Growing up I always imagined that I would have a big family one day. I thought I’d have four children just as my mother had had four children. I quite liked the idea of a noisy little soccer team. Furthermore, I had even considered the amount of grandbabies four children would give me in my retiring years. I had it all figured out, the perfect big raucous family.
Then I had my first kid.
I won’t say that my vision changed, but I will say that the cost of having one child made me reevaluate my desire for a big family. And I’m not even talking about the financial cost here. The emotional cost, the cost of my time, the cost of my marriage, the cost of all the outpouring of myself that I had to do as a mother; it was life changing. Then of course the financial cost of having kids, let’s be honest, children are a liability of gigantic proportion.
When I fell pregnant with my second child (oops) I wasn’t anywhere near making the decision to have another child. It happened and just as well, because had I had a choice, I would have probably waited years longer before taking the pregnancy plunge again.
But here we were, two kids deep and because the age gap was so tight (15 months), it was hard. Having two kids both under the age of two will bring out the best and the worst in you. The “worst in me” decided then and there that I would never-ever-ever-ever sprout another baby. The mental and physical exhaustion put me clean off doing it ever again. My husband felt the same way and we stuck it out in the trenches with our two babies waiting for the day when we wouldn’t be knee deep in dirty nappies, toys that make far too much noise and medical bills that don’t ever stop when you have small children.
We’re five years past that crazy time. We managed to keep our children alive! More so, they have flourished under our care. Who would have thought! That intensely difficult phase of parenting seems like a distant dream. Make no mistake, each stage definitely comes with its own challenges, but I think when you’re well rested from having a normal eight hour sleep (versus the two or three we used to get in those days), you look at your challenges differently!
All of a sudden, I’m thinking about that big family I dreamed of years ago. All of a sudden, I’ve forgotten how difficult it was, how depleting it was and all I can remember is how awesome it was to bounce a rosy cheeked baby on your lap. I thought we were done. I thought my family was complete. But now I have to admit that there could possibly be room for one… or maybe two…more?
Is your family complete? What made you make the decision to complete your family?