May 18th, 2010 was a really big day for me. Yes, because Life After Yes was published. But it was also quite monumental for another reason: It was the day on which I allowed myself to start thinking about babies again.
And boy did I start.
For those of you who are new to ILI, let me give you some quick background. I love babies. I want a billion of them. Okay, actually four. Husband is open to the idea of three. What's important to know is that I have two babies. And I want more. I told myself that I wasn't even allowed to think of thinking about Baby #3 until my book was born. Because, yes, publishing a book was in so many ways like giving birth. There was the wild anticipation and build-up. There was the due date. There are the postpublication hormones ravaging my system. There might even be a touch of PPD (postpublication depression). The point is that it made sense to wait. And, like a good girl, I did.
The topic is on that proverbial table. Husband and I are having the conversation. The hard one. The really hard one. The one about timing, mostly. Is now really the right time to grow our brood? Our girls are young and we already have a tough time shrouding them with what we deem to be adequate attention and affection. The chaos quotient in our lives is rather high. We are about to move into a new home. The economy is misbehaving. Husband and I both have career ambitions. Does it make sense to wait a bit until things settle? Do things ever settle? Isn't it best to pop 'em out while I am still young?
I don't know.
What's amazed me is how the conversation has veered. How the question has changed. Husband and I have talked - and seriously - about whether it makes sense to add to our family at all. We already have two healthy and happy girls. We love them fiercely and have so much fun with them. Will adding another sister (I assume it would be a girl) potentially entail a problematic fracturing of our parental focus? Do we have infinite love to give and spread around or is this a crock? Will adding another creature to our ecosystem threaten its harmony?
I'm so confused.
Anyway, this is my dilemma du jour. And it's a big one. And I know this is all a matter of personal choice. I know that this is our decision to make. That there is no one right way to approach these things. But. As long as this is a conversation on our family table, I wanted to bring it here to my bloggy table. Because I know you guys have experiences and ideas and insights. Even if you are not all parents, you are all products of parents. Parents who presumably once had this conversation about how many kids to have and when to have them.
So. Spill it. What are your thoughts on all of this? Have you faced a similar dilemma? How many kids do you have or want (if you do want kids in the first place)? Do you think there are more or less ideal spacing and structuring schemes for families? How have you enjoyed the spacing and structuring in your family of origin and your family now? Have you moved away or toward the way your parents did things? Ultimately, is this question, like that of how integral lust is to a successful marriage, something that is purely idiosyncratic and defies generalization?