Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Only Two

Having two kids is great. We all fit in the 4-door sedan just fine, I have a hand for each of them to hold in the parking lot, the double stroller comes with two seats, and "Kids Eat Free" places often will only let you get two free kids meals. It works quite well. I am beyond lucky to have two strong healthy (and, may I say, rather attractive) children.

So why do I feel guilty that I only have two? Why do I even phrase it that way: "only two"? I have no desire to get up three times in the middle of the night, retrieve a pacifier 10 million times in an hour, or nurse at the keyboard. I am often grateful that with two boys, I don't have to deal with the world of princesses and Barbie and highly sexualized teenybopper girls. I'm really quite cool with that. I love that they sleep all night long, and are just getting to the point where they can get up by themselves in the morning! That, in fact, is a cause for celebration and lots more sleep! So why am I not at peace with that decision?

I always thought I'd have three kids, but I also pictured myself several inches taller and I've let that go. I don't think three is the magic number. I don't think there IS a magic number (although I'm pretty sure if there is one, it's not 8).

If I were told I couldn't have any more kids, I'd be OK, and feel blessed with the ones I have. If G. were resolute in his desire to only have two kids, I'd be OK. He doesn't particularly want any more but if I felt really strongly about one more he'd consider it because he wants me to be happy. What's hard for me is that I'm making an active choice not to have any more children. By choosing to use birth control, I'm responsible for the choice.

I used to wish my IUD would fail. Not because I was desperate for a third child, but because then the decision would be out of my hands, since in that case I wouldn't terminate the pregnancy and it would be a surprise we'd just have to deal with. I just wasn't willing to get it taken out and say I really did want a third child.

I'm NOT desperate for a third child, and I do feel like our house and hearts are full with our boys. But it's weird....I also feel like I'm rejecting someone who already exists somewhere (and yes, it's a she) on some plane, and I'm closing the door on her, rejecting her. I feel guilty and like I'm choosing the easy way out because I'm too lazy to deal with a third infant. It's a very strange dilemma that doesn't make sense to my logical mind.

Pretty soon the issue will be out of my hands. Maybe it's already happened. These eggs are getting pretty old, along with the rest of my body. I just hope I don't regret my choices.


Anonymous said...

My IUD DID fail, and we named him Brian. So it might be a boy!
Seriously, I understand the funny space you're in. It didn't use to be our decision, kids were decided for us by biology, and now we have more control and more headaches.
Usually people make the right decision.

supermom said...

Take it from me, 3 is LOTS :) I absolutely adore and love my children endlessly. Three is so much more work though. It's not like it is just one more child. With 2 kids, you have 2 kids, with 3, you have LOTS of kids :)

I would never change it for a second though

skyesofblue said...

I think that your thoughts are very real and that most woman feel that way. I always loved being pregnant and nursing my babies.
I have a 30 yr old son and my daughter is 28. I think that we always want those little babies.
You will be an awesome grandmother some day.

mtb0001 said...

R never felt strongly one way or the other, but I've never wanted kids of my own. I've been told more than once that he will grow to resent me and possibly leave me for it one day, though. @@

Carrie said...

This topic came up a while back at work. One of my coworkers who has two daughters, both grown, said she sill occasionally get wistful thinking about the third baby she always thought she'd have. She and her husband opted to stop after two because of an inherited genetic disorder their second child has.

I have always told my husband, who can take or leave the idea of children, that while we may ultimately not have a child, I would most regret not trying. Thankfully he understands and respects this position.

Sara Sampson said...

I have 2 daughters, now in their
40's (ouch! it kinda hurts to say that) and even way back when they were your children's age I used to think the same thing. Seems most every one I knew had 3 or 4 kids and there I was with just barely the starter kit. Don't know what age I was when those thoughts just stopped. I had a real family, a complete family all along. I think it was just a comparison phase I went thru. My feelings were real and I really did agonize about it and one day it was over. I had not thought about that for a long time until I read your blog today. As of today I'm so happy I have my 2 lovely daughers and 2 granddaughters. As with most things in life, everything works out just like it's supposed to.

Beastarzmom said...

just keep in mind your old roomie who just didn't feel "done" despite having 4 kids... and ended up with twins!
I know you know I never regretted having the third, in fact, it might have been our best decision ever... I will tell you I doubted my sanity in making that decision from time to time though... like when my kids got themselves into the car and buckled the seat belts while I was still struggling with all the baby crap... #4 was WAY easier...

Broadway Bloopers said...

I'm going to ignore that "best decision ever" statement....

I'd be happy with another cos.


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