Should I Have One More Child?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my Facebook fans this question:

 

I think my question stemmed from the surgery I am facing, and the sudden (and rather permanent) decision we need to make regarding expanding our family (or not.) In other words, a question I think a lot of us are currently facing, should I have one more child?

Recently, I have had conversations with friends who said they were stopping at two. Now they are trying for a third. Then I have other friends who say ‘quit while we are ahead.’ Heck, even our realtor said, “Stop while you have a fair fight.” Meaning, I presume, that it is two on two vs. being outnumbered.

Well meaning family members say that since we have a boy and a girl, we have the ‘perfect family’, so why add to it? Others feel that having one of each takes the pressure off having another one as we are not “trying for a certain gender”. A third baby is a bonus, they say.

Luckily financial concerns aren’t limiting our choices. (Though if college tuition keeps going up, maybe it will be.) Thus, the big issue for us is age. I’m turning 40 next year and my husband is getting AARP mail. As it is, my youngest will be graduating college when we qualify for social security. Added to the fact that recent medical studies are leaning towards advanced age as a probable factor for autism. I also know having pregnancies as I continue to get older, increase my risk for genetic complications. One factor I dealt with during this last pregnancy, which prompted this post.

I still cannot believe I’m facing this decision. I spent most of my life making sure I didn’t get pregnant, and most of the conversation was about whether to delay or not delay starting a family. Never did the conversation go to when one would stop having kids. Yet, here we are.

As I said in a post of mine last month:

“At times, I know I’m done. At other times, I dream of a little nameless face. As I’m up with my children at night, I wonder about the children I may never have. As I’m up with my children at night and desperate for sleep, I think two is enough. Am I okay with that?” (CharleneChronicles.com 10/31/12)

What about you? How did you make your decision?

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About Charlene DeLoach

As a Boston Mom Blogger in Massachusetts, Charlene DeLoach doesn't care about the megapixels on a smartphone. She only cares about whether it will survive being in the hands of her kids.

Comments

  1. Charlene,
    I faced a similar question, but after my first (successful but 2nd) pregnancy. I had 4 pregnancies total, 2 kids. (You can do math so you know what happened!) For me, pregnancy was a very risky proposition and my daughter (1st successful pregnancy) and I struggled. But after having her, I just didn’t feel complete with just one. We tried again and miscarried-again. But I still felt in my heart the yearning for another child. So the summer before my 40th birthday, my husband and I agreed that whatever was in process on my Birthday, November 18th, would be. If I was pregnant, great. If I wasn’t, we would cease trying. The hardest part to agree to was if I was pregnant on my birthday but subsequently lost the pregnancy, I would not try again. Thankfully I didn’t have to cope with that situation as my 4th and final pregnancy resulted in my son.

    The yearning for a child is a powerful force. If I were you, I’d ask myself, “Am I truly yearning for a child or am I kinda just wanting one because I know that soon I won’t be able to have any more? These are very different scenarios, but I think if you do that deep soul searching, as I did some 7 years ago now, in your heart, you know the answer. Best of luck to you and your familly-whatever you decide!!

  2. We’re probably done with four, but it’s a tough decision.

  3. Such a tough, tough question and one in which decisions may fluctuates daily. I find myself wishing and wishing; however, our journey is done. We now focus on our beautiful miracles and know that our family is complete even if I continue to dream about a bigger family.

  4. Wow. I just turned 38, have a boy and a girl and this piece REALLY resonated with me. Particularly the excerpt at the end. The wisdom that I most appreciate is this: “if you do not feel like your family is complete, having another makes sense.” I really get that, because I do feel like another child is supposed to be in our family. But when the kids are both sick and my husband is away, or my patience is shot and I think that my children would be better suited being cared for my somebody else, I think “two is enough”.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It has helped bring clarity to my own.

  5. I love having two and definitely considered a third, but my husband was not on board for a third. Now that it’s been a few years and some friends are having their third child or fourth, I’m happy just hanging out with them and very happy to be in the ‘non baby’ stage of our family.

    I’m not sure anyone (except a few) knows exactly when they’re done or should be. There is so much “unknown” about having a child, any child and its always a leap of faith either way.

    Whatever you choose or is chosen for you, the best thing we can do is appreciate what we have and that’s not always so easy. (But I know you are good at it!)

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  1. […] months now since my diastasis recti surgery. Many people have read my previous posts about how the decisions I had to make to have the operation, the struggles, the fear, and the surgery recovery. Yet, I […]

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