Just last month, Mino turned six, and a week later, Nelly turned four. With these big boys running around, so independent (as illustrated here) and able to do for themselves without mama, I've gotten asked more than once whether we'll try for a daughter, or just want another baby in general.
In prior years, I've gone back and forth on whether to try again, the pros and the cons, of having another child, since Nelly was about a year old.
It's no secret that I have Endometriosis, and conceiving was a now or never game. It's a true miracle that I have these two adorable, albeit busy, boys. And as we cruise on through preschool and elementary, and leave all things diaper, bottle and baby related behind, I thought I'd lay out the pros, once and for all, that tipped the W family scale in favor of team "two and through," once and for all.
10. I Like Nice S%#T
There's no simpler way to put it than kids tear up your stuff. Big stuff, small stuff, ALL stuff. And to the mom with the perfect toddler who never broke her lamp because he "knows better," pipe down peanut gallery. Those of us who are not afforded the luxury of superhuman senses eventually take our eyes off of our children for a moment, maybe to pee. And that's when nice s%#t like my fancy wax warmer that made the house smell like cinnamon becomes little more than a distant memory... and a miserable stain to get out of the carpet.
9. The Bathroom Is Crowded Already
You know the expression, "Ignorance is bliss?" If you've ever bothered to read the Bible, you know that Adam and Eve were pretty blissfully ignorant, so much so, they didn't know they were naked. Children seem to share this blissful ignorance, to the extent that they'll follow you without an ounce of restrain, right into the loo. Showering? That won't stop you from unlocking the iPad for your toddler. Number two? Seems like a very opportune time to hear about how the Power Rangers SPD kicked that bad guys butt. I fear if I had one more child, they may be able to band together and break down the bathroom door on me, Walking Dead style.
8. Because, SLEEP.
I'm not a morning person. I'm even less of a broken sleep person. Believe me when I say sleep torture is real. Mino didn't sleep through the night until he was nearly three. I do not miss rising like something from the "Thriller" video to pat, change, feed, and swaddle an inconsolable screaming life form. Not. One. Bit.
7. Bills, Bills, Bills
Kids cost money. Well, duh. We all know that. But the amount of ways your children will find to seep into your wallet is astounding. I could have a very fine vehicle or house for what we pay in private school tuition. We plan to go to Disneyland for Christmas. Family of four? $1,000.00 just to get in the gate. If we want to fly somewhere? Forget about it. It's work enough to afford the essentials, let alone the extras we aim to give our children.
6. Babies Poop
I'll never forget the hell of having two children in diapers. UGH. And Nelly, the baby who was a week late for good measure, made sure to drag out potty training until I literally put undies on him to make a point. One week of soiled cartoon character unmentionables later, he got the hint. Mama was over cleaning up stinky bums. And I remain over it. I don't care how good that baby smell is, I know about the other baby smell.
5. The Laundry
Laundry is up there with sticking a needle in my eye on my priorities list. With four people in the house, there is already an abominable amount of laundry. I fold it while watching Netflix, swearing never to buy another item of clothing again and cursing my entire family for not wearing disposable paper bags. And that's with people who only wear one outfit per day. Anyone who's had a baby will tell you they have more wardrobe changes than Beyonce at the On The Run Tour. In the choice between purgatory and more laundry, I'll take the waiting room to hell.
4. Conceiving with Infertility Sucks
I think this is self explanatory. But for me, having four years go by without conceiving means if and when I try, I face the same uphill battle I dealt with when trying to get pregnant the first time. It's heavy, it may involve losses, and it may be impossible. I'd rather spend my time now enjoying the children I do have, rather than falling back into the cyclical monthly obsession with seeing those two blue lines or not.
3. Life after Children
At this point, I'll be a ripe (still young) forty-years-old when my boys reach legal age. That's still plenty of life ahead of me to do and see the things I hear I missed so much of in my twenties, except better. I won't be backpacking through Europe on a college student's budget, and rock and rolling all night, only to party every day. My idea of a good wine won't cost less than $10, and I'll finally be able to have a blasted dining room table that doesn't stick to me when I touch it. That's my freedom lighting the end of the tunnel, people - and I'll be darned if I do another crime and add time to my sentence.
2. I Miss My Husband
My husband once sent me a text that said "15 years and 3 months." I text him back with question marks and he sent "until we're alone." It seems like with wiping little faces, cutting up little meals, playing referee, singing the chorus of "stop, put it down, don't touch that, get that out of your brother's ear..." You can sometimes forget your partner.
Most nights when I finally get the boys down, I barely want to hear my own thoughts, let alone my husband's. Don't get me wrong - we put in the effort to make it work. But we were together four years before children, I miss that version of us. Now it takes work not to fall into only having "business meeting" task oriented conversations, like, "I'll get the oil changed if you take Mino to the pediatrician." Again, light, at the end of the tunnel, people.
1. Mino and Nelly Deserve the Best Mom I Can Be
If you aren't new around here you know I'm stretched thin. I'm wearing a dozen hats a day at minimum, but one of the most important is my mother hat. When I was struggling to have a child, I made some promises to God, about how they would be raised and what I would be for them, and in turn, I believe my prayers were answered. I've done my best to keep those promises. To listen to them, no matter how silly their fears or ideas may seem at time. To be present for their big moments, no matter how fast paced a career I've chosen. To build them up, and raise them to be independent, strong, kind, and full of faith. If I'm honest with myself, and I have been, I just couldn't do that with one more child. Something, or someone would have to give. I'm just not willing for it to be them.
So though your baby may be very cute, squishy, adorable, and lovable, I am done. I've had two amazing babies, and all the wonderful experiences that go with it. From that first laugh, to first steps. I've sang lullabies, twilight fed, powdered bottoms and held tightly to tiny fingers. I'll always miss the smell of them with their soft fluffy hair and the feeling of my whole world being wrapped up in less than ten pounds, but it's time to move on.
We're running with big boys and signing up for peewee football. There's action figures everywhere underfoot and living room wrestling matches with daddy. With so much ahead of us, I'm pretty solid in this decision.
So what's your take? Two and through? One and done? The more the merrier? Leave it in the comments!
P.S. - Don't forget to hit the link and vote :)