Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Big Question

No not when you are going to get married... the big question is always when you are going to have kids. And even once you do when you are going to have another. It starts the day you say I DO and I have a feeling it doesn't stop until you can show some tangible evidence that you are going through menopause.

Around here two is the new one... and four is the old two. Are you following me? More is more not less is more when it comes to birthing these days. I have found this trend to be a bit shocking and I have to say I wasn't prepared for all the social pressure staying home in suburbia would bring. Before we "settled down" we lived in NYC where one was one and that was more than enough.

Growing up and even into adulthood I always thought I'd want three kids. I think we are all predisposed to *wanting* the same number of kids with the same spacing we grew up with. And in theory I'd like that but I don't want three newborns EVER. I could like to have three teenagers or adult children and I think some people out there do take that into consideration when they have their families.... you know how big their Thanksgiving table will be... or how small it might seem.

After my first pregnancy I started to rethink things. I don't enjoy being pregnant... in fact it is safe to say I HATE it and that it feels like a slow agonizing death. I loved being a mother and loved Kid and felt so fulfilled that having another wasn't necessary... to me. I didn't want to suffer through another pregnancy and more than that I didn't see where another child would complete me or my family more than Kid already had. My life was blissful for the next three years. Kid and I travelled and went on outings. We had a great time and we had freedom. I had NO urges to have another. Literally no hormonal twinges nothing. I felt fulfilled and Mr F felt fulfilled. But soon EVERY one we knew was having their second baby and I started doubting myself. I would hem and haw and stay up night questioning our choice. Not that I ever wondered what was best for me I worried about what was best for Kid. And with no other single parent families around it was really easy to get sucked into self-doubt.

I started feeling lazy and selfish. I mean I just had ONE kid and I stayed home. Now I should note that all along I always intended to have my kids 4 years apart. I was only 26 when I had Kid (young around here and in general these days but Mr F was 34) and so I had the time biologically but I also feel that is an ideal age difference for the kids in terms of their psychological and social and emotional development. So once Kid got to three and a half my inner turmoil intensified. Mr F was happy with one but I think he agreed if we were going to have another we kind of needed to do it soon or we'd never want to go back. We had been saying "when we think another child will enhance our lives we'll do it" but really how to you pin point that moment? It can drive you crazy. One day soon after I heard my sister-in-law was pregnant and I was clearly ovulating because that was it. I made the decision and was pregnant within the week.

Looking back I know two things. I was satisfied before. I am not more satisfied now with two then I was with one. But I also think we are all happier and lighter. Obviously once I was pregnant there was no more debate and that stress was gone... but also Baby has added to our family. She is a completely different energy and personality than the rest of us and I think we are all happier because of that. Not that we weren't happy. But she does add a marvel and wonder we didn't have. And Kid is happier. We have made some big life changes and Kid and I both miss our alone time and outings and freedom... but in the end I think Kid is more childlike now that Baby is around.

Two is all we'll be birthing though. My second pregnancy was almost unbearable and I can't go through it again. Mr F was fixed before I even delivered. He's turning forty and I think the financials of long term child rearing and college is more stressful to him than it is to me and he has no need to have more. If we want more there are plenty of children who have already been born who would benefit from our parenting. But I will say it is still hard when I hear someone is pregnant again not to feel a comparison and wonder why I don't really want more. Why my days are busy and hectic and occasionally overwhelming and I only have two kids that are four and a half years apart? I know women with 4 kids in that spacing. What are they doing that I'm not ... or maybe it is the other way around?

66 comments:

Southern Fried Girl said...

Being that I can't get pregnant to save my fucking life, if one more person asks me "Do you have good news yet?" I swear to all that is holy you will see me on the damn news. I have fucking had it.

Cara said...

I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 years now, and people have been asking me for 3 of those years when we are going to get married. This bothered me for awhile until i realized no matter what stage in your life people are going to ask you questions like that. once I am engaged they will ask when is the big day, when I am married they will ask when I will have kids, etc. Wonder if they ever just ask you, so when are you planning on DYING. People can be sooo bad at casual conversation, it is ridiculous.

Feener said...

oh 3 is the IN number in my area. everyone has 3, is having 3, you must have 3. I at the ripe old age of 39 and 11 months have 2, and I actually wrote a post about the peer pressure to have number 3. Every friend out there. The only folks who feel 2 is just PLENTY are my family. My Mom would NOT be happy if I had a third. She feels it is too much work b/c the kids are so close in age. She had 3 but spaced out by many years.

