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Mama Musings: How Many Kids Should You Have?

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life
ParentingPost Category - ParentingParenting

My ovaries are confused. They seem to have misplaced the memo I sent them during my hours of labour to deliver Baby Two which clearly stated that they could look forward to a lovely (and permanent) vacation. Yet within a few weeks of giving birth, to my sheer horror, I was already getting the urge to have another baby and it has since grown stronger.

Please understand: these thoughts are crazy for me. I love raucous family events courtesy of my parents, two brothers, and many aunts and uncles, but I truly do not think I am cut out to raise my own large family. Noise makes me nutty, and I’m quite a grumpy cat if I don’t get enough sleep (nine hours is my magic number— i.e. impossible). Now that Baby Two is eleven months old, I am finally getting a routine going, a little freedom, and I am enjoying him and “Baby” One (now 3½ years old) very much.

This enjoyment has been hard-won. I suffer from I’m-A-Terrible-Mother Syndrome. I somehow thought it would be possible to be Martha Stewart, Nigella Lawson, and Marilyn Monroe all rolled up in a cheery little package, but alas, it seems I was wrong. I’ve spent the last three years trying to come to terms with all this and find value in the kind of mother I am. Yet there is still a little voice inside my head that says, you have no business having more children if you can’t appreciate every single second of your time with your existing children.

having three kids_mama musings

So what is a conscientious girl with a Type A uterus to do?

The Internet came to my rescue with lots of input from women who had been in my shoes.

Do it! Don’t do it!
“A very wise friend told me, ‘You will never regret the children you have, only the ones you don’t.’” “I wanted a third for ages. My youngest is 8 now and the urge has passed.”
“You never hear anyone on their deathbed wishing they had fewer children.” “The third child is expensive in terms of booking hotels…taxis, etc.”
“I have two boys and was desperate for a third. My husband was dead against it and I now feel it is one of the biggest regrets I have…” “You will be outnumbered. Man on man coverage. That’s all.”
“Some people are lucky to be able to have children. Having that ability is a gift, embrace it.” “Take up marathon running. Run until the urge passes.”

Very good points across the board but I am still undecided. Let’s delve deeper into my psyche. Where is this urge coming from? I don’t think it has to do with my baby getting older and missing that baby experience. I’m really not a “baby” person—I relish each bit of independence my little ones achieve. I’ve also had these feelings consistently since his birth, so they are not a new development due to first birthday proximity. Maybe it is because I have full-time help here in Singapore? I certainly didn’t manage so well without help, so maybe I’ve been lulled into a false sense of superwomanhood and think I can just have another. Still, this future person in my life keeps weighing on my soul as if willing himself or herself to be brought into this world. It almost feels like a physical pressure.

So HOW do you know for sure? It is a huge decision to make. What if the women who do regret having more kids are just afraid to speak up? People say you will know when you are done, but I feel equally done and not done.

Sigh. For the time being, the hubs says NO. His reasons are expensive travel costs, schooling costs, and being outnumbered. But…he also says the things I have pushed him to do in life have been some of the best decisions he’s ever made.

So we will have a chat. Maybe he will be open to the idea, or maybe I will gain some closure about this chapter of my life being over.

Lead image sourced via Pinterest, Image #1 sourced via Pinterest

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