The dreaded question: Are you done?
It could mean many things but people ask me wanting know whether I’m done having kids.
NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!
After all, it’s my life, my body, my wallet!
However, I am not rude or crass so I explain.(sigh)
I come from a fairly large family of 5. I am the youngest with 3 brothers and a sister. My siblings are all close in age being born in a span of 5 years and then I came along 3 years later.
My husband is an only child.
We both derive from a “broken” or divorced home.
When we first discussed the possibility of having children of our own we decided that our baby would not be raised alone. We didn’t foresee this many babies but for sure did not want just one.
After my pregnancy and about five minutes after delivery I knew I would have as many as I could…within reason.
We also discussed our age and what we wanted for ourselves. We didn’t want having kids to consume us. We wanted a life and relationship too. We wanted it all!
After kids grow up so many parents find themselves not knowing who they are besides “Jimmy’s mom and dad.” They find that they have lost themselves and each other. We didn’t want that. We also didn’t want our kids to have to miss having their parents at their graduation or wedding or watch their babies be born. We want to be there for them for as long as possible. So, we put an age cap on our child-bearing not a number cap.
“As many as I can before I’m 30”
Everyone rolled their eyes and told us we were crazy when they heard this. In fact much of the eye rolling was in disbelief because having kids was stressful and hard work. I guess it just comes naturally to us because here we are, baby # 5 on the way and I’ve turned 30.
Now, for the dilemma: My thirtieth birthday came and went and we were “done.” Somehow, by God’s grace and plan for us, we are expecting again. I will be 31 just 2 1/2 months after this baby is born.
Our family dynamic is largely based on our earlier philosophy that we would not have just one baby. When Juniper was born we said straight away we would try again immediately so she and her sibling would be as close as possible and they would always have each other. It worked! We conceived again when our first-born was just 4 months old. They are just shy of being Irish twins. I always say the best gift I could have ever given Juniper is Lemon 🙂
A year break from pregnancy and after losing some weight, we did it again. Another set of almost Irish twins in Ash and Oak. Again, they are the best of friends and will always have each other.
This where I get arguments, “but no matter their age, they will have each other” I disagree! My four siblings grew up together with the same memories, the same experiences, the same parents and they have a great connection because of it. Of course, no family is perfect and no sibling relationship can be compared to another but I can see it in my siblings. They relate differently to each other than they do to me and there is only a three-year gap between me and my sister. In “kid time” three years is a good span. She was three when I was born, she was walking talking using the potty. When she was six and learning to read write and go to school, I was walking talking and using the potty. When she was nine, spending time with her friends and doing things nine-year-olds do, I was reading writing and learning arithmetic. When she was fifteen talking on the phone to boys and painting her nails, I was (as embarrassing as it was) playing with Barbie dolls. So as much as three years doesn’t seem like a big difference now, back then, we weren’t that close. -She’ll argue me here- I followed her around and she put me down telling me how annoying I was…it’s what BIG sisters do.
For my little munchkins, that’s not how it is. Their personalities, however so different and their interests unique, they love spending time together and learn a lot from one another. They genuinely love and value each other’s company. When they are older, I don’t doubt this will change immensely, but I’m confident we are giving them a good basis for those memories and experiences that form a camaraderie between siblings.
So back to our current dilemma…are we done? Probably not, because we’ve been doing things by two’s around here and this baby in my belly will need a friend just like our other seedlings have each other. I try to be as fair as possible but not, because sometimes life isn’t fair, but in this instance I don’t want one baby to feel like an only child as I did.
So, agree, disagree? What is your family dynamic and why? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know!!!
Featured image courtesy of Jenny Grant Digital Imaging