Mrs. Furious said...

SFG,
I'm sorry. People are such assholes sometimes.



Cara,
"Wonder if they ever just ask you, so when are you planning on DYING"
LOL!!

Mrs. Furious said...

Feener,
when I go to get Kid at preschool EVERYONE has at LEAST three kids. Even people who I thought just had two will turn out to have an older kid in Elementary school. Plenty are even having their fourth.
My kids are far apart and now having had a second I can more easily visualize having three (not 4) it is a LOT of work and exhausting and I don't really know who the extra kids benefit. I realize some people LOVE having lots of kids around... but I think I might end up divorced if I had more.

Nutmeg said...

SFG, I have the smallest idea where you are coming from and it sucks. My sympathies.

I think two (or fewer) is the right number for me because of my philosophical position on population growth (this is SOOOO not to say I think people who have more are bad and evil, it really is a personal decision.)

I always thought I'd have two kids. The main thing standing in the way of that is the fear of dying or needing to be induced so early that a baby would have long term negative consequences. The thought of that makes me ill. From what I've been told, the risk of have pre eclampsia in a second pregnancy is 20 - 50%. And women do it all the time and it would probably be fine, but right NOW I can't fathom it.

So... now I'm DEFINITELY going to have to deal with this question and already HAVE and E is only 13.5 months old!

Heather said...

I actually think it happens before you get married, even when you're dating. My brother just got engaged and I asked, have you guys set a date? He said, no, why is everyone asking that? I said I thought it was just a way of relating, like when someone asks what kind of dog you have (they really ignore the answer unless someone they know has the same type of dog). I also think it's a social assimiliation thing -- a way for a person to figure our/assess how they stack up next to you. People are freaking weird.

eurydice said...

my mom always tells me to wait for everything. "don't get married yet" and "don't have kids yet." i think she regretted marrying at 23 and having three kids soon after - actually i know she does! not that she'd change having kids but maybe would push it later in life.

i'm in no hurry to have kids at the moment, as i'd like to be married first (or my catholic father would have a stroke), but it's obviously on people's minds.... even though i am a very strong (physically) woman, my boyfriend's mother won't let me lift anything heavy because, and i quote, i "only have one uterus."

Cara said...

i "only have one uterus."

hahahhahahahahhaaa

midge said...

Try not really wanting kids of your own - all you hear after the mandatory "When..." is "Of course you want kids!" and "Why don't you want kids?". This is followed-up with a laundry list of all the reasons I really do want children but just don't know it.

Aside from the pressure that is vocalized, there is also pressure that is sort of implied (or that we infer). The vast majority of friends have kids and it has started to feel like a club we should want to belong to, but we're not sure we should join.

I should add: we love the kids of everyone we know. We don't resent them for having kids (as is also often implied) and we would never vote to change it. We like kids a lot, we just aren't sure we want our own.

Cara said...

i am on the same boat Midge. Glad to hear I am not alone.

emmyjw said...

It is strange.We kind of got wierd flack for having a 4th,people are always like "don't you know what causes that?" Um yeah.Honestly we didn't plan our 3rd or 4th but I feel like our family is great for us.I hate it when people(wierd clicky groups of them) decide what should be the norm.Why can't we all just live and let live? Having said all of that,I am one exhausted girl.People think because my oldest is 14 she must just do everything for the other 3.Have they ever lived with a teenager? Anyways,I think everybody should mind their own beeswax, but it will never happen.My mom whom I adore,still says,"You aren't having any more are you?".Ugh.

Meagan B. said...

sorry about that arctic wind. we'll try to keep it in check in the future...

up here, the question we get asked is "when are you going to get a dog?" our lack of dog ownership is disappointing to alaskans. they can not fathom being without at least two dogs. kids? well, they haven't noticed yet...

Mrs. Furious said...

I just have to say the some CRAZY shit is going down in my extended family today. I can't really write about it on the blog.... but it is a bit distracting. I'll be back.

workout mommy said...

I was told I would never have kids...and then oops, I had one.

Thought I would be happy with one, but nope, needed another.

Now, I have baby fever again. (even though I can barely handle the two I have!)

But since I'm old, I feel like my eyes are cracking!! I need to use them quick!!

Preppy Mama said...

