I know I am not the only parent in the world who wrestles with the idea of whether or not to have more children. I am in what feels like a constant internal struggle with this idea. The Mister would be perfectly happy to stay with just one, and I can respect that. Then again, The Mister probably would have been happy to stay at zero, but I see how he is one of the most wonderful, loving fathers I have ever seen and know that he was meant to do this.
The Mister has a few good reasons why he doesn't think we should at least give birth to another child. I have had two quite complicated pregnancies. He doesn't want to stress my body anymore. He doesn't want to wind up being an only parent. I get it. BUT...there is a question in my mind about having just one more. He has tentatively agreed IF the OB/GYN says he would allow it for his own daughter or wife if she had gone through similar situations. That seems fair.
Of course, if we don't have our biological child, we could adopt. I have always been a fan of adoption and know that this would be a great way to expand our family, too. IF we expand our family, that is.
I am looking to answer the question of whether The Nugget is an only child or not daily. When I see pictures of larger families I think, "see, they did it. I could do it." When I meet only children I ask them, "so how do you feel about that? Is it okay or do you feel you missed out?". I frequently ask The Nugget, but she doesn't seem to know what I am talking about.
People offer up lots of pros and cons: "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket" is a good one. Like if The Nugget becomes an enormous screw-up I won't care because there's always number two? Or the ever-popular "You don't want to leave it all to her to care for you when you are old". I work with the elderly. First of all, you cannot count on your kids to take care of you at all when you are old. You can hope, but you cannot count on it. Secondly, I find that the majority of responsibility falls on one child anyway. Not having more kids will just save the resentment she would otherwise feel toward less than helpful siblings.
Then there are the more altruistic advice-givers. Those who suggest we should be decreasing the world's population and therefore one is plenty. Of course, we could look to simply stabilize the world's population. In that scenario, two is perfect. Plenty to replace ourselves on the planet but not grow it. And others would argue that if we are good parents (and I think that we are), we have some sort of civic duty to have more kids and try to balance out the not-so-good parents out there. That's a lot of pressure!
Finances play no small role in my tortured thought process. One child is oh-so affordable compared with two or three. We are barely paying the bills now, let alone with another couple of years of diapers to look forward to. Yes, we would figure it all out just like we did when we plunged forward into baby number one, but do we WANT to struggle for years to come?
And one child is just so darned PORTABLE. On days like today, I think that this toddler stage might kill me (she's taken recently to shouting at the top of her lungs when even mildly irritated). I can't imagine having TWO of these little people to wrangle.
Then, of course, I see baby bedding and nursery decor and I just MELT. I have to tell you, I already have a second nursery decorated in my mind. AND another name picked out for the second child. We talk about that second child by name. Another friend told me she perceives signs like that to be the little spirit tapping on your shoulder saying, "I want to come home." So, if we DON'T have baby number two, was there never a spirit? Did the spirit pick another family?
I don't have any idea where this one is going to shake out. I do wish there would be some BIG sign in my life to tell me what to do about it. A crystal clear, no room for interpretation sign. Cue the booming voice from the sky any time now...
I'll let you know if the voice calls out and, if so, what the voice says. For now, I will spend my days alternately planning the nursery and getting rid of baby stuff. And being exhausted with the discussion.