The decision to have another child or not has been floating over our heads lately. Persistently. My husband and I have been so torn about whether to have a second babe or stay a trio for life. A trio we’ve grown quite comfortable with. I love our little family. We had our precious baby girl when I was 31 and my husband was 36, so time wise we kinda need to figure it out. Our lil Gemini queen just turned two. We (I) feel a lot of pressure to have a second kid. Not intentional pressure, people aren’t bullying me or anything. I can just feel that it’s wanted. Expected. The next step. Stay tuned to hear me confuse myself further on the topic 🙂
My husband and I have had a melancholic and quite constant visit with death since moving to Las Vegas over a year ago. A lot of close people in our lives have been laid to rest. An unusual amount for such a short period of time. Not to mention our kitty cat Mona. So to say death has become an ever present part of our life lately is kind of an understatement. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about life. Because death inevitably makes you think of life and purpose and shit like that. It makes you revaluate things. Especially things like family.
Having both grown up with siblings, he has two brothers and a sister and I have two older sisters. I treasure the relationships I have with mine, I’m sure my husband feels the same. But we live far away from our family. Our communication is mostly text/FaceTime based and through social media. We don’t hang on the week nights or have family dinners on Sunday. We don’t have that outlet. Our babe doesn’t get to play with her cousins often or have Nana or Papa watch her on the weekend. That is not a part of our daily/weekly/monthly life. Is it bad to think I can’t handle more than one on my own? Or maybe not want to… Baby girl and I have gotten into a groove. She is major HYPE and determined, which I’ve (grown to) love about her personality. She is a pistol lemme tell ya. But I have to consider what it will be like for her growing up as an only child.
Our lifestyle is different than the lifestyle my husband and I had growing up (both very similar to one another’s). Neither is better or worse, just different. My husband and I both had great childhoods’ filled with love and warm memories. Our parents were teachers and office workers. They were home at night (or coaching the sports we were playing). We played outside from day to night. We went on vacations in the summer and we visited my grandparents in PA on a monthly basis if not more often. My husband’s family owned farms (in the same area) on both sides so he was ALWAYS with his cousins and grandparents and such working and playing. Clearly where he gets his great work ethic. But, in comparison to now, my husband is a pilot and travels for work often. Actually, traveling is literally what he does for work. We’ve lived in 4 different states since we got married in 2012. Which may seem crazy to some but has given us some pretty amazing experiences. We love moving around experiencing different parts of the US. It can, however, get stressful after throwing a babe in the mix. His job also provides us with the opportunity to travel frequently for enjoyment. Something that we love and value. It’s become important to us, also significantly harder to do this with another child. We feel like we can travel as trio and we have. Lil ButtButt will be well cultured and adjusted to a broader sense of community. But throw in another one and…man. I know most of you think I’m being a ballsack (because they are so much weaker than the woman counterparts usually referred to in this case). I don’t want you to think travel is more important than family to me. But it is a part of who we are really. And it’s inevitable if we plan to keep visiting our family, all whom dwell in the Midwest/East and refuse to relocate to the sunny West. Lol. But really, I’m trying to highlight the difference in lifestyle we have now versus the one we had growing up with a larger family all in proximity.
