I wasn't sure when I was going to make this news "blog official" haha, but I have no new pictures today so I figured today was as good as any :-) And no, it's not what you're all thinking!!! Actually, quite the opposite.
We've decided to be a "two and through" family--no more babies for me!
We look too cute as it is :-)
Yes, it's actually somewhat surprising to me too LOL. I know that the size of your family is a very personal decision for everyone, and no two people are going to make the decision the same way, but I've been thinking about this 24-7 for months now and I thought it might help people to hear how I made my own decision--so on to the rambling hehe. (Be warned, it's a long post!)
Before I had kids I imagined having 4 of my own. I have always loved kids and just thought a large family sounded fun! But then I met Lee and he wanted only two. I thought that sounded horribly small so we settled on three.
After having Raya I realized that 4 sounded like quite a chore! ...and I was quite happy with our decision to have 3. Lee still wasn't sure about 3 and every time we'd be dealing with a fussy baby he'd say "and you want *3* of these?!"....but I was still sure!
Then we had Brielle 19 months later. I always envisioned us with kids close together in age, for many reasons. And although it was a ton of work, I'm still extremely glad that Raya and Brielle are 19 months apart.
And then Brielle hit 1 year old in January. And since we had gotten pregnant with Brielle when Raya was about 11 months old Brielle's first birthday signaled that it was about time for baby #3. But every time I thought about having another it just did not sound like fun at all. I told myself "just get it over with" and then it'll be fine. For a couple months we went back and forth, various things changed our mind from one minute to the next, and I was completely unsure. Then about a month ago it just hit me. I don't want another baby. Ever.
I never would have guessed this about myself 3 years ago. But I think that this is something that often just hits you--and you *know*.
I will say, we are not to the point to do anything permanant. If something horrible happened (death, divorce, etc.) I wouldn't want either of us to be of child bearing age, but not have the option to have more kids. And although I feel about 99% sure I am completely happy with 2 kids, there's always that slim chance that I'll change my mind I guess....and I'm only 30 so I technically still have a few child bearing years left lol. A woman always reserves the right to change her mind!!! (But I'm sure enough to start selling off my baby gear and clothes--so that says a lot :-)
Ok, so now here are my top reasons for excitedly ending with 2 munchkins :
1) I don't want to be pregnant again. I know there are people who love being pregnant---and great for you (I hate you all by the way :-) ....but I am definitely not one of them. I am sick/puking for the first 18-20weeks and even after I start to feel better I still obsessively worry the entire pregnancy. I can never relax and I find pregnancy very stressful. I am not at all sad by the thought of never being pregnant again. I will not miss it.
2) I'm "over" the baby stage. Now first let me say that I LOVED my babies. I love baby snuggles, I love dressing up babies, taking their pictures, seeing them learn new stuff, etc. But I never had what I'd call an "easy" baby. Mine tend to be a little high maintanance. And when I think about the baby stage I do wish that I could go back and have *one day* here and there with my babies....one day of cuddles and snuggles :-) But I'm not new to this game. I know how you spend 90% of your time with babies. In my memories the cute cuddly baby snuggles are often overshadowed by diaper blowouts, sleepless nights (mine never slept through the night until 6-8 months!), constantly sitting (for hours and hours) on the couch breastfeeding, not being able to leave the house because it was a constant struggle planning around naps and feedings, etc. I don't miss any of that. And while I could devote all of my time to those baby needs with my first, by the time I had Brielle they all seemed more annoying and inconvienent because it got in the way of what I wanted to do with Raya.
I know I will miss not having another baby. But I don't miss the work that comes with them---and I know that no matter how many babies I have I will always be sad to see the last one grow up. It wouldn't matter if I had two or ten....it's always a little sad to close the book on an era so to speak. But bye bye nursing and sleepless nights and carrying that stupid little carseat around that I swear to god weighs 50 lbs :-P
3) I don't want a boy. And I know I joke about boy clothes and toys being boring, but that's all in good fun :-) I love my nephews, I think little boys are sweet. If I ever had a boy I know I'd 100% love him to death. But that said, I have two girls. I think once you have one gender (two of the same gender especially) it's just overwhelming to start over with something new. I don't want to buy boy toys, I don't want to buy boy clothes, I don't want to plan vacations and family activities around what girls *and* boys want to do.....our life is perfectly set up for little girls and I like it that way. I don't long for a boy and when I think about having one I just feel like it would mess up our family dynamic. Plus, I'd have to change the name of my blog---which is totally a valid reason for not wanting a boy hehe.
