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?