Babies

I’ve wanted kids for as long as I can remember. It’s probably a good thing I’m a lesbian, because seriously, I’m sure I would have ended up making the leap into parenthood way earlier than was good for me otherwise! However, in my happy little vision of parenthood, I never really seriously considered that there might be more than two. I grew up the second of two. Most of my friends were one of two, or only children. The only family with my direct extended relatives (my generation) with more than two had twins to get to three. I come from a family of low rates of reproduction. 

Leah and I have always talked about the possibility of more than two. But never seriously. And now here we are with two amazing girls and…I don’t feel done. This both scares and excites me. I talked about possibly carrying more kids after Darwin was born, but in my head I was saying it as a way to be ok with being done with that role. Yes, backwards, I know.

I worry about having more kids and never feeling done. Maybe this is me being done, and I just have to live with a comma rather than a period. 

And how silly and crazy is it to be having these thoughts with a toddler and a newborn? Less than two weeks old and already thinking about another? (And another because that’s the deal – we end with evens). Some of it stems from seeing Darwin with Linnea. She’s jealous sometimes, but mostly she wants to hold her hand and share her crackers and pat her head. I know from experience that much of their sibling interactions will not be harmonious, and that’s ok, because they are sisters and family and amazing. 

This doesn’t even touch on thoughts of money, space, energy, time, thoughts from my family, our midwife (who clearly never actually wants to retire. Ever), or implications for my work. Maybe I’ll start a mini blog series dedicated to these ideas. 

For my own food for thought, how many of you, my friends, felt done with one, or two, or three (or more)? How many of you are done even if you never felt done, and how do you hold that reality? 

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28 thoughts on “Babies

  1. shawnsorcade says:

    I would literally be pregnant again this second if I had my way. As it is we’ll start again around when we did with bean but yeah I don’t know if I’ll ever feel done. We are an “even” family too and I don’t like the thought of having to stop at four but six seems insane

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  2. You know, I never got it when people talked about their family not feeling complete until we were at the zoo a couple weeks ago and I kept feeling like we had left a kid somewhere. I guess that means 4 is the magic number for us! After that my feelings won’t matter, we wouldn’t be able to have the lifestyle I want because our resources would be too thin 🙂

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  3. Tracy says:

    2 absolutely feels like the right number for us. And not just because I don’t think you could pay me to be pregnant again. Not that this has been an awful pregnancy, but I can’t imagine being this exhausted with TWO kids to care for; one is bad enough!

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  4. There’s a huge part of me that wants another one, but I think we’re one and done. We live in a crazy expensive city, and I can’t afford child care for two and still give #1 the security and life I want her to have. It kind of sucks when finances make the decision for you.

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  5. Each child we chose to have become a longer, more drawn out decision process.

    (I know, you’re shocked.)

    We try to make responsible decisions (money, time, space) but we also allow ourselves to dream a bit. Five years ago when we started having kids, I never dreamed we’d be where we are now and it’s definitely for the better.

    Our circumstances change so much that we really just try to make decisions with what adventures we want to take in this life and we work it out from there.

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    • I think this is where we are. When we got the positive test for the little Bee who would be Linnea, we were legit shocked because of Leah’s big temp drop and everything seeming to be moving toward a failed month. Well. I had spent the night before outlining all the reasons it was good that it hadn’t worked. I mean, my job was scheduled to end the day before her due date. It was basically terrible timing. And here we are and things are just awesome. We worked it all out. I’m realizing that’s just what we do. We work it out.

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  6. We’re a bit in the same spot as Molly-a second child just isn’t a feasible option. Some days I would love another and some days I am good. We’ve agreed to always leave the conversation open but in 21 months have never hit a hard yes.

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    • Yeah. I’m realizing part of the fact that it’s even a consideration is how flexible our schedules are. We’re seeing ourselves up to have most of a stay at home patent between the two of us. If we were trying to pay for full time care I don’t think it would even be a consideration.

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  7. I have an 8 week old and I’m already thinking of a second one! However, our finances will end up dictated whether or not we expand our family. We’re in a very expensive area and I’m not sure how we would pay for childcare for 2 kids. Sad, but true. We’re playing it by ear and revisiting this topic in a year or so.

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  8. We thought we’d have just one child before J was born, but are rethinking and will hopefully have a second, eventually. I think we’ll stop there, but I have no idea how we’ll feel later on. Money, space, time – all of these things make me think that sticking with one would be smart, but I’d rather be short on all of those than miss out on making another baby. I think even we we are done, there will be a nostalgia for baby-land even as it’s happening – a feeling of sadness at never coming back to the place of having a newborn.
    If we were paying for childcare, we’d be totally done. In fact, we might not have started.

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  9. Emily says:

    For me it’s the heart saying I could just have babies endlessly. I don’t even have negative memories of pregnancy and birth to deter me- I had a super easy time for both! But the head says we’re done now for a lot of reasons. Financially, morally (we’ve replaced ourselves, having more contributes to a growing human population), emotionally being able to give as much as we do to the two and not be spread too thin…but boy do I love getting my baby fix with friends’ kids whenever I can! It helps that I also have a few hundred additional “kids” as a teacher to satisfy my maternal instincts haha! As far as “feeling complete” I remember before having kids thinking I could never just have one (keep in mind I grew up youngest of 7 in one household and in the middle of 6 in the other, so always around lots of people). But I distinctly remember after having Kevin that I had this realization and kind of a peace that if it happened that he would be our only child, I’d have been okay with it, which really surprised me. Obviously now I can’t imagine life without Henry 🙂

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    • Yah. I’ve been shocked in the opposite direction. I’ve always thought and said that two is my vision. And here we are and I never thought I’d want more. I feel a bit like my mind is blown.

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  10. Jan Wetherell says:

    I’m 73 and I’m still not done but my kids are now my grandkids and all the little ones I love to nurture. I’ll never be done drawing little ones under my wings, including Darwin and Linnea.

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  11. You know, i always knew I would have a large family. I come from a big family, and it was always just THE BEST! Every family is different, and every family has different reasons as to why they want to extend their family or keep it as is. I’ll be hinest though, having this many kids is just…LORDT!!! It’s a lot! BUT our house is so…ALIVE and FUN and just, I dunno…it’s hard, but it’s not. You get into a routine, you know how to communicate with your partner in short bursts of sound (Callie actually knows EXACTLY what I mean when I say, “Love, can you…just…babe! Please?”), and everything is an organized chaos and you just make it work.

    One of the truths that I have figured out is that there is NEVER enough time, NEVER enough money, NEVER enough space, BUT you ALWAYS make it work. I guess, I’m just one of those people that kind of goes with the flow and is spontaneous and doesn’t really plan for the long run :/ Callie, on the other hand, is very good about having a plan laid out! She’s…a lot with planning, but it keeps us in check. I’ll always encourage people to have more children. SHIT! We’re ready for another one, and despite our “vague rules” for spacing kids, once Austin is 18 months…well, #5 is totally an option (and very l ikely) for us, even though, 3 bedroom apartment and possibly going back to being a one income family. And also, much like you, are village is LEGIT so it doesn’t always seem so hard…

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    • Village, so much! I love your description of your coparenting relationship! We’re similar, although I’m usually the pragmatic planner. It feels wild to be thinking about more kids, and also…right?

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  12. We would totally have another one but there is this thing called MONEY! Being that our oldest is 11 years older than the next we know he will be out of the house and leave us an odd number so would like another. Unfortunately we both have to work for different reasons (me health coverage for the family and her salary) so paying daycare for 4 kids would be insanely outrageous. But it doesn’t mean we don’t dream….HA

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