I hate that people are always asking me when I am going to have another. I tell them that a 2 year old boy is birth control on its own!!!
My mom had three girls and I guess in my head three is a number that I would feel comfortable with, although I still only have one. I work at a pre-school and it seems that the trends have been 3. Some are going for the 4th and I have to say, seeing a baby makes me feel so jealous sometimes. I want another, but the timing is not right for me.

Shirls said...

before we got married of course we talked about it, and we said "lets be married for at least 5 years first" btw - we got married young compared to today's standards I was 21 he was 22..

then as people asked we would say "5 years, give us 5 years" and then no matter how long we were married we just kept saying "5 years" so we talked about it in depth and came to the conclusion that kids and us is just not the right combo, we love being an aunt and uncle and enjoy it beyond belief but parents, nope not us...

and yes, after being married for over 15 years now I still get asked and if they know I've been married that long then I get the really nice questions...

"does he not have swimmers?"
"are your eggs bad?"

lovely!

Mrs. Furious said...

okay I finally finished my post. I'll be back after I get Kid to return your comments!

Marie said...

We get the same thing for having 3 kids..not so much for having 3, but because they are so close together (3, 2, and 7 months). I love the weird glances and the "don't you know how that happens"..whats worse is the pitying eyes and the "were you TRYING or was it an accident?". Now we didn't plan any of our girls (but we didn't NOT plan them either..just kinda let what happens happen) but I would NEVER call them an "accident" by any stretch!!!

When my sister and brother had their first, my parents actually told them to be "more careful than your older sister"...WTF????? I was married for 4 years to the man I had been with since I was 14 (highschool sweethearts..awwww..), had a college degree, and was 26 when my first was born. Since then we have bought a nice house and can financially and emotionally support our little crew, so BUG OFF!!!

Three works for us. I love our little crew, but I think one more might shove me right into the looney bin. It's great that they are so close because they play so great together, and they like the same things. I LOVE that. But its a lot of work for me with 3 ages 3 and under. Would I change anything if I had to do it again? Nope! Actually, I would try to have my 3rd a little closer to my other 2 so that there's not as big a gap!

OK, enough ranting.

Mrs. Furious said...

Emmy & Marie,
That is so funny... you should move to Ann Arbor you'd fit right in.
Although I wonder if it is just that someone always has something to say about your choice and if you had had two they would be telling you to have more!



I get told all the time that I've got to have more my kids are so beautiful.... how does that make any sense? Fugly babies don't deserve to be born?!? I should have more kids just because they are good looking?!? WTF? That has got to be the DUMBEST reason you could ever come up with but I hear it ALL the time. Even our doctor (no not weird vaccine dr) has told me that.
I also got lots of pressure when I wasn't sure if I was having more with the "But you're such a good mother it would be a shame for you not to have more"... well maybe I'm good because I know my limits! Why can't I do a good job of mothering one kid... I mean how many would it take for me to have fulfilled my "goodness"?

Chris Howard said...

It must be the community you're part of. I've never heard of or encounterd any non-familial pressure to have more kids. We had always planned 2 and that was it. Now that we're old farts ;), I think people would be shocked if we had more.

Mr Furious said...

Midge/Cara-

We have neighbors that are engaged and have no intention to have children. The loving dad part of me wants to think "That's too bad. It's the greatest thing that ever happened to me."

But then I realize, that's awesome that they have realized this and are able to be convicted about it. It's not for everyone and people shouldn't feel like they are missing out or doing anything wrong.

If I hadn't met Mrs F and gotten put on the fast-track*, I'd probably still be single, living in NYC and happily childless. Expecting me to have had kids to confirm whether or not that's what I want with my life would seem preposterous.

If you're sure you don't want kids, that great. If you're not sure, that's fine too. If you make a decision one way or the other, it should be because it's what you want, what you can handle, and NOT because it what's expected.

*I willingly boarded.

Mrs. Furious said...

Preppy Mama & Feener,
I though the pressure would be less in the NY area.
I don't know how people can afford to have that many kids there!
The pressure is unbelievable though lord knows I know. Every time I pull up to preschool and everyone starts hauling all their little ones out I STILL feel a little pressure.



Midge, Cara & Shirls,
I completely respect people's choice not to have kids. I think more people should follow their instinct/desire on that front. I can't begin to imagine the amount of pressure (hell I couldn't handle it and I had a kid) and it would really mess with me! Kudos for not giving in. You don't need kids to have a fulfilling life.



