So, I’ve had baby fever for, oh, at least a year now. I have two children who will turn 6 and 4 this spring, and no hope of a third child in sight.
That is by choice. To be honest, we really can’t afford daycare for a baby right now. And I can’t afford to quit working, as I bring home more than my husband does (public school pay vs. private school pay – no, private schools do not pay more!), plus I carry insurance for the family. (In addition, I like my job.) We pay quite a bit each month in student loans, have a car payment, a house payment, and two kids in private school. They go to my husband’s school, so fortunately we get a 50% discount, but it’s basically the same as what we were paying for two in daycare before this year. Having a third child in daycare would run at least $600 a month, plus diapers, baby food, formula, etc. Realistically, we just can’t swing it.
We are doing the debt snowball thing to pay off all of our debt, so once that’s done, we’ll have a little extra money, but then we want to update our kitchen, put in hardwood floor, etc.
I have some guilt about putting us into debt (school loans) for a creative writing degree. I mean, what do you do with such a degree? I will admit, it did get me a raise because it counted as my plus 30 (teachers will know what I’m talking about), but it was, honestly, a selfish degree. My husband supported me wholeheartedly, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to study with expert writers and be a part of a writing community. And I am determined to make my degree count by writing and publishing. It’s just not gonna happen overnight.
So in the meantime . . . I want a third child. I keep asking myself if I don’t feel like my family’s complete, or if I just want to be pregnant one more time, or what? I already have one boy and one girl. We have a three-bedroom house, so another child would force somebody to share. And no, I don’t particularly want months of no sleep. Plus I am pretty stressed out at home sometimes, so I’m not sure if I can handle another child and keep my sanity! But still, I want another child, even two more! (I even already have a minivan!) We have talked several times about trying to adopt from Thailand, where I grew up, but from my research it looks like you can only adopt from there if you can prove infertility. Of course, it costs tens of thousands of dollars to adopt internationally, too.
For now, I know the time’s not right. And I love my two kids so much – and they are happy and healthy, which I am thankful for. I need to focus more on loving and nurturing them than on wishing for a baby I may never have. I know I need to work on myself as a wife and mother, on showing more patience and kindness to my family. Still. . . deep in my heart, baby fever quietly hides.
Just a thought. Quality or quantity??
Yeah, you’re right. Of course, quality is more important, and if I am going to give my two children a quality home environment, with love, discipline, compassion, attention, teaching, etc, and a quality education, I just can’t have another one right now.
Yes, but it´s not just for your children. Ít´s for you and your husband. You do deserve to live a life that it´s not all about sacrifices. You two do need to have fun too, you have two beautiful children, you are giving them your best, but don´t forget that your best includes to be a happy mama and a happy daddy, who have energy to play with them, to share quality time with them and not two parents that are so worn out because they need two jobs or three to support the family that they cannot be with them they way they need you to. Sometimes, love means that you have to think of others as well as of you and try to decide what´s best for all of you. ok, again, just a thought. I don´t know you. It´s just a thought.
*hugs* You never know where you will be in 6mo or a year and what plans God has in store for your beautiful family. When the time is right, you’ll know. You are wise to truthfully recognize where you are mentally, emotionally and financially. The last thing we want as mothers is to put ourselves and our family through something where the stresses may outweigh the joys. Oh- and on adoption, I know many families where God has provided the funding through all sorts of donations, so if it’s in your heart to do it don’t let $$ stop you!! *more hugs*
Thanks for your encouragement! And you are right, there is a chance that another baby could just bring more stress, and I am striving to bring more peace, order, and kindness to our family! 🙂
My kids are 13 years apart–the only way we could afford them!
Pamela – Ha! Guess that gives me hope!
You are always welcome to hold Connor, smell his hair, and tickle him if this will help. Or would this be like asking a recovering alcoholic to please your bottle of Jack for a minute?
David, Connor definitely gives me a baby fix each week – just enough to make it to the next Sunday (notice I didn’t see him this week, thus the blog post).
In the first several weeks after having my son (my second), I cried alot. Call it hormones, call it joy, call it grief, call it exhaustion. It was all of those things and more. I expressed to my sister-in-law my struggles learning to handle two children – a 2 year old little girl who wanted mommy all the time because she used to being the only and my newborn who had colic. My sister-in-law said to me, “I know it is hard to understand right now, but you have given your daughter the best gift ever, a sibling.” It is UNselfish to have more children you are giving your child the love of a sibling. While you might feel you are taking ‘time’ or resources away from your children by having more you would giving them more love and more experiences by having another family member for them to love!! May God’s will be done.
Interesting reply, Holly. It seems like having another one would take away from the other children because they don’t get as much attention, but I see your point.
I agree with Holly. It’s been such a gift to see my children blessed with new siblings to love and be loved by. I feel like I wanted it for them more than for myself! Their lives are richer because of it and they all get plenty of love and attention from their parents and siblings!
I’ve got baby fever too, big time. My kids are the same ages as yours. It’s not the right time for us, either, but I know I want 1 or 2 more at some point. I’m still young and have plenty of time, but David is in his 40s and we never wanted to be having kids when he’s 50. So while we’re okay waiting for a while, we don’t want to wait too long. As far as another baby being selfish, I don’t think so. My mom grew up 1 of 9 children born to poor farmer parents at a time when you had no control over how many children you had. There was love and togetherness in that family and my mom had a happy childhood and has always been very close with her siblings, despite them having basically nothing in the way of toys, clothes, etc. Times are different now, but many of the things we think we need, we really don’t. There’s a lot to be said for following your heart, simplifying your life, being reasonable (being able to provide food, clothing, and a safe healthy home for the number of children you have) and trusting God that if you have this intense desire for another child, He will make a way for it to happen somehow, sometime. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide, whenever you decide it. But you’re not selfish! And by the way, your degree isn’t selfish either. It makes you a better, more whole person, which in turn makes you a better wife and mother. So there. 🙂
Thanks, Heather. I guess we’re both waiting on the right time!
I think the ones who believe that God has a plan are right. We thought we were through having children. I had taken a job at a nearby school, plans were in the works to start saving for vacations, home renovations/updates and other things we had not been able to afford with just one income. God brought us our 5th child, and he is such an incredible blessing to all of us, I cannot explain just what an incredible little miracle he is. We were still able to take a small vacation, just scaled back from what we had hoped, but I would not trade by baby boy for any amount of money and his siblings are just as blessed