I am NOT having another baby right now. No big announcement happening here on the blog. Sorry.
But it is the conversation that I, and many of my peers, friends – and fellow bloggers – have to have. For some of is, it is a conversation we keep revisiting.
I realize that for some people it isn’t as easy as a conversation or just deciding. I also know there are plenty of times we have “the conversation”, make a decision, and G-d just has other plans. For better or worse, as Scary Mommy puts it: “It seems like all I need to do is think about a baby and poof, nine month later, I have one in my arms.”
So there are those of us who have “the conversation” because we do think that we have the ability to decide,at least on some level.
The decision can be about a lot of things, and I am hoping that you will chime in about some of them. There are two things I hear most often. For some, it is a question of family size above all else. “How could I possibly handle more? I can’t handle what I have!”, for example. Or, “I always thought I would have X number of kids, but maybe that is just my ideas getting in the way of what is practically best for us.”
For some, it is the AGE thing… “well, I am going to be/am/am over 40, so it’s now or never!” I hear too. I am going to be 39 in March, and I guess, well, I fall in this category. I say I am done, but saying so when you still have time to change your mind is one thing…..
When I was in labor with my youngest child (who will be 3 this spring), my husband said to my doula “the next time, we will…” There was no rest of the sentence, because I threw the birth ball at him.
Seven is a lot of children. (And any of you tempted to say, or even think ” six and a stepson” you will just have to read this post on the matter.) It is a lot.
Everyone has to do what is right for them, and for many of us that means not only having “that talk” with our spouses, but with a Rabbi. But I do want to address those of you who are considering going from 2 to 3 or from 3 to 4, because this is a group of women I think I hear from the most.
Here is my two cents, which may be worth much less than that:
- When you have two kids, you can have a lifestyle. I mean hobbies, vacations, date night… a lifestyle.If you want to maintain a lifestyle and choose to have a third, you have to stop and consider how close your parents live, how good a roster of babysitters you have, and how flexible you are. I believe it can be done, but with effort.
- However, if you want or are willing to have parenting be your lifestyle, than three is nooo problem, because parenting is what your lifestyle will become. You will take vacations around the kids, and basically do what you do for and about them – at least for a decade or two.
- … And if you have chosen parenting as your lifestyle, then four is really not a big change over three. Very often you can then have “team A” and “team B” for the purpose of logistics. Who is on which team is constantly in flux, but you can divide up the kids while doing playdates/errands/ naps/baths/homework… you get the idea. The kids have taken over the life, then house, the plans, so a fourth means more diapers and less sleep, but not much of an adjustment.
A friend recently related her feelings of still yearning, loving pregnancy and child-bearing, and wanting to enjoy yummy little babies. She is not sure if those feelings are a sign she should keep going, or just some biological stirrings that she needs to learn to contend with. Another friend told her of a woman in her fifties having a hysterectomy and crying, because for some, there is no magical age when that feeling just fades away on its own.
People often talk to me about this very personal issue, telling me that they wonder how can a person do what they do, times seven. “It seems so crazy!”
I tell them that it is crazy, and fun, and joyous and hard and full of love. That when I became a mom I wasn’t a patient person who could live with clutter or a lack of control. I had no choice but to become that kind of person along the way. I remain organized, I prioritize my expectations, I ask LOTS of people for help (and try to help in return whenever I can, ) and I am married to someone who LOVES babies, and loves kids and loves being involved with the poop-changing and bed-timing, etc., which is a HUGE factor in the equation for me.
My husband’s involved co-parenting is the primary, if not sole reason I have the family I do. However, it is precisely because he really does love babies that much, we do end up still having “the conversation“…..
What about you? Are you having “the conversation”???