Eurydice,
your mom is a wise woman.
and this...
"my boyfriend's mother won't let me lift anything heavy because, and i quote, i "only have one uterus.""
has got to be one of the funniest/weirdest things I have ever heard!!


Meg,
Hmm... I wondering if you won't have the same pressure up in Alaska. Seems like people there are more independent minded and might have more respect for your own choice.


Heather,
yes in a way things like "so when's the wedding" or "when do you think you'll start trying" is a way to relate.. I know I've been known to do it myself.... but the weird over the top statements is just freaky people being invasive freaks ;)

Marie said...

I think maybe it depends what the norm is where you live. Here it is 2 kids about 4 years apart, so having 3 in that time makes us wierd! Whereas having 2 in AA seems to make YOU weird! Then again, if I got the spacing of my kids right, I;m sure I wouldn't have the right boutique or gymboree clothes for them, or I wouldn't have them in the right activities or playgroups...it'll always be something!!

Mrs. Furious said...

Nutmeg,
do you feel... because I definitely did/do... that I had to come up with *good* reasons why I was not having another right away or maybe not at all instead of ever feeling like I could say with confidence "we're just happy as we are." ?

Mr Furious said...

Chris,

Some of the pressure Mrs F speaks of is perceived as opposed to overt.

Example: When we had Kid, we had close friends and relatives in town who all had their first kids within a month or two of Kid. Then two of my sisters had their first over the next year or two...

Back in NY, all of my buddies also all had had their first in the year prior to Kid.

So we're talking like ten families here. Everybody's in the same boat and everything's jake.

Then slowly, one by one, ALL of them except one began to have their second kids...

Nobody ever said "when are you having another?" but it was pretty difficult not to feel like you were being left out/behind.

Mrs. Furious said...

Chris,
36 is not old here!! Most women I know were only pregnant with their first at 36. Seriously.
And then they still have 3-4 kids. I am the youngest mom at preschool and I'm turning 32 this year. The other mom's who had babies at the same time as I did are in their early 40s.

Mrs. Furious said...

Mr F,
#1 that's bullshit. I got asked when I was having another ALL the time. And your parents asked ALL the time. You are a man so I think the pressure you felt was obviously different.


#2 Midge is our neighbor!! You jackass... good thing you didn't embarrass yourself ;)

Midge said...

Mrs F. -

"I get told all the time that I've got to have more my kids are so beautiful...."

On a similar note, I hear all the time "You'd be such a good mother!". 2 things about this:

1. I doubt don't that I would be a good mother - but that's different than wanting a child, and,

2. Is this a good enough reason to have kids? Really?

Isn't the best reason to have kids because you want them? Cracks me up.

Mr Furious said...

Of course my parents expect a goddamn litter of grandchildren, and NEVER let this shit go. Unfortunately for them, the fact that none of us (me and my sibs) had kids until we were into our thirties makes that unlikely.

They are also prime proponents of the beautiful baby theory.

I would like to have been a fly on the wall when I announced over the phone that we wouldn't have any more after facing this crap yet again...

Them: "Well, you never know."

Me: "Oh, we know."

Them: "That's what you thought after Kid..."

Me: "No, that's it. We're done."

Them: "You say that, but—"

Me: "No. We're. Done. I had a vasectomy."

Them: " "

Mrs. Furious said...

Marie,
2 kids 4 years apart?! I need to move near you! That is NOT the norm here.





And further more Mr F,
me thinks you forget...
anytime I went anywhere with Kid I would get asked things like "so.... if she your ONLY kid?... but you stay home?" or "Do you have an older kid in school right now?" That isn't just perceived pressure... it isn't in your face but the feeling is definitely that one kid is abnormal... especially for a stay at home mom.

Mr Furious said...

Follow-up:

"Nobody ever said "when are you having another?"

None of the people I mentioned in that comment ever pressured ME.

It was casually discussed at times, but I never felt any pressure. Of course, as Mrs F points out, I'm the guy, and she had to spend more play-date time with the other moms.

I was already hard at work on a separate comment Re: my parents.

Midge is our neighbor!! You jackass...

Um...Hi, midge?

Seriously, I had no idea, obviously that's not a real name. Doesn't stop me from feeling like an idiot. LOL!

At least I said you guys are awesome, right?

Mr Furious said...

I never meant it's ALL in your head or perceived. I was just giving an example.

Morons on the street/park/checkout line cut no ice with me, so I wasn't really talking about them.