A common reaction I get when I say we are thinking of having only one child, is that that they will grow up “weird”. Whatever. I think I’m pretty weird and I’m the youngest of three girls so… Just saying. Weird isn’t always bad. And won’t she have school friends? Neighborhood friends? Not to belittle the relationship I have with my siblings because THEY THE SHIT, but honestly, I don’t remember them playing with me when we were young. Or really being that nice… LOL. I think if you knew Washinko girls growing up you knew about our infamous, hormonal girl fights. Just ask the 18 babysitters that quit. S/O to those who stuck around. Talking about you Lou and Carrie <3 You the real MVPs. We were all three years apart but my sisters were two grades apart due to my middle’s sister’s birthday being in September. So they were in high school together. Fun times. And I just take a minute to thank the sweet Lord above my moody ass wasn’t in high school with them. Being the youngest, I learned some tricks along the way though. I remember one fight in which my middle sister and I were rolling quarters for vacation from the huge pretzel jar (from Sam’s club) we used to collect change. Duh, we got in an argument. It escalated as they usually did and she pushed me. I hit my head off of my knee. My dad wasn’t home at the time so I went into my room and put red marker on my cheek in the area that hit my knee. I rubbed it in and when he came home I cried and told him to look at what my monstrous sister did to me. It was great. Totally worked. She got in trouble. (Sorry Dad) I know if we don’t have another child my daughter will miss out on sibling support but she will also miss out on sibling rivalry and competition. Having older sisters that were great at sports made me not even think twice to join the same things. I went to Ohio State because one of my sisters did and when I went to visit, it was a blast. I just wonder what it would have been like without these inevitable influences? She’ll carve her own path. But I guess she would do that as the older/oldest too…hmmm.
But still, siblings are special. They have your back through life. I can talk as much crap about my sisters as I want but you…Go ahead. Say sum. You’ll see my Scorpio(n) stinger about face right away. Siblings make your family bigger, obviously, which is fun when you are older. It’s also cool to see the different versions of the humans you love. Compare which traits they got from whom and see the history of our family in that small lil face. Plus, now that we are all grown, my mom has some pretty fun vacay spots- me being in Vegas, my middle sister being in NYC, and my oldest being in Cleveland.
Another thing to think about is if we have two children I will be with them the majority of the time…so my mental health. Lol. My husband is home now more than he ever has been through out our 13 year relationship, but as pointed out earlier traveling IS his work. I’ve just recently been able to shift my focus to writing and photography (both are things I’ve always been passionate about). I have time now that I’m not teaching. If we have another child, I would probably go back to the classroom. I don’t know if I want to do that. I loved teaching but I was exhausted at the end of the day. I want to spend quality time with my children. Not be annoyed and tired and have to do dinner and grade papers and tests and then give baths and read more books to my own kids then grade more papers, then try to spend some QT time with the hubs before I give up on all of the papers to grade and pass out. You know, all that jazz. Poor teachers. Such an under-appreciated profession. I’m gravitating back towards working with underserved kids, just don’t know if I want that sort of time commitment that is expected from teachers. You are never done with work. Ever.
So is it selfish to want time to do things that we’ve grown to identify with in life? Maybe it’s because we had kids later in life. We got used to only considering ourselves when living, lol. I know most people put their life on hold for their kids. But I also know A LOT of people who complain about their lives…truth. Of course they love their babies unconditionally, but they feel like their life has been taken away. “It’s only for awhile”, some say, or few have gone far enough to say they wouldn’t have kids if they could go back in time. I appreciate the honesty. And keeping it 100: I know a lot of adults who aren’t happy. I’m not saying it’s because their kids at all. I’m just saying it’s easier to go with the flow of expectations of our society and have a second kid because that’s what happens after you have one. It takes guts to go against the grain. “You can’t just have ONE!!!!” Mere thought of it is neglectful enough for pre-judgment. Or does the desire to procreate another little version of ourselves actually come from a narcissistic place? I mean I read Ishmael. Lol…Perspective people! Hubs and I are both comfortable and even uplifted by the idea of adoption. Helping and providing a loving and stable home for a child in need seems like a wonderful idea. Is choosing to create another child instead of helping one that is already alive and in need selfish? Fuckkk. You know?!? Is everything selfish?!?!
Still it genuinely makes me feel bad to only want/potentially have one child. Does that mean I should have another one? Or is that just the people pleasing guilt thing that is apparently never going away? My husband has recently expressed that he prefers just one babe. He thinks…(we both go back and forth though truly). He would undeniably have another if that is something I wanted, but I clearly don’t know. Me and decisions… go together like eggs and peanut butter. Him becoming more clear on the topic has me more confused. Always. Hence, this blog post. Would love to hear some advice, wisdom, experiences, opinions, anything!! SOS.