This question has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe Eric’s second birthday triggered it all and maybe it’s the endless questions of everybody we know (and don’t know!) “So when are you having another child?”.
It’s funny how people feel completely free to ask you such a personal question - especially the perfect strangers. Hello, my dear cashier lady, thanks for putting my groceries into the nice plastic bags, can you please tell me why you’re so interested in the number of children I will - or will not - have? I don’t even know your name and might never see you again. Actually, from now on, I will make sure I never see you again - and if I do, I will go to another register.
But it’s the question itself that is bothering me, not the people who ask it. I am pretty good at decision-making, yet this is a tough one, even for me. The outcome will affect my whole world - for better or for worse, and not only me but all the people I love will have to live with the consequences of this decision. Forever.
Why not to have?
1. The sacrifices.
For instance, Eric is 2 now. One more year and we can go travel together as a family, have fun, see new places, go skiing, hiking and camping. We’ve been waiting for this for 3 years already. The alternative? If I’m lucky, it will take me one more year to give birth to another baby and then another 2 until the baby’s old enough for us to get out of the house. By then Eric will begin school and we won’t be able to go anywhere except on school holidays. Bye-bye, our dream.
2. My time and love.
Another thing is my time - and my love. Well, love is funny - people say that you have enough love for whatever number of kids God gives you. Don’t know - that might be true. But one thing I definitely know - God won’t give me a 48 hourly day, just because I have 2 kids. Which means that every kid will only get one half of what they could’ve gotten. And my time with kids is the most important investment I will ever make into their upbringing. So basically instead of one great kid I might get two average ones. Hmmmm, I do not like the way this sounds.
3. The work.
Yet another thing is the amount of work. It is my suspicion that with the second child the amount of work doesn’t double - it triples. I have hard time as it is, juggling work, raising Eric to the best of my abilities and managing the household. Can I handle more work? Or will it be the straw that broke the camel’s back?
4. The money.
I am also thinking about the financial side of things. Raising another child will make things tougher - and the situation will only get worse. Statistically speaking, now at the age of 34 we are in the peak earning ability, which means that from now on things will only go downhill. The expenses, however, will only increase as the kids grow up, and something we could afford for one kid we might not be able to afford for two. So does it mean that one will have it and the other won’t? Or do we deprive both of them?
5. The partner.
Lastly, this is not just up to me - Rob is not thrilled with the idea of having more children. He feels that life is not exciting any more, that we’ve forgot how to have fun. There is always Eric’s routine we must follow or the alternative is to face the consequences, a cranky 2 year-old, who hadn’t slept enough or was overstimulated and is NOT pleasant to be around.
But hey - don’t go away thinking I have made up my mind. I will dive into the reasons to say “Yes” to another baby in my next post, stay tuned.