I'm sure it is very different for the mom though. You probably face it much more.

--

I still can't get over the comfortability of strangers who wanted to touch your stomach when you were pregnant. WTF?

Mrs. Furious said...

Midge,
you would make a good mother.
But you might make a great many things but I have a feeling you don't get quite so much pressure to change your profession.

Midge said...

Hi Mr F. -

No worries, I took no offense...I think you did say we made an awesome decision, but only after feeling sorry for us. Does that cancel the "awesome" out? ;)

Seriously - nothing to feel idiotic about.

If you'd been talking about the drunk, crazy woman who runs around the neighborhood chasing dogs in her plaid flannel robe (lined in fleece), THEN you could have felt like an idiot. :)

Midge

Cara said...

these are some of the best comments ever. haha :-)

emmyjw said...

My kids are all spaced differently,and honestly each is fine.Rainee and Conner are 6 years apart,Conner and Langston not quite 4 years,and Langston and Ella just under 2 years.It all works out.My brother-in-law has 4 kids,ages 5 1/2,4 1/2,2 1/2, and 16 months. They love it that way.I think you just go with what you get and forget what anyone else says. It seems like everyone is different here,I have a lot of friends with 3 or 4 but just as many with 1 or 2 who are done and happy.Gotta go to Awana,I'm feelin chatty today,I'll probably be back later.I grew up in a family with just me and my bro and I always wanted a sister so wanted my kids to have both,it worked out ;)

Mrs. Furious said...

workout mommy,
I didn't forget you!

Around here, we are a college town and so many women are highly educated and chose to start their families later, moms (at least stay-at-home moms) are typically in their mid to late 30s when they start having kids. These same moms often have 3 (or more) kids pretty close together. I have heard things similar to what you said and it seems that some women feel they have less time to "wait and see" and there is some time sensitivity involved with the decision making and many of the moms I know err on the side of having more kids since they don't want to look back later (when it may be too late) and wish they'd had a 3rd or 4th. I'm younger (which is still hilarious to me since I'm by no means young) so I didn't have that pressure and wonder what I might have done if I had.

P.O.M. said...

I'm not even married and I'm getting the baby pressure. I definately want one (or two) but obviously, the timing isn't right. But as my family loves to point out, there are only a few more baby-rearing years left in me.

My mother even went as far as telling me to just get knocked up by one of my good looking single man friends. Seriously. I wanted to hit her.

Regarding "I think the financials of long term child rearing and college is more stressful to him than it is to me." The Captain is having issues with the family thing becuase of this. By the time we got around to having a baby, he would be nearing 40. And his idea of retiring by 60 would be shot.

This, my friend, is what I stress/think about 80% of my day.

Shirls said...

I know men and women feel different pressure about kids, I get all the time that "your selfish" for not having kids, my hubby has never once heard that.. not fair.

Andrea said...

great topic of discussion I was just asked about fifteen times on Sunday so when you going to have another as if its like going and picking up a new kitten "please my daughter is just eighteen months old for christ sake".
was my exact response

and pressure to have kids by my family lets just say Im one of nine so the thought of me just having one child or two is like saying I hated my childhood because god forbid if i say thats not for me. The issues my family has.

Mrs. Furious said...

I'm heading out on my date with Kid...
be back in a bit!

Chris Howard said...

Chris,
36 is not old here!!


Sure, but I'm 37 now. :)

Actually, I guess most of the people we hang out with have kids the same ages as ours (8 and 12), or older, so for us to have a baby now would make us the odd ones out. The one close friend we have with a baby is 10 years younger than we are.

Michelline tells people, (she probably told you this already) if they ever ask about more kids, that we found out what the problem was and we fixed it.

Mrs. Furious said...

P.O.M.,
"This, my friend, is what I stress/think about 80% of my day."
yeah that is where I was with the debate over #2 it didn't get easier until I just went ahead and had her ;)




Shirls,
totally not fair... when Mr F wrote that the pressure was "perceived" I actually had to call and remind him that that was just his experience!



Andrea,
"I'm one of nine so the thought of me just having one child or two is like saying I hated my childhood because god forbid if i say thats not for me."
That is a really good point! And I think that is where Mr F's parents are coming from.

Kid Art said...

Very interesting question/comments today... the variation in the "norm" in terms of # of kids isn't something I've really thought much about before - around here (DC) things are so freakin' expensive that one or 2 kids seems to be the typical number.

