My mom adventures in Fort Collins


Ongoing family planning indecisiveness
January 28, 2012, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Parenting

I have never ever been decisive. I’m just not that much of a planner–I don’t have “goals” per se.

So, it should come as no shock that on the issue of the size of our family I am a flip-flopper. When I was pregnant with Scout, the thought of doing this whole thing more than once would give me even more nausea that I already had. Once Ruby was born, she was just this angel baby and I felt convinced we could have twenty of these darling offspring. I have been all across the board on this issue.

Today, I toy with the idea of having another baby. Tomorrow, I might not. Next week, I might have a fleeting thought about getting a puppy to satisfy my baby lust. In essence, I have no clue what we’re doing here.

Another difficulty is that Cory is a flip-flopper too. He comes from a family of three, so to him three would be great. Yet, he’s very content with our two. After Ruby was born, he often mentioned having another. Lately, he claims that he’s “ready to move on from the baby-stage.” It’s true, we are moving on from this stage and turning around to re-do another round of infancy doesn’t really sound like fun. Nor does pregnancy. But truth be told, there is little in life that’s truly awesome that isn’t also an awful lot of hard work.

My theory on family planning is that you have to start with a plan. If you are like Cory and me, and you are going to make it up as you go along, you will likely scrap any idea at having three or more children once the transition from 1 to 2 children kicks your ass. If you tell yourself you want to have two different sexes, that might keep you going for a minute, but there’s not a lot of people I know who have 4 or 5 children who didn’t start with some idea that they wanted a big family. Because big families don’t just happen. You have to start with that goal in mind, or else you will throw in the towel.

Cory and I might be done. And I’d be okay with that. We have two beautiful, healthy girls and that is more than I could have ever asked for. Likewise, my pregnancies (or really the labor/delivery/post-partum) were not exactly ideal. My 35th birthday is right around the corner, and with that comes the realization that time to do this might be running out. I know, I know, women have babies at 40 and beyond all the time these days–but what they don’t often talk about is that at 40 your body doesn’t bounce back from a pregnancy the way it did at 33. There is a physical reality to our bodies, right?

Yet, when I look at my family, I don’t know if I’ve closed the chapter on the baby years. I don’t know if I look at a photo of the four of us and feel a sense of peace, a sense of being settled. Instead, I ponder seeing another member of the family. Does having a larger family really mean that I myself need to be pregnant and give birth? I don’t know the answer to that question either. On the topic of fostering, Cory is uninterested. We’ve never seriously talked about adoption.

My main reason for wanting another member of the family is that I feel like I’m just now getting the hang of things. Why stop now!?! Maybe I could be an awesome mom, and I might actually have a shot with kid #3!!! Sure, as a young child, I remember looking at my mom’s family (she’s one of six kids), and wanting a large family. Once I learned how difficult it is to care for those children (and, let’s face it, how expensive it is to care for them), I definitely thought six kids a completely unreasonable number! Forget those families of 12 or whatever, who on God’s green earth wants to do that?

But one more? Maybe just one more? That sounds so reasonable. I could do that. And then there’s a night of all-night family puking, and I think, “Maybe not.”

My two beautiful, healthy, funny, perfect girls

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