It's the question every couple asks themselves at some point and time: "How and when do you decide your family is complete?" It's a very personal question that couldn't be more important, for it defines absolutely every event that follows afterwards.
It's funny that I've been asked to write about this question, for Michael and I have just had "the talk" a few weeks prior. Riley has just turned three years old and my husband has just turned thirty-six. We realize that if we are wanting another baby, we will definitely need to start pointing our thoughts and energies in that direction very soon. I'm thirty-five myself and as a Genetics major, I'm all too aware of the increased risks of having a baby in your later thirties to early forties.
Michael and I have been kicking this question around in the back of our thoughts and our conversations basically since Riley was born. When we decided to begin trying for Riley, it was such a wonderful time! We were so excited to become parents and actually create a life that would be an awesome little blend of the both of us. After one whole month of trying, we were pregnant and everything was falling quickly into place. Our finances worked themselves out perfectly and I was able to stay at home to raise Riley. Since Michael and I had always planned on having at least one child, our home was plenty big and we lived in a terrific neighborhood for raising children. I couldn't have been more thrilled to be a mom and Riley has been one of the absolute best things that has ever happened to me.
But I quickly noticed that when we contemplated having a second child, there just wasn't that same verve or passion behind it like there was when we planned Riley. Instead of focusing on the beautiful new bundle of joy that was to come, I found that we both tended to focus more on the obstacles and negatives associated with it.
For instance, I breast fed Riley for over a year and since she wouldn't take to my breast directly, that meant that I breast PUMPED for over a year and fed it to her in a bottle. I'd be lying if I said that I was looking forward to going through that again, but I'd feel guilty if I didn't do the exact same thing for my second child.
Our home is just the right size for one child, but both Michael and I agree that with two children, our house would seem small and cramped. Two kids with double the toys, double the clothes, needing double the bedrooms, is just more than either of us like to think about.
We also want to make sure that we can comfortably afford to give Riley and ourselves an enjoyable life, complete with family vacations, college expenses, cars and possibly even private school too. Michael and I also are saving hard to sock away a nice nest egg for ourselves, so that when we retire, we'll be able to travel and enjoy our golden years together. Another child means that private school is definitely out for the both of them and that cars and college will be even tougher to swing.
So, by now you may be thinking that there's no way that I want another child and that we've definitely made up our minds to stop with just one. But that's the strange thing about being a parent. Even realizing all of the perfectly valid reasons I've listed above still can't make me forget about how excited and happy I was when Riley was born. And how every day of my life is better because she's in it. I also can't forget how full my heart feels when she tells me that she loves me or gives me a big hug and sloppy kiss. I know in my heart that another baby will double these feelings of unrequited joy and bliss and make me feel foolish for ever contemplating the ideas that I've discussed above.
Which still leaves me pondering, "How and when do you decide your family is complete?"
I'm curious to know: How and when do you decide your family is complete? Join the conversation and be entered to WIN the designer handbag of your choice (up to a $500 value) from Essure!
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!