Maybe it's that a high percentage of families in this area have both parents working outside the home, and the economic reality of more than 2 kids in daycare is that most people just can't afford it. The average annual cost here is $10k per kid. It adds up fast.

Despite coming from larger families (I have 4 brothers and my husband has 3 siblings), we always planned to have just one, for many of the reasons that others have mentioned. We felt fulfilled with one kid, the economics were more manageable, and we felt that one was as much as we could handle.

Needless to say #2 was a big surprise. I was devastated, honestly. I really did not want to have another kid, and I felt so terrible (24 hour a day nausea) with my first pregnancy that I couldn't imagine going through another one with an 18 month old in tow.

Of course once my daughter was born I couldn't imagine our family without her. She has been a delight from day one. Like your Baby, Mrs F, she brings a totally different energy into the house, and has helped our son, who has a tendency to take everything too literally and too seriously, lighten up a lot. When I see the joy that they each derive from their relationship, I am so thankful that she came our way.

But really, we're done now. 2 is great. If we were to ever bring another child into our family, it would be through adoption. No more pregnancy for me.

Robin said...

Very interesting topic!

We have two kids, two years apart. Everyone else around here has three...or at least all the stay-at-home-moms have three. So I feel some implied pressure to have another. I haven't gotten any actual pressure from anyone other than my mom. I kind of get the feeling that since I stay home with my kids I should have more, like if I only have two kids I should work outside the home. I have always wanted to stay home with my kids. It is really important to my husband and I, and I'm not sure why only having two kids lessens the importance of staying home.

I don't know if I ever had an idea growing up of how many children I wanted. Once I started thinking about it, I kind of wanted two. I was one of two and it seemed right. Then somewhere along the line I got it into my head that maybe three was good. (This was before we even had one, so it was my own idea, and not any outside influence.) Now that they are three and one, I am back to thinking two is good. Unfortunately, I am one of those people you were talking about, Mrs. F. I went to school and had a career before starting my family, so I had my first at 32, my second at 34, and now I am 35. I am totally uninterested in having a child at 40, so I don't have the luxury of "let's wait and see." If we want a third, we need to get on it. I am 90% sure we are done. About a month ago I was panicked because I couldn't decide if I wanted another baby and felt like I really needed to make the decision. (Sounds like what you were going through with the second, Mrs. F.) But I am over it now, and I think it was just because all of the sudden my one year old wasn't a baby anymore.

I get the "you have to have more babies, you have such beautiful babies!" thing all the time. That is ridiculous. I always feel like telling those people, "sure, we'll have more, as soon as you start up a college fund for them!"

The comment we get alot is when people find out we have a boy and a girl. It started when I was pregnant with Kara. When we told people she was a girl, they said, "well, good, now you can stop...you have one of each." They were all shocked when I said we might not be done. Ummm, my decision on how many children I want has nothing to do with their gender. It makes you wonder about all those third girls or third boys...did their parents have them only because they wanted the opposite gender, or did they truly want more children?

Like someone said, people are always going to butt into your business no matter what you have going on.

Sorry the post is so long. :)

Mrs. Furious said...

Emily,
it is interesting to me how different everyone's experience is as well. I was wondering if this was a strange local phenomenon... surely on some level it is since nationwide the birth rate is not this high!
I suspect if we had stayed in the city we would only have one and as you wrote it is pretty hard to afford to have more than that.

Mrs. Furious said...

Robin,
I think my in-laws assumed we'd try for another so we could get a boy and have both experiences.
I hear what you are saying about the feeling like if you are staying home you should have more kids... that is definitely how I felt/feel. I don't know how much of that comes from me or how much comes from the outside. But I'm not joking everyone has 3. You aren't exactly as "old" as the moms here... I mean for real they are birthing after 40 like it is nobody's business around here. I think you do have time to wait and see. It is a hard decision since you can't know for certain what you are choosing... there is no way to know what 3 is like until you actually have 3.

Robin said...

The thought of having a baby at 40 makes me want to stick a sharp object in my ear.

Torey said...

Oh. . .I like this post and all these comments.
I'm 22 (almost 23) with a 9 month old. Whoops. N and I had been dating for. . .oh. . .like a month and a half when we found out I was pregnant. Whoops.

We still always get the questions about having more. Good thing we actually like each other!!!

I do agree with Mrs. F that most moms in our area are older. And many of them have 3 or 4 kids. It's very interesting to me to see the division in different areas. . .