Don't get me wrong, I know that no matter what you have--1 kid, 5 kids---all boys, all girls, some of each---you will *always* say you love it and can't imagine your life any differently. That's just how it goes :-) So if tomorrow I found out I was having triplets, having a boy, etc. I don't think my life would be over haha---I'm just saying that I honestly like our family dynamic the way it is. When you see perfection you just know it---and why try to improve on perfection? :-P
4) Finances. We are blessed that we can afford more children. I know we can feed, clothe, and care for more. But certainly the more kids you have the more expensive things get. Prom dresses? Weddings? College? ....We'll be able to give our girls *more* now with only two than we would if we had three. Would my girls be traumatized if I could only buy a $50 prom dress instead of a $100 one? No. Will I enjoy being able to give them lots of "extras" ? Yes.
5) 4 is the magic number. Much of the world just seems built for a family of 4. Seating at a restaraunt.....hotel rooms....cars...etc. A lot of things are just a little bit easier for a family of 4. (But i'm not giving up my van just yet---Love those automatic doors no matter how many kids I have! :-)
6) Medical Thankfully I don't have it bad like many people with rhuematoid arthritis. I could have another if I wanted. *But*, my symptoms have not gotten under control very easily since having Brielle. At some point I just think my body wants to be done with carrying babies around, lugging baby stuff, etc. Plus, arthritis is a lifelong condition. Most likely it will continuously get worse with age. As it is now I will be about 47 years old when Brielle graduates high school. I like the idea of being in my 40s when the babies leave the nest--still young enough to enjoy some empty nest years---especially since I don't predict I'll be one of those 70 year olds still frolicking around without a care haha. I'll probably be a 70 year old with knee replacements and a walker :-/
7) Work I've never had any intention of being a SAHM forever. I would love to go to work part time and do Etsy the other part of the time. We'll see how that all plays out. But the fact is that my license needs to be renewed in about 2ish years...I'll need to take some classes/credit hours and such and I can't say that doing all of that with a new baby at home sounds fun. But letting my license expire, even if I don't go back to school psychology, doesn't sound smart either.
8) A big age gap is not for me. I realize many people love larger age gaps. It's just not for me. I like the idea of taking my girls to Disneyworld soon for instance. If we have a 3rd , even if we have one fairly soon, there would be about 5 years between Raya and the baby. If I waited a couple years to get pregnant there'd be even longer. With that sort of age gap I just think it'll be harder to plan vacations and activities that all the kids enjoy.
9) I want our house back. I'm so excited to sell baby gear and clothes and get it the heck out of our house! :-)
10) I want my "me" time back! Once again I in no way regret the kids I have. I loved everything about them and their "babyness" and if I didn't have any kids right now I'd be so excited for everything that I just wrote about being sick of. I looked forward to sleepless nights and diapers and baby gear! But like I said, everyone I think hits a point where they've been there, done that....and now I'm excited for the next stage of our life! Planning vacations like camping trips and boating, doing ballet classes and school and homework! ....having girl time and getting nails done....sleeping in because I can tell the girls to go watch tv until I'm ready to get up :-) ....running errands in half the time because they can hop into their own seats and buckle up.
...and I"m no Michelle Duggar. I'm sorry, but how do people with huge families do it?! When I'm helping Raya on the potty and turn around to see Brielle emptying the bathroom drawers of every. single. item. it simply drives me crazy! lol. Needless to say I don't respond with "oh honey, now let's discuss why that was wrong and correct our error in judgment by carefully refolding the 50 washclothes mommy just spent all morning washing." ...instead I can usually be heard saying "Brielle!!! Get the heck out of my drawer!!!!!!!!!!!!! Raya, hurry and a pee before your sister destroys the house! Oh god, I need a nap" :-P
So I appologize for the long ramble, but I wanted to document this for the girls on the blog (since it's their baby book) and they will be able to see my reasoning for the decision---and also maybe help others who are struggling with the decision of how many kids to have themselves.
Any other "two and through" readers out there? ...and I will still be ooohing and ahhhing over all the new babies as they fill up my blog list and facebook page with announcements and cute baby pictures---don't worry! But just know that I'm thinking "awww, he/she is simply adorable! But I'm glad it's *you* who's taking him home and not me" :-)
Oh, and wondering what Lee thinks of all this? Well, he was surprised when I suddenly agreed with him on the 2 kids thing---I think he was sort of holding out that maybe he'd still get a boy---but he was happy to "blame" me for the 3 kids when they'd all be crazy and crying, or if he got a 3rd girl haha. So I did tell him that if he really really wanted a 3rd I would be open to it, but he didn't haha. I think if someone presented him with a boy he'd probably accept, but he doesn't want t he work of a 3rd child. (And if someone presented me with a 2 year old girl then *I * would probably accept..neither scenario is likely to happen!)
And now that I've made this decision I"m certainly going to find out I'm expecting a "surprise" baby next week or something LOL.