Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Big, Andy, Real Big

When Ace and I got married, we were both OK with either having or not having kids, especially since we're both pretty career-oriented. Some people may think this is wishy-washy, but I prefer to think that we're both flexible in the path that our life (together) takes. I would rather have it that way than to have one of us feel very strongly one way and the other feel completely different, and it's worked out well for the last 10 years.

So, after we finally got settled in our careers and home, we decided to go for it and along came The Mayor. After we had him, we thought "Yep, one is enough. *Yawn*". However, once he hit 1 year old, we began to come out of our first-year catatonia and feel like we might be able to not totally screw up handle another one. Ace is/was an only child, which has been a good experience for him. On the other hand, I have an older brother, which was good for me, but mainly because he's pretty cool and we get along well. In general, I don't think there's a right or wrong as far as how many children to have. I think the most important thing is how you raise those 1, 2, or 6 children. That being said, here are the things twisting around in my pea-brain that are making this decision really hard:
  1. Time With Baby Dos: I was super lucky to be able to stay at home with The Mayor for his first 18 months. Part of this time I was working from home and the other part I was unemployed and looking for a job. It was probably the most awesome (and hardest) 18 months of my life. Now that I'm employed full time and The Mayor is in daycare, I don't know how to accomplish this with baby #2, as we really can't afford to live on one income for very long. And I really want to be home with Baby "Dos" for at least 1 year before he/she goes to daycare. 
  2. It's Really For The Mayor: I, personally, don't care if we have another child. Not to say that I wouldn't love him/her just as much as The Mayor, but I feel pretty fulfilled with having just him. My main reason for thinking about Dos is so that The Mayor has a sibling to grow up with, to be his playmate, to have someone to connect with as family once Ace and I are gone.  But....is this enough reason to have another? 
  3. Solo vs. Team Sports: I've read recently that, in general, only children grow up to be happier adults. They typically cite the undivided attention of their parents, the lack of sibling rivalry, the increased financial stability of the family (without another mouth to feed), etc. I would love to give Jack my undivided attention and focus on him. But... is this enough reason to NOT have another?
  4. Dolla' Bill Y'all: Luckily, I don't worry too much about our finances, as Ace and I both have good jobs and could easily afford another munchkin. But, it would also require a bigger house, double the daycare expenses....basically another cool ~$250k over the lifetime of baby. Ouch. 
  5. Mommy Broke Her Hip Again: So, Ace and I are not getting any younger. I was 35 when we had The Mayor, and Ace doesn't want to have another after he's 40. This gives us very little time to make a decision and get 'er done (I'm so sorry). We don't want kiddos in the  house when we're already retired and wanting to invest in shuffleboard lessons. And it gets harder to be a parent to little ones when you're older. My 25 year old mommy friends have much more energy and better joints than I. And that will only get worse the longer we wait. Ouchier.
There are a hundred more thoughts that torture me daily about this issue, but these are the main points. I really wanna slap envy people who are certain about what they want as far as children go, whether they know they want one or five. All in all, I know that we will all be happy either way. Who would've guessed how hard it would be to know what's best for your family?  Not me. Nope. 


  1. And sometimes you start out with a plan and it just doesn't go that way. Turns out, what you ended up with is still darn spectacular!

  2. I'm happy you wrote about this. And I appreciate Stacia's comment - it leads me to think that maybe you're overthinking this. But then, I think that you cannot overthink bringing in another life to your family and the world at large. I have many things to say about these new thoughts, but those are best left said interpersonally. Regardless, well done on voicing these trying contemplations.