Nutmeg said...

These comments HAVE been awesome.

Mrs. F.... I am the kind of person who tells people the truth. When the cashier at the grocery store asks me how I am, I tell her I have a headache and I'm exhausted. Because, really... if you didn't want to know don't ask. So, I'm usually pretty comfortable telling people straight up that I'm hesitant about gambling my son's mother's life and the health of another baby on a pregnancy which COULD end badly. Realistically, I haven't gotten any pressure yet, but when people mention the future and our "kids" I sort of laugh and say... "kid" Most of them think that's because E spent 4 months crying for 24 hours a day.

I am a person who really thinks people are thinking bad things about them all the time, but sort of oddly I am a tell it like it is type and don't feel like I have to justify myself to others.

Weird? Maybe because I already think people hate me I can't really make it better or worse by justifications.

And I can't believe Mr. F told your neighbors about your neighbors. Awesome.

Mrs. Furious said...

Torey,
" N and I had been dating for. . .oh. . .like a month and a half when we found out I was pregnant. Whoops."
how did you not let this info slip out before!!?!?!
LOL

"I do agree with Mrs. F that most moms in our area are older."
shoot some moms are old enough to have given birth to YOU! ;)

I am so pissed I had to miss class.... I hear someone was off the wall....



Nutmeg,
"Maybe because I already think people hate me I can't really make it better or worse by justifications. " LOL

and the neighbor bit.... yeah I was just slowly reading it so hoping he wasn't going to say something totally stupid and yet kind of terrified to go onto the next line. The funny thing is I was surprised he even knew that about them. I guess he takes it all in after all!

Splaneyo said...

Well, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I’m 32 year old mom of a 2, 4 & 6 year old and pregnant, but not because I felt any pressure. People asked if we were going to have more, but I never felt like it was the norm. I also find that a lot of the mothers are older, but at Spencer’s school and Owen’s preschool 2 really seems to be the norm. I think there are 2 families out of 32 at the preschool with 3 kids, but none with 4.

I have to say that I am surprised to hear that there are so many people around here with 4 children, because I have found that most people look at me like I am nuts with 3 young kids and they don’t even know I am pregnant. Sam and I were just talking the other day about how different the reaction is to hearing that we are expecting number 4. With the other pregnancies the first thing people say is congratulations, with this one people are always doing the math – wow, four!. Yes, people we can count. I can go on and on about the irrational thought process that has led us to 4 kids, but at the end of the day it really is a personal decision based on many factors. What is right for us as a family may not be right for another. That being said, even though 4 is the right number for us it doesn’t mean that it is easy, nor does it mean that Sam I don’t have those “what are we thinking?” moments, but for us, at the end of the day, we wouldn’t change a thing.

Heather

Mrs. Furious said...

Heather,
You guys need to send the kids to ELC preschool... I'm not kidding 3 in the minimum and that is with 15 kids in the class... we are the only family stopping with 2. I wonder if the co-op draws a different crowd? I'm sure once we get on to elementary school having less kids will be more prevalent but at First Steps and our preschool I would say I think having 3 (for stay at home moms) seems to be the most common.
I really don't know how you do it! I think about you all the time when I'm exhausted and losing my mind. But now that I've had 2 I can actually see having 3 and I'm sure once you have 3 it is easy to see having 4.

Splaneyo said...

Well...Sam is out of town or 3 days (in 80 degree Florida)and Laney was up ALL night with a cold, plus it's garbage night and its 11 degrees outsde. So, I best not post any more comments.

Amy said...

Fricking A!

I just wrote a long ass post and my internet crapped out.

I'll be back.

Julie said...

Most people I know only have 2 kids...the occasional 3. But I have noticed there are several families having 5 and 6 kids here, too.

Oh, I have made it quite clear that I am all set with my two robust boys. Maybe it's the crowd I run with, but no one asks if anyone is having more kids...in fact, those who I know have 3 kids say the third was a surprise and nearly put them over the edge.

I think I would be a wonderful mom of a 3rd baby...I would get it all right this time around:), but I know my limitations and I tend to put a lot of myself into my kids (and my kids tend to need a lot of me). I don't think I could spread myself more than I am and feel like I am doing what I need to for my children. I am sure I could, but I don't think I would be a very happy mom most of the time. Disgruntled mom would be me.

