Saturday, May 18, 2013

To try or not to try

When Olivia was only a few weeks old, for some reason I felt the sudden need to make a final decision about whether or not we would like to try to have a fourth child eventually.  When I was younger, I use to say that I wanted three children.  When I met Nik, he wanted six!  We compromised on four before we were married.  Nik likes to say that was before he knew how expensive it was to have children.  Very true.

Although the growing daycare bill is enough to keep most people from reproducing, it isn't something I heavily consider when deciding whether I want to expand our family.  I loved having a big family growing up and I love the chaos of family get togethers and holiday's.  I want to be surrounded by people I love and that love me.  With all three of my kids, I made sure that we found a way to make it work financially.  I know that parenting is a handful and that it requires a lot of self sacrifice.  But, the reward is greater than the largest obstacle.

I battled with the idea of three kids or four over several weeks and then it dawned on me.  While worrying about the size of my family, I was simultaneously stressing out over the transition back to work.  Having three little children and a full time job is no easy task.  Getting up and out of the house in the morning is probably the most difficult part of the day.  Finding time to pump during working hours is stressful.  Always being pulled away for one of them, when both of them are extremely important takes a toll.  Trying to pick the kids up at a decent hour, then cook and get them all to bed at a reasonable time takes planning.  Not having much, if any, quality time with the kids at the end of a work day is disappointing.  Taking time off work for doctor's appointments, Easter egg hunts, and dance recitals is challenging but something I am not willing to miss out on. 

Ultimately, it was that last point that pushed me over the edge.  As much as I adore my babies and would love to try for another one, I just can't do it.  I don't want to spread myself too thin that I would end up not giving my attention to the amazing girls I already have.  I want to be at every recital, every game, every activity . . . and if I want to keep my job (which, yes, I definitely NEED to), then I better focus on the three children I already have and not add more to my plate, so to speak.

We have been blessed with three amazing children and we are over the moon happy with our little family.  I don't feel like we are missing someone, like I did before Olivia was born.  I know that I am always going to want another baby, and I am going to be sad to watch my last baby grow into a toddler, but at the same time I am excited to see our family grow together.  I am excited that we will be able to do new and exciting things as each of them gets older.  Once Olivia is out of diapers, there is no looking back and I will spend all of my baby cuddling time with my future nieces, nephews and cousins when the time comes :-)

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