Deciding How Many Children To Have

I knew I always wanted to be a mom, so I married a man who wanted to be a dad. Together we decided how many children we wanted. Mind you, I need to stress that wanted is a very loose definition of the word for purposes here. You know how the song goes, “You can’t always get what you want…“.

Last weekend we went to visit friends with a brand new baby, and from the moment we walked into the house I knew I was in trouble. We were enveloped in cuteness. The sight of that precious boy in his cute little hat, with those teeny tiny fingers and, OH, that new baby smell that overtook you when you got close to him (Mmmmm…new baby scent). Sheer heaven. It wasn’t even ten minutes before I asked to hold him. To be honest, I am amazed I held out that long.

As I was holding that adorable baby boy, all the memories of the birth of my own two children came flooding back. I loved the infant stage. It’s a pretty labor intense stage (pun totally intended) for the parents, but the rewards are tremendous. For me, there are few things in life that compare to seeing my child smile for the first time.

Before having any children, DH and I reviewed our finances. That may surprise you, but let’s face it, raising children is EXPENSIVE! We wanted to make the right decisions for our future family. We considered all the usual necessities like diapers, clothing and food, but there are also other factors like day care expense and college tuition.

It was hard to discuss baby dreams in conjunction with our checking account. For me, babies shouldn’t have to be about money, they should be about love and feelings. The same feelings I was experiencing all over again holding my friend’s newborn.

“Two and through,” I have always said confidently. However, those words weren’t ringing as strong in my ears that day. I could feel my ovaries churn watching this little man gaze at me. My heart ached with the slightest twinge as I was reminded again that I would never be holding another newborn of my own.

These thoughts were interrupted by my boisterous six year old, asking to hold the newborn. She was as anxious to hold him as her Mommy was.

As I sat there watching my daughter sing her ABC’s to the little man in her arms, my heart no longer ached. It was singing..A…B…C…D…

I digress back to the  wise Rolling Stones, “If you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.”

I know in my heart, I have what I need.

Did you make a plan? Do you know how many children you want? What’s your perfect family size?

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One Response to “Deciding How Many Children To Have”

  1. Kate February 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Hi Karen – I meant to leave you a note on Friday night letting you know that I had read this and was really touched.
    Thank you for sharing these feelings with us! I enjoyed reading your story – and enjoyed the photos even more. What a sweet picture of you as a new Mom!

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