My second child is a total cowabunga kid. He told me on the way to preschool at a month shy of 3 that he was going to leave the school and get into one of the cars in the parking lot and drive it home...and you know what, I would not have been surprised if he had. Yes, one of those beautiful, wonderful SPIRITED kids that make you go from the highs of what an awesome, funny, magical child to "why the hell did I ever think having a child (or a 2nd child in particular) was a good idea?!"

That said, everyone in town tells me funny things he said or did (or not always funny to me...embarassing!) and family and friends used to get constant email stories from me about him...his entire life is an anecdote. Everything. Every day, it's something. People, there is no off button.

He wears me out. I could never have another child. He is like at least 2 kids...so I may have 2 kids physically, but reality is some kids are harder to raise than others.

Our families would be over the moon if I got pregnant again. But no pressure ever.

Never felt pressure to have a second kid because my oldest was still a baby when I got pregnant again with my second. Very fertile here...hence not a lot of sex going on these days because even with birth control I am adamant about not having another child. Yeah, yeah, I know husband should get "fixed". I do wish I had more alone time with my oldest. He kind of got the shaft. But he does not know that. He does not remember ever not having a brother. They do all the typical sibling fighting and teasing, etc...but love each other fiercely. Definitely best friends.

Sorry this is so long...I didn't get to sit down and check all this out until late and then I started monologuing. For all those out there with more than 3 kids, I wonder if it actually gets easier with more kids? The moms I know with 5 and 6 kids seem so mellow and the kids all seem to just follow in line (one mom's kids usually have no socks or shoes on even in the winter and often are wearing their PJs all day, but hey, they look happy...as long as they are safe and happy:)) I think it is so cool to see huge, happy families.

Okay, sorry this is so long. Talk about hijacking a comment page. WTF, do I think this is MY blog or something?! I really have to get a blog of my own up so I won't feel the need to write dissertations in the comment section. Jeez.

Torey said...

Oh, Mrs. F the story gets even more exciting. . .there is a scorned lover too. . .I'll have to relate the whole saga sometime.


I'm totally interested in this post and these comments. Everyone's views and experiences are so different. And I always love a little back and forth between the Mr and the Mrs!

Mrs. Furious said...

Splaneyo,
it's the sleep... well and the pregnancies for me.
If my kids slept who knows what I might think was manageable? But having kids that sleep seems to not be in our genetics! ;)

Mrs. Furious said...

Julie,
the way you feel about your youngest is how I feel about Mr F... he is our other child and that pushes me over the edge sometimes.

we got in the car (his) last night for our date and upon finding the keys in the ignition Kid said "That moron doesn't he know that is how his car got stolen in the first place?!"
exactly.

Torey said...

I love the keys in the ignition story. That is fabulous.

Happy Birthday Baby!!!

Amy said...

finally...someone who understands how i feel about only having one child. lazy and selfish. however, what's done is done. i wasn't able to get pregnant though i tried as hard as this marriage is able. my life is not complete. there is another child there for me but he/she will never be mine i don't think. that's sad, but i will deal. i wish we had a bigger family but i do feel fulfilled at least having had one child. good post.

Splaneyo said...

Oh, our kids don't sleep either. Owen is up EVERY morning between 4:30 or 5 - no later. It is brutal - brutal I tell you!

Mrs. Furious said...

Amy,
I'm certainly sorry to hear about your fertility troubles.
That adds a painful wrinkle to family size and the associated questioning.
I would like to say... and I'm not sure I was able to articulate this and I still might not be able to...
I was just as fulfilled with Kid, I am happier in a way because Baby is a happy baby and of course that energy is infectious... so maybe I was this happy when Kid was a baby (entirely possible).... but really I was as fulfilled with one as I am with two. It is just different.

Mrs. Furious said...

Splaneyo,
The days I don't have to leave the house I do okay (hence I don't leave Fri-Mon!) the days I've got to shlep Kid to school and back and get everything done on schedule are the days I usually want to weep by dinner time. It is kind of making me think home schooling might work well for me after all!

michelline said...

The thought of having a baby at 40 makes me want to stick a sharp object in my ear.

You go, Girl!! I said the same thing but used the number 30 instead. And used the phrase jump off the bridge, but hey - the sentiment's the same, right? :) Around here, it's definitely the norm to have kids early. I think I only know 1 woman who had her first baby in her 30s. I don't know if that's a Southern thing or the result of a less college oriented populace. Or maybe a bit of both.

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