Saturday, May 11, 2013

Repost: Please don't ask me when I'm having another kid

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

Aug. 3, 2011

While visiting my husband's hometown last week (kiddo did just fine on the long car trip), several people asked me that really annoying question.

You know the one: "When are you going to have another child?"

I'm not immune to the fantasy of having a bunch of charming, identically-clad, above-average kids, or even just one more. I've even got a couple of kick-butt baby names in mind. I'm still grappling with whether my husband and I will actually pull the trigger and try for another, though.

Why? Well, I'm tired.

Wait, tired's not the right word. I'm beat. It took a long time for me to get and stay pregnant in order to bring Little Miss into the world. And as much as my husband and I love our daughter, she takes a lot out of us. I can't imagine how tired we'd be if I had another exhausting, dangerous pregnancy and then we had to deal with two small children. We're also spooked by the national economic recession; it's a lot easier to budget for one child than two in this economy.

Oh, I'm aware of all the theoretical advantages of having a second child: a built-in playmate, someone with whom our daughter can share eldercare expenses when her parents are older, someone with whom she can share memories once my husband and I have shuffled off this mortal coil. Plus, I've always admired people who have close relationships with their siblings.

But I also know that I might spend years breaking up fights, that our children might not feel obligated to care for us and that they might not get along as adults.

Also, I'm an only child myself, so I know perfectly well that there's nothing wrong with one-and-done. I'm certainly not the pathologically shy, selfish maladroit of old-fashioned only-child stereotypes. At least, I think I'm not.

So how did I respond to people who asked The Question? I said, "That's still up in the air. I'll let you know if it changes."

The one thing I have determined, though, is that I don't actually feel as though someone's missing from our little family. Whether we have another child or not, I'll be happy.

Who knows? Those kick-butt names don't even have to go to waste. I could always give one to a new puppy or goldfish, right?

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