister. And of course, part of me would really love to see what our daughter would look like.
we’ve I’ve decided that maybe once Decker is three, we should start trying. I figure about 4 years difference in age is still pretty close and still gives us lots of time for Decker to be totally out of diapers. But really, I never imagined the decision of whether to have a second baby and when, would be so involved.
Those of you that have faced the same questions, I am open to enlightenment.